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Trojan Limited was a motor vehicle manufacturer that produced a range of iconic products.
Leslie Haywood Hounsfield moved to Vicarage Road, Croydon in 1914 and changed the name of his engineering business to Trojan Limited in the same year. The motor vehicle production for which Trojan became famous began when the company struck a deal with Leyland Motors. Leyland began producing the Trojan Utility Car in 1922, and the Trojan Light Van was introduced in 1924.
The commercial vehicle side of the company was most successful at first. The vans were cheap for small businesses and adaptable for larger ones. Uniquely shaped vans were made for the big brands of the time. Cow and Gate baby foods had one shaped like a tin can, and the body of the Absolom tea company's custom-built vehicle looked like a giant tea pot!
The vehicle-building side of the business moved to Purley Way, Croydon, in 1929 after the arrangement with Leyland Motors came to an end. Trojan stayed at this site until the 1970s. Like many of London's factories, Trojan's Purley Way site switched production to help with the war effort during the Second World War. It made trolley accumulators, which were used to start aircraft engines, as well as munitions and components.
Post-war Trojan Ltd products were eccentric and glamorous. The Trojan works assembled Lambretta scooters and around 6,000 Trojan 200 bubble cars rolled off the Purley Way production line between 1961 and 1965. Collaborations with Elva and McLaren saw Trojan produce sports cars. The company even ran its own Formula 1 racing team for a year in 1973, but it ceased production soon afterwards.
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