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Homepage. This page: An interesting ice cream van that spent its early years in the Morecambe area.

1956 Morris MCV ice cream van.

Photographs of old ice cream vans have appeared before on oldclassiccar, many of these images can be found on the page that looks solely at classic ice cream vans. This though is the first ice cream van to be included that has been built on the running gear of a circa 1956 Morris Cowley MCV, a range introduced in 1950 that utilised much of the running gear found on the MO Oxford saloon.
This picture is of a coachbuilt ice cream van operated by B. Lewis, of Poulton Square in Morecambe. The Cowley MCV was available as a factory-built van, a pickup truck, and as a chassis/cab onto which outside coachbuilders would build their own rear bodies. Who the coachbuilder of this Morris was I do not know, but it's certainly a fine looking machine and one from which many a young child no doubt bought a "99" from. Maybe someone reading this remembers the Morris and its owner, plying his trade around the towns and resorts of Lancashire?
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A classic Morris ice cream van
The van was registered XTF 38?, confirming its Lancashire roots and that it was built in 1956, shortly before the end of MCV production. By that time, just over 44,000 MCVs of all types had been built. As with most commercial vehicles, they tended to lead a very hard life and, as a result, few survive today.
Whereas the MO saloon was of monocoque construction, the 10cwt MCV range utilised a separate chassis - in the same way that the Minor saloons and light commercials also differed greatly under the skin.
Does this ice cream van survive perhaps? Of all the different types of vehicle typically built on a light commercial chassis, it is often the ice cream vans - and the camper vans - that survive the longest, as they don't tend to get the abuse of a "work" van or truck, and therefore last longer before being disposed of.

B. Lewis of Morecambe - owner of this Morris van.

A little research online brings up references to ice cream producer Mr Bruno Lewis, of the B. Lewis and Sons Ice Cream Company in Morecambe. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82, and seems to have been a well-known and liked figure in the area. Presumably this is the same B. Lewis as appears on this signwritten Morris?
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