Motorclassica, the Bendigo Bash and The NEC!

The Aussies have had a great time organising the Motorclassica and Bendigo 70th Anniversary events.

Six vans were on show at Motorclassica in Melbourne, whilst an impressive thirteen turned out for the Bendigo event. A fourteenth van turned up for the Sunday afternoon at the Morris Minor Garage.

Motorclassica (click on any photo to enlarge)


Bendigo (click on any photo to enlarge)


Morris Minor Garage, Harcourt (click on any photo to enlarge)

Meanwhile, back in the UK, the Classic Motor Show is on at the NEC, Birmingham. We have four vans on display. More photos to follow.

Review 41 is on its way!


From the world of J-types…

A bit of a catch-up of what is happening around the globe. J-type progress on more than one continent!

Another J type van from wizards in Oz

The Queensland rural town of Warwick in far away Australia had a population of about 10,000 in the early 1960s. It also had about five Morris J type vans. One, JR 32164, suffered the ignominy of being crashed and became a firewood store in a suburban backyard. There it sat for over 40 years before being saved by Graeme Collins. Graeme’s Dad, Stan and a wartime chum, Roy Willi had started a garage in Warwick in 1948 and sold Jowett cars and Fiat Tractors. That garage, Fitzroy Motors prospered and soon they sold Austin vehicles. BMC came next, then Leyland. It was during these years Graeme was born.

Graeme recalls his dad selling three Austin 101s to the local milkman. That would have been in the late 1950s of course. He can’t remember exactly but he had seen the wrecked J type in that back yard for many years. It took over thirty-five years to procure that van. Eventually Graeme was able to take the firewood out and the van found a spot in Graeme’s shed and his long held dream of “dropping a J type on the floor and putting something serious inside” was able to start.

Due to the shunt the nose had gone and the chassis was crooked. The Oz ‘J type grapevine’ led Graeme to Far North Queensland and he found a ‘paddock feature’ through Alan Hurst who had saved a J type which had sat in a paddock beside the Redlyncyh to Cairns road for yonks. Enter JR 22909, only 18,000 kilometres away. No sweat.

All you really need to know is this finished J type Rod still has an original J type chassis (JR 22909) although much strengthened. Graeme started the rebuild by asking a local tradesman to have a look at the project but realized this dream project could only be successfully completed by a mob of pros. He sent it off to Queensland’s Gold Coast and the famous bunch at Oz Rods. Many quality Oz Hot Rods have left these artisans and JR 22909 is no exception.

It has Ford Econovan underpinnings at the front. A Flaming River steering column connected to a Billet Specialties ‘Outlaw’ steering wheel makes direction changing a breeze. There is a set of leather trimmed Mercedes Benz Sprinter van seats to make long Oz distances pass comfortably. The entire interior is trimmed but behind the trimming are kilograms of Dynamat, which keeps this van very quiet on the inside. At the rear a four link suspension holds the Econovan’s rear axle/diff assembly and that holds a set of 255 70 R15 Maxxis Bravo tyres. That is slightly more rubber than the 600 x 16s of an original J type.

And under the front seats is a Holden V6 3.8 litre engine coupled to an automatic transmission. That combination makes this very mild J type van into a very great Morris J type Oz Hot Rod.

Peter Bateman

Australia July 2014

Check the Oz Rods website for the build photographs’s%20J%20Van.html


1:24 scale J-type model available

partsbox-J-driver's-sideThe 1:24th scale J-type model that was mastered by Phil Knight, one of our J-type owning Register members in Australia, is now available to purchase. It is listed for sale at as a complete kit (code number 1426), or body kit only (code number 1427). The body-only kit caters for those intrepid Aussies wishing to make a model of one of the custom J-types that exist over there. Prices are 1426: $82.50 + postage, and 1427: $35.20 + postage. I wonder how many of these kits will find their way to the UK?

If you are interested in purchasing one,

The models are also available on ebay, but at higher prices than those quoted by The Parts Box

CARnivale 2014- Sydney Australia

Six J type vans drove to the Australia Day CARnivale display in Sydney on Sunday. I have to thank Andrew Trollope and Susan for coming all the way from Melbourne to drive a van to the event. Their help was great. All of the vans from 2013 attended and this year we had an addition of the old Norge Village Dry Cleaners van (featured on the cover of the J type book by D Allison and H Pitcher) in its new livery of the Sydney Packaging Company. This van has been nicely prepared and is now in daily use. It still has the Holden red motor it had when in Tasmania although the brakes and undercarriage have been improved.

I continue to be amazed at the positive sentiments the public has towards the J type. Many were only too happy to stop and tell their personal J type yarn and others just wanted to get into the drivers seat for a photo. I was told of a J which was deck cargo on a coastal steamer going around the Pacific Islands. When in port it was hoisted off onto dry land and provided transport for the crew whilst waiting for the cargo to be unloaded.

Also I was given a photo of Kelvin Mowtell and his company vehicle. It was J type in Ramset (NZ) livery. Kelvin still has great memories of that van. As a young surfer the J was a perfect company ‘car’ as on week-ends he simply popped his surf board and mates into the back and headed to the best breaks.


The 2015 CARnivale will see more J type vans. Let us aim for….

Peter Bateman Sydney January 2014

Van for sale on

Located in Palmerston North, New Zealand, this van is for sale on on 25. 11. 2013

Its current owner is the third owner since new, he remembers going to school in this van, even got to drive it too. Was owned by local butcher since new and current owner’s father purchased off him once he retired.

Repowered with Renault engine and Toyota older style 5-speed gearbox. Needs bodywork repair.


Morris J-type in New Zealand

Goodguys Rat Day, Sydney

‘Top Unique’ trophy and 3 J’s at Rat Day!


The annual Goodguys Rat Day in Sydney attracted one of the largest turnout of cars and visitors today for the 2013 Fathers Day event. From one J type van in attendance last year, there were three today and Laurie Bellette’s V8 J won Top Unique!

Rat Day in Sydney is a special event. A day of radical workshop specials, the vehicles made of (sometimes) discarded automotive parts which cause a gasp when first glimpsed and followed by the question “how can that possibly run?” or HOW can THAT be driven?” It is a very diverse automotive display. Today was the usual great showing of VW Combi’s and rare American small trucks but this year the display included an assortment of British-based vehicles. Of great interest to the register were the three J types on display. Sydney’s now famous 350 Chev powered V8 J type van was there along with JB 41717 resplendent in original stature and Kelly Ashton’s V8 J. All vans were of interest to the public and it was fascinating to see people compare the vans side by side. The judges were also impressed, Laurie won the trophy for ‘Top Unique’.

Peter Bateman Sydney September 1, 2013

Blog: Sydney’s Rat Day 2012

Kelly Ashton’s V8 J type makes Rat Day 2012 

It was promised in this blog many months ago that Sydney’s annual GoodGuys Rat Day would sport three J type vans. Optimism was there in spades but reality showed me to have fibbed. There in a dusty well worn patch of Gnawley Park, Taren Point was a large group of spectators paying compliments to only one J type van.  Kelly Ashton’s Ford V8 powered J.   Kelly had his J type exhibited “in the build” and what a crowd it pulled. Kelly was almost hoarse after fielding questions and compliments for four hours. As seems normal these days someone will turn up and wax lyrical about having a J in the past or one in the shed. This time it was Kelly who dragged me out of the crowd shouting “Pete, Pete here quick. This bloke knows of a few vans” and he proceeded to list this one and that and I just had to say, “You must be Steve Day”…Yes! the bloke almost fainted. Steve was the chap I bought JB 41717 from in 1981. We all had a jovial time but I could not get any “new” finds on that day.
Much work is still to be done on Kelly’s V8 J but that first showing has been & gone and the next one will come with SOUND!
I wake each morning wondering if today is that One day….
Peter Bateman – Syd’sKnee – Oz

Goodwood Revival 2011

I’m back from attending the Revival – a long drive home, reaching Birmingham around 10.30pm.

High point of the weekend for most must have been the ‘squadron scramble’ which saw TEN Spitfires take off, display in formation and then all land – a fantastic sight and an awesome sound from the nine Merlin, and one Griffon, engines.

There were FOUR J-types on site: 5003 NX, Hardy Engineering’s 221 EMF, custom van 344 CNM, and LVJ 61 in Kenwood’s livery. Over the next couple of days there will be a new page for the event, so if anyone out there has photos to add, please submit them by contacting via the ‘contact us’ facility at the bottom of each page.