AMBULANCES part VIII international Ambulances on Alphabet from G(olf) till I
GUY Motors Ambulance
Horch Hearses and Ambulances
GUY Motors Ambulance
Horch Hearses and Ambulances
Karrier is a marque of car and commercial vehicle, the origins of which can be traced back to Clayton and Company, a 1904 company founded by Herbert and Reginald Clayton from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK. In 1908, they started making Karrier cars and in 1920 changed the company name to Karrier Motors Ltd. It also produced buses and in latter years, especially during the Second World War, trolleybuses, notably the Karrier ‘W’ model.
In 1929, Karrier started production of the “Colt” three-wheeler as a dustcart chassis for Huddersfield Corporation. In 1930, this was developed into the “Cob” tractor to haul road trailers for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The “Cob” was similar to the Scammell Mechanical Horse. In the mid-1930s, the “Cob” range was supplemented by the four-wheel “Bantam”.
After takeover bids in 1934, the Rootes Group acquired Karrier and moved production to Luton, closing the Huddersfield operation. In the late 1950s and 1960s, some Karrier vehicles were fitted with the iconic Rootes TS3 two-stroke opposed piston diesel engine. Other engines used in this period include Humber Hawk 4- cylinder petrol engines (L-Head and OHC), Humber Super Snipe 6-cylinder (L-Head and OHV) and Perkins Diesels.
At Luton, the only designs carried over from the previous era were the three wheeler and the six-wheel trolleybus chassis.
The trolleybus business became integrated with that of Sunbeam following its absorption into the Rootes group. In 1946 the trolleybus operations and the Wolverhampton trolleybus line was sold to Brockhouse Ltd, who in 1948 sold it to Guy Motors.
Under Rootes ownership, Karrier trucks were generally smaller size than their sister, Commer brand, with “Bantam” models using 13-inch and “Gamecock” models using 16-inch wheels, to give lower loading height. Partly because of this, they were particularly popular with local authorities for varied applications, including highway maintenance tippers, refuse collection vehicles and street lighting maintenance tower wagons. Karrier trucks and chassis were also popular with airport operators and airlines for baggage handling trucks, water bowsers and toilet servicing.
The Dodge Brothers company came to the UK in 1922 and began importing United States Dodge knock-down kits to build in the UK at a production line in Park Royal, London. Eventually, production was moved to the Chrysler plant at Kew; Dodges built there were known as “Dodge Kews”. During the Second World War this factory was part of London Aircraft Production Group and built Handley Page Halifax aircraft assemblies.
By 1970, the Rootes Group had been taken over (in stages) by Chrysler Europe, with support from the British Government which was desperate to support the ailing British motor industry. The Dodge brand (also used by Chrysler in the USA) began to take precedence on all commercial models. The last vestige of Karrier was probably in the Dodge 50 Series, which began life badged as a (Chrysler) Dodge but with a Karrier Motor Company VIN (vehicle identification number) plate.
Chrysler eventually gave up on UK operations, selling the business to Peugeot. The new owner had little interest in heavy trucks and the factory was then run in conjunction with Renault Véhicules Industriels, (then part of Renault though now Volvo). The combined company used the name Karrier Motors Ltd, although the vehicles took on Renault badges and were sold through Renault Trucks dealers. Renault had been keen to secure a UK manufacturing operation for engines for its own models, and did relatively little to market or develop the British designs, favouring its existing French range such as the Renault Master. The end of the Karrier name could not be far off; eventually, Renault severed ties with Peugeot and introduced a Renault Truck Ind. or Renault Vehicles Ind. VIN plate (RVI).
The Karrier trademark is still in the possession of Peugeot, and it is not uncommon for vehicle marques to be reinstated.
Karrier’s Ro-Railer was a hybrid single decker bus capable of running on both road and rail. It was introduced in 1932 and tested by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway but it was not a success and was not perpetuated. One of the few operational bus rail systems is to be found in Adelaide (Australia) called the O-Bahn Busway.
Karrier Motors started life in 1904 in Hudersfield as Clayton and Company. In 1907, they started making Karrier cars, and in 1920 changed their name to Karrier Motors Ltd; they evolved into truck and bus chassis builders, with municipalities being major companies.
Karrier’s early vehicles were designed to be tough, no-frills vehicles, built to have large load spaces, short length, and a powerful engine to tackle Yorkshire hills. The first public service vehicle to climb Porlock Hill, Somerset, was a Karrier bus with 21 passengers and a 50 horspeower engine.
Early on, Karrier, like Commer, produced a design for World War I trucks, and many were built before 1914; during the war, 2,000 more were made for the military. After the war, Karrier gained a new factory and a new range of vehicles, and by 1924 was making 17 different models; pneumatics were first sold in 1924 on a 25-cwt chassis, and in 1926, the first purpose-built passenger chassis was made. The chassis were progressively improved, gaining pneumatic tires and having excess weight excised.
During the late 1920s, Karrier build numerous six-wheel chassis, two of which were the first vehicles of any kind to make a circuit of Australia, running for 22 weeks through 11,000 miles of harsh terrain, running on schedule. In 1927, the Super Safety Six Wheel Coach was launched; in 1928, the Karrier-Clough Six Wheel Trolleybus followed. The KWF6, a rigid six-wheeler engineered for use “in the colonies” and for hard road work, had an eight-ton payload with single sets of wheels on each of three axles.
In 1930, Karrier produced a “mechanical horse” design, the Karrier Cob, engineered jointly with the London Midland & Scottish Railway for package delivery; it was powered by a two-cylinder Jowett engine, and could couple with horse-drawn trailers with the shafts removed. The London and North Eastern Railway had the same idea, and turned to Scammell Lorries, which developed a similar concept but with an automatic couple/uncouple system for trailers; Scammell appears to have first used the term “mechanical horse,” in 1934 (they would later use Perkins diesels, followed by the same Leyland OE160 used by late Karrier Bantams).
The Colt, launched in 1931, was a similarly designed tractor version, a two-ton three-wheel tractor, also powered by the Jewett horizontally opposed flat two-cylinder engine, with the “Colt Major” providing four cylinders.
Karrier also created the “road railer,” which had one set of wheels for roads and another for railroad tracks, and later developed a two-ton truck called the Bantam, a good seller particularly with parcel carriers such as British Rail. Its coupling was compatible with the Scammell system.
Karrier was, after a couple of takeover bids, acquired by Rootes Group in 1934. In Rootes’ standard fashion, production was quickly moved to Luton, where a new assembly area was built, and Hudersfield was closed; the model range was reduced to avoid competition between Commer and Karrier, and shared components were sought out. Karrier was now focused on three items, the Cob and Colt three-wheel “mechanical horses” (just three Cobs are known to survive), the Bantam (which could also be used as a mechanical horse), and the CK3 and CK6 chassis of three and six tonnes for municipal use. There were no visible similarities between the two truck brands, hiding their common owner. (Mechanical horses were lightweight, low-powered tractors usually used for local delivery. Their appearance could be similar to standard chassis-cab trucks, though many had three wheels.)
The Bantam started out with just 9 hp, raised to 18 hp via a Humber engine after Rootes took it over.
By 1939, over 600 municipalities used Karrier vehicles; the company had close relationships with aftermarket body builders, who made garbage collectors, tower wagons, and gully emptiers, as well as a left-hand-control road sweeper (a Karrier branded item based on a Commer chassis) and ambulance (also branded by Karrier but based on a Commer van).
Around 1949, the Karrier Bantam switched to a cast aluminum raidator shell, replacing pressed metal. In 1952, the Bantam was updated with a new cab and Perkins diesel engine, and the CK3 was replaced by the Gamecock (seen above on a historic journey from South Africa to London); this had a new cab similar to Commer’s forward control cabs. The Karrier Bantam lasted through 1970, using a 3-ton coupling gear.
Bigger garbage trucks demanded bigger chassis, and Karrier supplied its Transport Loadmaster based on the Commer QX. A new engine, the TS3, was launched in 1954 by Rootes, using three cylinders and six pistons, designed as a military multi-fuel diesel engine but available in relevant Karriers.
A major success was the Spacevan, launched in 1960 as the 1500, renamed PA, then renamed PB, and later given its final name. Sold as both a Commer and Karrier, the Spacevan had a diesel early on, with automatic transmissions coming in 1965 and a 1-ton payload version coming in 1962. The Spacevan was a major success, and was restyled in 1978.
In 1965, due to increased demand, production moved to Dunstable, where Commer / Dodge and Karrier were all brought together (Luton was refitted as a transmission plant.) The Dodge badge was used more and by the mid-1970s, it was on all Commer / Karrier / Dodge vehicles. By then, Rootes Group had been acquired by Chrysler.
The 50 series was the result of subsidies by the British goverment in 1975/76, giving Dodge / Karrier / Commer a boost in developing a 3.5 to 7.5 tonne range of vehicles to help keep the UK truck building business on an even keel. It came out in 1979, badged as a Dodge but with a Karrier nameplate, just in time for Peugeot’s acquisition of Chrysler Europe, which included Rootes and Simca. In January 1980, all Commer / Karrier / Dodge vehicles officially became Talbot. Peugeot had no interest in truck building and sold it on to Renault in 1981; but for 1980, the 50 series was still badged as a Dodge under the Talbot name.
In 1983, it switched to being sold as a Dodge under the Renault name, and in 1985 the Renault logo joined the nameplate; but the Dodge name was retained until 1987, when the trucks were replaced by the New 50 series, badged as Renaults only. Due to poor sales, the entire line was shut down in March 1993, with the line becoming the UK distribution center for French-built tractor units. The production line was taken away in 1994 by a Chinese group, and presumably Dodge medium duty trucks are now being produced in China. (For more details, see dodge50.co.uk.)
For Karrier Buses look
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.
Sydney S. Guy registered Guy Motors Limited on Saturday 30 May 1914, the same day he departed his position as Works Manager at the Wolverhampton company, Sunbeam. A factory was built on the site at Fallings Park, Wolverhampton. and by September 1914 production was underway on the newly designed 30cwt lorry. This employed a much lighter form of pressed steel frame, unlike the more commonly used heavy rolled steel channel frames of the time. This made the vehicle able to cross difficult terrain and a 14 seat poster bus built based on the design was used for crossing the Scottish Highlands.
In 1915 Guy came under control of the Ministry of Munitions and production was focused on the war effort. The factory continued to produce 30cwt lorries which were supplied to Britain’s allies in the First World War. They also produced Wasp and Dragonfly radial aircraft engines, Tylor truck engines and Maudslay gearboxes as well as being the country’s largest maker of depth charge fuzes. For their efforts during the war Guy received a commendation from William Weir, Secretary of State for Air. Due to orders from the ministry Guy prospered during the war, expanding its factory and became an established name in British manufacturing.
The post-war period was difficult for the motor industry as military contracts were cancelled and military vehicles no longer required for service were sold onto the market at low prices. Guy returned to the civilian market, deciding to make luxury cars with a design by RH Rose, also from Sunbeam. They produced the Guy 8-cylinder car, powered by the first British V8 engine and featuring horizontal side valves. Around 25 of these were made and it was joined by a smaller model in 1922 with the 2465 cc four-cylinder 16.9 hp. A cheaper model followed in 1924 with the 1954 cc 13/36 with an engine from Coventry Climax. About 110 of the 4-cylinder models are thought to have been made. Production also continued on vehicles based on the 30cwt chassis such as the Guy charabanc and their major success the 30 seater bus.
In 1924 the company adopted the slogan ‘Feathers in our Cap’ which led to the addition of a Native American mascot to their vehicles. 1924 also saw Guy produce the first ever dropped frame chassis for passenger vehicles (the B-type). This design allowed passengers to enter buses in a single step and became extremely popular, Guy receiving an order for 170 from Rio de Janeiro.
Growing populations in towns and cities meant larger capacity buses were a necessity, leading Guy to develop a 6-wheeled version of their dropped-frame chassis which allowed for the introduction of the first 6-wheeled double decker buses and 6 wheeled trolleybuses in 1926. Guy double decker buses and trolleybuses would prove popular with a fleet of double deckers sold to the London Public Omnibus Company and exports supplied all around the world. Exports served as a major source of income for Guy with sales to South Africa, Pakistan, India and the Netherlands, their armoured vehicles proving particularly popular for covering difficult terrain with 100 supplied to the Indian government in 1928.
Guy’s first military vehicle produced in 1923
In 1928 Guy took control of fellow Wolverhampton manufacturer the Star Motor Company, who had seen declining sales throughout the decade, in an attempt to expand their luxury car manufacturing. Under Guy, Star Motors moved to a new factory in Bushbury and the range of vehicles was narrowed to prevent competition against itself. Despite this Star continued to struggle and a loss was made on every car sold. The Wall Street Crash had a crippling effect on industry and the subsequent recession meant Guy could no longer afford to fit out Star’s Bushbury plant and in 1932 the company entered receivership.
Despite performing well throughout the decade, by the end of the 1920s Guy was facing an uncertain future due to the takeover of Star and the Wall Street Crash which had seen share prices fall from one pound to one shilling.
Guy was able to endure the depression due to orders from the war office and by taking advantage of the 1930 Road Traffic Act which encouraged the development of lighter vehicles. In 1933 the Arab bus chassis, designed for use with diesel engines, was launched and would prove a mainstay of Guy’s success for the next twenty years.
From the mid-1930s, the company became increasingly involved in the British rearmament programme, developing and producing military vehicles. In 1935 Guy submitted their new four wheel Ant armoured car to military trials where it impressed and 150 were ordered by the government. After this success Guy began to concentrate solely on the production of military vehicles and by 1938 Guy relied exclusively on Government contracts and had ended civilian productions. During this time Guy designed a new armoured car, the Quad Ant, which was welded rather than riveted together. This development made armoured vehicles much safer and is reported to have saved the British government £100 million, earning Guy a commendation from the Royal Commission.
The Arab Mark IV, Guy’s most successful bus design
Guy armoured vehicles were used throughout the war, featuring prominently in the North African campaign and at the evacuation of Dunkirk. Although production of the Ant and Quad Ant were moved to Karrier the factory was still involved in the war effort producing anti-aircraft guns.
Passenger car sales in the UK virtually ceased during the war, which was accordingly a good time to be a UK bus manufacturer, and more than 2,000 Guy double-decker buses entered service between 1942 and 1945. The Ministry of Supply had ordered Guy to produce a chassis suitable for double decker buses, the blitz having resulted in a shortage of buses. In 1942 Guy launched the Arab utility deck bus based on their original 1933 design, but with a frame of identical shape to the Leyland Titan TD8. It was immediately successful due to its reliability and low running costs. The company’s contribution to the war effort established them as a leading supplier for the government and meant they were financially stable heading into the post-war years.
After the war Guy returned to civilian production with bus production remaining a mainstay and retaining a strong emphasis on export sales to their major markets including South Africa, Pakistan and the Netherlands. In 1948 Guy acquired Sunbeam Commercial Vehicles Limited and from then on all trolleybuses produced (except some for UK operators carrying Karrier badges) carried the Sunbeam name. Trolleybuses continued to sell well with the Sunbeam becoming the most popular model in South Africa.
The Sunbeam Double-Decker Trolleybus
Guy continued to update their old models, introducing a new version of the Otter chassis in 1950 for 30-seater vehicles and 84 were ordered by London Transport. By 1954 Guy passenger vehicles were operated by 150 companies in the UK and in 26 countries abroad. The company developed the first 30 ft two-axle double-deck trolleybus chassis in 1954, the Sunbeam F4A, which could seat 68 passengers.
The Otter Tractor Vehicle
In 1957 Sydney Guy retired after 43 years with the company. Guy continued to develop new models of chassis, introducing updated versions of the Otter and Warrior models and the high performance Victory chassis. However an ill-advised decision to take South African sales in house proved an extreme strain on the company’s finances. Combined with their attempt to develop a new double decker chassis this would prove highly damaging for Guy’s future. Launched in 1958 the Wulfrunian promised many innovations in its design but crucially lacked the reliability upon which Guy had built its name.
Although new designs such as the Warrior Mark II were being produced and despite the fact their lorries were performing well by 1960 Guy faced seemingly insurmountable financial problems. The failure of the Wulfrunian was a commercial disaster and the operation in South Africa was losing them £300,000 a year.
By 1961 Guy had no choice but to enter receivership. Sir William Lyons, managing director of Jaguar, acquired the company for £800,000, transferring its assets to a new company, Guy Motors (Europe) Limited which left all the liabilities with the now defunct Guy Motors Limited the name eventually reverting to “Guy Motors Ltd” in 1966. Jaguar immediately set about rationalisation, decreasing the number of employees and the range of vehicles in production.
Guy continued to be successful throughout the 1960s with the development of the Victory trambus and the Big J series of trucks. The Big J was designed around a new Cummins V6 engine, and was intended for motorway operation. However a series of mergers by their parent company had left them in a precarious situation In 1966 Jaguar had merged with the British Motor Corporation to form British Motor Holdings. This company had then merged with Leyland in 1968 to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation. Leyland ceased the production of Guy badged buses in 1972 although Leyland badged versions of the Guy Victory were produced at Wolverhampton and Leyland until 1986. Despite the mergers the British motor industry continued on a generally downward trend and British Leyland looked for where it could make savings.
Guy Motors was able to postpone closure due to the success of its Big J range which meant it was one of the few companies owned by British Leyland operating at a profit. Despite this in 1981 Leyland decided to close the Fallings Park plant as part of a rationalisation drive and in August 1982 the doors were shut at the cost of 740 jobs. On 5 October the factory was stripped clean and the contents auctioned.