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1908 Albion Lorry A3

Engine Type

Two cylinder, T head. Monoblock. Large tube radiator driven by the governor camshaft. Dry sump, lubrication to bearings, big-end and cylinder walls driven by camshaft. Maximum engine speed governor controlled to 980 rpm.

Details of fuel & ignition system

Petrol; gravity fed from tank in front of passenger’s knees. Passes through tap to carburettor bowl and jet to patent carburettor on off side of engine where a governor controls valves to regulate the air and fuel mixture to each combustion chamber. Low tension ignition generated from two large bar magnets on front of crankshaft. Mechanical make and break spark inside each combustion chamber.


Leather–faced cone clutch – three forward and a reverse gear. An exposed shaft runs from the clutch to the gear box and differential that are combined in a single aluminium casting, A chain drive connects to each back wheel. Breaks: foot break to contracting cast iron shoes onto tailshaft behind diff. Hand break to expanding shous on rear wheels. Maximum speed, 29 kph , carrying capacity ca 1300kgm

How did you acquire the vehicle?

In the 1940s my family had a dairy farm at Berowra, approximately 40 kms north of Sydney. Abandoned in the bush on a nearby farm (now Wideview Primary School grounds) was an old lorry. The owner told me I could have it for nothing if I drove it away. And I did! The story of this old Albion was published in the August 2012 volume of Spit and Polish.

Brief known history of the vehicle

The original owners were Mr Turner and his son-in-law Mr Charles Woof who had a large poultry farm at Berowra. The Albion carted loads of poultry feed from Hornsby and on week ends a bench seat was provided on the back tray to take weekend visitors from Berowra railway station down to Berowra Creek (now Berowra Waters). In the 1930s the Albion passed to Mr Chandler and then to Mr Thorn who lived on a nearby farm. By the time of WW2 the Albion was abandoned to lie in the bush where I found it. With lots of cleaning and greasing I got it firing on kerosine and drove it back to our farm in Turner Road. With a new wooden tray and drivers seat, repainted in its original red and orange and me with my new driver’s licence the Albion was ready to go! My elder brother Sandy Holmes owned the famous 1912 Prince Henry Vauxhall “Fifty Bob”. Together we attended the first meeting of the VCCA in 1954 and became Members 9 and 10. The Albion’s first outing was to the city in 1951 to take part in the procession celebrating 50 years of Federation of the Australian States. Then Brighton Rallies and later the Blue Mountain’s Rallies in 1956, 1957 and 1959. Imagine those trips with a top speed of 29kph but half the time in low gear! In 1976 the Albion and I moved to a farm at Wellington where the Albion went in to retirement except for carting seed and fertilizer at crop sowing time. On retirement from farming the Albion and I moved to Dorrigo where the Albion lorry took up residence in brother Rod’s shed with his beautiful 1911 Albion A3 car known as Blue Bell and together they took part in the 1 and 2 Cylinder Rally at Yamba and also to several local shows and the Rusty Iron rally at Macksville.

What do you like & dislike about your car?

The old lorry has always lived up to the Albion motto “Sure as the Sunrise” but it would be great to travel at 40kph!

Fun facts or any other details you’d like to include?

With the old Albion lorry living in the same shed as beautiful Blue Bell we are hoping they will produce some little Albions!

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