Lord K's Garage #123: Albion. Sure as the Sunrise

Ladies and gentlemen! Omnibuses, coaches and lorries from Glasgow, Scotland!

Albion Motors, founded in 1899, were amongst the great survivors of the British vehicle industry and, especially, of the indigenous Scottish motor industry - many early companies failed and it was only in the 1960s that there was a vain attempt to re-introduce mass vehicle production into Scotland with Rootes at Linwood and BMC at Bathgate. Both the latter ultimately failed. But Albion kept going, making commercial vehicles, for many years. A takeover by Leyland Motors in 1951 saw the steady introduction of 'badge engineering' and true Albion chassis and vehicle production fell away as the Glasgow plant began to specialise in transmission products and, after various ownership changes, the works are still in production.*

1909 Austin A6 Tourer by Austin7nut @ Flickr

Albion Motor Cars introduced their first passenger car in 1900. Six years later, the 4-cylinder Model 24/30 saw production, replaced by somewhat smaller Albion 15 in 1912. During the Great War, the plant in Glasgow focused on 3-ton trucks for the War Office, passenger models being discontinued (and never resumed).

1913 Albion A12 by mwsmith20 @ Flickr

In 1923, the first 'dedicated' Albion bus chassis was announced. Actually, the company delivered buses to a customer in Newcastle-on-Tyne nine years earlier, but they were built on unaltered truck chassis. Since 1926, different bus platforms were developed, usually bearing names beginning with "V" (Viking, Valiant, Victor, Valkyrie, and double-decked Venturer).

1933 Albion Valiant ad by mikeyashworth @ Flickr

The motto of Albion was "Sure as the Sunrise". And sunrise was the emblem. By the way, during WWII the company contributed to war effort producing Enfield No 2 Mk 1 revolvers - close cousins of the Webley(Webley & Scott accused the British Government of illegally using their Mk IV design; the claim was denied, but the claimants received a compensation from the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors).

Albion Bus
1918 Albion A16 Charabanc by Pit Pony 210 @ Flickr

SMT Albion bus with Croall of Edinburgh bodywork - c1932/3
1927 Albion bus with Croall of Edinburgh bodywork (1932/33) by mikeyashworth @ Flickr

Albion lorry at Niddrie, Edinburgh - 1928
Albion lorry at Niddrie, Edinburgh (1928) by mikeyashworth @ Flickr

1927 Albion Flatbed Lorry
1927 Albion Flatbed Lorry by austin7nut @ Flickr

Albion Municipal Vehice
1929 Albion LB41 RC 970 Municipal Vehicle by classic vehicles @ Flickr

0435-LJ9501-Albion Valiant SpPV70-(57)-Charlies Cars.
1934 Albion Valiant by day 192 @ Flickr

DMV 317 - 1936 Albion AM463 - Dick Robinsons livery with Vincent motorcycle and side car - Kirby Stephen 2009
1936 Albion AM463 by homer----simpson @ Flickr

Albion special M540 lorry
1937 Albion Special M540 Lorry by classic vehicles @ Flickr

12 Albion FT3 Flat Bed (1938)
1938 Albion FT3 Flat Bed by robertknight16 @ Flickr

WE 3735 - 1938 Albion LB40 @ Readymix 2010
1938 Albion LB40 by homer----simpson@ Flickr

1939 Albion Drysdale Pump Unit - Diss Urban District Council Fire Brigade (1)
1939 Albion Drysdale Pump Unit - Diss Urban District Council Fire Brigade by austin7nut @ Flickr
1939 Albion Drysdale Pump Unit - Diss Urban District Council Fire Brigade (2)

2 Albion WD-CX22S HAT (1944)
1944 Albion WD-CX22S HAT by robertknight16 @ Flickr

0117-Kirkby Stephen-4-4-10
1947 Albion A75N by day 192 @ Flickr

0311-GWT630-Albion Valkyrie CX13-(61)-South Yorkshire.
1947 Albion Valkyrie CX13 by day 192 @ Flickr

GSU378 Albion Venturer
1947 Albion Venturer CX19 by Paul Rankin @ Flickr

TV02289-Leyland.
1947 Albion CX11 by day 192 @ Flickr

0505-TWY8-Albion Valiant-(81)-South Yorkshire.
1949 Albion Valiant CX39N (rebodied by Roe in 1958) by day 192 @ Flickr

TV-0244-Elvaston Steam Rally-3-7-10
1954 Albion Claymore by day 192 @ Flickr

TV0126-Cheshire Run.
1954 Albion HD57L by day 192 @ Flickr

1955 Albion Nimbus "NSG 869"
1955 Albion Nimbus by Albert S. Bite @ Flickr

Albion Coach
1956 Albion Victor by classic vehicles @ Flickr

TV01666-Ackworth.
1956 Albion Chieftain by day 192 @ Flickr

497 NTD - 1960 Albion FT111KTR Chieftain recovery vehicle with its unique version of the Homalloy cab - Kirby Stephen 2009
1960 Albion FT111KTR Chieftain recovery vehicle by homer----simpson @ Flickr

Albion bus
1965 Albion Nimbus by guzzijohn @ Flickr

TV0677-Leyland.
1966 Albion Claymore by day 192 @ Flickr

Albion trucks and buses retained their typical Diesel Era appearance through mid-1960s. Later, the vehicles from Glasgow looked like (and in fact, they were) rebadged Leylands.

Now some ice cream for dessert:

1953 Albion Ice Cream Tanker (Australia) 

Text: mickeyashworth @ Flickr

Headline photo: by robertknight16 @ Flickr