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The History of Commer - one of the oldest established Commercial Vehicle manufacturers in Great Britain

Sales Promotion Department, Commer Cars Ltd., Luton, c.1963.

Ever in forefroont of road transport development, Commer Cars Ltd. of Luton today produce a wide range of commercial vehicles for goods and passenger carrying purposes; all of them enjoying an envieble reputation in their different spheres, as may rightly be expected from the products of one of the oldest firms in the industry.

The Company was founded as far back as 1905 when a group of pioneers made exhaustive experiments with the "Linley" gearbox. So successful were these expemnents that a small syndicate was formed and a factory opened in Taybridge Road, Lavender Hill, London where the first commercial industrial vehicle was built - a 4 tonner with iron tyred wheels and upright steering.

It is worthy of mention that the “Linley” gearbox of over forty years ago had its change speed lever positioned just below the steering wheel; a position still favoured by certain car manufacturers. Furthermore, by virtue of its ``pre-selection'' of gear changes, the "Linley" gearbox anticiated the moder "Wilson" pre-selective gearbox of some twenty years.

At that time, of course, commercial motor transport was in its infancy but it was not long before these pioneers realised the vast potentialities of the commercial motor vehicle.

It is not surprising therefore, that in 1906 land was acquired on what was at that time the outskirts of Luton, and on this site a small factory was erected. These Works formed the nucleus of the extensive modern buildings which now constitute a conspicuous landmark to travellers on the main-line railway from St. Pancras.

With larger and properly equipped Works at their disposal, the Company developed its trade both at home and overseas. Business houses of repute gradually recognised the decided advantages of speeding up their delivery service by adopting mechanical transport, with a result that Commercial Cars Ltd. (as the concern was then styled) played a very prominent part in meeting, the requirements of traders and industrialists.

In 1907 production commenced on the first Luton-built 'SC' type vehicle, which carried a 3 ton payload aand employed a four-cylinder 'T' head engine developing 30 h.p., the final drive being by chains. About seven vehicles were manufactured and some sixty men were by now employed. It is interesting to recall that during the year, Commer won a Silver Medal in the first Commercial Vehicle Reliability Trials held, other competitors being Lacre, Dennis (assembling but not manufacturing), Thornycroft, Leyland (Steamers), Albion, and Hallford, the latter being built by J. & E. Hall Ltd. under licence from the Swiss firm of Saurer.

A year later the 'HC' four-cylinder 2 tonner and 'LC' two-cylinder 30 cwt. models were introduced. The 'HC' was the forerunner of the 'RC' 3-1/2 to 4 tonner which, with modifications and improvements continued to be produced until 1928.

In 1909 the first covered top double-deck buses were built, 1e the range of goods models now included the 'MC' 2 tonner and the 'YC' 3 tonner. These two new load carriers were of lighter construction and incorporated aluminium oil bath chain cases. During this year, five engines of various types, having as their basis the 'CC' and 'KG' models, were also introduced. The 'CC' and 'KC' moiels were originally rated at 4-1/2 and 5-1/2 tons respectively, and they were followed by the 'PC' model which was rated at 6-1/2 tons.

The year 1910 saw a further extension to the Luton Works and, in addition, the introduction of the first Commer live axle model, a 30 cwt. freighter known as the 'BC' type, and one powered by a 20 h.p. four-cylinder engine. Soon afterwards Commer produced their first ``Torpedo'' char-a-banc, of which type they claim to be the originators.

After developing their home markets, the Company decided on a vigorous appeal to overseas buyers, and a special study of conditions in various parts of the world was made by technical representatives sent out from Luton.

As a direct outcome of this research, vehicles were built to meet special requirements, among which, at that time, were orders of a certainly un-conventional nature. These included machines with 'straked' wheels for Patagonia; with power-hauling gear for New Zealand; and with steel tyres and hauling gear for Siberia. With vehicles shipped also to Australia, U.S.A., Canada and elsewhere, the popularity of Commer was now becoming wide-spread.

The Company's ramification rapidly extended, and in 1912-14 the range of vehicles manufactured comprised twelve models. This range covered load carrying vehicles from one to six tons, passenger carrying chassis for accommodating bodies seating from 16 to 36 passengers, and chassis designed for use as fire engines. A steadily increasing demand made it imperative for the factory to be further enlarged, until at the outbreak of War in 1914 its area had been doubled, and the productive capacity correspondingly increased.

The year 1914 witnessed the introduction of the '3P' live axle passenger model which was considered well in advance of its time, but the War intervened and the new vehicle was not put into production until 1919. In addition, a 3-1/2 ton W.D. Subsidy chassis which had been designed in 1912 and which had completed its acceptance trials in 1913 was now manufactured to meet the requirements of the W.D. Subsidy Scheme. Interest is attached to this model by reason of the fact that the engine embodied plain bearings instead of the usual ball hearings, while the rear axle was of the double reduction (bevel and spur) type.

By this time a 'boom' period had been reached and Commer's called on Hillmans and Dormans for assistance, the first engines produced by Dormans being of Commer design and pattern. Many types of vehicles were now being manufactured including Buses, Char-a-bancs, Fire Engines, Water Carts, Hand and Mechanical Tippers, together with various fitments such as hoists, hauling gear, etc.

When War was declared all the chassis then ready for delivery, as well as those in various stages of construction, were commandeered by the Army and the Company was instructed to concentrate upon the production of one type of chassis, the 'RC' 4 ton chain-driven type of which some 5,000 were supplied. It is not without justification to say that they fully maintained the reputation which Commer had by then achieved. Peak production was reached in 1916 when, with 1,000 men employed, the output topped 640 vehicles. A further extension to the factory was made necessary to accomodate Drawing Office, Receiving Store, Gear Cutting Section, and General Stores.

At this juncture it is interesting to recall the adventures of one particular Commer during the first Great War. A German convoy, captured by the British on the Western front was found to include a Commer lorry. Its appearance in these circumstances being somewhat un-accountable, enquiries weze instituted which proved that the vehicle was one supplied to the Russian War Office in 1912. It had been used by the Russians in their operations in East Prussia, was captured by the Germans and transferred by them for service in France, where after a period of use, it fell into the hands of the British, who, in turn, employed it against the enemy.

After the conclusion of hostilities, the Company was faced with the difficult problem of re-establishing a commercial business which had practically disappeared. However, a comprehensive range of models comprising vehicles of from 2 to 10 tons carrying capacity was gradually evolved. The '2G' live axle model eventually superseded the 'MC' and 'YC' chain-case models. Some 400 were put into production but they did not sell as rapidly as anticipated and the slump came. At first the heavier models were fitted with chain transmission - a form of final drive of which the Conpany had always been exponents - but in conformity with the modern trend of design it was gradually replaced by worm drive. In addition, round about this period the "Thomas" gearbox was being developed, but it did not completely supersede the "Linley" box until about 1926.

As a result of the continued slump, a Receiver and Manager was appointed in April 1922. In 1926, however, a new epoch in the firm's development began, for negotiations were then concluded for the sale of the business to the famous Coventry firm of Humber Ltd. The results of this amalgamation were almost immediately reflected in price reductions, which acted as a great stimulus to the Commer business.

During the period 1926-29 many notable mechanical improements were made and further new models were announced. As an example, a new plain bearing four-cylinder engine with pressure lubrication was designed and developed by Luton engineers. It was available in two sizes, 105 mm. or 110 mm bore by 140 mm stoke. The larger unit developed 90 b.h.p. at 3,000 r.p.m., a remarkable achievement in those days for an engine rated at 30 h.p. New models included a range of live axle chassis with worm drive. They were the '3PC' for 3 ton loads, one which retained the torque tube system for the drive, and the '3G' and '4G' (4 ton) which employed the 'Hotchkiss' system of taking the drive thhough the rear springs.

A passenger model known as the '2P' (MT), designed exclusively for operation on pneumatic tyres, was introduced and it accommodated 20 and 50 seat omnibus bodies for wheelbases of 14' 6" and 16' 0" respectively. A four-cylinder ball-bealing engine (115 mm x 140 mm) was originally fitted but on its replacement by a plain bearing engine the model was designated the '4PW'. At a later stage a forward control version known as the '4PF' was introduced.

Goods carrying chassis were powered with the new plain bearing engine. They were known as the '2-1/2 GN' (2-1/2 ton), '3GN' (3 ton), '4GN' (4 ton) and '5GN' (5 ton), and all were worn driven and fitted with the "Thomas" gearbox.

In 1927 a 30 cwt model with the "Humber" 15.9 h.p. four-cylinder engine and gearbox was placed in production; and fitted with pneumatic tyres it became fairly popular. Special passenger models, four or six wheelers with normal or forward control, were designed and built. Designated 'H4', 'F4', 'N6' and 'F6' they accommodated bodies with seating capacities of 26 or 32 passengers according to type, but only a limited number were produced.

The next big event in Commer history was the taking over of the concern by Rootes Securities Ltd. This occurred in 1928 and, very shortly afterwards, greatly increased activity in the factory became apparent. With the strong Export Division which accompanied the Rootes merger, and the considerable strengthening in Home distribution, to say nothing of the fact that the finances of the Company were put upon a thoroughly stable basis, the name Commer became more and more in evidence.

In the following year a modified form of the ``Humber'' 6-cylinder "Snipe" engine was used to power a new light 20 seat passenger vehicle - the ``Invader''. This power unit embodied in unit construction a new gearbox with ``silent third'' helical gears. A similar power unit was employed in a 2 to 2-1/2 ton goods model known as the 'G2'.

Later a new six-cylinder engine designed by Luton engineers was introduced. It has a bore of 105 mm and a stroke of 140 mm and developed 105 b.h.p. This unit was installed in a new passenger chassis - the "Avenger" - to take 52 seat single-deck and 50 seat double-deck bodies. It was also used for a goods chassis to carry up to the maximum permissible gross loading for a four-wheel chassis of 12 tons, so permitting pay loads of about 6-1/2 tons. Correct axle load distribution was obtained by locating the front axle entirely behind the engine. Although only mall numbers were built, both models were entirely successful.

In 1950, goods models were improved in detail and re-christened 'G3', 'G4', and ‘G5'. Two years later these models were given the appellations 'GL3', 'GL4' and 'GL5', being of lighter construction and available also as forward control models. Pneumatic tyres were standard and four-wheel brakes could be fitted at extra cost.

In substantiation of the great advantages accruing from co-ordination of resources and production facilities under the rootes regime it may be mentioned that the selling price of the "Raider" 1-1/2 tonner introduced in 1931 showed a reduction of well over £100 in relation to the price of the 30-cwt model previously produced.

The first Combined Convention of the newly formed Rootes Group to announce their new model cars and commercial vehicles took place at Coventry on September 27th, 1932 when the Humbber-Hillman-Commer programmes for 1933 were announced to Trade and Press. This was a great display and the L.M.S. Railway rose to the occasion by arranging for the two special trains from Euston to set up a new speed records both on the outward and return journeys. This they did handsomely - the best time being 83 minutes for the 94 miles!

Further new types were introduced during the period 1932-1935, these including the "Centaur" 2 tonner which together with the "Raider" enjoyed outstanding popularity. 1933 saw the end of the worm driven series of goods models in the 3, 4 and 5 ton chassis and the introduction of a light 3 tonner, the 'B3', developed from the 1-1/2 ton "Raider" and 2 ton "Centaur" range. These lighter machines were inspired by the demand for vehicles to operate with maximum load at 30 m.p.h. and in the £30 a year tax class.

It is not without interest that in late 1931 the Rootes Group acquired the old established business of Karrier Motors Ltd., Huddersfield, and the transference during the following year of this organisation to Luton resulted in a strong and virile commercial vehicle combination being formed. The Luton factory was further extended and modernised and an entirely new range of trucks known as the Commer "N" series was introduced. This covered vehicles from the nippy 8 cwt delivery van to the sturdy 'made-for-the-load' 5 tonner with a maximum unladen weight of 2-1/2 tons, and production on an ever increasing scale continued until 1939 when the new "Superpoise" range was announced as Commer's greatest achievement in 34 years of colourful history.

This range - five distinct models ranging from to 6 tons - had special distinction since it possessed to a degree never previously achieved, the time-tested virtues of both normal and forward control. the consummate success with which the Luton designers co-ordinated into one unit the attractive characteristics of hitherto distinct types represented a most important step in commercial vehicle development and was indicative of Commmer's progressive spirit. The name "Superpoise" was inspired by the well balanced loading conditions of all models in the range which were offered with petrol or diesel engines to choice. Furthermore, by virtue of alternative wheelbases being available a wide variety of bodywork styles could be accommodated.

Such was the success that attended these new models in all branches of industry that it was found necessary to make yet another extension to the Luton factory, and with the object of further speeding up production many improvements were made to existing plant. At a cost of many thousands of pounds there was complete re-organisation of the Assembly Shop, construction of a new Stove Enamelling Plant, and the installation of more modern machinery. This completed, the Company's extending business could be looked upon with equanimity, since production facilities were now equal to the heaviest demands.

Then came the second World War, and it was indeed fortunate, in more senses than one, that the Commer-Karrier factory at Luton had previously commenced to manufacture certain types of military vehicles known to be favoured by the Army, Navy and Air Force, for it enabled valuable experience to be placed immediately at the displsal of the Government, and September 3rd 1939 saw the factory fully prepared to co-operate with the authorities in the fullest possible way and for plans covering the accelerated production of special type vehicles to be made effective.

The success with which these plans developed through the years of war is indicated by the manufacture of upwards of 20,000 Commer vehicles - to say nought of a further 10,000 Karriers - ranging in size from the small 15 cwt load carriers to the sturdy ``Superpoise'' 4-5 tonner, modified to give a reliable cross-country performance and which in tractor form hauled the R.A.F.'s sixty-foot ``Queen Mary'' trailers on many battle fronts.

With victory, came the gradual 'change over' to production for civilian usage. A comprehensive programme was planned - ranging from the small 8 cwt van to the large articulated 8 ton ``Commer-Hands'' tractor-trailer - and the early months of 1946 saw a great change in the types of vehicle leaving the dispatch shop of Commer-Karrier, for the cross-country treads and camouflage of wartime products quickly gave place to smart 'commercials' in civilian dress and colours, and from their appearance it was evident that, as in pre-war days, clean design and sturdy build were to be the outstanding characteristics of Commer trucks in post war years.

Lessons learned and the invaluable knowledge acquired during six years of war were applied to the further advancement and performance of post-war vehicles, and by virtue of these improvements they approached a new peak in both conception and workmanship.

In 1948 an entirely new range with 'under-floor' engine was introduced, embodying porous chrome cylinder bores, a feature since proved to extend periods between overhauls to a startling degree. Available as a coach, 5 or 7 ton load-carrier or 10-12 ton articulated unit, many of these models have covered nearly 400,000 miles with negligible mechanical failure - truly a remarkable achievement.

Then, in 1953 a new, attractive 1-1/4 ton forward control van was introduced, and to complete the range two 'Pick-Ups', the medium Duty 'Pick-Up' - hitherto available only on the export market - and the Light 'Pick-Up', based on the ever-popular Express Delivery Van were offered.

An idea of the remarkable increase in production that took place at the Lutun factory can he gained when it is stated that 215 per cent more vehicles were produced in 1953 than in 1938-9. To expand still further the activities of Commer Cars Limited a new £1 million assembly plant, covering 100 acres, was started in 1953 at nearby Dunstable to additionally consolidate the prominent position enjoyed by the Company in world markets.

The work was comleted in 1954 and production began in the large, modern factory and by 1955 the assembly of all Conmer and Karrier vehicles was concentrated in the new Plant. On October 21st 1955, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Commer Cars Limited, the last vehicle came off the assembly line at Luton. The space made available in the main assembly shop at Luton was replanned to give better working conditions with a consequent increase in production, and is now used solely for the production of rear and front axles.

In 1955 a new range of Commer 'Superpoise' six cylinder models of 2-3, 3-4 and 5 tons capacity were announced. The striking feature of these models was the new, comfortable 'full-view‘ cab. The same year a new range of four-cylinder o.h.v. 'Superpoise' models was introduced. This range consisted of a ton 'Pick-Up', and 3/4 and 1-1/4 ton vans.

1956 brought several new Common models and improvements of others. In February a new 7 cwt van was announced - the Commer ‘Cob'. This light van combined the comfort of a private car and the versatility of a service vehicle. Powered by a four-cylinder side valve unit the impressive new van with its low fuel consumption, low maintenance costs and all round reliability soon became a firm favourite with the tradesmen and pleasure seekers.

Later that year there were several simultaneous annomoements. A new de-luxe cab was introduced for the ton 'Pick-Up'. A new range of diesel engined tractors were announced, the models being a Commer-Scamell automatic coupling 10 tonner, a Commer-SAE-SMMT fifth wheel 10 tonner and Commer-SAE-SMMT fifth wheel 12 tonner.

The economic, powerful and popular Rootes Diesel was introduced as standard on all these models. At the same time a new four-cylinder light diesel engine was introduced for Commer 3/4 and 1-1/4 ton models.

In 1957 it was decided to design a new forward control 5 tonner and in April the new vehicle was announced. The aim of this new model was to produce an economical truck in accordance with popular demand, in which it surely succeeded.

January 1958 brought another improvemnt to give even more satisfaction to the countless satisfied Commer users, for the 'Cob' light van, well established as a first-class vehicle, was fitted with a new four-cylinder o.h.v. power unit and increasement in body space.

In May 1958 the Commer-Unipower 10-ton Forward Control six wheeler was introduced. Based on the popular Commer 7 ton Forward Control 13ft. 6in. wheelbase model its power unit was the phenomenal Rootes Diesel engine. It soon found a ready market and proved a complete success both at home and abroad. Two months later saw the addition of another model to the 'Superpoise' range. A new 14ft. 1in. wheelbase 6 tonner, with a choice of a 91 b.b.p. petrol engine, a 83 b.h.p. Perkins 'P6' diesel engine or a 104 b.h.p. Perkins 'R6' diesel engine as a power unit.

September of the same year, at the Earls Court Commercial Motor Show, brought announcements of new and improved models from Commer Cars Ltd. which rocked the commercial motor industry. These new announcements included a new mediun diesel engine, a new five-speed gearbox, a new ultra-modern cab, a new range of 4, 5 and 6 ton forward control models and improvements on the Express Delivery Van and the 7-12 ton Forwrd Control range. The new Commer Medium diesel engine was a six-cylinder o.h.v. unit of the Perkins C.305 design developing a gross b.h.p. of 87 at 2,400 r.p.m. and a torque of 216 1b.ft. at 1,300 r.p.m. This economical, robust diesel soon took its place alongside the already famous Rootes diesel and Commer light diesel engines in a class of their own for economy, reliability and long-life.

The new all-steel cab was designed to afford superb driver comfort. A deep, wide one-piece windscreen gave panoramic vision and the headroom was increased over the previous model. The driver's seat was adjustable both in a vertical and horizontal rake. Its appearanoe was further enhanced by a new grille extending to each side to include the headlamps. The five-speed constant mesh gearbox, available as a production alternative on the Commer 7, 10 and 10-11 ton forward control and 'Avenger' models and fitted as standard on 12 ton forward control tractor, had a series of close ratios with five forward speeds and one reverse giving a much higher vehicle performance.

The ever popular Express Delivery Van was fitted with a new four-cylinder '1500' o.h.v. "over-square" engine with a gross b.h.p. of 49. The suspension was also improved by the addition of an anti-roll bar.

The 7-12 ton Forward Control range were fitted with the new cab.

These new models greatly impressed both the press and operators. Already they are enjoying a high reputation as solid, reliable vehicles.

April of 1959 brought the introduction of the 1-ton f.c. van. Similar to the 30 cwt. f.c. van, but with a shorter wheelbase, the 1 tonner has a special appeal to the retail trades with its cubic capacity of 280 cu.ft. Later that year saw a new development of the Rootes two-stroke diesel engine. with a few easy-to-perform modifications this engine was adapted to run on several fuels including gas oil, regular gasoline, military gasoline (80 - 86 octane), kerosene base fuels and jet fuels JP3 - JP4 and JP5. Although primarily for military use it is also of particular importance to civilian operators where certain fuels are not always readily obtainable.

So we come to the latest of a long line of new ventures on which this company has marked. January 1950 marks the launching of an entirely new line of Commer models, the 3/4 ton 'FC' Range. Months of preparation, including, extensive trials and tests were undergone before production began. The Dunstable factory was extended to incorporate a new assembly area dealing solely with the production of these new models. The range included several derivartives of the basic model including the standard vans with either hinged or sliding doors, a light bus, contractor's bus, station wagon, ambulance, bakers van, gown van, bottle-float, pick-up and even a luxurious caravan. Specifically designed to meet the wide demand for this type of vehicle, sales were high from the very start. The new range was soon to be seen throught Britain and proved to be highly successful in the Export market. In the first 8 months of 1960 alone the sale of Rootes Group commercial vehicles increased 77%. A tribute to the fine qualities of our products.

A Series II light Cob van was introduced in March, incorporating improved visibility and a new four-speed close ratio gearbox. The 'Superpoise' too, provided greater driver comfort when, in April cab space as increased and improved seating fitted.

In May 1961 the Perkins 6.354 direct-injection. 108 b.h.p. engine became the sole diesel engine alternative in the 'Superpoise' 5 and 6 ton models and the forward control 4, 5 and 6 ton range. Features of this engine are increased power, economical running, and easier starting. It was available in two versionsvertical for the 'Superpoise' and horizontal for the forward control models. The 4 ton forward control engine was rated at 97 b.h.p. Other highlights of the models included a four-speed synchromesh gearbox, increased braking capacity and revised rear-axle ratios.

The Commer 'Walk-Thru' range introduced in October 1961, was designed to answer the problem of continuous stop-start work in urban traffic. Marketed primarily as a 1-1/2 ton or 2 ton all-steel van of 350 cu.ft. capacity, all models are available in chassis-cab or chassis-front end form for accommodating other styles of bodywork. The model's un-conventional design reduced driver fatigue, increased loading and un-loading efficiency and effected a substantial reduction in operating costs. The 1-1/2 ton model was available with 123 in. wheelbase, the 2 ton model with either 123 in. or 135 in. wheelbase and the 3 ton model with 135 in. wheelbase. For each model a choice of either a four-cylinder 56 b.h.p. petrol engine, a six-cylinder 85 b.h.p. petrol engine a 56 b.h.p. four-cylinder light diesel engine or a four-cylinder 63 b.h.p. Perkins 4.203 diesel engie.

In the same period the 3/4 ton f.c. range Series II was announced, incorporating improved styling and a larger capacity, 1,592 cc o.h.v. petrol engine. A twelve seater P.S.V. model was also added to the series.

In March 1962 Commer introduced two completely new heavy-duty load carriers, namely the 7-1/2 and 8 ton f.c. models, incorporating an extra-wide luxury cab of new design and superlative styling. A novel feature was the dual-headlamps which removed much of the strain of night driving. The 10, 11 and 12 ton tractor models were also modified by the introduction of the new cab, braking system and re-designed and re-positioned silencers.

In August 1962, Commer Cars Ltd., again collaborated with Universal ower Drives Ltd., and produced two new 'Unipower' trailing six-wheelers. Based on the new 7-1/2 ton 13ft. 6in. wheelbase and 8 ton 15ft. 7in. wheelbase chassis, both models were powered by the Rootes diesel engine and had gross vehicle weights of 15 and 17 tons respectively.

Although essentially conversions, the various units were so integrated that it was practically impossible to distinguish them as such, moreover Commer standard components were incorporated in the extensions wherever possible. Hydraulic brakes were either 'Hydrovac' or 'Airpak' assisted dependent on the model, whilst power-assisted steering was applied to both.

September 1962 saw the introduction of two completely new four-wheel drive cross-country models that Commer Cars Ltd. produced in conjunction with All Wheel Drives Ltd. These models were available on two wheelbases - 12ft. 0in. or 14ft. 1in. - with a gross vehicle weight of 18,000 lb and powere by either the Commer six-cylinder 125 gross b.h.p. petrol engine or the 6.354 diesel engine developing 108 gross b.h.p. The finishing touch to these vehicles was supplied by roomy and comfortable 'Superpoise' cab whilst exceptionally smooth and positive control was provided by heavy-duty ``Marles'' cam and double-roller gear steering.

October 1962 Commer met the demand for vehicles with a big payload yet compact overall dimensions by announcing the new '2500' Series range. These vehicles had the same external appearance, dimensions and capacity as the popular 3/4 tonner but were built to carry a full 1 ton payload with reliablity and economy. Powered by the same petrol and diesel engines that so largely contributed toward the popularity of the 3/4 tonner, this new range was enhanced by a silent four-speed synchromesh gearbox, semi-floating hypoid bevel rear axle, hydraulically-damped front suspension and powerful hydraulic brakes.

In February 1963 the long-lived and famous 4, 5 and 6 ton forward control range ceased to exist and was replaced by the completely new 4, 5, 6 and 7 ton forward control range that contained many revolutionary features. No less than four engines, two petrol and two diesel, were available. The cab was of new design and available in single or double form and not the least of the other features that high lighted this rangewere alternative wheelbases, power-assisted brakes, varied wheel applications - nylon tyres for long life, etc. A notable characteristic of each model was the amazine ease of servicing and frontal access to the engine. Thie was made possible by the detachable large grille panel in the front end which, when removed, exposed the engine completly.



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Next: Milestones Up: Rootes Archive Centre Trust Previous: Notes on the Founders   Contents
Rob Allan 2016-01-03