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WW2-era Bedford breakdown wagon
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject: WW2-era Bedford breakdown wagon Reply with quote

The boxy front-end tinwork confirms this Bedford as being ex-military, presumably converted into a breakdown wagon after being sold off post-WW2.

Has anyone here driven one of these O-Series Bedfords?

http://ebay.to/1Kgx8JY



RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1458
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,

I started my apprenticeship in a place that rebuilt for the Ministry of Supply, among other things Bedford OYs. Between these and Austin K2 ambulances this is what I learned to drive in. This tow truck would probably be built on a short wheelbase OX chassis.

Art
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1174
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That square front is military, Rick. All the services used them, some with 4x4, then of course they were disposed of after the war.
Quite what the purpose of the different front was I can't quite see. The only explanation I've heard is that it saved on steel, but I cannot see how, as underneath it is the same as the ordinary O type.
Any ex- mil fans know different?
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1458
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emmerson,

They weren't disposed of right away. We were reconditioning them in the late 50s. When we were finished they were taken to a big field somewhere, usually Abingdon in Berkshire to await WW3.

As an aside, one of my tradesmen had left the army and a mate of his went to an auction to buy something to start a business with. He bid on what he thought was one of these and was quite happy to drive off with his purchase. A couple of weeks later he got a letter asking when he was coming for his other two trucks Very Happy

Art
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1174
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, that sounds about right!
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

47Jag wrote:
Emmerson,

They weren't disposed of right away. We were reconditioning them in the late 50s. When we were finished they were taken to a big field somewhere, usually Abingdon in Berkshire to await WW3.

As an aside, one of my tradesmen had left the army and a mate of his went to an auction to buy something to start a business with. He bid on what he thought was one of these and was quite happy to drive off with his purchase. A couple of weeks later he got a letter asking when he was coming for his other two trucks Very Happy

Art


Laughing
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 2448
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wartime front end styling was as such so basically in a simplified form it could be produced more cheaply and by various other companies. I would presume the dies for punching the sheet were easier and cheaper than forming the traditional shaped wings / bonnet.

Take a look at the Guy Ant or Morris Quad and they look even more 'squared' off.
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MartinC



Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are other stories of ex-WD lorries being bought at auction and the owner discovering the back was full of WD motorcycles!

The early War Departemnt (WD) lorries from Bedford used the civilian sheet metal. The WD complained about the difficulty of de-contaminating these after a gas attack. Of course we know gas wasn't used, but they didn't , and after the experinces of the Great War it was a very real liklihood. The flat panels made cleaning much easier. The design also gave much more room under the bonnet for military-spec equipment such as larger air cleaners etc.

The far more practical upshot of this, as mentioned by someone else, is that the lorry could be made much more cheaply, and more importantly after the Dunkirk debacle, much more quickly. That's the real benefit.

Vauxhall-Bedford's body press tools were still in full use, making a few H & J type cars, plus the Bedfords cab roof, back, & front wings were all still press-formed, plus they stamped out many thousands of steel helmets, and 'jerry-can' sides. I'm pretty sure I have one of each. I have a civilian 'Zuckermann' helmet and a jerry can both with "VM" stamped into them, 'Vauxhall Motors' I assume.

As an aside, Vauxhall were responsible for designing and building the Churchill tank, (including it's flat-twelve engine from scratch), and produced 250,000 vehicles during the war.
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Churchill Johnson



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
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Location: Rayleigh Essex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i worked for Woodyatt Motor's in Southend i used one of these OXO model and pulled in car's,van's and lorry's and even a coach. got it up to 60mph going down Rawreth lane once, this was during the time of a lot less car's on the road, it still had the desert tyre's on it and was sold to a transport firm in Eastwood who i believe used the engine for one of their lorry's.
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