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Homepage. This page: Interesting photographs of 1/2 ton Bedford Coupe Utilities in Australia.

1. Bedford PC Coupe Utility.

I've a soft-spot for these Bedford Coupe Utilities, or utes, having bought three utes (2x PC and 1x JC version) from New South Wales (NSW) in 2006. Brian Battle sent this old photograph over of a 1/2 ton Bedford ute that belonged to his father-in-law Ron. Coincidentally his ute was also registered in NSW, BPM 091, but none of mine came with any record of their original registration numbers. This is the first Bedford PC I've seen fitted with a rear canopy - Ron ran his own painting and decorating business, and used the Bedford for this. It must have been quite an improvement over the motorcycle and sidecar that he previously used for transporting his ladders around.
A Bedford PC Ute
The HC, JC and PC utes were built up in Australia using chassis and front end panels shipped over in kit form from the UK. The cab, with its split windscreen, the suicide doors, and the integral pickup body were built up by Holden and fitted to the English running gear. In the UK, there was no pickup version of the late 1940s, early 1950s, 10/12cwt Bedfords, just a van. Estate car variants were built by outside firms such as Martin Walter. A PC Utilecon by M-W can be seen on the classic estate cars page, while two rare photos of an Australian station wagon based on the Holden-bodied panel van can be found here.

2. David's circa 1950 Bedford.

Some rare colour shots of a Bedford PC Ute now, kindly sent over by David in Indooroopilly, Australia. His father purchased the ute secondhand in October 1955, then passed it on to him in 1962. David ran it for a couple of years, then part-exchanged it against a Mini. The first of the photographs sees the smart pale blue/grey Bedford parked at the roadside in Warwick, 1963. Aftermarket orange turn indicators have been fitted to the front of this example. Very smart. Small badges, reminding passers-by that the utility bodywork was produced by Holden, would have been fitted to the scuttle, just behind the lower rear edge of the front wings.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Side view of a 1950 Bedford
There then follows a rear view of the PC, taken in February 1964. The single original stop/tail lamp can clearly be seen, alongside the registration plate (502-795). Tiny flashing turn signals can just be made out, as can stick-on reflective strips. The illegible badge in the centre, above the registration plate, is the manufacturer's emblem.
Rear of the ute
Next, a rear three-quarter view of the Bedford, parked at the Central Motel, with a VW for company.
Rear 3/4 view
Finally in this set, a side view of the fully-laden load bay. Thanks to David for allowing me to share his photos on this page.
The ute's load bay

3. Three more Australian utes.

Bill has a number of old family photographs, several of which just happen to feature Bedford PC utes in them. Of the Anglo-Australian "utilities", Bill remembers the following:
"I am an old bloke, 77, living in Victor Harbor, South Australia. My grandfather was a builder and had a Bedford PC ute, I reckon it was a 1948 or 1949 and pale green in colour."
"My father bought one in 1951, also pale green, it was his first vehicle and was new. I was an only child and in good weather I always sat in the back. Later on he bought a canopy which was made of timber and Masonite with canvas, that rolled down above the tailgate. After buying the canopy, I was always consigned to the back as dad was a big man and there was not a lot of room in the front."
The first of Bill's photos sees his father behind the wheel of his new ute, registration 312-075.
"It was taken in 1951 as we were about to leave 19 Swindon Road, Oakleigh, a suburb of Melbourne, and head to Payneham near Adelaide where we lived. Dad has his arm hanging out the window and it was his first set of wheels. I was 11 at the time. I had forgotten that it only had a wiper on the drivers side windscreen."
Bill's dad in the new ute
"The people [in this next photo] are Len and Roma Woodhead and myself, I was 11 or 12 at the time this was taken before we left Melbourne.
Rear view of the Bedford PCV ute
"The third photo was taken on a camping trip to Wallaroo. I was just a boy as you can see in the photo. The canopy is canvas and Dad must have bought the flasher canopy later, as I said about before. His next ute was a 1954 Holden and that had an aluminium canopy."
A trip out to Wallaroo in Australia
"This was our neighbour's Bedford ute, he was a painter by trade. They are snowmen on the fenders so he must have been up to Mount Lofty when it snowed, we only get snow every 15 to 20 years or so. I would say his was a 1949 or 1950, as I know he had it before dad got his."
Front view
"This one is my grandfather and his Bedford PC ute taken at Christies Beach, he was a builder and going by the number I would say it is a 1949 or 1950."
Rear view
The photos are great Bill, thanks so much for emailing them over to share on here :-)
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