T.B. was a three-wheeled cyclecar manufactured by the aircraft department of Thompson Brothers of Bilston, England, from 1919 until 1924. A prototype four-wheel car never entered production. Approximately 150 cars were produced of which only one example is believed to have survived.
Thompson Brothers was founded in 1810 in Bilston in the Black Country region of South Staffordshire (now the West Midlands), and in 1882 it was purchased by Enoch Stephen Thompson. The company was based at the Bradley Engineering Works, on Great Bridge Road, Bilston. Initially they manufactured steam boilers, but during World War I they diversified into aircraft components. After the war the tax regulations lead to a boom in cyclecar production so the aircraft department produced a three-wheeled, open, two seater, cycle car that followed aircraft engineering practises and workmanship standards, using high grade materials.
The main appeal of cycle-cars was cheapness to buy and run, but in the overpopulated car market of the 1920s the cost of four-wheeled cars fell to that of cycle-cars, the business tailed off, component acquisition was troublesome, and T.B. only sold 150 cars. Although they designed a four-wheeled car it was never produced.
After the demise of the cyclecar business Thompson became a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles such as fuel tankers and airport fire tenders.
In 1935, an unusual three-wheeled aircraft refueller was successfully introduced for servicing light aeroplanes at civil aerodromes and during World War II many later variants were manufactured for military use. Many continued in use at civil aerodromes and airports in Britain until the 1960s and 1970s with a few still in use (e.g. at North Weald and Leicester East) in the 1990s. At least 20 examples are known to survive worldwide with museums and private owners today.
Eventually the company became part of the Northern Engineering Industries Group.
Chassis. - Patent tubular.