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Homepage. This page: Two images of what must have been a unique conversion of a Ford Thames E83W.

Ford Thames E83W articulated transporter.

I first became aware of this amazing articulated transporter in the early 2000s, when updating a website I set up for the Ford E83W vans, pickups and derivatives. The Ford featured below was a specially-built articulated transporter, designed to carry Bond three-wheeler cars to dealers around the country. I assume the dealers weren't in too much of a hurry to receive them, given the leisurely performance of even a standard Ford van!! I posted a small image of the vehicle onto the E83W site, in the hope that more information might be forthcoming (link).
In 2018, David - a model-maker - dropped me a line, as he's been commissioned to produce this unique vehicle in model form. He's keen to establish the colours used on the Ford, clearly it had at least two different colour schemes during its life, as the photographs shown below demonstrate, but can anyone confirm which colours were used? Period literature suggests a preference at Sharps Commercials for using red lettering, but confirmation of the precise colour scheme(s) used would be much appreciated.
Information that accompanied the tiny image I posted onto the E83W site all those years ago stated the following: "Bradshaw's Motor House Ltd, Marsh Lane, Preston, constructed this articulated vehicle for Sharp's Commercials Ltd. The load of Bond Minicars weighs 16cwt. The tractor is a Thames 10-cwt model, and the trailer is 18ft long. The vehicle averaged well over 20 mpg". In 2005 I heard from the Bond Owners' Club, who added: "This articulated E83W was built in 1952 for Sharps Commercials, it was nicknamed the "Queen Mary" by the company and was intended to reduce the costs of deliveries of Bond Minicars around the country".
Photo number one shows the Ford in a dark livery, towing a trailer with just a single Bond Minicar proudly displayed on it. It looks like the company was taking part in a parade, probably in Preston - home to Sharps Commercials, manufacturers of the Bond three-wheelers. The E83W sports a couple of auxiliary spot lamps, and (non-standard) chrome-plated hubcaps.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Ford E83W artic lorry
Photo two is a side-on view of what's believed to be the same vehicle, albeit in a different livery. Four slightly earlier Bonds are loaded side-on in this view. I'm undecided whether the same trailer was being used in both scenes, or whether two lengths of trailer were built, depending on how many vehicles were to be delivered. I suspect that the Ford as it is shown in photo number one, is how it was when in use (the Bond loaded on it is a later variant), whereas in the photo below, it had just been built, was still in primer, and had yet to be adorned with the extra lamps and chrome hubcaps that are visible in the parade scene above. With the trailer fully loaded, I imagine that the E83W's steering would have been on the light side.
Bond Minicars
If anyone can help with David's quest to identify the colours used on the E83W, please drop me a line. Equally, if anyone remembers this vehicle, please get in touch. I wonder what happened to this Bond Minicar transporter, and how long it remained in service? Its registration was ERN 312, a late 1951/early 1952 Preston issue. Coincidentally, the Mark C Bond, the version shown in the parade, went on sale early in 1952.

More E83W content.

Fordson and later Thames-badged E83Ws may be found across the site, partly because I've long had an interest in them, and have owned a few. The pages linked to below also contain E83W-related content...
Return to Page 20 in the motoring photographs archive, or visit the main index here.

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