The 1948 Introduction

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The ‘J’ type was introduced at the 1948 Commercial Motor Show at Earls Court.

It has been suggested that the 10cwt Express Delivery van (its more descriptive title) only got its one-letter name later in its life, but it was definitely given its ‘J’ appellation prior to this first appearance! The van appears in the 1948 show catalogue as the Model J.
Each vehicle on display is written up in the catalogue in the same fashion: Model J, Model PV, Model LC, Model FVO etc.
The pre-production van which Morris~Commercial exhibited on their stand at the show differed in many details from the production vehicle that was to follow in the autumn of 1949. The easiclean wheels gave way to pressed steel disc items, whilst the front grille, headlamp/sidelight units, and many other items were redesigned before full production commenced. The 1949 Geneva Commercial Vehicle Show van still had the soon-to-be-discarded easiclean wheels, but also had a front chrome bumper unlike anything seen subsequently.

1948: Morris~Commercial's stand at the Commercial Motor Show

 

Morris Motors at Cowley, another part of the same Nuffield empire, had been manufacturing a 10 cwt van since the mid-’30s. Although not fully forward control, the van had many similarities with the ‘J’ type, which mirrored its overall compact size and its offset engine.

The Register also holds drawings that show that in 1948, by which time the ‘J’ type was being readied for the Commercial Motor Show, Morris~Commercial were experimenting with creating a replacement for the PV using the ‘J’ type’s styling theme. This eventually developed into the LD van.