Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thornycroft: Commercial Vehicles

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1900. Steam tipping wagon.
1901. Four-ton wagon.
November 1902.
1903. Two-ton wagon.
1903. Standard wagon.
1903. Road Maker in South Africa.
1904. Road sweeper.
August 1907. Motor Char-a-Banc running between Tolton, Hythe and Fawley.
1909. Thornycroft's tractor.
1909. Gun tractor. Exhibit at British Commercial Vehicle Museum.
1909. Gun tractor. Exhibit at British Commercial Vehicle Museum.
April 1914.
1918. Thornycroft X-type.
c1919. Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
1919. J-type.
January 1920. 40 hp.
October 1920. 40 h.p. Type J. 3.5 Tons.
October 1920. 40 h.p. Type J.
1920/30. Thornycroft lorry outside the works of the South Metropolitan Gas Co. Reg No: XL 8561.
1921. Cess-pool emptier.
1922. Three Ton Suction Gas Lorry.
October 1922.
November 1922.
1924. Type BX. Reg No. TC 9816. Exhibit at British Commercial Vehicle Museum.
September 1925.
September 1925.
August 1928.
1929. 10 Ton Six Wheel Chassis.
16 June 1933 Lorry with Thornycroft Chassis, supplied byEagle Engineering Co.
1933. Stag Insulated 12 Ton Box Van.
1933. 2 Ton Handy Platform Lorry.For the London and North Eastern Railway.
1933. 12 Cubic Yard Refuse Collector.
1934. Thornycroft AC/FB4. Reg No: AXX 844.
Reg No: SRF 61.
April 1951.
April 1951.
1953. Thornycroft Big Ben. Reg No: GSL 144.
1959. Thornycroft Swift.
1959. Thornycroft Swift Shore.
Exhibit at the Chatham Dockyard.
1972. Fire Crash Tender. Reg No: CRX 658M.

Note: This is a sub-section of Thornycroft

John I. Thornycroft and Co of Basingstoke

The company was a manufacturer of commercial vehicles from 1896 to 1960

1896 a vertical steam engine was fitted to a van at Chiswick. After this happened vehicle building was started - see Thornycroft Steam Wagon Co, which had works at Basingstoke.

1899 Details of their waggon. Built by the Steam Carriage and Waggon Co.[1]

1900 Picture and details of a Steam Tipping Wagon built by the Thornycroft Steam Wagon Co

1902 A double-decker steam bus began operating in London.

1904 Acquired the Thornycroft Steam Wagon Co to provide more work for Thornycroft's Chiswick yard[2]

1904 November. Details of the 25-hp heavy oil tractor.[3]

1905 Midland Railway bought two Thornycrofts which were petrol-engined charabancs for summer runs.

1905 The company had a large range of petrol engines in Britain.

1905 Produced a 36-seat bus with a four-cylinder engine and sold for £900.

1905 March. Details of their 24-hp Double-Deck petrol omnibus. Also 5-Ton steam lorry and Military type.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

1905 December. Details of industrial vehicles with 20-hp and 24-hp engines.[10]

1908 Showed the new 30 hp chassis for buses

1913 The J type was produced and during the war 5,000 were built.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book

WW1 produced the J-type lorries and these were used in civilian life afterward. Exhibit with 3-ton chassis. [11]

1915 Great North of Scotland Railway bought three models and fitted their own bodies.

1920 October. Exhibited at the Commercial Motor Exhibition at Olympia with four vehicles. A 30 hp 35-cwt box van; 40 hp charabanc to seat 28 passengers; 40 hp 3.5 ton tipping wagon and a 40 hp single-deck omnibus.

1924 The A1 was developed and it weighed one and half tonnes. 1,000 of these models went into service by 1925.

1927 A bigger chassis arrived - the Lightning Coach.

Features included 70bhp side-valve six-cylinder engine; the speed of the vehicle reached 50mph; it had normal-control layout and seated 26 passengers.

The Great Western Railway were the biggest buyers of Thornycrofts.

1931 Two new models were introduced - the Daring double-decker and the Cygnet single-decker.

1934 Thornycroft were offering their own diesel engine, a 7.88 litre six-cylinder direct injection unit.

Smaller models also existed in the 1930s, one being the Beautyride a 26-seater.

1939 The Beautyride was the only PSV listed.

WW2 Produced around 5,000 vehicles for the War Department including the 4x4 Nubian and Amazon models.

1944 Producing six-cylinder 7,883 cc (99 bhp at 1,800 rpm) and a four-cylinder 5,255 cc (62 bhp at 1,700 rpm) diesel engines

1944 Advert for road-vehicle and marine diesel engines

1946 to 1950 20-seater HF lorry chassis built for PSV use.

1947 Two double-decker chassis were made with their own 7.8 litre diesel engine.

1948 the company name was changed to Transport Equipment (Thornycroft) Ltd to prevent confusion with the shipbuilding Thornycroft company.

1948 Range included Nippy 3-ton, Sturdy 5/6-ton, Amazon 12-ton and Trusty 15-ton

1960 Transport Equipment (Thornycroft) Ltd taken over by Associated Commercial Vehicles (ACV) and production was limited to the Nubians, Big Bens and Antars.

1961 Commercial vehicle, marine and industrial motor manufacturers. [12]

1962 Leyland Motors acquired Associated Commercial Vehicles

1969 Thornycroft's Basingstoke factory was closed in 1969 and specialist vehicles transferred to Scammell at Watford.

1972 The American Eaton Corporation bought Thornycroft's Basingstoke factory from British Leyland for £5M. It has added Thornycroft's heavy gearbox facility to its axle manufacturing capacity.[13].

List of Models

  • A1 RSW / A3 RSW, an off-road capable rigid six-wheeler to an army specification, 1926
  • QC/Dreadnought, 1930
  • Hardy
  • Dandy
  • Trusty - 8 ton forward control 4 wheeler
  • Bullfinch
  • Strenuous
  • Mastiff
  • Tartar 6x4, both civilian & military versions
  • Taurus
  • Iron Duke
  • Stag
  • Jupiter - 6.5 ton
  • Big Ben
  • Nubian
  • Mighty Antar

See Also


Sources of Information