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Homepage. This page: Two photos of a coachbuilt conversion undertaken on a 1960s Mini.

Austin Mini pickup hotdog catering vehicle.

Thanks to Stephen for permitting me to share the following two photos here on OCC. The Creasey Motorbodies coachbuilding firm was in business for decades, and they bodied all manner of interesting vehicles, many of which were substantial in size. Here though is one of their more compact creations - a mobile food vending vehicle, based on a 1964 Austin Mini Pickup. It was built for Drings Quality Foods, and offered customers a choice of hotdogs, king-size hamburgers and hot pies from the rear serving hatch. The pickup origins are clear to see in the first of the photos, and is reminiscent of the "Batman" ice-cream vans that also used BMC's Mini pickup as a basis.
Space to prepare (ie heat up) food was at a premium, and I don't quite understand how the vendor could possibly stand up in the rear, as he appears to be doing in this shot. Perhaps he had to kneel down the entire time? Or was there a flap in the floor that opened to the surface below, enabling him to stand up with his feet protruding underneath? If this was the case, then the fuel tank would have had to be re-located, as usually on Mini vans and pickups it would be located beneath the rear floor. Definitely an eye-catching and very interesting vehicle.
Both photos have been taken on a piece of land next to a garage. Other automotive gems in view are a Hillman Super Minx, a Ford Thames Trader lorry, and a 105E Anglia from the same manufacturer. Perhaps one or all of their drivers had pulled over, to avail themselves of a burger or hotdog served from the rear hatch of the "MINI BAR" - and who could blame them!?
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Converted Mini pickup into a hotdog van
Somewhat amazingly, given how few examples of any small commercials survive, Mini registration ERO 717B still shows as current on DVLA's system. Saying that, it hasn't been taxed since 1989 so two scenarios present themselves. One, it is sat in a shed or field somewhere, awaiting a return to the road. Or two, it was scrapped in 1989 and DVLA were not advised of this sad state of affairs. Hopefully the former is true. Given the popularity of mobile food catering vehicles based on classic vans to be found at food fairs and other outdoor events nowadays, it'll only be a matter of time I'm sure before a conversion based on a Mini pickup such as this emerges from someone's workshop. If it hasn't done already that is. If it does survive somewhere, hopefully it isn't just another pickup now, and still retains its groovy burger-van conversion.
The front view of ERO 717B exhibits a smart signwritten legend above the Mini's windscreen.
Front view of the Mini food catering van
Return to Page 21 in the motoring image archive, or visit the main index of vintage & classic photographs here. There are hundreds of old photos in the archive now, including quite a few relating to Minis in their various guises.

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