The McKay and Campbell Cars


You ask for details of the Mackay (sic) car built in Nova Scotia. The correct spelling is, in fact, McKay, and the car was based on the Pittsburgh (US) built Penn 30. Built first at Kentville and then (on a larger scale) at Amherst, the McKay utilised American Buda proprietary engines and was made in 30-h.p. roadster and 40-h.p. tourer form and was current from 1911 until 1914.

The first Campbell car built in Christchurch, Hants, was a one-off built by the Campbells, who had a blacksmith’s shop and cart and carriage building business. This was in 1902. They did not persevere, however, and it was not until 1922 that their successors J. Campbell (Christchurch) Ltd. re-entered motor manufacturing and this second attempt was hardily successful. In all, six chassis were laid down, five of which utilised 10.8-h.p. Coventry Simplex engines and gearboxes. They suffered from badly designed back axles, however, the trouble apparently stemming from a very small bronze bearing on the end of a very small bevel shaft, which quickly wore out. This caused the pinion to come out of mesh and the result was invariably a smashed duff. casing and crown-wheel and pinion.

The sixth car was, however, the most interesting, boasting a chassis almost two feet longer than its fellows and a tuned 11.9-h.p. engine (possibly a Domino). It was apparently built to compete at Brooklands, but probably never did. In road trim with blue streamlined body and aluminium bonnet one car was advertised (together with illustration), in The Light Car and Cyclecar, for £450. Described as very fast, an exceptional hill-climber, and ideal for fast touring, it was probably the only Christchurch Campbell ever advertised nationally.