The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
B1470 Automobile, full size, Trojan, 10 hp, tourer, 3-door, 5-passenger, steel/leather/rubber/glass/canvas/timber, made by Leyland Motors Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England, 1926. Click to enlarge.

1926 Trojan 3-door, 10hp tourer

Made 1926

This 3-door Trojan touring car was built at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England, in 1926 by Leyland Motors Ltd. It has some very unorthodox engineering features and was devised by Leslie Hounsfield to be a mechanically simple and inexpensive, yet comfortable and reliable “people’s car”. A prototype was produced in 1913 and Leyland Motors took over its production in 1923, at first being known as the Trojan Utility. One of the company’s advertising points was that the engine had only seven movin...


Object No.


Object Statement

Automobile, full size, Trojan, 10 hp, tourer, 3-door, 5-passenger, steel/leather/rubber/glass/canvas/timber, made by Leyland Motors Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England, 1926

Physical Description

Automobile, full size, Trojan, 10 hp, tourer, 3-door, 5-passenger, steel/leather/rubber/glass/canvas/timber, made by Leyland Motors Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England, 1926

The Trojan is fitted with a three-door, five-passenger touring body of timber sheathed in metal, with a canvas hood. Seating is on two, high-perched bench seats. One door is located on the driver's side and two are on the nearside for passengers. These have pockets in the leather interior trim. A spare wheel is carried on the off-side running board just forward of the driver's door. The chassis comprises two channel sections with steel sheeting riveted across the bottom and ends to form a punt-like shape which is spanned by transverse sections and tubes. Springing is by long, cantilevered leaf springs. The engine lies along the nearside of the car under the passenger's feet. The bonnet conceals only the fuel tank, steering box, carburettor and horn. The battery is on the running board, and the coil and distributor are behind the removable side panel below the passenger doors. The engine is a 4-cylinder, water-cooled, 1.5 litre, two-stroke model. Each pair of cylinders share a common combustion chamber and spark plug, and the engine contains two separate crankcases. (The idea was that if one "side" of the engine failed the car could still be driven on the other "side"). The crankcase, epicyclic gearbox and chain drive sprocket are transversely mounted under the driver's seat. The tubular rear axle is driven by a duplex chain via a sprocket on the offside wheel. The chain is partly lubricated by oil spillage from the gearbox. The nearside rear wheel has the one, wheel-mounted brake, an 11 in (28 cm) drum with two internal-expanding shoes operated from the foot pedal. The generator and headlights are by Miller and coil ignition by Delco-Remy. The dashboard is austere with a glovebox, ammeter and a speedometer with odometer. A single three-position switch commands the ignition and turns on the fuel reserve. Three push-pull knobs control the headlights, dimmer and an under dash lamp which illuminates the floor, and engine underneath when necessary. A long handled petrol/air ratio lever enables fine mixture adjustments via the main carburettor jet to be made while running. A single windscreen wiper blade is manually operated with a handle projecting from the top of the windscreen frame. The floor controls from left to right comprise: a foot-operated priming pump; a clutch though not generally needed; a footbrake; and accelerator. At the driver's right hand side is the starting handle to turn the engine over, and a gear lever which resembles a handbrake.


Engine: 2 stroke, water cooled
Rating: 10 hp (7.5 kW)
Cylinders: 2 (double)
Bore and stroke: 2½ inch (6.4 cm) x 4¾ inch (12.1 cm)
Capacity: 1.5 litre
Valves: none
Output: 11 bhp (8.2 kW) at 1,200 rpm
Cooling: vertical-tube radiator, thermo-syphon, no fan
Ignition: Battery and high tension coil
Gears: 2 forward, 1 reverse
Top gear ratio: 4 to 1
Low gear ratio: 12 to 1
Reverse gear ratio: 16.8 to 1
Transmission: 2 speed epicyclic gearbox
Drive: chain to rear axle
Brakes: 11 inch (28 cm) drum on one rear wheel
Wheelbase: 8 feet (2.4 m)
Track: 4 feet (1.2 m)
Wheels: steel disc
Top speed in high gear: 30 mph (48.3 kph) at 1500 rpm
Top speed in low gear: 10 mph (16.1 kph)
Acceleration: 0-20 mph (0-32.2 kph) in 25 seconds
Fuel consumption: 40 mpg (7.1 litres per 100 km)
Lubrication: Petroil system
Price in 1926: 125 pounds

Spare parts



1850 mm


1500 mm





The Trojan was developed in England by Leslie Hayward Hounsfield (1877-1957) who dreamed of creating a "people's car" which was simple to drive and maintain. Hounsfield gained experience in several British engineering firms including Ransome, Sims & Jefferies and the Crompton Electrical Co. After serving in the Boer War he began his own contract precision engineering business in Clapham, south London, in 1904, which became Trojan Ltd in 1914. A prototype of his car was built in 1913 followed by two others. These featured revolutionary ideas in engine and chassis design, with a vertical engine mounted between the front seats. Development ceased due to the First World War but in 1920 a further six cars were built, this time with horizontal engines under the floorboards, at a new and larger factory at Croydon in Surrey. One of Hounsfield's cars was entered in the British War Office trials but was dismissed because it was "too unorthodox". Leyland Motors Ltd became interested in manufacturing the car but had doubts regarding its unusual chassis and suspension. It was said they test drove the car over a course of railway sleepers bolted at 6 ft intervals and the car apparently survived.

The car was displayed at the Olympia Show in 1922 and went into production at Leyland's Ham Common factory at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, in 1923, with Leslie Hounsfield as chief engineer. By 1926 between 80 and 100 Trojan cars and vans were being made each week with one completed every 45 minutes. Iron castings were made at Leyland's foundry at Farington, Lancashire, while the rest of the car was made at Kingston with sales and service continuing with Trojan at Croydon. Production at Leyland ceased in May 1928 after 16,824 vehicles had been produced as Leyland wanted to produce light trucks. The rights to the Trojan cars and light commercial vehicles were sold back to Hounsfield and production continued at his enlarged Croydon factory. By this time demand for Trojan passenger cars was waning and dropped to a trickle in the 1930s but vans continued to sell well.

From 1926 three basic passenger car models were produced over the next ten years, the "utility" between 1923 and 1926, the "3-door" between 1926 and 1929, and the "rear-engine" model between 1930 and 1933. A "7-cwt" van was made between 1924 and a 10-12 cwt van from 1928 until 1940. All the vehicles shared the same chassis except the rear engine passenger model which had a pre-selector, 3-speed gearbox instead of the 2-speed unit used on the other Trojans.

Trojan cars were supplied with comprehensively-illustrated and descriptive manuals enabling their owners to dismantle and rebuild their cars and to locate and fix almost any mechanical problem. The entire parts catalogue listed only 760 items. To avoid the then frequent problem of punctured pneumatic tyres, Trojan cars were at first fitted with narrow section, solid rubber tyres despite them being abandoned by most car-manufactures by 1900. The car's long cantilever springs made pneumatic tyres unnecessary, however, they became optional from 1924 due to their conventional use in other vehicles. Their introduction was announced by the manufacturers as: "The combination of solid rubber tyres and wonder-springs makes the Trojan as comfortable to ride in as most cars with pneumatic tyres; but fitted with pneumatic tyres the Trojan is SHEER LUXURY."

"Modern Motor" May 1962

Bird, Anthony, "The Trojan Utility Car", Profile Publications Ltd, Surrey, England, 1967



Nothing is known of the original owner of this Trojan car. The car was located in 1957 in a shed at Raby, then a small settlement between Ingleburn and Campbelltown in SW Sydney. It had been there for 20 years and purchased by Mr Ken Adams of G. Adams, Airscrew Manufacturers, of 252-254 Gardiners Road, Rosebery, NSW. The Museum purchased the car in 1961 as an example of an English "people's car". The car was significant at the time of production because of its low price and maintenance costs, rugged design and economical running but most of all its unique engineering features.

During the early 1960s the car was still road registered (BHY 812) and in 1962 a Mr Daly from "Modern Motor" magazine took it on a test drive accompanied by then Assistant Keeper Norm Harwood. (It subsequently appeared in the May 1962 edition of the magazine). Various performance figures were recorded including miles per hour in low and high gears, as well as brake and hill climb tests. Starting the engine was time consuming and required a little patience but once the engine had warmed up other starts were trouble free. The car proved quite easy to drive but Daly was particularly amazed by its pulling power, climbing up steep hills in top gear and the simplicity of its engine.


Credit Line

Purchased 1961

Acquisition Date

3 November 1961

Cite this Object


1926 Trojan 3-door, 10hp tourer 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 8 December 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=1926 Trojan 3-door, 10hp tourer |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=8 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?