an early Heinkel Brochure – Note the car is a four wheeler.
estimated 27,000 three and four wheel cars along with a few vans and
convertibles were manufactured between 1955 and 1964 in Germany, Argentina,
Ireland and England. The best guess on production is
on German, and English production is fairly well documented, although sources
often differ, but there is very little on Irish and virtually nothing on
Argentinean production known to the Club.
the various models is not always straight forward, so this does not purport to
be a definitive listing. More details on the specification of the cars appear in
‘Exploring the Brochures of Heinkel
Trojan Cars’ available from the Club.
is believed that a total of 11,975 cars were produced in Germany between
December 1955 and June 1958 at the Heinkel factory at Speyer.
There were three main types; Type 150, a three wheeler, initially with a
174cc engine, later increased to 198cc; Type 154, a four wheeler, initially with
a 204cc engine, later reduced to 198cc and Type 153, a three wheeler with a
198cc engine. Production started
with the Type 150, the Type 154 being introduced in October 1956. It is thought
that Type 150 and 153 cars were produced concurrently.
Types 150 B-0 and 150 B-1
were at least two, and probably five, versions of the 174cc, Type 407, engine
fitted to the Type 150 cars. Siba
and Bosch dynastarts were fitted on all types of engines and were fitted to both
scooters and cars. Early cars had a
rod operated gear change, this was changed to cable operation from around engine
numbers and engine numbers, together with the year of manufacture, are on the
chassis plate, which should be on the right hand (when sitting in the car) wheel
arch. The engine
number, on all engines, is stamped on the top of the crank case, between the dip
stick hole and the retaining stud for the exhaust bracket.
The chassis number may also be stamped at the base of the right hand
wheel arch. There does not appear
to be any correlation between engine and chassis numbers. From the parts book:
150 B-0 cars all have chassis numbers in the series 30####, the highest on the
Register being 305609, they were all fitted with 174cc engines, mostly of Type
407 B-0 having numbers in the series 48####.
However some later cars were fitted with Type 407 B-1 engines in the
150 B-1 cars all have chassis numbers in the series 35####.
According to Glasses Guide the 198cc, Type 408 B-2, engine was introduced
from chassis number 350961. Before
that a mixture of 48#### and 49#### series engines appear to have been fitted
randomly. In Germany production of
174cc cars ended in February 1958 and 198cc cars in June 1958.
complicate matters further, Type 150 B-1 cars were assembled in Eire from parts
manufactured in Germany. It is not
known how many, or even how to differentiate between German and Irish assembled,
as opposed to Irish produced cars, from either the chassis or engine numbers.
of a 175cc
Type 154 B-0. 154 B-1
and 153 B-2
were probably three versions of the Type 408 engine fitted to cars.
The new engine was a bored out version of the Type 407, retaining its
61.5 mm stroke, this increased power to a claimed 10 hp at 5,500 rpm.
The first Type 408 engine, the B-0 retained the three bearing crankshaft
arrangement of the original 174cc engine, the other versions had a two bearing
crank. Other modifications
including the introduction of a four plate clutch with diaphragm spring in place
of the three plate and coil spring version. The 408 B-0 was fitted with a 65mm
piston giving a capacity of 204cc. It
is thought that this was only ever fitted to early four wheel cars. It was considered that the capacity of the engine had been
increased too much, so the standard bore size was reduced to 64mm for the Type
408 B-1 and B-2 engines. However,
it must be remembered that a large number of Type 150 cars were fitted with
198cc engines with numbers in the series 515###.
The main difference between the Type 150 and 153 cars is not known but it
is not the introduction of the larger engine as the parts book suggests.
produced a number of prototypes, including a right hand drive version.
This differed from the later Trojan cars by having the door hung on the
left. The photograph is reproduced
by kind permission of the German Heinkel Club.
German Cars in the UK
first imports began in July 1956. Noble
Motors Limited, of 211 Piccadilly, London were the concessionaires. The list
price was £398 15s 0d. including, spare wheel, heater demister, front bumper
and purchase tax. The cheapest Ford
at the time was the Popular at £443
cars were initially brought in through London Docks at the rate of around 20 a
month. However, following the
closure of the Suez Canal, the thirty percent increase in the price of petrol
and the introduction of rationing, demand took off.
So much so that cars were flown from Hanover to Croydon by Dakota, five
at a time, on a daily basis. From
February 1957 consignments of 60 cars were shipped through Rotterdam every ten
to twelve days until demand slowed in the summer of 1957.
total number imported to the UK before production transferred to Ireland is not
known but thought to be a significant proportion of production. In addition to good fuel economy, the cars attracted a
reduced rate of Road Fund Duty of £5 rather than £12 10s for a normal car.
An unaccompanied learner driver could also drive them, provided the
reverse gear was made inoperative, as they were then classed as a motorcycle
the known surviving German cars in the UK are three wheelers, mostly Type 150
B-0 and 150 B-1
little is known about production in Argentina.
Documents held by Trojan Limited refer to the sale of 2,500 kits of parts
to Los Credos, in Argentina. They
also refer to an enquiry for an additional 600 kits.
There is no evidence that these additional kits were supplied.
Even if the kits were exported it does not necessarily mean that they
were all built and sold. There are three Argentinean cars on the Register with chassis
number ranging from 857 to 3244 with claimed dates of manufacture between 1959
and 1961. If Heinkel supplied a
production line and some kits direct in 1957/58, before those supplied from
Ireland then a production of over three thousand, is consistent with the above
information. It has also been
suggested that production was as low as a hundred before the Heinkel company
stopped production because of poor build quality.
cars were assembled in Eire from parts manufactured in Germany.
The cars had chassis and engine numbers in the same series as the German
cars and it is not know how many were built before the production line was moved
to Dundalk in the middle of 1958.
production in Eire is thought to have taken place between October 1958 and Early
1961. Their system of chassis
numbering appears to have used six or seven digits. The first three being 153 for a three wheeler and 154 for a
four wheeler. The 153 and 154
models do not seem to have had separate series of numbers.
According to a Trojan internal memo the last chassis produced in Ireland
was 6486. The chassis plate is
located on the top of the right hand side wheel arch.
is evidence that Heinkel Ireland produced at least two prototype vans. The one in the photo was probably sold to Trojan when they
bought the production line and used it in their advertising (It has an Irish
number plate). A second with top
opening rear door was exhibited at the Dutch Motor Show in February 1959.
also produced at least two and possibly three Sports (convertible) prototypes.
One was produced by International Sales in London and shipped to Dundalk
for evaluation where at least one more was made and used in Eire.
were still supplied by Ernst Heinkel Ag and it is thought all were 198cc of 408
B-1 (four wheeler) or 408 B-2 (three wheeler) specification.
Engine numbers fitted to early cars follow the German sequence indicating
that stocks of pre-numbered engines were bought along with the production line.
Later engine numbers are seven digits starting with a 1, the last six
numbers appear to conform with the series given for German Production above.
the brochure for a Heinkel Ireland
Irish Cars in UK
part of the transfer of production to Ireland the world wide marketing rights
were taken over by International Sales Limited of Dublin, who imported cars
through their London office. Again
the total number imported is not known, but a substantial proportion of
production is likely to have ended up in UK as they did not sell well in Eire.
Another important export market for the Irish Heinkel was Sweden.
The Club Register shows one four wheeled Heinkel Ireland in the UK and a
further five in Europe, production being predominantly three wheelers.
1961 Trojan bought the world wide marketing rights for the car, but not the
scooter, as this would have been in conflict with their tie up with Lambretta.
They also bought the production line, 100 complete cars and 2,674 kits of
parts. Their plan was to refurbish
and sell the 100 cars, which had been stored in the open, while the production
line was established. It is thought
that production started towards the end 1961.
Production ceased in 1964 at the works summer shut down. By this time the
cars had become very difficult to sell, and some were not registered until 1966.
This is hardly surprising as according to Motor
Cycle magazine in March 1963 a new mini van, which was exempt from purchase
tax, would have cost you £368 against a list price of £369 15s for a right
hand drive Trojan!
from an early Trojan Brochure – Note the cars are left hand drive!
chassis plates, on the left hand wing on right hand drive cars, show the chassis
number and engine number but not year of manufacture.
The chassis number was also ‘stamped on the right hand front wheel arch
angle adjacent to the door opening’, on later cars it can be found on the
front of the parcel shelf. An alpha numeric code was used for the chassis number.
The first letter is thought to indicate the country of destination.
All UK cars start ‘S’, most in Sweden start ‘X’, most in Holland
start ‘H’, one in Austria starts ‘A’ and one in the USA starts ‘Y’.
The remaining letters indicate paint colour;
Red (Spartan Red)
G or TG Grey
White (Grecian White)
Yellow (Olympic Yellow)
Blue (Crown Blue)
to Glass’s Guide the Trojan chassis numbers start at 7001, this is confirmed
by the Trojan’s records. The
first right hand drive car is 8182. The
highest number, according to a Trojan Dealers Information Sheet, is 13179.
Using the above numbers and assuming there were no gaps, gives a total
production run of 6,179.
Identification used by Trojan was
601 3 Wheeler
Right Hand Drive
4 Wheeler Right Hand Drive
3 Wheeler Left hand Drive
4 Wheeler Left Hand Drive
vast majority of production was three wheel cars.
Some sources say that the right hand drive version was introduced in an
attempt to boost flagging sales, but perhaps Trojan’s intention was to produce
right hand drive from the beginning but, needed to use up left hand drive parts
bought from Ireland. There does not
appear to be any way to determine whether a car is left or right hand drive from
the chassis number.
numbers follow the Irish pattern of a seven digit number starting 152#### for
the 2,674 engines bought from Ireland. Thereafter
engines were numbered 3-####, for three wheel cars and 4-#### for four wheelers.
These engines were purchased directly from Heinkel by Trojan and include
changes to specification, including the reintroduction of the Siba dynastart and
changes to the gear box components. As
Heinkel engineers did not approve of some of the changes insisted on by Trojan
they would not guarantee their engines so Trojan took on the responsibility for
all warranty claims.
to Trojan archive material a total of 19 vans were produced, all three wheelers
and right hand drive, the project was shelved when Customs and Excise refused to
exempt them from purchase tax. One
was sold to Singapore, which has recently surfaced in Malaysia, the others in
the UK between November 1962 and some time in 1963. Both three and four wheel convertibles were also available.
At least one three wheel prototype was produced and used in Trojan’s
promotional material. It is not known if any others were produced.
The small additional price probably meant that Trojan would take the roof
off for anyone who wanted an open car.
to Trojan’s records only five model 602, right hand drive four wheel, cars
were produced. Two were sold in New
Zealand, one each in UK, South Africa and Singapore.
It was thought that all had been lost until 1995 when one surfaced in New
Limited’s racing heritage, they
went on to build sports and racing cars for McLarren and are still in business