Les sent this photo over from his collection, it shows a signwritten Series 2 Morris Minor van of 1953 or 1954. Visible differences between this and later Morris 1000 vans include the "cheesegrater" style of radiator grille, and the split-windscreen. By now the Minor had moved on from sidevalve power, thanks to the formation of BMC, and was now blessed with the (ex-Austin) A Series unit of 803cc, shared with the A30.
Unlike the Minor saloons, the van and pickup versions had a separate chassis, with the cab and rear body being two separate units, bolted to the chassis. Unlike the A40 vans which started out with aluminium (later steel) rear bodies, the Minors always had a steel rear panels, including the central roof section which on light commercials of this time was often a vinyl affair. The commercial variants were initially rated at 5cwt (quarter ton), and later re-designated as 6cwt (1098cc models), with an 8cwt version offered from 1968 onwards.
The van shown here was owned by Jet Petroleum, one of many smaller fuel suppliers of the postwar years that sprung up following de-regulation of the fuel supply industry. Jet Petroleum came into being in 1954, set up by John Willy 'Bill' Roberts, who had a background in the chemical industry, having worked for Trent Oil Products prior to WW2. The Jet approach was to supply fuel at lower prices to smaller, independent petrol stations, thus taking the fight to the 'big boys' in the fuel industry. With many still feeling the pinch after the war, motorists took to these affordable fuels, just as many people hunt down cheaper fuels on offer at the supermarkets today. In 1961 Jet was bought by Conoco, although the name continues to this day.
The Jet name was chosen by Bill due to his first tanker being registered JET 855, a Rotherham-area number. Happily this tanker survives and has been restored back to fitness. The logo used in the early days was based on the silhouette of a 1950's jet fighter, it's delta wing profile reminiscent of the Gloster Javelin and the larger Avro Vulcan. Thanks again to Les for the photo.
A Fillery's Toffees Minor van.
Both of the following two van photos turned up on Facebook, and belong to Mark Smith who ok'd their inclusion here, via Keith Belcher (a regular correspondent and supplier of many original photos of his own). Whether they both show the same Minor I'm not sure, the livery appears to differ slightly so my guess is not. The first view shows a Minor from the rear three-quarter angle. The registration - RDB 419 - hails from the Stockport area circa 1959. Note the rear windows, smaller on this era of van, larger on later examples. It also has aftermarket "Mickey Mouse" flashing indicator lamps fitted to the roof, a nod to the fact that it pre-dates the standard fitment of flashing turn signals.
The van belonged to Fillery's Toffees Limited, its livery also mentioning "Palm" brand toffee.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Next, a side view of a similar Moggy van, or possibly the same van but with "Fillerys" rather than "Palm" signwritten on the rear body side. The optional turn signals are in evidence fitted to the roof, and the wing mirrors look like a match for those shown on the van above. Behind the Morris is a much earlier machine, in the shape of an SS/Jaguar saloon. Thanks for the photos.
Slideshow of surviving Minors.
In addition to collecting original photos of Minors, I've taken plenty at shows, including of the commercial variants. Below is a video I put together featuring 222 photographs of surviving Minors, which hopefully will be of interest.