Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki

A Lacre Sweeper in the Museum of Transport in Manchester

The Lacre Motor Company was founded in London in 1902. The company is best remembered for producing road sweepers. The company continued to supply parts till the 1980s.[citation (source) needed]


Possibly more properly originally called L'Acre. The Lacre Motor Car Co. Started in London at Long Acre nr Covent Garden in 1902. with an office at Poland Street and Livonia Street, London,but later moved to Letchworh, Hertfordshire. The company built an electric brougham between 1904 and 1905. This car used two 4-hp motors driving the rear axle. The firm may also have produced some small commercial electric vehicles.[1]

The company initially built cars and light vans till 1909. Some were based on Albion chassis. In 1909 they introduced a range of trucks that whent up to 9 ton capacity.

The company moved to Letchworth in 1910, were a street Lacre Way is now named after them on a nearby industrial estate. The production grew with the Lacre O-type being the most popular model. During WWI production switched to military vehicles.

In the post World War I era the company specialised in the building of road sweepers. But some other trucks were still built but the depression had cut demand. One model was an innovative 2 1/2 ton E type that had the engine mounted on a sub frame to facilitate easy servicing.

Two of Lacre's employees Harry Shelvoke General manager and James Sidney Drewry Cheif Engineer built a 2 ton delivery truck but left in 1922 to form Shelvoke and Drewry after there vehicle known as The Freighter was rejected.[2]

By 1928 the company was in trouble and the Letchworth factory was sold and the company wound up. A Restructured company Lacre Lorries Ltd was formed in Kings Cross London. By 1936 the company relocated again to Welwyn Garden City, nr London.[3]

The restructured company lived on but during WW II the factory was requisitioned and production suspended till 1047 when it resumed just for sweepers. By 1952 they were just building sweeper bodies on Bedford chassis which continued along with supplying sweeper parts but they stopped building vehicles in the 1980s.

Model range

  • Lacre Electric Brougham - 1904-05
  • Lacre O type - 2 tonner
  • Lacre E type - 2 1/2 tonner
  • Lacre Timber tractor
  • Lacre Road Sweeper


At Great Dorset Steam Fair 2005

A few examples of Lacre vehicles exist in museums and private collections

See also

References / sources

  1. Electric vehicle builders
  2. (unofficial SD history site)
  3. The World Encyclopedia of Trucks, by Peter J Davies, by Select editions, ISBN 1-84309-201-8

External links