Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co

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1904. Two-seater, Twin-cylinder, 10 h.p. Reg No: AW 432. Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
1904. Two-seater, Twin-cylinder, 10 h.p. Reg No: AW 432. Photo at the 2010 LBVCR.
May 1903.
February 1905.
September 1905.
Published in 1906.
November 1908. 25 h.p. detail.
November 1908. Distributor detail.
November 1908. Clutch detail.
November 1909.
July 1910.
May 1913.
March 1916.
March 1916.
January 1919.
1920.
1920.
1920.
1920.
November 1922.
1925.
1925.
1927.

Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co of Crossens, Southport made cars from 1902 until 1928 and commercial vehicles until 1953.

General

1902 Brothers Thomas Hampson and Joseph Hampson trading as Vulcan Motor Manufacturing and Trading built the first Vulcan car which was a 4 hp single cylinder belt driven type in 1902.

1902 Lease the old drill hall, Southport.[1]

1903 This grew to 6.5 hp and the chassis was now "armoured ash".

1904 Twin cylinder 1.5 litre models followed with steel chassis

1905 2 then 3 litre four-cylinder types appeared and the company moved from Yellow House Lane to Hawesside Street both in Southport.

1906 A van version of the twin with large 4.8 litre 6 cylinder models and a move to even larger premises at Crossens, Southport with a change of company name to Vulcan Motor and Engineering.

1906 Produced 10, 14, 18-20 and 25-30 h.p. models with shaft-drive. The smallest engine was two-cylinder and the others had four. [2]

1907 Proposal to reconstruct the company. Thomas Hampson is Chairman and the registered office is Hawesside-street, Southport.[3]

1908 January. First AGM of Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co (1906) held with Walter Hamer as chairman. Company hampered by lack of room in Hawesside street. They have greatly improved their 14-hp car.[4]

1908 Fire at works.[5]

1908 The six-cylinder model grew to 6 litres

1912 A new small car, the 10/12 of 1.8 litres with two cylinder Aster engine was added, the first use of a bought in engine.

1913 April. Advert for the 15-20 hp model 'Reliability Repeatedly Reaffirmed'

1913 June. Increase of capital from £75,000 to £150,000.[6]

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Cars see the 1917 Red Book

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Petrol Motors see the 1917 Red Book

At the outbreak of World War I the ranges consisted of the 2.4 litre four-cylinder 10/15, the 2.6 litre 15.9, the 3 litre 15/20 and the last of the old sixes, the 25/30. As a sign of things to come a 30 cwt truck was also offered. During the war the factory concentrated on munitions. In 1916 the Hampson brothers left the company and it was reformed as Vulcan Motor Engineering (1916) under the control of C. B. Wardman.

During WW1 they assembled planes for Airco

1918 the company bought Southport F.C. which was renamed Southport Vulcan - becoming the first club to take a sponsor's name.

1919 Harper Bean acquired 75% of the company under a complex cash and shares deal and went into the British Motor Trading Corporation with the intention that Vulcan be responsible for commercial vehicles, however car production continued.

1919 Harper Bean was formed as a public company to bring together a number of interests in car manufacturing, including 60 percent of the shares in Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co[7] [8].

After the war the first new launch was the 16 with 2.6 litre Dorman engine. The cars now had a flat radiator replacing the pre-war "bullnose" type. There was also a nominal 12 model which became the main product between 1920 and 1927 available with a range of engines from Dorman (1.8 litre), Meadows (1.5 litre), and British Anzani (1.5 litre). The model was also sold as the Lea-Francis Kirkstone as from 1922 the companies shared some manufacturing and a dealer network. The 20 available from 1920 to 1922 with 3.3 litre Vulcan engine and from 1923 to 1925 with 3.7 litres shared mechanical components with the 1 1/2 and 2 ton trucks. The final car was the 14/40 (1927-28) and 16/60 (1928-29) with their own design twin camshaft six of 1.7 and 2 litres.

1922 18-seater bus exhibit. [9]

1922 Petition for the company to be wound up.[10]

1922 twenty-seater buses were introduced on the two ton chassis; trucks were also produced. Many of the trucks were aimed at the municipal market - road sweepers and refuse trucks sold well.

1928 Financial problems; C. B. Wardman resigned and, officially, no more cars came from Southport but some badged as Lea-Francis may have been made.

1928 A 6.6 litre Vulcan-engined 32-seat Brisbane was introduced, and the Emperor double decker in 1930.

From 1930 production was solely of trucks and buses.

1931 the company went into receivership but the receiver managed to keep production going until 1937.

1937 The entire share capital was acquired by J. Brockhouse and Co which would use the Vulcan works for general engineering but would stake steps to maintain production of the Vulcan chassis[11] which they did by selling the rights to the motor vehicle side of the business[12] to Tilling-Stevens of Maidstone, Kent. Vulcan Works was renamed Brockhouse Engineering (Southport)[13]

1950 Tilling-Stevens was taken over by the Rootes Group and a new 7 tonner appeared at that year's Commercial Motor Show in London.

Rootes had their own established commercial makes in Commer and Karrier and both Vulcan and Tilling-Stevens vanished finally in 1953.

Buses

See Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co: Buses

Lorries

See Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co: Lorries


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 12 December 1902
  2. The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell in 1906.
  3. [1] [2] Gazette Issue 27989 published on the 25 January 1907. Page 27 of 96
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Tuesday 28 January 1908
  5. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 22 May 1908
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Wednesday 18 June 1913
  7. The Times, 1 December 1919
  8. Western Daily Press - Friday 28 November 1919
  9. Museum of Country Life at Exmouth
  10. [3] Gazette Issue 32613 published on the 17 February 1922. Page 46 of 92
  11. The Times, Oct 06, 1937
  12. The Times, Dec 09, 1937
  13. The Times, Dec 15, 1938
  • British Lorries 1900-1992 by S. W. Stevens-Stratten. Pub. Ian Allen Publishing
  • The Engineer of 22nd October 1920 p400
  • Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing) by J. M. Bruce. Published 1982 ISBN 0-370-30084-x
  • [[4]] Wikipedia
  • The Autocar of 5th April 1913 p35
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris