Buses, Cars, Trucks and Van’s TROJAN Croydon England 1914-1965

Trojan letter logo


1948 Trojan 15 Van Logo

BUSES, Cars, Trucks and Vans

1924 Trojan b

 1924 Trojan

Trojan was a British automobile manufacturer producing light cars between 1914 and 1965, and light commercial vehicles for a short time.

Early history

The company was founded by Leslie Hayward Hounsfield (1877–1957) who went into business as a general engineer in a small workshop called the Polygon Engineering Works in Clapham, South London. He got the idea to make a simple, economical car that would be easy to drive and started design work in 1910.

1924 Trojan a

1924 Trojan

In 1913 the prototype was ready. It had a two-stroke engine with four cylinders arranged in pairs, and each pair shared a common combustion chamber – a doubled-up version of what would later be called the “split-single” engine. The pistons in each pair drove the crankshaft together as they were coupled to it by a V-shaped connecting rod. For this arrangement to work, it is necessary for the connecting rod to flex slightly, which goes completely against normal practice. The claim was that each engine had only seven moving parts, four pistons, two connecting rods and a crankshaft. This was connected to a two-speed epicyclic gearbox, to simplify gear changing, and a chain to the rear wheels. Solid tyres were used, even though these were antiquated for car use, to prevent punctures and very long springs used to give some comfort.

1924 Trojan Utility 4-seater Chummy

1924 Trojan Utility 4-seater Chummy

Before production could start war broke out and from 1914 to 1918, Trojan Ltd, as the company had become in 1914, made production tools and gauges. In 1920 the first series of six cars were made from a works in Croydon and the final production version was shown at the 1922 London Motor Show. An agreement was reached with Leyland Motors to produce the cars at their Kingston upon Thames factory where work on reconditioning former Royal Air Force wartime trucks was running down. This arrangement would continue until 1928 when Leyland wanted factory space for truck production. During the nearly seven years of the agreement 11,000 cars and 6700 vans were made.

Trojan Utility Car

The Trojan Utility Car went onto the market at £230, which was reduced to £125 in 1925, the same as a Model T Ford. Nothing was conventional. Rather than a chassis the car had a puntshaped tray which housed the engine and transmission below the seats. The transmission used a chain to drive the solid tyre shod wheels. The 1527-cc engine to the ingenious Hounsfield design was started by pulling a lever on the right of the driver. To prove how economical the car was to run, the company ran the slogan “Can you afford to walk?” and calculated that over 200 miles (320 km) it would cost more in shoes and socks than to cover the distance by Trojan car.

1925 Trojan sept

1925 Trojan sept

A modified car was released in 1920 with a smaller 1488-cc engine to bring it into the sub-1.5-litre class and with pneumatic tyres available as an option. The car was guaranteed for 5,000 miles. A major contract was agreed with Brooke Bond tea for delivery vans making the car familiar all over Britain and with a top speed of 38 mph (61 km/h), not causing too much worry over speeding drivers.

The RE Trojan and the 1930s

Trojan van, Abergavenny steam rally

 1950s diesel van, with Perkins engine and operated by Perkins themselves

With the ending of the Leyland partnership, Leslie Hounsfield took over production himself back in Croydon but at new premises with Leyland continuing to supply some parts until the early 1930s. In spite of new body styles, sales of the cars were falling and so a new model, the RE, or Rear Engine capable of 45 mph (72 km/h) was announced in 1931. It still did without electric starter and had only rear-wheel braking, and was beginning to look very old fashioned, and although new modern bodies were fitted, only about 250 were sold. A final attempt was the Wayfarer of 1934 with the engine back in the middle, but now with three-speed gearbox and shaft drive, but only three were sold, and the 6-cylinder Mastra did no better, with only two produced. The original van continued to sell well, however, and the Utility car could still be ordered; the last one was delivered in 1937.

1925 Trojan (2)

1925 Trojan

Leslie Hounsfield had left the company in 1930 to set up a new enterprise making amongst other things the “Safari” camp bed which would be made in thousands during World War II.

1925 Trojan Utility NP6016

1925 Trojan Utility NP6016

Trojan Ltd continued to make vans until war broke out and during hostilities made bomb racks and parachute containers. With peace, van production restarted still with the original engine until 1952 when it was replaced by a Perkins diesel.

Bubble and sports cars

1963 Trojan 200 b

 1963 Trojan 200

In 1959 the company was bought by Peter Agg and from 1960 to 1965 he built under licence Heinkel bubble cars selling them as the Trojan 200, the last vehicle to bear the Trojan name.


The company acquired the rights to build the Elva Courier sports car in 1962, producing 210 cars between 1962 and 1965 when production switched from road cars to the McLaren-Elva racing car.

1925 Trojan

1925 Trojan

The company existed as Trojan Limited (Company No 134254 having been incorporated on 27/02/1914) until 19/03/2013, though no longer operating from the Croydon factory which has been sold, on which latter date it was dissolved via “Voluntary Strike-off”.

Trojan Trobike

1961 Trobike1961 Trojan Trobike

Trobike was a type of mini-bike. Although preceded by the World War II military Welbike and later Corgi for the civilian market, it was one of the earliest to be sold in kit form to avoid purchase tax. The Trojan Lambretta group was founded in 1959 when Lambretta Concessionaires Ltd took over Trojan Ltd, one of the oldest firms in the British motor industry. At about the time the group owned the Clinton Engine Corporation of Maquoketa, Iowa, USA.

Trojan emblemTrobike front mudguard decal

Clinton were world famous for their engines used in lawnmowers and chainsaws. At this time many were supplied for use in portable generators, paint sprayers etc.

1926 Trojan

1926 Trojan

During the late 1950s the British public were becoming aware of the craze sweeping teenage America – karting (or go-karting). The sport arrived in Britain with US servicemen bringing outfits over and even making their own.

1929 Trojan a

1929 Trojan

At first, the most popular engine was the 2.5 hp 95 cc Clinton engine – being both readily available and cheap. By 1959 Trojan began making the Trokart using this engine. It was sold both in both built-up form and as a kit to avoid purchase tax; it sold for only £25. By 1963 it was estimated that 250,000 engines in the US and 10,000 in Britain had been sold, all for karting.

1929 Trojan

1929 Trojan

The first printed mention of the Trobike is June 1960 and the first road test published on Thursday 22 December 1960 in Motor Cycling with Scooter Weekly. The price then quoted was £35 in kit form although two adverts in 1962 quoted £29. This may account for the fact that it was made for road use with front and rear brakes, and also for off road use with a rear brake only.

1931 Trojan

1931 Trojan

By November 1961 the factory, also producing the Lambretta scooters, had also tooled up to produce the Heinkel three-wheeled bubble car, then known as the Trojan Cabin Cruiser. It seems that the Trobike was a limited success, with perhaps only 500–600 being sold over the two-year period – the last confirmed despatch being 6 March 1962. Known frame numbers range from TB501 to TB1148.

1934 Trojan Senior UOT329 1934 Trojan Senior van Brighton 1934 Trojan Senior van

1934 Trojan Senior UOT329

The very last machines were sold to a farmer and known as the Sussex Miniscooter. Later still, a variant known as the Lowline Chimp appeared, using a very similar frame and again a Clinton engine.

1938 Trojan Victory van EXK 621

1938 Trojan Victory van EXK 621

Originally, machines had black handlebar rubbers but some later models were fitted with buff-coloured rubbers. The twist grip on early machines (as appear on factory literature) was manufactured by Amal with the cable entering parallel to the handlebars. Later bikes had the more typical Amal twist grip with the cable entering from below.

1948 Trojan 15 Van a 1948 Trojan 15 Van inside 1948 Trojan 15 Van Logo

1948 Trojan 15 Van

Later models were fitted with a bashplate between the lower frame downtubes (by frame number TB879). The bashplate was dual purpose: to stop dirt entering the air filter, and also to protect the carburettor from damage. Even later models (by frame number TB1029) were fitted with a further small light steel plate shielding the carburettor float bowl and fitted under the heads of the front two engine mounting bolts.


1950 Trojan advert

1950 Trojan advert

Dimensions and weight

  • Overall length: 48 in (1,219 mm)
  • Width over handlebars: 21 in (533 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 37 in (940 mm)
  • Height over top of handlebars: 28.5 in (724 mm)
  • Seat height: 23 in (584 mm)
  • Weight: 60 lb (27 kg)




  • Power: 2.5 b.h.p. at 3800 R.P.M.
  • Max speed: 32 mph (51 km/h)
  • 0-30 mph: 21 seconds
  • Braking distance: 28 ft (8.5 m) @ 30 mph (48 km/h)

1951 Trojan

1951 Trojan

Frame. The frame is manufactured from high-quality steel tube which is electrically welded to resist shock and impact. The steering head is mounted on ball bearings to provide ease and smoothness of movement. The front mudguard and the integral rear chain and mudguard are built of resin reinforced glass fibre and finished in red to contrast with the white enamel finish of the frame assembly.

Trojan Logo

Engine. The Clinton A490 Panther 2-stroke engine is centrally mounted to ensure perfect balance at all speeds. The engine position is adjustable to suit chain tension. The starting is by recoil starter, power being delivered to the rear wheel through an automatic centrifugal clutch which comes into effect upon opening of the throttle.



Models. Two models – the Garden Model and Road Model – are basically similar, with the difference that the Garden Model does not include number plates, front wheel brake and brake lever, hooter or tax disc. Trobikes have an eye-catching colour scheme – white frames, forks, handlebars, and wheels – yellow engines – red chain/mudguards. A foam rubber saddle covered with black plastic leather cloth is fitted to each machine.

1953 Trojan Van

1953 Trojan Van

Wheels. Wheels are made from extremely strong pressed steel and are of the split rim type for easy tyre removal. Both front and rear wheels run on opposed high-grade taper roller bearingson an alloy steel spindle, which is designed for easy wheel removal. Highly efficient car type internal expanding brakes are used.

1954 HVH 710 - Trojan

1954 HVH 710 – Trojan

1954 Trojan Diesel a

1954 Trojan Diesel

1954 Trojan Diesel b 1954 Trojan Van LVB27 1954Trojan Diesel 1955 Trojan 478UXD 1956 Trojan 20 1956 Trojan type DT 925 XUY 1956 Trojan-i718 1958 Trojan Tipper 1958 URK268 Trojan in the livery of Brooke Bond Tea 1959 CMX Trojan Ambulance 1959 Trojan Artic 1959 Trojan Senior Mini Bus WOA923 Pair Of Trojan Royal Mail Vans PHY 67 TROJAN BUILDERS SUPPLIES FLEETWOOD Trojan 2b2 Trojan bus John 1 Trojan Diesel-395 Trojan DT - Napier Aircraft Co - OVB 345 Trojan MCJ395 Trojan Motor sales & Service CX7096 Trojan RRO240 Servicecar Towing Truck Trojan RRO240 Servicecar Trojan RU 2071 Trojan van, Abergavenny steam rally

Trojan’s from 1950 till 1960

Since restored and rallied Trojan MEB626 Trojan 25 CWT P3 chassis 12 seater Trojan 1b2 Maws Trojan elvacourier-01-02 1967 Trojan or Bedford Duple-Willowbrook 1963 Trojan Taxibus meb626 kings lynn c81 JL 1963 Trojan 743 HUP 1963 Trojan 200 1963 Trojan 200 b 1963 Trojan 200 a 1963 Perkins P3-engined Trojan Warrior 19-seater XBL477 1962 Trojan bus NNJ210 1962 Trojan 200 1962 Premier of Stainforth, Trojan minibus 921CBC 1961 Trojan 1961 Trojan 19-1961 Maws Trojan


Author: Jeroen

In Dutch, my homelanguage: Ik ben Jeroen, tot januari 2015 was ik al dik 26 jaar werkzaam in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis in een stad vlakbij Werelds grootste havenstad Rotterdam. Eerst als verpleegkundige/begeleider op high care, later op afdeling dubbeldiagnose (verslavingen) en ook nog een tijdje als administratief medewerker. Ik heb een spierziekte "Poli Myositis" (alle spieren zijn ontstoken) daardoor weinig energie. Sinds augustus 2015 is daarbij de diagnose Kanker gesteld, en ben ik helemaal arbeidsongeschikt geworden en zit middenin de behandelfase. Gelukkig ben ik daarnaast getrouwd, vader, en opa, en heb de nodige hobby's. Een daarvan is transportmiddelen verzamelen en daarmee een blog schrijven. Dit blog begon met bussen, maar nu komen ook sleepboten, auto's trucks en dergelijke aan bod. Kijk en geniet met me mee, reageer, en vul gerust aan. Fouten zal ik ook graag verbeteren. In English: I'm Jeroen, till januari 2015 I was already 26 years working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, near Rotterdam, Worlds biggest harbour with more than 98 nationalities living within it's borders. First I worked on closed high care ward and the last years on a ward with mainly addicted people. I liked my work very much. In 2007 I got ill. I got the diagnose Poli Myositis, a musscle dissease. Al my mussles are inflamed. And last august I got another diagnose. Cancer. It's plaveicelcel carcinoma and treated with Chemo and radioation. So I've even less energy than the last years. Still I try to make something of my life and the blog is helping with surviving with some pleasure.

8 thoughts on “Buses, Cars, Trucks and Van’s TROJAN Croydon England 1914-1965”

  1. Hi Jeroen i am doing a project on cars and your sites are amazing, thank you. i would like to talk to you more about your site


      1. Thank you Jeroen, I am out of town now and will be back next week, i will email you then. Thank you for your reply


    1. Hoi Jeroen. I got it, and will react soon. At this moment we are very busy selling our house and buying a new house in Arnhem. So I’ve only a few moments to work on my blog. I don’t think I can help you, but that is not my defenetive answer. I’m still thinking. Greetings Jeroen.


  2. Hi there, Can I ask where you got the photos of the Trojan Van photos from ???? As these are my photos that are on Flickr website plus I never got any emails etc for asking for permission to use these photos.


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