Article header
Parts
Homepage. This page: A photo from George's family album, showing a 400E Ford van, plus other 400Es.

A Ford Thames 400E minibus at the beach.

George kindly sent this photo over, scanned from his family album and originally taken on a family holiday to the seaside in 1964. Two vehicles are present, the aforementioned Ford Thames 400E, in minibus guise, and an E-Series Vauxhall Wyvern. Note the inflated tyre inner tubes, in which the assembled friends would bobble about the waves in - simple seaside fun, with no sign of a mobile phone or jet ski anywhere! Just off to the left are the seaside beach huts. All it needs is some donkeys and a period ice cream van to complete the scene!
Ford Thames 400E camper van
The 400E light commercial was Ford's belated replacement for the upright E83W range, built throughout the 1960s until such time as the all-new Transit was ready for market. Several versions were available, including the basic van, pickup, and of course the estate car (minibus) as shown here, made famous as one of the initial getaway vehicles in the film, The Italian Job. Camper van versions of the Thames 400E were also numerous on the roads of the 60s and 70s. Several outside firms converted 400Es for this purpose, including Calthorpe, Kenex Coachworks, and perhaps best known - Martin Walter Ltd, already well established in the field of converting basic vans into campers, estate cars, and other useful multi-purpose vehicles, or MPVs..

2. Another 400E camper in North Wales.

Daniel emailed this Ford 400E picture over, after having discovered a cache of interesting black and white photos at a boot sale. The location looks like the quayside at Conwy in North Wales, sometime during the early 1960s. Other motors in view include a Morris Oxford and an A30. Can anyone confirm which of the outside coachbuilding firms was responsible for converting this 400E van into a camper?
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A 400E camper van in Wales

3. 400E dropside pickup truck.

Les kindly dipped into his archives and sent over a scan of this next photograph. It's a press photo for the Thames 400E dropside pickup truck. In addition to the van version, the 400E was available as a chassis cab, onto which a variety of bodies - built either by Ford or outside coachbuilders - could be fitted. Buyers could choose to specify their 400E as a mobile shop, milk float, Luton box van, or pickup truck, to name just a few of the bodywork types on offer to Thames owners.
400E dropside pickup truck
Return to Old Vehicle Photos Page 7.
A toy minibus version of the 400E can be found here, in the classic toy cars section of the site. Parts adverts for the 400E can be found here, also here at oldclassiccar.

Old Classic Car homepage

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers