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Homepage. This page: A staged photograph of a coachbuilt J2 light commercial vehicle (LCV), plus other examples.
Original transport photographs
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1. A Morris J2 Van bodied by Caffyns.

Firstly on this J2 page, another photo from Les' extensive archives. This image shows a Morris J2 van that was bodied by Caffyns' body building works at Park Farm Estate in Folkestone, Kent. The van has been signwritten in the colours of Edwards (bakery) of East Street, Tonbridge, also in Kent. A roller-shutter door has been fitted, and sliding bread trays installed.
J2 van
The J2 van was first seen in 1956, and sold well until being replaced in 1967. Whereas the earlier J and JB vans had a separate chassis, BMC moved to chassis-less construction with the J2. Despite switching to a monocoque construction, the basic J2 platform allowed BMC to sell not only the van, but also pickup and minibus versions. The vehicle shown here however would have been supplied as a chassis and cab, quite a common option with light vans, so that specialist coachwork could be fitted by an outside coachbuilder which, in this case, turned out to be Caffyns. Perhaps the most numerous version of the J2 surviving to this day is the campervan, a number of which are still in use. Rarest is the near-extinct J2 Pickup, a period photo of which can also be found on this page. Both Austin 152 and Morris J2 variations of this light commercial were available.
The J2 was initially powered by the familiar BMC 1.5 B Series engine, as found in many cars of the time. This would later evolve into the 1622cc version in line with those fitted to Morris Oxfords and Austin Cambridges of the day. For people who valued economy over pace, a diesel option was also offered. In 1967 sale of the J2 range ended, being replaced by the 250JU which was in effect a re-designed J2.

2. A RAF Morris J2 minibus (possibly at RAF Hemswell).

Next, a line-up of RAF vehicles with a Morris J2 minibus (see news update below) parked nearest to the camera. All the vehicles bear evidence of RAF ownership, perhaps someone out there recognises the Morris' registration code 78 AR 56 and could hazard a guess as to these vehicles' location? Alongside the J2 is a Ford Thames ET6, or 4D if the diesel version, bodied as an ambulance. Note the bell fitted to the front wing. Furthest away are two Austin K9s, the military Austin based around the civilian Loadstar of the 1950s.
Various RAF vehicles including a J2 Minibus

More news regarding the above J2.

Several years after posting the above image on OCC, Dennis Weymouth dropped me a line, after stumbling across this photo of the actual J2 he used to drive - he adds the following:
"It almost brought tears to my eyes to see the J2 van (78AR56) in your picture! I frequently drove this van when I was an RAF Fitter on the Thor missiles in Lincolnshire. It was based at RAF Hemswell and was the better one of two J2s used by the Thor Periodic Servicing Flight at various missile sites around Lincoln. The other was 77AR49 which I would guess was scrapped. You'll see that the numbers are easy to remember! There is not enough of the picture to identify the location, but there is a good chance that it is Hemswell. Judging by the apparently good condition of the vehicle it was probably sold off when the Thor system ended in 1963."
Great to hear from you Dennis, it's always interesting when first-hand recollections of vehicles that feature in this corner of OCC turn up. After pondering his time in the RAF for a while longer, Dennis came up with a further tranche of recollections regarding this actual J2:
"I was in my early 20s then and often had the chance to drive the J2s. I learned how to drive recklessly in those vans when returning to Hemswell in the early hours after work. I was often goaded into taking corners at too fast a speed while the goaders in the back (senior technicians) would shift from side to side to keep the van on the road. These were the country roads approaching Caenby Corner, and there was little other traffic about in those days and none at that time of night."
"I remember that gear selection was pretty indeterminate; the column gear-change could make a fool of the inexperienced. Picture the scene:
You're driving the J2 up Lindum Hill in Lincoln. You're in Third but the tired engine is fading, you must change down. Second gear is notoriously hard to find, engage Neutral and double declutch, lift the gear lever and pull it towards you. You miss the slot for Second, back to Neutral, blip the throttle and try again. The gears graunch, back to Neutral and give it another go. The speed is falling off rapidly now and you must avoid the ignominy of stopping and starting again in First. The baying crowd in the back shout "sort 'em out driver". You shout back "I'm trying to find bloody Second” and they answer "it's where you left it". It's got to work this time as you're nearly stationary now. Be firm and decisive, thrust it up and back hard. Clunk, it's gone in, give it some revs and ease the clutch out. Christ! that's Reverse, the tyres squeal and crowd fall silent - but they've all been there."
"If you have contact with anyone else who drove this J2 I'd welcome their E mail address. I've lost contact with all those I worked with in those days, but there may be one or two still breathing!"
If anyone reading this remembers Dennis, please drop me a line and I'll forward your details.

3. A J2 public address van.

Photograph number 3 for this Morris van page sees a J2, with windows, acting as a speaker van for H. Bennett's public address service. The event was a school sports day on 5th July 1963, probably in the Farnworth area as the signwriting on the van announces that Bennett's was based in that town.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A J2 speaker van

4. A builder's pickup.

Ben got in touch, having found the site while researching J2s online. He's in the building trade, and in the 1960s the family firm ran a Morris J2 pickup. As already discussed, these are seriously rare vehicles today and while he'd be keen to buy another, for nostalgic reasons, the chances of one turning up are slim. My thanks to Ben for sending over a photo of the family's old Morris. Is that a BMC Driver's Club badge affixed to the front grille?
J2 pickup in the 1960s
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