By Rod Ward
The story of Trojan and its vehicles from the earliest days, through the postwar Trojan 15 era to later years making all kinds of products. To understand what drove Leslie Hounsfield to design the original Trojan, we also look at vehicles from other firms which aimed to achieve simplicity, economy and cheapness. Trojan made those red Brooke Bond Tea vans, didn’t they? Yes, but that is not all Trojan made. Always ready to take on any engineering task, they produced cyclemotors, lawn tractors, racing cars and much more, all described in these pages. The famous and eccentric Trojan vehicles originated in the attempts of Leslie Hounsfield to produce a simple and cheap motor car. The early Trojan Utility Vehicle was put into production by Leyland Motors under licence from Trojan. In order to understand what motivated Leslie Hounsfield and to give some context to the Trojan Utility Vehicle, we also examine in this publication other attempts by British designers to produce cars embodying the same elusive principles of simplicity, economy and cheapness.
Unlike the rugged Trojan, most of its direct competitors were flimsy ‘cyclecars’, and almost all of their makers fell by the wayside. A few developed into reasonable light cars, but they could not compete with the larger manufacturers, whose stories are told in other Auto Review publications. In the postwar years most British efforts at simplicity, economy and cheapness were directed at three-wheeler cars, which are also described elsewhere in Auto Review, but a few four-wheeler attempts at economy cars are described here. Among the other marques covered are: ABC, Blériot-Whippet, Calcott, Charron-Laycock, Coventry Premier, Crouch, Gwynne, GWK, Hampton, Horstmann, Kingsbury, Richardson, Stoneleigh,Tamplin, Carden, Astra, Gill, Lloyd, Coventry-Victor, Hazelcar, Paramount and Russon. Other Trojan-made products described include the Mini-Motor, Lambretta scooter, Trobike, Trokart, Toraktor, Trotent, Trojan 200 bubble cars, Elva and McLaren cars, plus Trojan in Formula 1.