Hooper was a British coachbuilding company based in London. It was founded as Adams and Hooper in 1805 building top class horse drawn carriages supplying both Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. As Hooper they moved into motor bodies at the turn of the 20th century. They were bought by BSA during World War II.

Hooper specialised in the very top end of the market building the most luxurious bodies possible with cost not taken into consideration. Their cars were not sporty, they specialised in stately, elegant carriages and the recipe worked because in 1911 they had so much business that an extension had to be built to their Kings Road works. Their London showroom, opened 1896 possibly earlier, was on the corner of St James' Street and Bennet Street.

During World War I they turned to aircraft manufacture eventually turning out Sopwith Camels at the rate of three a day. With peace, coachbuilding restarted and they weathered the depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s well, even building a second factory in Acton, West London. In the peak year of 1936 over 300 bodies were made. In 1938 Hooper took over rivals Barker who were in receivership.

With re-armament in the late 1930s another factory was opened in Park Royal, London and during World War II they built fuselage sections for De Havilland Mosquito bombers, Airspeed Oxfords and gliders.

Post war they became famous for making a series of outrageously bodied Daimlers for Lady Docker, the wife of the BSA chairman which were exhibited each year at the London Motor Show. But, the building of cars on separate chassis was finishing and with it the market for complete bodies. BSA transferred the business to a new entity Hooper (Motor Services) Ltd which acted as a sales and service company and became in 1970 a Rolls-Royce distributor.


  • Coachbuilding in London. Robert Vickers. London's Industrial Archaeology No.5 1994