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Commer Cob my first van

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When I first start in my job i had one of these

After that I got one of these,and true to form it had load of clutch slave cylinders,closely followed by heads and the a few gearboxes :hrhr::shuriken:

Then we moved onto Ford escort van

And now in the ultimate van Ford Transit :thumbsup::shuriken:

Edited by nigeninja
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i first learnt to drive in one of these any one else remember them

Yes I remember them, they were bloody awful things, the body was very wide , but with a narrow track and they felt like they would roll over every time you took a corner.

First van I drove was a Bedford CA with the sliding side doors which were great for driving in the summer with those doors slid back, whistling at girls, but the footwell would get very hot with the heat from the exhaust, hot enough to melt the sole of my best pair of shoes.

First van I owned was an ex Staffordshire Water Board HA Viva Van (130 quid from the car auction), slept in it all night once in a multi storey car park in Glasgow (minus 7 degrees C) and nearly froze to death.

Also had a Marina van , I could never stop its fully floating halfshafts from leaking oil for longer than a month, it was mercifully stolen from outside my business one day (brother had left keys in it)

Last van was an 1982 Escort that I fitted an 1.6 CVH engine , 5 speed box and TurboTecnics conversion to(it started out as a 1.1), it was pretty fast back in the mid 80s and did great front wheel burnouts, handled great to, I miss that one :(

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You can say that again Billy! :hrhr:

Now for some Yank perspective.

I haven't worked in a lot of vans, but both my current and previous employers had me in these:


Cute little thing, easy to park, not bad outward visibility, but very cramped cockpit for a guy my size. Chevrolet, in their infinite wisdom, sacrificed some cab-space for cargo space and because there's a partition right behind the seats, rectifying the problem isn't worth the trouble, as the seat-mountings are rather specific and there may be shelves and such in the way of moving the partition rearward.

A year and a half ago I started driving one of these:


The one I drive is basically just like that except it has no window on the side-door, and this is a big deal because this is a rather large van. The picture doesn't really give a sense of scale- without the ladder-racks it's still about six feet eight inches tall, and a good six feet wide at least. The cab-door window isn't really very large and doesn't go back very far, which means that I have very little visibility to the right when preparing to pull into an intersection. On undivided two-lane roads this is especially troublesome, and I've nearly been hit a few times as a result.

The cab is MUCH roomier than that of the little Chevy, but the outward visibility is poor in just about every direction except straight ahead and the thing's size makes it difficult to park at times. Lots of room inside though for tools, parts, cargo, etc., and I carry both 6- and 8-foot ladders up top. Fuel consumption is horrific at around 15 USMPG, which is actually a real leap forward over what such vehicles got 30-40 years ago. Remember, this is a 5000-lb vehicle with a 4.6l gasoline V8 and 3-speed automatic transmission.

My boss drives one of these:


Same family of Ford van as the one I drive, but with more than twice as much weight-capacity (3500 as opposed to 1500), and a custom body fitted that has loads of compartments for tools and such, and even more room inside for larger items.

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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Whilst rebuilding the MG TC I had a 15cwt Ford Thames van....three of us had bought it, for £10 each, from a fellow member of the Richmond and District "Gremlins" model aircraft club....Mick Turner, by name. He had used it to transport his 350cc Manx Norton from race to race....a nice bike, but the engine had been developed beyond reason and would eat gearboxes.... The van soldiered on for several years; the trio of owners did a top end overhaul on the motor...which sits between the front seats inside the vehicle, so we were working indoors! Good thing, too, as it was pouring with rain...we had a fluorescent light dangled over the scene of operations and the whole job only took one evening with three of us ..... after we'd finished, we were a bit peckish so decided to wander across the road to the chippy. Between us, we could just raise the price of three pies and two portions of was beyond our combined we went back to the van and eat our greasy sustenance. Once finished, I discovered that all our hands had become miraculously CLEAN!!! Yes...we'd eaten the oily filth removed by the greasy chips........

That van did sterling duty transporting Peter Thornton's New Tiger Ragamuffins from gig to gig...all sorts of atrocities were committed in the back of it, thanks to the presence of a mattress discarded by a neighbour (!)...bloody luxury, that......and I finally sold it when i went off to join the RAF in 1971. During the delivery trip the engine mounts gave way and the whole motor lurched forwards under braking, the fan ate the radiator....but I made it to the new owner and he was still happy to take it, as he wanted it for spares!! Got £30 for it, all the trio of owners got their money back!!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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My first ride was an Ford 8cwt Escort van bought out of a fleet my Dad ran for £348.64 in 1976 (incl 4 months tax). I completely tastelessly pimped it as only a young chap can. Had to respray it away from company colours (yellow). Chose black, but did a bad enough job that my gloss black looked matt. The orange peel effect was actually very even and was occasionally mistaken to be what I meant to do. Inside I put lights under the floor, foam and carpet on the rear deck, pics on the walls, nice radio - it was a proper pash wagon, but sadly without the necessary other body. I had fog/spot lights all across the front grill, fog and spots on the back, and a central switch console I made to control everything that I was very proud of at the time. Ran it for a couple of years, then sold it to a fellow student for £400 and saw it written off two weeks later. Probably the best thing!

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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@ Nigeninja....I reckon you must have either worked for BT or the Post office?

I started in an old HA van as well.


Edited by TAR

It's getting there......

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  • 2 weeks later...

My second vehicle was a Hilman Husky, i think it was 1380 cc side valve. Used to give the Ford Squire and the Ford van (can't remember its name) a run for its money, but they only had 1172 side valve.

I remember doing a racing start from the lights once and took a tooth of the crown wheel.

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