THORNYCROFT Cars, Buses, Coaches and Trucks 1896 till 1977

THORNYCROFT ENGINE BADGEThornycroft

1934 Thornycroft dropside lorry

Preserved 1934 Thornycroft Handy dropside lorry

For the shipbuilder, see John I. Thornycroft & Company, for other uses, see Thornycroft (disambiguation)

Thornycroft was a United Kingdom-based vehicle manufacturer which built coaches, buses, and trucks from 1896 until 1977.

History

Thornycroft steam wagon, above and below (Rankin Kennedy, Modern Engines, Vol III)

Thornycroft steam wagon of 1905

Thornycroft started out with steam vans and lorries. John Isaac Thornycroft, the naval engineer, built his first steam lorry in 1896. Thornycroft’s first petrolvehicle was built in 1902 and the company completed the move into internal combustion engine power in 1907.

1902 Steam-Powered Thornycroft Bus

1902 Steam-Powered Thornycroft Bus

Thereafter the vehicle building firm and the marine side (later to become Vosper Thornycroft) were separate companies.

1904 Thornycroft 4 seater bs8239

1904 Thornycroft 4 seater bs8239

From 1931, Thornycroft used names for their vehicle range – descriptive and colourful ones.

1904 Thornycroft 4 seater gaydoncar

1904 Thornycroft 4 seater gaydoncar

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.

1905 24 hp Thornycroft Bus at Five Ways, Birmingham

1905 24 hp Thornycroft Bus at Five Ways, Birmingham

They were taken over in 1961 by AEC parent Associated Commercial Vehicles Ltd, and production was limited to Nubians, Big Bens and Antars, although the Thornycroft-designed six-speed constant mesh gearbox was used in AEC and later medium weight Leyland and Albion trucks. ACV was then taken over by Leyland in 1962. They already had a specialist vehicle unit in Scammell, another manufacturer of large haulage vehicles. Thornycroft’s Basingstoke factory was closed in 1969 and specialist vehicles transferred to Scammell at Watford. The factory continued as an engineering works until the late 1980s when it was demolished to make way for a supermarket. The Milestones Museum is located a few hundred yards from the original site in Basingstoke and houses a collection of Thornycroft vehicles and other exhibits, mainly transport related.

1905 Thornycroft

1905 Thornycroft

Today, the Thornycroft name is used by a builder of marine diesel engines for private and light commercial use, the engines being based around small-capacity engines designed by Mitsubishi. Despite Thornycroft being effectively closed down by Leyland, the operation’s parent company is now the main provider of spare parts for Leyland-built marine diesels, which for many years were highly popular for use in canal barges and narrowboats (now a market making increasing use of modern-day Thornycroft engines).

Models

Bus and Coach

1910 Thornycroft landaulette caronrun

1910 Thornycroft landaulette caronrun

  • Beautyride
  • Boudicea
  • Cygnet
  • Daring
  • Lightning
  • Nippy
  • Patrician
  • 1914 Thornycroft, type 2 Bison on display at Bovington 1917 Thornycroft  Bison concrete armoured lorriesThornycroft Bison

Lorry

1919 THORNYCROFT BUS - BEAMISH TRAMWAYS Dodson Carr.

1919 THORNYCROFT BUS – BEAMISH TRAMWAYS Dodson Carr.

  • “Type J” 40 hp, 1913
  • “Type K” 30 hp, 1913
  • Hathi, 1924
  • 1919 Thornycroft Type J Replica Charabanc1919 Thornycroft Type J Replica Charabanc
four-wheel drive artillery tractor for the army
  • A1 RSW / A3 RSW, an off-road capable rigid six-wheeler to an army specification, 1926
  • QC / Dreadnought, 1930
  • 1919 THORNYCROFT BUS - BEAMISH TRAMWAYS1919 THORNYCROFT BUS – BEAMISH TRAMWAYS
12 ton rigid six-wheel chassis.
  • Hardy
  • Dandy
  • Sturdy – 5/6 tonner
  • Trusty – 8 ton forward control 4 wheeler
  • Bullfinch
  • Strenuous
  • Mastiff
  • Tartar 3-ton 6×4, both civilian & military versions and production (3,000 – 4,000) between 1938 and 1945.
  • Thornycroft Smallwood Logo
(see Thornycroft Bison for an unusual variant)
  • Taurus
  • Iron Duke
  • Amazon
  • Stag
  • Bulldog
  • Jupiter – 6.5 ton
  • Big Ben
  • Nubian
    • 3-ton vehicle
    • Available as 4 x 4, 6 x 4, 6 x 6
  • Antar
    • 85-ton
    • 6 x 4 pipeline and tank transporter

See also

1919 Thornycroft Works c1919

1919 Thornycroft Works

References

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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.

2 thoughts on “THORNYCROFT Cars, Buses, Coaches and Trucks 1896 till 1977”

  1. Jeroen, ik ben verzamelaar en nieuwsgierig naar achtergronden van modelauto’s. Ik stuitte op jouw blog en vind hem erg interessant. Was eigenlijk op zoek naar de Scammell Highwayman, maar kwam terecht bij Thornycroft. Hier bezit ik ook wat van, dus ook leuk. Keep up the good work. Arie

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