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Biographical entry Tarrant, Harley (1860 - 1949)

6 April 1860
Clunes, Victoria, Australia
25 February 1949
Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Business executive and Surveyor


Harley Tarrant was a partner in Tarrant Motor & Engineering Co, which built one of the earliest Australian-made, petrol-driven cars. The firm was successful in the two Dunlop reliability trails of 1905. Tarrant served on the governing committee of the Automobile Club of Victoria from 1906-1910, and he organised and participated in the club's competitions and tours.


Born 6 April 1860. Died 25 February 1949. MBE 1920. Articled as an engineer, surveyor, Nullarbor Plain, surveyor, New South Wales Department of Lands 1884-88, set up his own surveying business, Melbourne 1888. Patented a kerosene powered engine in 1897, built one of the earliest Australian made petrol driven cars in 1901, won two Dunlop reliability trials in 1905, began assembling chassis from imported components during World War I and by this time had a thriving spare parts, accessories and repair business. Retired 1918, came out of retirement in 1932 to take over production supervision at Ruskin Motor Bodies Pty Ltd, an affiliate of the Tarrant Company. First commanding officer, Victorian branch, part-time Australian Volunteer Automobile Corps from 1908, colonel in charge of Commonwealth military motor transport from 1914.

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Rosanne Walker