Alldays & Onions

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The Alldays & Onions logo

Alldays & Onions was an English automobile maker,[1] it manufactured cars from 1898 to 1918. The cars were sold under the Alldays name. The company also built an early British built tractor, the Alldays General Purpose Tractor.


Alldays 7HP Swing-seat tonneau 1904
Share of Alldays & Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co Limited, issued 1916

The Alldays & Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co. of Birmingham, was a company founded in 1889 by the merger of the long established Onions (formed by John Onions in 1650) and William Allday & Co. (formed by William Allday in 1720) engineering companies.[2] They became known for their engineering and blacksmithing equipment. Like many such companies at the time they turned to bicycle manufacture and sold a range under the Alldays name. They also started making motorcycles in 1903 under the Alldays-Matchless name; these had no connection with the London-based Matchless company, and in 1915 presumably following representations from them, the name was changed to Allon. Manufacture of these continued until 1927.

Alldays & Onions 1905 Witham.JPG

In 1898, the company produced its first car, the Traveller, a quadricycle made in private and commercial forms, steered by a wheel. It had an unsprung rear end, power generated by a 4 hp De Dion single-cylinder motor. However, series production did not start until 1903/4 with the 7 hp model. Larger commercial vehicles of up to 5 tons were also made in the years preceding the first World War and saw service during the conflict.

The company hit commercial success with the 1.6-litre, vertical-twin side-valve 10/12, which was made from 1905 to 1913. It was popular with commercial drivers and did well in period formula events and hill-climbs. A 16 hp 4-cylinder joined the lineup in 1906, and in 1908, the Enfield Autocar Co. was acquired. Shortly afterward, the range was rationalized, with most models being sold under both brand-names. The Alldays contribution to the equation was the well-established twin- and four-cylinders that put out 14 and 20 hp, always shaft-driven. A 30/35 hp six-cylinder was listed from 1911 to 1914, compressed-air starters being optional in 1911. In 1913, the 990 cc V-twin Midget cyclecar was introduced, featuring air cooling and shaft drive, selling at £138.10s. (About £13,400 today). An 1100 cc 4-cylinder version with a bullnose radiator appeared in 1914, popular at the price of £175. (About £16,500 today). Pair-cast side-valve four-cylinders rated at 12/14, 16/20, and 25/30 hp filled out the immediate pre-war offerings.

In 1908 Alldays & Onions merged with the short lived Enfield Autocar Company which had been formed to take over the car making interests of the Enfield Cycle Company. They produced cars called Enfield-Allday until 1925.[3] Alldays and Onions also manufactured railway inspection cars to the Great Eastern and London, Brighton and South Costs Railways. At least one of these found its way to Australia for use on the Wolgan Valley Railway.

Main Car Models[edit]

Year Model Engine
1898–1904 Traveller 4 hp De Dion single 500 cc Quadricycle type. Two-seater - passenger in front of driver. Wheel steering. Rear "suspension" unsprung.
?–1904 Traveller 4 hp De Dion single 500 cc Quadricycle type. Swing-seat tonneau. Wheel steering. Rear "suspension" unsprung.
1903–1908 7 Flat twin 7 hp Rear-engined. Four-seater. Although not put into production until 1903 this car had actually been shown at the 1900 National Show. Described as being of "novel construction" with a mixed shaft, gear and belt transmission, combined with great inefficiency.
1903–1907 7 and 8 6.5 hp single (7 hp) and an eight hp single. Shaft drive
1905–1913 10/12 1611 cc twin Three- (early) or four-speed gearbox. Shaft drive. Van version from 1906.
1906 16 3402 cc pair-cast four-cylinder
1906–1911 20/25 3261 cc four-cylinder Chassis also used with chain drive for a 1-ton commercial vehicle.
1908-12 14/18 2500 cc four-cylinder
1911- Expressodel 7/8 hp Tri-van. Chain drive.
1911-14 30/35 4891 cc six-cylinder Compressed air starter from 1911.
1912-16 12/14 2174 cc four-cylinder
1912-16 16/20 3012 cc four-cylinder
1912-16 25/30 4082 cc four-cylinder Chassis also used with chain drive for a 2-ton commercial vehicle.
1913-14 Midget 990 cc V twin Cyclecar. Van version in 1912.
1914 8/10 1094 cc four-cylinder Bullnosed radiator

Tractor Models[edit]

Alldays General Purpose Tractor, built 1917–1918)
  • The Alldays General Purpose Tractor - only a couple of examples survive in the UK of this early internal-combustion-engined model.[4] The tractor had advanced features such as sprung axles, enclosed engine and a basic canopy for the operator.

See also[edit]


  • Michael Sedgwick, "Alldays", in G.N. Georgano, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of Motorcars 1885-1968 (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1974), pp. 35–6.
  • Norman Painting, "Alldays & Onions" ISBN 1-84306-047-7.
  1. ^ "The Alldays & Onions | Motor Sport Magazine Archive". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Alldays and Onions - Graces Guide". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  3. ^ Worthington-Williams, Michael (October 1989). "The Enfield-Allday story Part 2". The Automobile. 7: 10–14.
  4. ^ - pre 1930 tractors - has photos of surviving examples

External links[edit]