Rochdale Motor Panels was formed in 1948 by Harry Smith and Frank Butterworth. They were both keen racers, and Specials enthusiasts and soon branched out into building their own. Their cars were all bespoke and created to customers' specifications, and by 1952 had abandoned aluminium in favour of glass fibre.
The GT and Olympic picked up useful sales, but the company was badly affected by a factory fire in 1961. Sales continued until 1963, but by then, they had slowed – and Rochdale refocused its efforts, concentrating on making heating equipment.