Tag Archives: Bedford

All Aboard – Busman’s Holiday

Seems summer in the UK is not summer without the traditional four days a week torrential rain, ice cream on a day so hot it has melted onto the pavement by the time one has trousered the change after paying for it and a ride on a classic bus to no place in particular.

Bristol K5G, Castle Combe,

For the last couple of years the 1941 Bristol K5G, above, has served as the Race Winners Victory Parade lap vehicle at Castle Combe, it was one of a fleet of 272 K5G’s purchased by Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company between 1938 and 1941 as part of their tram replacement programme, it was sold on to Brighton and Hove District in 1955 and they are believed to have taken the roof of the top deck.

Bristol L5G, Frenchay Car Show, Bristol,

Longer than the double decker is the Bristol L5G which like the K5G went into production in 1937, Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company bought this example in 1948 and it is seen at the Frenchay Car Show transporting passengers to the Frenchay Flower Show.

Bedford OB, Silverstone Classic,

Seen above on a parade lap at Silverstone Classic last year is a 1950 Bedford OB which I believe has recently been restored in Northumberland, like the Bristol K5 and L5 series the 28hp OB went into production in 1937 this one has I believe a 29 seat Duple Vista type body and is awaiting period correct headlights.

Mercedes Benz, Silverstone Classic,

Officially the Mercedes Benz seen above, in the Silverstone Classic campsite earlier this year, is registered as having been built in 1959, I believe the destination reads “rarely on schedule” in Norwegian, that might be because it is pining for the Fjords.

AEC Reliance MU3RV, BRM Day, Bourne, Lincs,

Built in 1958 the AEC Reliance MU3RV above is seen on the BRM Day Parade through Bourne, Lincolnshire a couple of years ago, it is one of three such vehicles fitted with Yeates Europa body work for John Boddy & Son in Bridlington, it later was operated in the Scottish Borders before going to the holiday resort town of Skegness.

Leyland Leopard L2, Goodwood Revival,

With a Cavalier body by Harrington the 1962 Leyland Leopard L2, seen above at Goodwood Revival, would originally have been built to undertake inland and continental tours.

Leyland Atlantean, Brooklands Museum,

Looking in need of a little TLC is this 1966 Leyland Atlantean, with bodywork by MCW seen at the Brooklands Museum, back in the day when I was a British Overseas Airways Corporation passenger this was one of 15 vehicles on which I may have traveled twixt London Victoria and Heathrow Airport at speeds of up to 70 mph on my way to the sunny climbs of Zambia for my school holidays.

Bristol LH, Frenchay Car Show, Bristol

Finally back at the Frenchay Car Show the Bristol LH above served with the Bristol Omnibus Company from 1972 to 1980 before finding it’s way to Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, Wales where Thomas Bros. continued to operate her until 1997.

My thanks to all those who take pleasure in maintaining and operating these vehicles.

Thanks for joining me on this “All Aboard” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Brabham. Don’t forget to come back now !


Delicious And Wholesome – Ice Cream Vans

With the summer holiday season still in full swing, at least in the UK, I thought I’d focus today’s post on Ice Cream vans.

Bedford CF, Arnolfini, Bristol,

The first time I remember taking a photo of an ice cream van was in 2005 when I was collecting images that might make interesting subjects for poems, the reflected image of a Bedford CF Ice Cream Van standing in front of the Arnolfini in Bristol above never did get used for a poem, but ever since I have kept half an eye out for these bearers of Delicious Wholesome products.

Morris J-Type, Silverstone Classic,

The oldest Ice Cream van I have in my files is this 1949 J-Type Morris seen above early in the morning at last years Silverstone Classic.

Volkswagen Type 2, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

Earlier this year at Volksfest in Easter Compton I couldn’t resist buying a single scoop of Marshfield Farms finest from The Split Screen Ice Cream Company who claim to be operating the oldest Volkswagen Ice Cream Van in the country in the form of the 2012 British Street Food Award winning 1964 Type 2 seen above.

Citroën HY, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol,

Seen in another early morning photo is this 1968 Citroën HY, belonging to Ice Cream Events, which in an ironically, one couldn’t make this up, used to be operated by French Fire Fighting Services before being imported to the UK in 2011.

Ford Transit, Castle Combe

Since at least the late 1960’s, when they first came into my regular summer experience, Ice Cream vans in the UK have often had Disney characters painted on them, above Mel’s Super Whippy Ford Transit is covered in characters from the animation Cars and was appropriately seen at Castle Combe race circuit a few years ago.

Ford Transit, Porsche Curves, Le Mans,

The further traveled, but more modestly decorated 1995 Transit 150 above is seen on the banking of the Porsche Curves at Le Mans, France, during the 24 Hour race around 05:24 am !

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 311, Bristol,

It would appear that while Bedford CF Ice Cream vans are disappearing they are being replaced by Mercedes Benz Sprinters like the 2000 311 example operated by Carmelo & Sons seen above in Clifton, Bristol.

Thanks for joining me on this “Delicious And Wholesome” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at Lord Hesketh’s all new 1975 Formula One Challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Coffee, Croissant & Cars 03/15 – Avenue Drivers Club

There was a definite military atmosphere pervading this month’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting at Queen Square thanks to the presence of the six military vehicles featured in today’s blog which were promoting The Dig For Victory Show, a 1940’s Family Festival that will be taking place on the 13th to 14th of June at the North Somerset Showground.

Willys MB, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Most unusual amongst the Jeeps present was this 1942 Willys MB painted in the colours of a Royal Naval Beach Master for the 1944 Allied Invasion of France.

Bedford OY, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The 1940 Bedford OY 3 ton truck above was a hasty adaption of the civilian Bedford O series first seen in 1939.

Ford GPW, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Just as Bantam could not hope to satisfy the demand for a general purpose off road vehicle with the original Jeep evolution of the “Blitz Buggy”, by October 1941 it had become clear that Willys Overland were struggling to meet the US Government’s demand for their Willys MB evolution and so Ford were contracted to produce licenced versions known as the GPW (Government, P Ford speak for 80″ wheelbase, Willys licenced) like the 1942 example above.

Hotchkiss M201, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

After the 1939/45 war Jeep production continued for several decades, in France Hotchkiss produced the M201 like the 1960 example above until 1981 and the last “La Jeep” remained in service with the French Military until 2000.

Willys MB, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The immaculate Willys MB above was built in 1943.

Austin Champ, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Finally Britain began looking for a replacement for it’s Jeeps in 1947 and one option was the Rolls Royce powered “Truck, 1/4 ton, CT, 4×4, cargo & FFW, Austin Mk.1” like the 1954 example above which is more commonly known by it’s civilian name “Austin Champ”.

The next Avenue Drivers Club Meeting will be at Queen Square, Bristol 9am on Sunday the 12th of April.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 03/15” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Oldsmobile Delta 88. Don’t forget to come back now !


50 mpg DIY Sportscar – Liege

In the late 1980’s Peter Leigh Davis set out to design a sporting all rounder which could be driven to work and used for competition at the weekends in much the same way as early Allard, Buckler, Dellow and Lotus cars to name but a few.

The aluminium motor and gearbox for the Liege were taken from a Reliant Robin and a variety of back axles were tried before settling on a Bedford/Suzuki unit from an ultra light commercial van.

Liege Reliant, Trials Car, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

To prove his creation’s reliability Peter took the prototype on a 6500 mile reconnaissance trip for the Liege-Agadir-Liege Endurance Trial to the edge of the Sahara desert. The car carried two people tools and camping gear and ran faultlessly while averaging 50 mpg.

In all 60 Liege kits were built after plans to build a turn key car with Reliant fell through, 45 of these vehicles are thought to be on the road some running twin carbs or superchargers to boost the power while yet more have been fitted with Honda Fireblade, Fiat Fire and various Suzuki motors.

The prototype Liege won a bronze medal on the 1995 Lands End Trial and won the 2 lire class of Le Jog the same year.

The car seen here at last years Castle Combe Autumn Classic is listed as manufactured in 1989 and completed in 2005 with the Reliant power train and Suzuki back axle.

Thanks for joining me on this “50 mpg DIY Sportscar” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the 1974 World Championship Winning McLaren M23. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic & Sports Car Action Day – Castle Combe

On Saturday David Roots kindly invited me to join him and the Bath & West Car Club for the Classic and Sports Car Action Day at Castle Combe.

Triumph GT6 MkII, Castle Combe C&SCAD

Among the cars on display was this Triumph GT6 MkII which reminded me that GT6 enthusiast Hazen Wardle is soon to release the third of his Reche Plimpton, The Triumph Detective stories.

Buick Skylark, Castle Combe C&SCAD

With out a doubt car of the show for me was this third Generation 1969 Buick Skylark, with the post modern descending curved chrome that harks back to an all together different age of motoring before the use of unitary bodies became commonplace.

Honda Z600, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The 1972 Honda Z600, from the Honda S800 Sports Car Club, preparing to take part in the on track parade above predated the Honda Civic range and is powered by 36 hp 598cc / 36.4 cui two cylinder single overhead cam motor that could be taken up to 9,000 revolutions per minute and was recorded as capable of using less than 130 mpg (imperial) at a steady 30 mph.

Lotus Seven S2, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The Lotus Seven Club were in attendance in large numbers, above two Lotus Seven S2’s one of which was the feature on my regular Lotus blog on Saturday.

Bobbies, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

Despite his far better judgement David kindly took me round Castle Combe on the parade laps, here we are passing through the Bobbies Chicane.

Lotus Esprit Sport 350, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

Coming all the way from Wales in the Club Lotus (South Wales) area was this 2000 Lotus Esprit Sport 350, the final iteration of the Esprit line of which just 50 were manufactured.

Lotus Carlton, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

Four years after acquiring Lotus, GM handed Lotus the task of upgrading the mundane Vauxhall Carlton, The 177 mph Lotus, Type 104, Carlton was the result, capable of reaching 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds with the aid of twin turbochargers, Corvette Z1 gearbox and Holden rear limited slip differential. This was a Q car of the first order, very popular with both police forces and security services when helicopters and light planes were in short supply. All Lotus Carlton’s and Lotus Omega’s, for the European Market, were painted a shade of green so dark it looks black in all but the strongest sunlight.

Dacia Duster, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

We don’t see too many Romanian built Dacia’s in the UK and when we do they are usually on Romanian plates so it was a surprise to see this Dacia Duster on French diplomatic plates. The Dacia Duster is based on a Nissan platform and running gear with 2 and 4 wheel options available, they are priced to compete with second hand cars. Expect to see a Dacia powered by an 850 hp Nissan GTR motor on Pikes Peak in the not too distant future.

Volvo 850, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

Looks like someone borrowed a 1996 Volvo 850 while Dad was still asleep last Saturday morning.

Bedford Rascal, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

There used to be an advertisement on British TV that advised us to go to work on an egg, this Cadbury’s cream egg was built on a 1995 Bedford Rascal Microvan.

Marcos Owners Club, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

Marcos which used to be based in Bradford upon Avon in Wiltshire used to be one of several local car manufacturers during the 1960’s and 1970’s prior to moving to Kenilworth in 1981, following insolvency in 1972. So it was no surprise to see a strong showing from the Marcos Owners Club.

Victory Car Club, Castle Combe, C&SCAD

The 1972 Beetle Cabriolet and 1964 VW Type 2 show that my own ’99 Golf Mk IV still has an achievable if long way to go before becoming a classic !

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic & Sports Car Action Day” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !