by James Andrew


Bridge of Weir Leather Company continues its partnership with the Concours of Elegance in 2016 with a stunning display set to feature on the lawns of Windsor Castle celebrating a ‘Century of Iconic Interiors’.

In the business of manufacturing leather for the automotive industry, Bridge of Weir has supplied many of the most iconic cars of the last century, with a small sample spanning key products of the past 100 years selected to represent the company at Windsor Castle.

A 1915 Ford Model T is an example of the very first automotive customer of Bridge of Weir Leather Company, a relationship that dates back to 1911 when the model first entered production in the UK at Trafford Park in Manchester.  The relationship between Bridge of Weir and Ford Motor Company continues to this day.   This particular Model T Tourer is part of Ford’s own heritage collection, held in Essex and is an example of a UK built model featuring Bridge of Weir leather.  In production from 1908 to 1927 with more than 15 million manufactured at numerous factories internationally, the Model T was named Car of the Century in 1999, as the world’s first affordable, mass-produced automobile.
Model T 1915

DeLorean’s iconic and infamous DMC-12, was built from 1981 to 1982 near Belfast in Northern Ireland, with prototypes shown from the mid-1970s. Some 9,000 models were manufactured during the company’s short life, before bankruptcy and the arrest of the company’s charismatic founder John DeLorean.  It is believed that more than two-thirds of the cars produced are still in existence, sporting the car’s unique brushed stainless steel body, gull-wing doors, innovative fiberglass chassis and underbody structure and fine Scottish leather interior.

Bridge of Weir Leather Company chairman, Jonathan Muirhead OBE, recalls: “It was an exciting time.  A number of Hollywood stars were attracted to invest, largely thanks to John DeLorean’s fame for engineering Pontiacs and Chevrolets.  The British government supported the new manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland, and we were delighted to be involved.  Suddenly, however, the DeLorean dream started to unravel.  I remember being very worried, but ultimately, we were paid for the leather supplied – I think we were among the lucky suppliers in this regard.”  

He added: “The car had all but disappeared by the mid-1980s, until Steven Spielberg came along and secured its iconic status with the DeLorean time machine in his Back to the Future trilogy – and I am very pleased about that – it was special in many ways, and deserves its place as one of our icons at the Concours of Elegance.”

Aston Martin Engine Plaques -� Max Earey (29)

The modern day icon displayed as part of the Bridge of Weir collection is the 2016 Aston Martin DB11.  Already award winning, the new Aston Martin continues the ‘DB’ lineage with a design that is both unmistakably Aston Martin, and equally modern and innovative.  

Aston Martin Director of Design, Marek Reichman, describes the DB11 as “Aston Martin’s next icon – the first product of our Second Century Plan, with a stunning interior of Bridge of Weir leather to match.”  All Aston Martin products feature Bridge of Weir leather, and 2016 marks more than 50 years of the companies working together, a relationship that began with the DB5 of the 1960s.  

Marek Reichman said: “A car like this is not just about how it looks on the outside. Most of the lifetime of ownership is spent inside the car, and the interior’s sense of occasion is created by beautiful smell, touch and feel – it’s part of our identity and our interiors are each unique and hugely important to Aston Martin owners.  Our leather from Bridge of Weir is a timeless product, and there is a long history of the company working closely with us – we believe it is the best leather in the world.”

Bridge of Weir managing director, Karen Marshall, said: “The Concours of Elegance brings together the absolute pinnacle of the automotive world, from all around the world, in the most stunning and unique of settings each year.  Marking Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th year, it is an absolute honour to be a part of the event at Windsor Castle and to showcase some examples of our work from the last century.  Each of the cars we have brought together play their own part in the history of Bridge of Weir Leather Company, with the latest Aston Martin DB11 heralding a truly enthralling future of design, manufacturing and innovation ahead of us.”

DB11 - Arden Green (38)