Historic Truck Brands
The Albion Motor Car Company was founded in Glasgow in 1899 and its initial products were passenger cars. In 1910 Albion moved into trucks, with the release of the chain-driven, three-ton-payload A10, followed three years later by the A12 four-tonner.
Power came from a four-cylinder petrol engine that produced 32hp and featured a single lever control for air, throttle and ignition timing.
The A10 was a stalwart of the British Army in World War One, with some 6000 in service by the War’s end.
This model proved popular with Australian biscuit maker Arnotts and today the company has a restored vehicle that it uses for promotion purposes.
Albion retained numbers for its truck models, including for the Model 26, Model 35 and Model 127 – the latter being a 5.5-tonner. However, bus chassis received ‘V’ names from 1926, starting with the Viking Six, 90hp model.
In 1930 the company was renamed Albion Motors and launched the Valiant, Valkyrie and Victor bus chassis. In 1935, Albion took over Halley Industrial Motors and that company’s habit of naming its trucks with names that started with ‘C’ was later adopted by Albion.
Gardner diesel engines were made optional in the mid-1930s, as was Albion’s own diesel.
In 1938, Albion released the CX27 ‘Chinese Six’, so called because it had twin steering axles and a single drive axle.
Albion’s World War Two products were thousands of three-ton 4x4s, 6×6 artillery tractors,10-ton 6x4s and bonneted prime movers.
After the War, Albion released the Chieftan, Clansman – both Halley names – and the Clydesdale models, before being acquired by Leyland in 1951. All Albion prototypes and development models are abandoned and Albion-branded vehicles became progressively Leyland products in the following years.
An example is the 1958 Albion Caledonian 8×4 that was a Leyland look-alike and was powered by a Leyland 0.680 diesel engine. In 1960 the Leyland Vista-Vue cab was used on several Albion trucks and the Ergomatic tilt-cab appeared on the Albion Super Clydesdale in 1964.
The 1961 Albion Lowlander bus was a rebadged Leyland Titan.
The Albion name was finally retired in 1972, but some axle and chassis components were used in Leyland-brand trucks until 1981.