Proprietary Engines for Vehicles

Proprietary Engines for Vehicles

by Nick Baldwin


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Proprietary Engines for Vehicles by Nick Baldwin

Famous vehicle firms like Kenworth, Railton, Jensen, ERF, Morgan and Peterbilt have never made their own engines. Instead they have relied on outside specialists. Since the dawn of motoring firms like de Dion-Bouton and Aster have provided power for other manufacturers’ chassis. Until the numbers of car makers were decimated by takeovers and bankruptcies around 1930 up to half of all the hundreds of models available on both sides of the Atlantic had proprietary engines. However, they were seldom amongst the best sellers and afterwards it was diesels for commercial vehicles and niche market cars that kept the engine specialists going. From the 1950s on the new breed of limited production sports cars like TVR and Marcos used other makers’ engines, by then usually from mass-produced cars such as Ford. Thereafter, the few remaining proprietary engine makers tended to cater for the upsurge in diesel vehicles. The stories behind these continuous developments in the motor industry make fascinating reading, whilst the illustrations confirm Dorman’s famous slogan: ‘The heart of the car is its engine’.

Nick Baldwin has been writing about transport history for over thirty years and has long been intrigued by the largely unsung proprietary engine specialists. His A–Z of Cars of the 1920s for Bayview Books revealed hundreds of models powered by little-known engines. He has also owned several vehicles with proprietary engines including a Dorman-powered Caledon lorry, a Meadows-powered Garner bus and a Beardmore road tractor, and currently a Perkins diesel-powered Scammell Scarab brewery vehicle.

Other titles for Shire by this author are:

Four-wheel Drive and Landrover

The Wolseley

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780747804963
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/04/2008
Series: Shire Library Series
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 5.87(w) x 8.27(h) x 1.00(d)

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