A new “2nd oldest”

Intrepid Oz J-reporter Peter Bateman emails:

I was in Brisbane on assignment last week and made time to go and see Michael Freeman. Michael has purchased the ex John Beaton van #1 from Victoria and I have been leading him astray.  He had told me of the Pine Rivers Bakery van in a car graveyard and I asked if he could take me there as it is only 5 minutes from his home.  As you can see it is deceased but the interesting bit is Michael showed me the J type Review # 19 from (I think) 2004/5 where you published a yarn from Ian Booth and in the story was a picture of this van!!!   It had been supplied to you by  Nairn Hindhaugh of Mountain Motor Books in Brisbane.  I went through the Brisbane phone book and called him the minute I arrived in Brisbane on Wednesday night, after returning from Michael’s.  Nairn, bless his cotton socks, was polite and not too disparaging.  He told me he had taken that shot in the ’80s, which explains how good it looked in the review.  Sadly it has gone.
It is so sad to see things ‘left’ for no good reason.  There were Studebakers by the dozen in this man’s paddock.  The interesting thing to note is that the shock absorber mounting points are later!!!!   The lights are definitely original early J as they have the chrome badge on top and the side lights are rectangular.  Michael was given these by the owner so we know that to be true We found a rusted out headlight surround complete with the chrome badge lying beside J/R 953.  The original side valve engine is still in place.  I did not check the number.  It was a little precarious inside!   The van has completely rusted off the chassis and the roof has collapsed in on itself.  A sorry day indeed. Interesting to note the single door at the back.  It is clear to see wooden shelving was inside the van for the sliding in and out of the loaves for the bread delivery.  Also it had a 3 ply veneer lining inside as well which may have been for hygiene reasons or just to cool the van in the Queensland heat.
For more photos go to ‘2nd Oldest Survivor’ in the Morris~Commercial gallery.

Van undergoing restoration in the UK

Chris Z has sent us photos of his Morris J/B part way through its restoration. The Register has known of the existence of this van, but until now we did not have any photographs.

This is how the Register website should work – owners and enthusiasts seeing what is needed and supplying it! It would be great if other owners also pass on details of how their vans are, roadworthy or not…

See the entry ‘under restoration – UK’ in the J/B gallery (click on the Morris badge) for more photos.