By Rod Ward
There are lots of interesting stories told here, from early steam and electric pioneers to the biggest Scottish firms; three A’s and a B. Argyll was said to be second only to Ford of Detroit in output of chassis in 1907, Arrol-Johnston was the fifth largest British car maker in the years before the Great War, and Albion was a leading British commercial vehicle maker for many decades. Beardmore was an engineering colossus, remembered in later years mostly for its London taxis. There are many other makers described in these pages, some of whom had aspirations to greatness, though others had more modest aims. In the postwar years government attempts to deal with unemployment resulted in motor manufacturers setting up new plants in Linwood and Bathgate. Unlike similar ‘directed’ motor vehicle factories in England, these two ventures did not survive. Most other attempts to produce vehicles in Scotland were short-lived, though one success story was that of the Volvo buses built in Irvine. Most enthusiasts will be surprised by the number of companies described here, and by the large quantities of vehicles produced in a country with a population of fewer than five million people. Coverage includes Arrol-Johnston, Galloway, Argyll, Albion, Beardmore, Rootes at Linwood, BMC at Bathgate, Argyle, Cuthbertson, Bruce, Stonefield, Volvo-Ailsa buses, and dozens more smaller manufacturers are also described.