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Edward (Ted) George Grinham

Ted Grinham,  born 1892, started his working life as an apprentice with Vickers Ltd., of Erith, Kent.

His quiet contribution to the Standard Motor Company has been unfortunately somewhat overlooked and this feature is intended to put the record straight


His involvement with the motor industry started in 1914 when he became engaged in engine design at Wolseley Motors, Birmingham.

After working with Vulcan Motors, he went to Humber Ltd, where he rose to chief engineer from 1921 to 1930.


He obviously became acquainted with Captain John Black, who was his Managing Director.  Black lost his engineering chief, Alfred Wilde who died suddenly in late 1930 and this caused him to move quickly to recruit Grinham as his engineering chief at the “Standard.”

Grinham was responsible for the engineering of all Standard’s models during the 1930s. These were all solidly over-engineered and incorporated the latest technical advances as soon as they were proven to be reliable. Grinham played a large part in rapidly expanding Standard’s production almost 10 fold by the time of the outbreak of war.

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Rarely captured in photographs, here, Ted Grinham, with hand on the map, discusses the route of proving runs with his test drivers, over the bonnet of the new Triumph Mayflower, one of the many cars he engineered.

Grinham was founder chairman of the Standards Committee of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. He became a council member of the Motor Industry Research Association and was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers. His work, particularly in chassis,  steering and engine design was widely published, and adopted by the company.


Grinham’s success in the supervising the build of over 1000 Mosquito Bombers did not go unnoticed. For two years during the Second World War, he was general manager of the De Havilland Aircraft Company, where many of the practices he had developed at Standard were applied successfully to de Havilland’s own aircraft building techniques.


At the end of the war, in 1945, he returned to Standard as Technical Director. During that period he headed up the Engineering Department’s contribution to the Triumph Renown and Roadster, Mayflower, Vanguard and Standard 8. He was appointed deputy managing director in 1954.


After retiring from his full-time position in 1958 he also took a part-time post with the Dunlop Rubber Co. relinquishing it in 1962.

He was a life member and former president of Kenilworth Golf Club. He died in 1968.

Phil Homer,

Feb 2021.

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