From the archive: ‘Charcoal’ lorry: successful test 9 July, 1936

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RUN entirely on gas produced from smokeless fuel, a lorry left Edinburgh yesterday morning, and about two and a half hours later reached Glasgow, after a successful journey.

It was the first time official tests have been made in Scotland of smokeless fuel in connection with road transport. Considerable interest was taken in the vehicle by a large group of technical experts, and a company, which included the Duke of Montrose, who gathered at the Ardmillan Motor Works, Edinburgh. They saw a mechanic empty seven bags of charcoal, about 134lbs, into a plain steel drum, which is fitted under the bonnet of the lorry, watched him apply a light to the small cap opening at the front and waited quietly as the driver sat down at the wheel. In less than a minute, the engine was ticking, and the lorry was being driven out of the garage, with most of the “laymen” wondering how it had happened.