In June 1923 the Scarborough Corporation received an application from two local men to run a Sea-Car around the town and from the beach; if the application was rejected, they stated that they would run the service from Bridlington. Two Sea-Cars were already operating in Margate; they had been designed and patented in 1922 by two men from Cleethorpes who had them built in Wakefield. They were 28 foot (approx. 9M) built around a one ton Ford lorry’s engine and chassis, the land speed was 15 mph, reasonably fast for the period and 7 knots in the water. The application was put in the hands of Chief Constable Windsor who decided that three licences were required - a Hackney Carriage licence; a motor car driver’s licence and also a boatman’s licence. In addition to the licences the sea-car had to comply with the Board of Trade regulations regarding life lines and fire extinguishers. Mr Windsor also wanted a test drive in it. The two original applicants seemed unable to produce the vehicle and it was Alfred Lees, the proprietor of Cleethorpes Sea-Car Company that arrived on the 3 August outside the police station on Castle Road and sounded the horn, which was a ship’s horn, to alert Mr Windsor that he had arrived. Mr Windsor did a thorough visual inspection of the light blue and white vehicle and when he was satisfied, he and three of the Watch Committee set off on a tour of the town and then out to sea from the South Beach. On its return it went back to the police station where Mr Windsor gave his blessing for it to operate. Whilst the trial was being carried out a large number of customers had congregated at the police station and on its approval eagerly boarded the vehicle as its first customers.
However, complaints were soon being received from the fishermen who ran pleasure cobbles in the summer months that the Sea-Car was pinching their customers. They also complained that the Sea-Car was allowed to carry 12 passengers a time at 9d (about 3.5p) each and to run four trips an hour, whilst the cobbles were limited to 9d a passenger for a one hour trip. The complaints were completely ignored by the council until 24th August when a petition with 70 signatures was handed to the Watch Committee at the start of their meeting. The Committee decided that only one Sea-Car would be allowed to operate from Scarborough and that in 1924 local boatmen could apply for the licence to operate it. The Sea-Car was a great success throughout August and September; however, when in 1924 Mr Lees applied for a licence, the Committee informed him that no one would be issued with a licence that year.