header image
Homepage. This page: A small aluminium trailer designed for use with small-to-medium-sized towcars.

Aero Caravan Products (ACP) aluminium trailer.

Return to the vintage and classic trailer section.
The first I heard of this neat post-war car trailer, was several years ago when friends showed me photos of a surviving example. The pictures had been taken, I think, by the then-owner who was looking to find a new home for it. Whether it sold or not I've no idea, and I have no information on who owned it, other than that it was in the North West of England somewhere.
Evidently it had been sat, out of use, for many years. The paint was peeling, revealing that it had been finished in several different colour schemes over the years, most recently in a mid-green colour. Compact in form, it had been designed to be suitable for towing behind both small and large cars alike. It was also clear that the body had been constructed in aluminium, most likely in the years following WW2. This offered two benefits - one, it made the trailer light to tow, and second, aluminium was in good supply after the war, unlike steel.
The remains of a "T" (for trailer) plate remained on its rear panel, as did an array of lights, triangular reflectors of later date, a registration plate, and - only just visible - the original manufacturer's badge. The badge identified the trailer as a product of ACP Ltd, which I later discovered was for Aero Caravan Products Limited.
The Aero Caravan Products trailer
Advert for the Aero trailer
I didn't pursue the purchase of it, probably because my enthusiasm for this oddball trailer - and indeed trailers in general - isn't universally shared in our household, and the photos were put into a file and forgotten about. A few years passed and flicking through an old magazine revealed an
ACP Limited trailer
advertisement for the same design of trailer. The date of the advertisement was April 1949. Guy Salmon Automobiles was a business better known for car sales, not caravans or trailers. Yet here they were, in 1949, advertising the Aero trailer, at a heavily-discounted price - a little over 50% of the original list price in fact. The text claims that the few remaining trailers they had in stock were being sold at less than the cost of manufacture.

My suspicion is that the trailers were bought up in bulk, perhaps from a disposal sale at a knocked-down figure, enabling them to be re-sold at a comparatively low price, while still making a profit on them. Or were they distributors of the ACP trailer from the outset, and now just getting rid of stock they'd had knocking around for a while? The ad mentions that the trailers were a little shop-soiled. There is reference to a sales catalogue being available at Salmon's premises in Thames Ditton (Surrey), it'd be interesting to track a copy down one day. Features of the Aero included its low-lying and streamlined design, and its independent suspension. Being enclosed with two separate opening lids meant that the goodies being transported would remain dry, with no need for canvas covers or similar.
Evidence points to the ACP trailer not being in production for a lengthy period. Further research uncovered a piece in a motoring magazine from a year or so earlier, March 1948 to be precise. Here, the "streamlined lightweight trailer" was being promoted as a brand new product, built by Aero Caravan Products Limited, of Queen Street Mills, Batley, in Yorkshire. Forty cubic feet of carrying capacity was on offer, with its unladen weight coming in at a modest 140 lbs. Independent - and adjustable - coil-sprung suspension was a standard fitment. The price at launch? ten shillings over the 67 GBP mark. The magazine titled "Commercial Motor", also ran a story about the new Aero trailer, in their issue of 26th March, 1948.
Close-up view of the Aero trailer
How could Guy Salmon's advertise the trailers, just a year after launch, at such a heavily-discounted price? Was the original listed price just too much to stomach, for the average motorist in the post-war years of rationing? Or did ACP simply go out of business? It would seem not - according to The London Gazette, of 12th June 1964, the company was set to be wound up shortly, so several years after the trailer went onto the market.
If there are any more examples of the ACP trailer out there, I'd very much like to see a photo or two of them please.

News of another surviving Aero trailer!

Much excitement early in 2017 with the news of another surviving Aero. The following example belongs to Gary Tinsley, he spotted this page while perusing the 'net, and popped these photos onto the OCC Facebook page, which is where I spotted them. Great news. It's interesting to note the side panels fitted to Gary's trailer, his matches the example shown in the advertisement more closely in fact than the crusty survivor shown at the top of this page does. Maybe one was a deluxe version?!?
Many thanks for the photos Gary.
Gary's maroon Aero trailer
Front view
Gary's trailer behind his Rover P5B
Vintage and classic trailer section.

Old Classic Car homepage

Custom Search
Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2020. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers