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Preserved 1934 Thornycroft Handy dropside lorry
|Founder||John Isaac Thornycroft|
Thornycroft was an English vehicle manufacturer which built coaches, buses, and trucks from 1896 until 1977.
In 1896, naval engineer John Isaac Thornycroft formed the Thornycroft Steam Carriage and Van Company which built its first steam van. This was exhibited at the Crystal Palace Show, and could carry a load of 1 ton. It was fitted with a Thornycroft marine launch-type boiler (Thornycroft announced a new boiler designed for its steam carriages in October 1897). The engine was a twin-cylinder compound engine arranged so that high-pressure steam could be admitted to the low-pressure cylinder to give extra power for hill-climbing. A modified version of the steam wagon with a 6-cubic-yard tipper body was developed for Chiswick council in 1896 and went into service as a very early self-propelled dust-cart. While the original 1896 wagon had front-wheel drive with rear-wheel steering, the tipper dust-cart had rear-wheel drive and front-wheel steering. The Thornycroft tipper was built by the Bristol Wagon & Carriage Works, though engined by Thornycroft.
Thornycroft's first petrol vehicle was built in 1902,and the company completed the move into internal combustion engine power in 1907.
Thornycroft's Basingstoke factory supplied nearly 5,000 motor vehicles for the World War I effort. It also provided large numbers of engines of various powers to the Admiralty, War Office and other government departments at the beginning of the war and for the next two years. Thereafter the Basingstoke factory manufactured marine engines for the Coastal Motor Boats being built at the John I. Thornycroft & Company works in Woolston, Southampton. It also made the Thornycroft depth-charge thrower for anti-submarine warfare.
From 1931, Thornycroft used names for its vehicle range – descriptive and colourful ones. During World War II the company designed the Terrapinand other war-related vehicles.
In 1948, the company name was changed to Transport Equipment (Thornycroft) Ltd to prevent confusion with the shipbuilding Thornycroft company. The company was well known for providing fire engine chassis, with multi-axle drive for uses such as airports. A limited number of 4x4 chassis were also provided to Worcester-based fire engine manufacturer, Carmichael for sale to civilian brigades in the 1950s.[ citation needed ]
Thornycroft was taken over on 1 March 1961 by AEC parent Associated Commercial Vehicles (ACV),with production limited to Antars, Big Bens and Nubians, although the Thornycroft-designed six-speed constant mesh gearbox was used in AEC and later medium weight Albion and Leyland trucks. ACV was taken over by Leyland in 1962. Leyland already had a specialist vehicle unit in Scammell. Vehicle production at Basingstoke ceased in 1969 with production transferred to Scammell at Watford. The factory continued to manufacture gearboxes. It was sold in 1972 to Eaton Corporation.
Horseless carriage is an early name for the motor car or automobile. Prior to the invention of the motor car, carriages were usually pulled by animals, typically horses. The term can be compared to other transitional terms, such as wireless phone. These are cases in which a new technology is compared to an older one by describing what the new one does not have.
Leyland Motors Limited was a British vehicle manufacturer of lorries, buses and trolleybuses. The company diversified into car manufacturing with its acquisitions of Triumph and Rover in 1960 and 1967, respectively. It gave its name to the British Leyland Motor Corporation, formed when it merged with British Motor Holdings in 1968, to become British Leyland after being nationalised. British Leyland later changed its name to simply BL, then in 1986 to Rover Group.
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Albion Motors was a Scottish automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer.
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Foden Trucks was a British truck and bus manufacturing company which had its origins in Elworth near Sandbach in 1856. Paccar acquired the company in 1980, and ceased to use the marque name in 2006.
Guy Motors was a Wolverhampton-based vehicle manufacturer that produced cars, lorries, buses and trolleybuses. The company was founded by Sydney S. Guy (1885–1971) who was born in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Guy Motors operated out of its Fallings Park factory from 1914 to 1982, playing an important role in the development of the British motor industry.
An artillery tractor, also referred to as a gun tractor, is a specialized heavy-duty form of tractor unit used to tow artillery pieces of varying weights and calibres. It may be wheeled, tracked, or half-tracked.
AEC Armoured Command Vehicle was a series of command vehicles built by the British Associated Equipment Company (AEC) during the Second World War.
Charles H Roe was a Yorkshire coachbuilding company. It was for most of its life based at Crossgates Carriage Works, in Leeds.
Bristol Commercial Vehicles was a vehicle manufacturer located in Bristol, England. Most production was of buses but trucks and railbus chassis were also built.
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A steam wagon is a steam-powered road vehicle for carrying freight. It is the earliest form of lorry (truck) and came in two basic forms: overtype and undertype – the distinction being the position of the engine relative to the boiler. Manufacturers tended to concentrate on one form or the other.
The Bristol Wagon & Carriage Works was a manufacturer of railway carriages and wagons, agricultural machinery and stationary engines, based in Bristol.
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