Christmas time again?

Christmas time again?

For all Morris J type Vans, Morris JB vans and (BMC 50's vehicles)Torque! e-mail fiftiesvehicles@mail.com. The copyright of any photograph on this blog-site will remain with its owner. No infringement intended.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

GPO J type vans 60 years ago.

These interesting details taken from the GPO archives by Mr C Hogan. POVC.
On Wednesday 21st May 1952 a GPO mail van carrying HVP High Value Packets was intercepted by raiders. The 3 Post Office employee’s were violently attacked and their van stolen with a loss of £200k.
They were carrying old bank notes that were destined to be burned.
From then on these HVP vans had an alarm fitted and were followed by other GPO vans as the police were unable to provide an escort for each van.

No such HVP J type van has survived until now. (If the van turn out as good as the photographs suggest this will indeed be an interesting vehicle).
No trace of the alarm system seems to have survived but the different partition fitted (no sliding door) is a big clue to its former use.
Further details shortly.

Did you know? In 1950 the GPO ordered 3000 gents Universal bicycles and then a further 3000 in 1952.

In the 1952 Engineers-in-chief report, states the following problems with the new Morris J vans.
They were having operation and maintenance problems. 

1, Jumping out of 2nd gear.

2, Main wiring loom and starter cables had both given trouble owing to chafing at various points needing many additional clips to be fitted.

3, The starting handle brackets failed when used.

4, The battery box lids hinges needed improving to improve access to the battery master switch.

5, Many complaints about poor heating and ventilation.

From then on existing vans (whose drivers had complained) were converted to opening windscreens at a cost of  £4-12s-6d each, from November 1952 all GPO produced J vans where fitted with opening windscreens on the production line.
The first of these to be registered was MYE 100 in spring 1953.

6, Many GPO drivers complained that the driver seat were to high, a problem I’ve found, you almost have to duck your head to see through the top of the windscreen.
The GPO solution, where necessary the wooden seat base was made 2 ½ inches lower. That cured that problem.
Further interesting gems are yet to be uncovered.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Further pictures of the former Work Ambulance.

Point to notice is the roof has been cut back and fixed to the tops of the doors to give more headroom.



Inside the van were many boxes of bits, spare parts, new and old all wrapped up in old local newspapers from the 1980's.



Cut down door pocket cover, gives more light inside the van and better all round visibility.

A side valve engine but with out its cylinder head.

Overall a very sound van, rare as well and should be kept as an Ambulance.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Another JB van is rescued and restoration has already started.












The story of this van. The current owner of this van purchased it in 1984,  He stripped the van of the doors, panels, engine & other bits off the van and transported them and they have been in safe storage ever since.
The owner finally collected the van and transported it from about 60 miles south-east of Melbourne to his home about 100 miles to the north-west.

He is embarking on a total restoration and the van is already up on axle stands.
It is remarkably rust-free & complete in all original details under all that neglect damp; grime and  sump oil. It was kept in open storage since the mid-90's. - the sump oil coating was intended as an improvised conservation technique and it does seem to have worked. 
It is hoped that the new owner will start a blog/web site so we can all see the progress of the restoration or if not, carry on sending pictures to me and I will post them here.
The only part that is missing is the Metal Driver seat frame, any one have a spare?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Rather a lot going on in the J type world.

 The blue project van currently on e-bay is doing rather well, good news that people out there are willing to take on a big project. Also in view is another J van in Ambulance trim. Both these vans came from the same collection. It is thought the previous owner lost them as he had not paid his storage fee's for his collection of vans for over a year, so the landlord cleared them out about 6 months ago. The current owner of the Ambulance, I'm pleased to say is planning a full restoration and it is hoped we have persuaded him to keep it in Ambulance trim. There are not many of these left. Also we have now gained the chassis number and date of registration, so another gap in the J van data base has been fill.
 Picture taken many years ago when it attended a couple of rallies, always on a trailer and often left in the carpark.
News on the J that was recently sold on e-bay I'm told will shortly be moving to Scotland, I'm told it has been purchased for spares.
Another van that has been out and about is a Cummings bodied ice cream van. Registration number JVH 717, currently taxed and MOT'ed and first registered 20/5/1955.
What is strange is I cannot as yet find a picture of this van, any one out there have a snap.
As you know, this blog has two authors, well to go one better a group of us owners have decided to start a FaceBook page for the J van.
Now some of you may know about FaceBook. Well this is the idea.

Facebook and J type vans, sort of chalk and cheese. We all know what a J type van is but what I hear you say is Facebook? Well I would say “Facebook is an online social networking service, whose name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. It was founded in February 2004”.

Now there is a “page” on Facebook dedicated to the J van. Now, “why?” comes the question. Well its an idea, as many clubs are finding that “new” members are few and far between. To gain more members who we hope in the future (when we are long gone), will carry on and treasure our vehicles. The greatest slice of the population out there are the young, to reach them we must connect with them, maybe not using the same language (they do speak their own) but at least a medium (not because their dead from the neck up) that they understand and embrace.

Facebook is free, so there is nothing to loose but we might gain.

Of course any J van enthusiast who uses a computer can use the J type page. I hope they do, maybe to post events/pictures old and new/ gossip/ maybe owners going to a rally might post just that to tell other J fans to come along as well. Who knows how this site could evolve, it could become whatever the users want it to become.

Links to interesting web site/ personal blog sites and of course e-bay (so full of mad people now, not like the old days) can also be listed. Anything in fact to raise the profile of the J van and old vehicle clubs.

http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheMorrisJTypeVan?

Or search for Save the Morris J Type Van under pages on your Facebook home page. Any advertising is good, free advertising is better.

Remember Facebook has over one billion active users!!!
One of the first pictures posted on the site was one by Graham Carr, an ice cream van in action, a nice period shot of a working van.
I've never seen this picture before, how many other gem's are out there?
Anyone know anything about this van? Do let us know any details you have.
And too finish off todays posting, another period ice cream van picture, it would seem to be a good idea.
http://www.vividowebdesign.co.uk/russclassicices.co.uk/gallery.old.html

A list of chassis number and registration dates.

J/R 010 10/1949--J/R 649 1949--J/R 755 1/1950--J/R 1061 12/1949--J/R 1102 12/1949--J/L 1518 1950--J/R 1612 03/1950--J/L 2935 1951--J/R 4491 11/1950--J/R 6050 12/1950--J/R 6187 1/1951--J/R 10916 12/1951--J/R 10972 1/1952--J/R 14776 12/1952--J/R 145931/1953--J/R 15455 1/1953--J/R 16261 03/1953--J/R 18124 1952--J/R 19902 12/1953--J/R 20658 02/1954--J/R 21720 12/1953--J/R 23555 1954--J/R 24274 1954--J/R 25618 12/1954--J/R 25079 1/1955--J/R 25741 05/1955--J/R 29869 11/1955--J/R 30963 11/1955--J/R 3183110/1955--J/R 32465 11/1955--J/R 33340 1/1956--J/R 35466 1/1957--J/R 35671 12/1956--JB/MR 37200 06/1957--JB/MR 39547 12/1957--JB/MR 39012 1/1958--JB/MR 39648 1/1958--JB/MR 42533 1/1959--JB/MR 42677 12/1958--JB/MR 43367 1959--JB/MR 45648 1/1960--JB/MR 45693 12/1959--JB/MR 46009 02/1960--JB/MR 47648 12/1960--JB/MR 47907 12/1960--JB/MR 48069 01/1961--JB/MR 48219 01/1961
Approximate Production data for each year.
1949 750 vehicles -1950 5347 -1951 5051 -19524098 -1953 5027 -1954 6000 -1955 6894 -19563169 -1957 3284 -1958 3131 -1959 2965 -19602516 -1961 362
Total produced 48620


Ardingly Vehicle Show 12/7/09. Picture taken by Clive Barker.