Original Vintage & Restored Leather Keyrings for Classic Cars & Motorcycles


A few favourite keyrings from those winding lanes of yesteryear

1950s art deco style medallion keyring

This superb gunmetal or bronze medallion came to us in a collection of vintage keyrings and will probably date from the 1950s although it has been produced in the ‘art deco’ style of the 1920s .

It depicts a four spoked steering wheel in the grasp of a pair of hands which emerge from the sleeves of a traditional linen jacket and are in the correct  ‘ten minutes to two ‘ driving position .

We have inlaid the medallion into a new keyfob in oak bark tanned leather .

Scammell commercial lorry keyrings from the 1960s

These Scammell keyrings are some of the most beautiful quality keyrings which were ever produced for cars & lorries and are a shining example of just how good English keyring manufacturing rose to in the 1960s & 1970s .

Very few of those Scammell keyrings that were used will have survived the rigours of life on the road in a commercial vehicle .

In our opinion these keyrings are some of the most original & iconic vehicle keyrings which were ever made – and show the affection which these lorries were held in by transport companies and drivers alike .

The keyrings are beautifully made with a nickel plated badge with jewellery quality vitreous enamel detail in the shape of a Scammell lorry radiator mounted onto a keyring in genuine tan pigskin leather .

The back of the keyfobs is gold embossed with the legend :-  ‘ IF YOU’VE GOT A LOAD TO MOVE GET A SCAMMELL ‘

Pigskin leather was ( and is ) a very expensive material and was usually reserved for keyrings for prestige cars such as Jaguar & Aston Martin – not usually for lorries !

Using such an upmarket material for these keyrings shows the pride which owners and drivers of these vehicles had all those years ago ( and still do have  )

The vehicles which Scammell produced are so well known that they need no description here – sadly Scammell ceased producing lorries in the late 1980s.

National Benzole keyrings from the late 1950s

National Benzole was a petroleum brand in the United Kingdom from 1919 to 1957 when it merged with Shell-Mex & BP Ltd.

National Benzole’s Mr. Mercury in his winged helmet became one of the most powerful marketing images of the 20th Century.

National Benzole keyrings were distributed from fuel stations in the UK in colossal quantities in the 1950s and were often given away to coincide with National Holidays as can be seen from the labels attached which date from 1957 .

An Albion Lorry keyring from the 1960s

Albion Motor Co.  of Finnieston Street in Glasgow Scotland produced the famous Chieftain, Clydesdale & Reiver trucks .

Albion’s motto was ‘ Sure as the Sunrise ’ .

The Albion Reiver was a 6 wheeler truck and was immortalised by Mark Knopfler

( originally of Dire Straits fame ) in his 2009 song :- ‘Border Reiver ‘ .

Knopfler was originally from Newcastle and the Reiver was close to his heart and roots as the original term ‘Border Reiver’ related to Scottish clansmen whose chief activity was cattle rustling and other misdemeanors operating on both sides of the Scottish/English border to avoid being arrested by forces from either country.

“ Southern bound from Glasgow town, shes shining in the sun
My Scotstoun lassie, on the border run .
Whistling down the hillsides and tearing up the climbs
I’m just a thiever, stealing time
In the Border Reiver.

Three hundred thousand on the clock and plenty more to go
Crash, box and lever, she needs the heel and toe
She’s not too cold in winter but she cooks me in the heat
I’m a six foot driver but you can adjust the seat
In the Border Reiver

Sure as the sunrise, that’s what they say about the Albion “

Motor dealer keyrings

In the 1960s motor dealers soon started to issue keyrings with their own details on with cars which they had sold – here is a lovely early example from the 1960s with jewellery quality vitreous enamel and a sheath of wheat as a logo.

Not actually a motor dealer keyring – but a charming keyfob badge from the 1960s promoting Silver Fox Stainless Steel – probably Sheffield based .

The badge was made by the famous CUD company ( Castles Unit Development Co. of Leicester ) as can be seen on the reverse of the badge .

CUD made the late 1950s & 1960s torpedo car keyrings which are so sought after by collectors .

Also on the back of the badge can be seen the initials ‘ TPL ‘ scratched into the badge – doubtless engraved by the owner of the keyring who decided to personalise his own keyring before personalising became fashionable!

Indian motorcycle keyring

This Indian motorcycle badge came to us from USA and was probably intended as a watch fob badge rather than as a keyfob badge .

Nonetheless – our subject is keyrings so onto a keyfob it was mounted .

Difficult to put a date on the badge – but it is certainly not as old as the last Indian Chief motorcycle to come off the production line in 1952 just before Indian     sadly ‘ bit the dust ‘ .

It was only the late Indian Chiefs which actually had an ignition key which needed a keyring – so this keyring will probably end up being used in an Indian owner’s car rather than on their motorcycle !

1980s Leyland Tiger bus keyring

This keyring will have travelled the length & breadth of the UK very many times over and probably most of Europe as well – in a Leyland Tiger bus which is the vehicle which it represents .

Whilst the leather keyfob itself has seen very considerable use and is now worn in and polished with use like a comfortable pair of boots :-  the enamel badge is completely intact and without an enamel chip or even a small scratch – which is quite remarkable – this keyring  was obviously a treasured possession and a badge of honour.

It has now been received by us to be treated simply as merchandise amongst all of our other vintage keyrings – which seems rather sad after the illustrious life it must have led.

To us – a keyring in this very carefully used condition is of far greater value than a new old stock keyring which has spent it’s life forgotten at the back of a cupboard drawer rather than out on the open road.

And finally.. a selection of ‘ age worn ‘ keyrings which have ‘ had a life ‘ winding their way along the lanes of yesteryear

These keyrings are still perfectly serviceable and have many more miles left in them yet and would look very much the part in use in an original condition car or motorcycle which has not suffered the indignity of over- restoration .

A few years ago keyrings in this condition would not have been considered saleable but the market has changed very dramatically .

Nowadays many customers do much prefer a keyring which has ‘ had a life ‘ rather than one in new old stock perfection .

Venerable old keyrings like these were brand new almost 60 years ago and dangled from the ignition of a similarly brand new motor car or motorcycle as the ignition key was turned on for the very first time .

Fast forward almost a lifetime and that keyring has now travelled countless thousands of miles probably in several different vehicles but usually with the same driver .

It has only been as a result of repairing many hundreds of keyrings for customers over the years that we have begun to realise the significance of these aged jewels and the sentimental importance in which they are held by their owners irrespective of condition .

Keyrings like these have become talismans which have accompanied their owners on all their journeys through life .

If only keyrings like these could talk…………….