Derham Groves

Francis Birtles & Alec Barlow

birtles-barlow.jpg3-33-copy-copy.jpgbirtles-barlow-3.jpg3-24-copy.jpgbirtles-bean-5.jpg3-23-copy.jpgbirtles-barlow-4.jpgA.G. Barlow, the proprietor of Barlow Motors, was one of A.W. Purnell’s best and most interesting clients. In 1926 Barlow Motors sponsored Francis Birtles, an Australian adventurer, and Barlow’s son Alec (a.k.a. Alex), an adventurer in his own right, to drive from Darwin to Melbourne. They did the journey in eight days and 13 hours, a record. Purnell designed houses, showrooms and stables for Barlow, which reflected the businessman’s spectacular rise and tragic fall.