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Homepage. This page: A rare in-period photograph of a CA van cut-down into a canopy pickup by a specialist coachbuilder.

Bedford CA Canopy pickup.

Watson's, a horticultural engineers in Weymouth, owned this Bedford CA Canopy, and it is seen here parked on a large empty field. Had they just bought this half-cab van? who knows, it certainly doesn't look to be in its first flush of youth. The paintwork is quite faded, and there are a number of scrapes and dents to the Bedford's bodywork. This is the first picture I've seen of a CA Canopy fitted with a canvas tilt over the rear load area.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Bedford CA Canopy pickup

Grosvenor conversion.

This conversion of a standard Bedford CA van (short wheelbase, Mk1) was undertaken by Grosvenor, and the basic shape of the original vehicle is obvious. Both back doors were removed during the modifications, being replaced with a drop-down tailgate, and the rear roof section was cut away, the line of the diagonal cut matching the rear of that found on the front doors. Many examples of the CA Canopy pick-up were used by builders, whereas others were pressed into service in a variety of other roles, including that of lightweight breakdown recovery vans. In the 1959 the basic CA underwent a number of revisions, most obvious being the adoption of a single-piece windscreen. Despite Bedford themselves now offering a wooden dropside pickup version of their popular van, the Grosvenor all-steel conversion continued to be offered - asking price for the latter in 1959: 569. Models of the CA van in its various forms, including the half-cab Canopy, can be seen over at Amazon, as the link here shows.
Bedford CA vans do turn up at shows and in the magazines, but the CA Canopy is quite a rare machine now. They were built in far fewer numbers when compared to the standard vans, and as a result, following an inevitably hard life, have only survived in very small numbers. The example shown below in red primer, was seen at a commercial vehicle auction in 2010, and also in online advertisements for sale. Parts for CAs are often advertised on the Bedford CA classifieds page on this site.
A Bedford CA canopy conversion seen for sale in 2010
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