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Preserved 1934 Thornycroft Handy dropside lorry
|Founder||John Isaac Thornycroft|
John Isaac Thornycroft, the naval engineer, also formed the Thornycroft Steam Carriage and Van Company which built its first steam van in 1896. This was exhibited at the Crystal Palace Show, and could carry a load of 1 ton. It was fitted with a Thornycroft marine launch-type boiler (Thornycroft announced a new boiler designed for their steam carriages in October 1897). The engine was a twin-cylinder compound engine arranged so that high-pressure steam could be admitted to the low-pressure cylinder to give extra power for hill-climbing. A modified version of the steam wagon with a 6-cubic-yard tipper body was developed for Chiswick council in 1896 and went into service as a very early self-propelled dust-cart. While the original 1896 wagon had front-wheel drive with rear-wheel steering, the tipper dust-cart had rear-wheel drive and front-wheel steering. The Thornycroft tipper was built by the Bristol Wagon and Carriage Company, though engined by Thornycroft.
First World War
Thornycroft's Basingstoke factory supplied nearly 5,000 motor vehicles for war purposes. They also provided "quite a large number of engines of various powers" to the Admiralty, the War Office and to other Government Departments at the beginning of the war and for the next two years. Thereafter they manufactured marine motors for the coastal motor-boats built at the Woolston, Southampton works. They also made the Thornycroft depth-charge thrower for anti-submarine warfare.
From 1931, Thornycroft used names for their vehicle range – descriptive and colourful ones. During World War II the company designed the Terrapin and other war-related vehicles.
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. A limited number of 4x4 chassis were also provided to Worcester-based fire engine manufacturer, Carmichael for sale to civilian brigades in the 1950s.
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.
Bus and coach
- "Type J"
- Cygnet (Single Deck)
- Daring (Double Deck)
- "Type J" 40 hp, 1913
- "Type K" 30 hp, 1913
- Hathi, 1924
- 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
- 12 ton rigid six-wheel chassis.
- Sturdy - 5/6 tonner
- Trusty - 8 ton forward control 4 wheeler
- Tartar 3-ton 6x4, both civilian & military versions and production (3,000 - 4,000) between 1938 and 1945.
- (see Thornycroft Bison for an unusual variant)
- Iron Duke
- Jupiter - 6.5 ton
- 3-ton vehicle
- Available as 4 x 4, 6 x 4, 6 x 6
- Big Ben
- 6 x 4 pipeline and tank transporter
- Terrapin - design only, built by Morris Commercial
- Nubian airport crash tender
- Thornycroft military vehicles
- Thornycroft Athletic F.C.
- "Messrs Thornycroft's new Automotor boiler", The Automotor and Horseless Carriage Journal, October 1897, pp2-4
- "Recent Developments in Mechanical Road Carriages", The Automotor and Horseless Vehicle Journal, Dec 1896, pp89-91
- "An automobile dust-cart", The Automotor and Horseless Carriage Journal, Oct 1897, p24
- Richard Twelvetrees (1946). Thornycroft Road Transport Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Commercial and Military Vehicle Development by Private Enterprise. J.I. Thornycroft.
- Chairman's report (John E Thornycroft) to Annual General Meeting of John I. Thornycroft & Co. (Limited). The Times, Saturday, Jun 14, 1919; pg. 20; Issue 42126
- Chris Bishop (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 66–. ISBN 978-1-58663-762-0.
- Commercial Motor Archives http://archive.commercialmotor.com/article/10th-february-1961/37/aecthornycroft-no-change-for-present
- Passenger Transport. Ian Allan, Modern Transport Publishing Company. 1961.
- John Carroll; Peter James Davies (2007). Complete Book Tractors and Trucks. Hermes House. ISBN 978-1-84309-689-4.
- "Type A1 RSW". Hants gov, Thornycroft. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008.
- "Type QC lorry". Hants gov, Thornycroft. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thornycroft vehicles.|
|A Thornycroft Steam Wagon from around 1904|
- 'Thornycroft of Basingstoke' - (Hampshire Cultural Trust) - extensive coverage of history and vehicles
- Thornycroft vehicle preservation group
- Thorneycroft Classic Motor History
- Youtube video of an existing Thorneycroft rifle in the Royal Armories in Leeds, England