Buildings and Infrastructure for the Motor Car

Introductions to Heritage Assets

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Arriving in the later 1890s, by the end of the First World War motor vehicles had ousted horses as the main means of transporting goods. In the inter-war years many middle class families acquired cars, and by the 1960s car ownership was commonplace. Two-car families were almost the norm by the end of the century.

This guide provides a brief introduction to the buildings of what some have called the Motor Age: car factories, petrol stations and car showrooms, domestic garages, car parks, motorway service stations, motels, and the roadhouses and cafes where motorists could find refreshment. Also outlined are the ever-evolving types of road which facilitated this transport revolution.


  • Introduction
  • Car factories
  • Car showrooms
  • Domestic garages or motor houses
  • Maintenance and repair garages
  • Filling stations
  • Car parks
  • Cafes and roadhouses
  • Motels
  • Motorway service stations
  • The road system
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 27
  • Product Code: HEAG138


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