Historic Car Brands
Lloyd Motoren Werke GmbH (Lloyd Engine Works) was a German automobile manufacturer, founded in 1908 by the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company. Lloyd cars came to Australia in the 1950s.
1914 Hansa-Lloyd l6-20PS Doppelphaeton – Lars-Goran Lindgren
The factory was in Bremen and the company operated under a variety of different names throughout the decades, but their products were nearly always badged ‘Lloyd’. Originally a manufacturer of luxury cars, the company was folded into the Borgward Group in 1929 and the Lloyd the brand was no longer used on passenger cars, until 1950.
The German Lloyd marque had no connection with the British Lloyd Cars Ltd company that was active between 1936 and 1951.
The first Lloyd cars were licence-built Kriéger electric vehicles. Petrol-engined models followed in 1908, powered by 3685cc engines, but few were made. The Belgian electrical engineer, Paul Mossay, was employed for four years as chief engineer, designing engines and electric vehicles.
In 1914 the company merged with Hansa to become Hansa-Lloyd Werke AG. The company changed names and badging on a number of occasions and was never on a sound financial footing.
Most of the Hansa-Lloyd cars made during this period were sold as Hansa and the Hansa-Lloyd badge was attached mainly to commercial vehicles.
The company was integrated in the Borgward group after the purchase of Hansa by Carl Borgward in 1929 and car production ceased.
Until 1937, the Hansa-Lloyd brand was used on a number of commercial vehicles, from the one-ton Express to the five-ton Merkur. They were largely replaced by Borgward-branded vehicles, with a few models sold with just “Hansa” badging in 1938.
During Word War II the Lloyd factory produced armaments, but was totally destroyed by Allied bombing.
1950 Lloyd 300 ‘Leukoplastbomber’ – Lothar Spurzem
Lloyd began mass-production of cars and light trucks in 1950, when the company became Lloyd Motoren Werke GmbH, still based in Bremen. Modest power came from a transversely-mounted, air-cooled, parallel-twin, two-stroke engine.
Lloyd vehicles met the need for small, cheap cars in post-War Germany and they provided a comparatively high standard in comfort and reliability. They sold well in the 1950s, behind only Volkswagen and Opel.
The Lloyd 250 was called Prüfungsangst-Lloyd (the Lloyd for exam nerves) as it appealed to older driving licencees, who didn’t want to sit a new, mid-1950s driving test for cars with a cubic capacity of over 250cc.
With a power output of only 11bhp from its two-stroke engine, the LP 250 needed to be as light as possible and so came standard without a back seat, bumpers, hub caps or trims. However, most buyers ordered the LP 250 with these features as optional extras.
The first Lloyd 300 cars were wood and fabric bodied. Thin, rolled steel gradually replaced the original fabric shell between 1953 and 1954 in the Lloyd 400, but wood framing was still used in some parts of the bodywork.
The Lloyd 300 was nick-named Leukoplastbomber, due to the owners’ habit of repairing nicks in the fabric of the body with sticking plaster, called Leukoplast. A contemporary derisive verse went ‘Wer den Tod nicht scheut, fährt Lloyd’ (‘He who is not afraid of death, drives a Lloyd’).
Lloyd 600 – Axel King
The Lloyd 600 and Lloyd Alexander were powered by an air-cooled, two-cylinder engine with a chain-driven overhead camshaft. Unlike the Lloyd 400, which the Lloyd 600 initially complemented and then replaced, the newer car had a four-stroke engine.
The cylinders were configured in parallel and the engine capacity of 596cc, with a 6.6:1 compression ratio, gave a maximum power output of 19bhp (14 kW) at 4500rpm. Top speed was 100km/h (63mph), but the car took 60 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standing start.
Power was fed to the front wheels via a three-speed manual gear box with the same ratios as it had on the earlier Lloyd 400 from which it was lifted.
Space was at a premium in the Lloyd 600, so the 25-litre fuel tank was accommodated ahead of the bulkhead, underneath the bonnet, in a space shared with the engine and the six-volt battery. The Lloyd Alexander had an opening hatch into the rear luggage locker, where the Lloyd 600 had internal access to the luggage locker.
The front wheels were suspended and aligned by two transversely mounted leaf springs, with telescopic shock absorbers and the rear wheels were attached to swing axles mounted on longitudinal leaf springs.
The Lloyd Alexander TS appeared in 1958 and featured a curved grille. The TS was fitted with an all-synchromesh, four-speed gearbox. Thanks to a larger carburettor and compression ratio of 7.2:1, there was a power increase from 19bhp to 25bhp, giving a slight performance improvement.
The Lloyd Alexander TS also came with a completely redesigned back axle, with semi-trailing arms and coil springs, so handling was greatly improved.
The TS also had a windscreen washer system and asymmetrically dipping headlight beams.
Lloyd Arabella de Luxe – Lothar Spurzem
The larger and much more stylish LP900 Arabella was introduced in 1959, powered by a newly developed, four-cylinder, 897cc, water-cooled ‘boxer’ engine that developed 38bhp. Although featuring all-steel body and passive safety inclusions that were well ahead of its time, the Arabella came up against the VW Beetle that was around one third less money.
Following the company’s bankruptcy in 1961, the Arabella continued in production for another two years, with the plant rented from its new owner. Only 47,000 Arabellas had been produced when the factory shut in 1963. By this time, the LP 900 had been named Borgward Arabella instead of Lloyd Arabella.
Lloyd Down Under
1958 Lloyd Hartnett – Motor Museum of WA – Zidane Hartono
The Lloyd 600 was assembled in Australia by a company formed as joint venture between Carl Borgward and Laurence Hartnett in the late 1950s. The car was introduced in December 1957 as the Lloyd-Hartnett and around 3000 cars were built before production ceased in 1962.
We’re indebted to Paul L, one of our Historic Vehicles website subscribers, for the following insights on being a Lloyd owner.
‘When on very low wages, I bought my first car: a 1959 Lloyd Alexander TS station wagon, plus a sedan for spares. The car had a 600cc, air-cooled engine, driving the front wheels and was very spartan in its interior fit out.
‘It was very economical to run and had its petrol tank located under the bonnet near the engine. There was no fuel gauge, just a lever under the dash to turn the tank onto reserve, which also turned on a red light on the dash.
‘Construction was very flimsy, as I found out one day when crossing over tram lines in the Melbourne CBD. The bonnet, which had no reinforcing, flew open back against the windscreen and then folded back over the roof, causing an indentation just above my head.
‘The four-speed gearbox also had its problems, as sometimes it would jump out of gear and could not be re-engaged. This occurred one day going up the Punt Road hill at peak hour when I got stuck half-way. A policeman on a motorbike stopped and threatened to book me if I didn’t get it moving ASAP.
‘I assured him that with my 10mm open ended spanner I would have it fixed in no time. Having had previous experience with this problem, I removed the top of the gearbox, re-arranged the selector forks, closed it up again and was gone within 10 minutes.
‘I was told that the Lloyd distributor went out of business when the Morris Mini came onto the Australian market – better car, lower price.
‘I parted with my Lloyd a year later when I traded-up to a Hillman Husky. Oh, the thrill of the extra power!’
Thanks for the insights, Paul.