See also: Albion Machinery
For the Showman's Engine, see ALBION.
Albion Motors
Former type Ltd
Fate acquired by Leyland Motors
Predecessor Albion Motor Car Company
Successor Leyland (Glasgow), Leyland DAF, Albion Automotive
Founded 1899
Founder(s) Thomas Blackwood Murray, Norman Osborne Fulton, John Francis Henderson.
Defunct marque defunct 1980
Headquarters Glasgow, United Kingdom
Number of locations Scotstoun, Bathgate
Industry Automotive industry
Products commercial vehicles
Employees Unknown
Albion trucks at a show

Pair of Albion trucks at Cromford steam fair 2008

Albion Motors of Scotstoun, Glasgow was a Scottish automobile manufacturer, later it concentrated on building commercial vehicles. Today the company is a subsidiary of American Axle & Manufacturing, and manufactures axles, driveline systems, chassis systems, crankshafts and chassis components. It is Scotland's best known name in the motor industry. Albions were renowned for their superior engineering and reliability; their slogan "Sure as the Sunrise" was known across the globe, with some of there early radiator grill depicting sunrise . The company was taken over by Leyland at one stage.


Originally known as Albion Motor Car Company Ltd, they were founded in 1899 by Thomas Blackwood Murray and Norman Osborne Fulton (both of whom had previously been involved in Arrol-Johnston). The factory was originally on the first floor of a building in Finnieston Street, Glasgow and had only seven employees. In 1903 the company moved to new premises in Scotstoun.

The Albion Motor Car Company Ltd was renamed Albion Motors in 1930.

In 1951, Leyland Motors took over. After the British Leyland Motor Corporation was founded in 1968, only two base models, the Albion Clydesdale truck and the Albion Viking bus were continued. Production of these was moved to the Leyland plant at Bathgate in 1980.

Leyland dropped the Albion name when the company name was changed to Leyland (Glasgow) and later to Leyland-DAF from 1987 when it became a subsidiary of that Dutch concern.

A management buy-out in 1993 brought Albion Automotive as it was thenceforth known back into Scottish ownership. A new owner, the American Axle & Manufacturing Company (AAM) of Detroit, Michigan, took over Albion in 1998.

Passenger car manufacturingEdit

In 1900 they built their first motor car, a rustic-looking dogcart made of varnished wood and powered by a flat-twin 8hp engine with gear-change by "Patent Combination Clutches" and solid tyres.

In 1903 Albion introduced a 3115 cc 16 hp vertical-twin, followed in 1906 by a 24 hp four. One of the specialities the company offered was solid-tired shooting-brakes. The last private Albions were powered by a 15 hp monobloc four of 2492 cc..

Passenger car production ceased in 1915 but in 1920 the company announced that estate cars were available again based on a small bus chassis, it is not known if any were actually made.

Car modelsEdit
  • Albion 8 (1900–1904) 2080cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 12 (1900–1906) 2659cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 16 (1905–1913) 3141cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 24/30 (1906–1912) 3164cc 4 cylinder
  • Albion 15 (1912–1915) 2492cc 4 cylinder

Commercial vehicle productionEdit

Albion BAU529 at Lymswold - P7270167

Mobile Hardware store based on an Albion chaise and custom box body

Although the manufacture of motor cars was the main industry in the first ten years of its existence, it was decided in 1909 to concentrate on the production of commercial vehicles. During World War 1 they built for the war Office large quantities of 3 ton trucks powered by a 32 hp engine using chain drive to the rear wheels. After the war many of these were converted for use as charabancs.

Trucks and buses (single and double deckers) were manufactured in the Scotstoun works until 1980 (1972 for complete vehicles). The buses were exported to Asia, East Africa, Australia, India and South Africa. Almost all Albion buses were given names beginning with "V", these models being the Victor, Valiant, Viking, Valkyrie, and Venturer.

Truck productionEdit

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Albion with tipper body at Lymswold - P7270170

A late model Albion 6x4 with Dropside Tipper body

After the Leyland take over Albion mainly built components for use in other Leyland models. They also built some Crane carrier bases used by Smiths and Coles for some models.

Truck modelsEdit
Albion reg SWF 707 at Boroughbridge CV 09 - IMG 8904

A well restored Albion flat bed with 'load' at the Boroughbridge Classic Vehicle show 2009

Several models were built up till the 1960s when the firm was swallowed up by the Leyland Group

The Chieftain, Clydesdale & Reiver names were carried on by Leyland and used Albion components.

Bus productionEdit

Albion single deck bus reg NSG 869 at Donington 09 - IMG 6144small

A restored (1950's ? ) Albion single decker bus NSG 869 exhibited at the Donington Park CV show in 2009

The earliest buses were built on truck chassis with two being delivered to West Bromwich in 1914.

In 1923 the first dedicated bus chassis was announced derived from the one used on the 25 cwt truck but with better springing. Bodies seating from 12 to 23 passengers were available. A lower frame chassis, the Model 26, with 30/60 hp engine and wheelbases from 135 inches to 192 inches joined the range in 1925. All the early vehicles had been normal control, with the engine in front of the driver but in 1927 the first forward control with the engine alongside the driver was announced as the Viking allowing 32 seats to be fitted. Diesel engines, initially from Gardner, were available from 1933. The first double deck design was the Venturer of 1932 with up to 51 seats. The CX version of the chassis was launched in 1937 and on these the engine and gearbox were mounted together rather than joined by a separate drive shaft. Albion's own range of diesel engines was also made available.

After World War 2 the range was progressively modernised and underfloor engined models were introduced with prototypes in 1951 and production models from 1955 with the Nimbus.

With the Leyland take over the range was cut back. The last Albion double decker was the 1961 Lowlander and that was marketed in England as a Leyland, and the last design of all was the Viking, re-using an old name.

Bus modelsEdit
  • Model 24 (1923–1924) First purpose built Albion bus chassis
  • Viking 24 (1924–1932) Various wheelbases from 10 feet 9 inches to 16 feet 3 inches. Front wheel brakes from 1927. Six cylinder engines available in Viking Sixes.
  • Valkyrie (1930–1938) Forward control. 5 litre engine, 6.1 litre from 1933, 7.8 litre optional from 1935. Mainly sold as coaches.
  • Valiant (1931–1936) Mainly sold to the coach market.
  • Victor (1930–1939) Normal or forward control. 20 or 24 seater.
  • Venturer (1932–1939) Albions first double decker. 51, later 55 seats. 3 axle version, the Valorous made in 1932, only one produced.
  • Valkyrie CX (1937–1950) Engine and gearbox in-unit.
  • Venturer CX (1937–1951) Double decker.
  • Victor FT (1947–1959) Lightweight single decker
  • Valiant CX (1948–1951) Mostly sold to coach operators.
  • Viking CX (1948–1952) Mainly sold to the export market.
  • Nimbus (1955–1963) Underfloor engine.
  • Aberdonian (1957–1960) Underfloor engine.
  • Victor VT (1959–1966) Front engined
  • Clydesdale (1959–1978) Export model built on truck chassis.
  • Lowlander (1961–1966) Double decker. 18 feet 6 inch wheelbase. LR5 and LR7 had air suspension.
  • Viking VK (1963-1983?) Mainly exported. Leyland O.370 engine. VK43 model was rear engined.

Engine manufactureEdit

Main article: Albion (engines)

Albion built there own range of engines from the late 1930s. Albion supplied the engines to Leyland following the take over in 1951, with them being badged as Leyland engines in later years.

Automotive components productionEdit

A complete change of product type went on in 1980, since then, only automotive components, such as rear axles, have been produced, as opposed to Chassis and complete vehicles.

Firearms productionEdit

During World War II, Albion Motors manufactured Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers to aid the war effort. By 1945, 24,000[1] Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers were produced by Albion (and subsequently, Coventry Gauge & Tool Co.)

Current ProductsEdit

The company now owned by Americam Axle and Manufacturing, produces Axles for other OEM companies in Europe and world wide.


Albion 2-ton DMV 317 at Lincoln 08 - DSC00039

A restored Albion 2-ton in the R. Robinson collection of commercial vehicles

Examples of some of the early Bus and truck models have been preserved and restored by enthusiasts. thes can be seen at Vintage vehicle rallies and events like Steam fairs which feature historic vehicles of all types. Other examples are preserved in various museums and transport collections.

List of preserved Albion vehiclesEdit

Albion ? truck - WE 3735 at Harewood 08 - IMG 0469

Early Albion truck

Albion Clydesdale - SWF 707 at Harewood 08 - IMG 0475

Two Albion trucks seen at Cromford Steam Fair are shown at the top of the page.


List of Preserved Albion Motors trucks
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Registration No. Make-Model or type no Build-Year Engine-Make/Type Weight/class Chassis/Body type Owner
(if known)
Photo Were seen/Featured Other info
Image needed LHB

Image needed LHB

Please add any truck with known reg or serial no. with Photo if possible.
Create a page (link) for an individual truck by linking the reg or serial number using [[Truck make-model-reg no.|reg number]] or [[Truck make-model-serial no.|serial number]] in the relevant column. Then once saved click the red link to start the new page and add info on that truck.
Buses & cars

Albion bus+

See alsoEdit


Wikipedia for original base article.

  1. Pistols of the World, 4th ed. Ian Hogg & John Walter

^ Michael Sedgwick, "Albion", in G.N. Georgano, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of Motorcars 1885-1968 (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1974), pp. 32.

External linksEdit

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