Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vulcan Trucks

1953 Vulcan, with a Gardner engine, owned by Terry Burrows. Taken at Trucks in Action, Lardner Park in 2008.

In 1891 brothers, Thomas and Joseph Hampson, established a garage in Yellow House Lane, Southport in Lancashire to make motor cars. In 1893 they had moved to larger premises in Hawesside Street in Southport where they continued making their hand-made cars at the rate of one or two vehicles per week. Hawesside Street was later renamed Vulcan Street. The business grew and by c.1907 when the name of the firm changed to the Vulcan Motor Engineering Company, the company was employing 700 men at their new plant at Crossens near Southport. The First World War put car manufacturing on hold and the firm made ambulances and trucks for the War Department. Limited mechanisation saw output increase to around 100 vehicles per week and Vulcan also manufactured aeroplanes, the DH9, and mines for the War Department.
After the War, the firm’s founders, Thomas and Joseph Hampson, retired.

In 1920 the Vulcan Commercial range was introduced and generally the trucks had a 1¼cwt to 4 ton carrying capacity, 4 cylinder petrol engines, magneto ignition, cone clutches, transmission footbrakes and worm drive. Pneumatic tyres and electric lighting were available from 1920. The Photograph, above, shows a 1925 2½ ton model. 1930 models were available with forward control and the firm also made trucks for Local Councils, low loading models on small diameter wheels with solid tyres. 1933 saw the introduction of the new fully enclosed cab, in 1934 Dorman and Gardner diesel engines were introduced to the range.

Vulcan also produced buses from 1920 and started with 22 to 26 seaters on a two ton chassis. By 1930 the bus range included six models, including a double decker. The photograph, above, is a 1923 26 seater bus.
The company was taken over by Tilling -Stevens in 1938, re-named Vulcan Motors Limited, and manufacture moved to Maidstone in Kent. In 1941 6 ton models were introduced for essential civilian users with the Perkins P6 engine with forward control, hydraulic brakes, 4 speed constant mesh gear boxes and worm drive. When the Second World War ended tractor and tipper models were added to the range. Tilling-Stevens was taken over by the Rootes Group in 1950 and in the same year a new 7 ton Vulcan with a Gardner 4LW engine, servo brakes, 5 speed gear box and hypoid final drive, was introduced, however production of the Vulcan ceased in 1953.

This information comes from Commercial Vehicles in Great Britain by Les Geary and the Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles by G.N. Georgano The photograph of the 1925 truck comes Commercial Vehicles in Great Britain and the photograph of the 1923 bus comes from Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles. Vulcan was the God of Fire in Roman mythology and his name gives us the word volcano.

1 comment:

  1. Two Vulcans in a repair works Cornwall St Manchester 1920's