The Rochdale Owners Club was formed in June 1981 by a group of owners keen to establish a club exclusively for the Rochdale marque.
The aims of ROCHDALE OWNERS CLUB
The Rochdale Owners Club was founded with the aim of furthering the interest in Rochdale Motor Panels range of classic glassfibre and aluminium cars and car bodies, as well as providing members who have cars with information and support. We also run a spares service for members which enables owners to obtain spares which are specific to the range of Rochdale cars.
We are active in the field of Classic cars, our members appear a numerous classic and kit car shows and events. The Owners club committee arrange a presence at some of the major Classic Car shows throughout the year.
We are about to turn 40, that is the club is 40 years old. If you would like to learn more about the clubs history click on the link below.
THE FIRST 40 YEARS
2024 Annual General Meeting. click on link for more details
A Brief History Of ROCHDALE MOTOR PANELS & ENGINEERING LTD
Rochdale Motor Panels was founded in 1948 by Frank Butterworth and Harry Smith in an old mill building at Hudson Street in Rochdale, Lancashire, in northern England. Initially busy with general motor repairs, the pair became active in the 750 Motor Club. Special bodies were made to order, initially for Austin Seven chassis and specialist racing cars.
When GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) came on the scene a range of bodyshells was produced to fit any chassis. The first was the Mark VI, followed by the type 'F' and type 'C', then the ST (Sports Tourer).
The GT body, developed by Richard Parker, was introduced in 1957, followed in 1959 by the Riviera. Both these and the ST were specially designed to fit the Ford Popular chassis.
Richard Parker returned to Rochdale to develop the revolutionary glassfibre monocoque Olympic. The Phase I commenced production in 1960. In 1961 a disastrous fire gutted the Hudson Street premises and the company moved a short distance to Littledale Mill. From here development of the Olympic continued and the Phase II was introduced in 1963. The Olympic was in full production up to 1966, by which time the company was finding the heating and ventilation business more profitable. The last Olympic body was made in 1973. The Olympic moulds still exist, owned by a group of enthusiasts, so the flame is not completely extinguished.
1960/2020 60 years of the Rochdale Olympic.
With the introduction of the Rochdale Olympic being set to coincide with the 1960 Rome Olympics 2020 will be the 60th anniversary of its launch.
2020 will however be remembered for another great milestone in the history of mankind.
The Owners Club had intended to spend the year at various events celebrating the history of the Rochdale Olympic but this was not to be, maybe we can do it next year as a sort of belated birthday. In the meantime why not look around our website, there is lots of information on the Olympic and the other cars RMP made in period.
If you would like any information or would like to inform us of any forthcoming events, please contact us.