Founded around 1830 by Joseph Salmons, the company became famous for its coaches, dog-carts and ralli–carts, achieving worldwide sales.
From 1898 it built bespoke motor coachwork of high quality for all makes of chassis. From 1909 onwards Salmons were leading exhibitors at the Olympia Motor Show. The company expanded rapidly and from 1902 had extensive premises in the City of London, with showrooms in the West End from the mid-1920s.
Several important developments in car hood design, patented by the company, ensured continuing success. In 1911 Salmons pioneered an all-weather body as snug as a saloon with the hood closed. Three years later
they designed a spring-assisted hood and by 1914 were building some 553 carbodies a year. A major development was the “Tickford” winding hood, patented in 1925, and fitted to their “Sunshine Saloon.” The hood was raised or lowered by turning a cranked winding handle. Both the all-weather body and the Sunshine Saloon were built under licence in several European countries.
Throughout the 1930s production concentrated on 2-door drophead coupes which Salmons called their “foursome” coupe. In 1939 the family business became a limited company, Salmons and Sons Coachbuilders Ltd. After the retirement of the Salmons brothers, grandsons of the founder, the company was renamed Tickford Ltd in 1943.
The company resumed construction of quality coachwork after the 1939-45 war. Alvis, Daimler and Humber coupes and a Healey 2-door saloon were built. Development work, carried out for several companies, included the body for Jet 1, the Rover gas-turbine car, and the prototype of the Austin Healey sports car.
Tickford designed and built station wagons on the Land Rover chassis. Luxurious convertibles were built on the Alvis and Lagonda chassis, together with saloons on the latter. The success of the Tickford-built Lagonda
cars led to the acquisition of the company by David Brown in 1955.
The company now became part of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd and the works produced cars of both marques. The long-established tradition of high quality coachwork construction in Newport Pagnell has continued to the present day.