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See Homepage. This page: A look at an almost-forgotten light commercial design of the 1950s, the Standard 7cwt.
Classic vans and pickups

The Standard 7cwt van and pickup.

Return to the Classic van & pickup section.
The 7cwt Standard van range
Just as with many light vans and pickups, the 7cwt Standard range was based largely on contemporary saloons of the 1950s, in this case the "8" and the "10". Earlier examples of the van or pickup featured the same front wings as the Standard 10 car, whereas later examples, such as those shown in these period images, featured the "improved" styling of the 1957 Standard Pennant, the last-of-the-line "10" before the introduction of the Herald range in '59. Standard were no strangers to producing various light commercials, as witnessed by the forward-control Atlas and the Vanguard-based vans, but the 7cwt range had a fight on its hands with competition from vehicles produced by BMC (eg the A35 and Mini van), Commer (eg the Cob) and Ford (with their 307E van) for instance, and survivors are relatively scarce today. Unusually, Standard designed a bespoke body for the van, rather than sharing key pressings with the contemporary Standard Companion estate car.
Standard 7cwt pickup truck
Under the van and pickup's bonnet lay the familiar in-line four cylinder engine, as found in the previous 8 (at 803cc) and 10 (948cc), and also in the early Heralds and Spitfires. This engine, a smooth economical unit, would go on to power Standard/Triumph/BL products until the early 1980s, albeit by this time enlarged 1500cc form (having already been stretched to firstly 1147cc then 1296cc). The catalogue for 1964 advises that by now the van's engine had been enlarged from 948cc to 1147cc, a capacity shared with the Spitfire 4 of 1962 (albeit in a lower state of tune). Buried within the engine lay a three bearing crank, overhead valves, and full-flow oil filter, designed to help the engine live a long life - ".. 50,000 miles between overhauls is commonplace" so the brochure says. Drive to the rear wheels was via a floor-change four speed gearbox, with synchromesh on the top three speeds.
The all-steel bodywork was of monocoque design (unlike the contemporary Minor vans and pickups), fitted with a flat "toughened" windscreen, two front doors, and - in the case of the van - two rear side-hinged doors. A roof ventilator, not dissimilar to that found on early Minivans and the A35, was also a van feature - allowing the van's owner to ".. carry different loads every day, with no 'perfumed' carry over". Other nice touches included the chrome bumpers & wing mirrors, silver front grille, and bright tread plates protecting the sills. At a time when many operators would be familiar with extremely basic van fittings found just a few years earlier, these little features would be very welcome. As many people seemed to smoke then too, the fitment of an ashtray would also no doubt prove popular. The 7cwt pickup was also an all-steel job, with integral rear bodywork and drop-down tailgate.
View of the van model
I ran a Standard 10 saloon myself for a while, and I can vouch for how pleasant to drive these little vehicles are. My car however had the two-pedal Standrive transmission, something that I don't think was ever available in the van and pickup, although if anyone knows for sure I'd be interested to find out. Surviving examples of the 7cwt are never a common sight at shows today, the very original looking pickup shown below was spotted at the Goodwood Revival meeting a few years ago.
Standard 10 pickup
More information on classic light commercials can be found in the van and pickup section, with free classifieds for the small Standard vans and pickups over here.
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