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Morris Z Van.

Rob kindly sent in this first Z van photograph, after having contacted me asking if I knew of any Z vans for sale. His plan is to re-create a Morris Z that the family business ran in the 1950s, used to deliver Pink Paraffin to the outlying areas. Interest in old delivery vans and commercial vehicles is on the increase, with many companies, both large and small, tracking down and restoring old vans and lorries to the liveries of vehicles they once ran.
Z-Type Morris van parked alongside a Y van
I didn't know of any vans on sale at the time, but suggested a couple of magazines and classic lorry shows, that Rob might want to investigate. If anyone can help him track down a suitable van, either in good condition, or else requiring just a light restoration, please drop me a line and I'll forward your details on. Did GUV 849 survive into preservation? the vast majority of vans get a real hammering, so the chances that this 5cwt van survived are slim I suppose.

The GUV registration series was allocated to vehicles registered in the London area, and was introduced in April of 1942.

The eagle-eyed will have spotted that another van is parked alongside, also in the company colours. This one is the larger 10cwt Y series Morris, which if anything is even rarer than the 5cwt Z nowadays. A photograph showing the Series Y 10cwt van, with a K8 Austin alongside, can be seen here, plus you can read about an Australian Morris Y Utilevan here if you want to find out more about those vans.
The Z van was based largely on the Morris 8 saloon, and was a big favourite of the General Post Office, or GPO (an ex-GPO van is featured in the Your Stories section of this site, click here to read about this rebuild of a rubber wing 1945 Morris Z van). In fact the paraffin delivery van shown here could well have started out as a GPO van - it has the railway carriage-shaped door handles, and front overcentre bonnet catches of the GPO models, whereas standard vans had normal door handles and you used a 'T' key to operate the bonnet catches. The model came out in 1940, replacing the earlier Morris 8 5cwt, and continued in production throughout WW2, finally being replaced in 1953 by the Minor-based range.

2. Z van in the livery of Post Office Telephones.

Sadly out of focus, but still of interest, a period photograph showing a Z van, in use with Post Office Telephones. The carriage-style door handle can be seen clearly, as can the presence of the Royal crest on the rear body.
GPO van

3. Another London-registered Morris Z.

LUL 261 is also a London-registered Morris Z van, and again appears to bear evidence of being a Royal Mail / GPO / Post Office Telephones van. Giveaways are (again) the carriage-style door handles, and also in view, the over-centre bonnet clips unique to these vehicles. Civilian Z vans instead had budget bonnet locks, operated by using a T handle. The van in photograph #3 is parked outside a shop with Rowson above the door.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Another classic Morris Z van

4. Side view of a parked Z van.

Keith's Uncle Karl ran a clock, watch and jewellery business, and presumably used the following Z van during the course of his business. Unlike the vans shown higher up this page, this example has conventional door handles, so appears to have been sold directly to its business owner, rather than to the GPO, and then onto its next owner. Thanks for the photo Keith.
Side view of a Morris Z

5. Post Office Telephones.

Adrian's father, Alfred Furniss, appears in this next photo, stood alongside his Post Office Telephones Z van. The photo dates to around 1950. His father was based in Slough. The van is registered GUL 692, again a London-registered vehicle (as is the photo of LUL 261 further up the page). The GUL series came into being, unusually, during WW2 - 1942 to be precise.
The van was certainly looking "well used" at the time of this excellent b&w photo, both front wings and the grille bear witness to various low-speed scrapes acquired during its working life. Without a front bumper, the front panels on the Z were - are - particularly prone to damage. Thanks for sending it over.
Post Office Telephones van
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