Morris~Commercial had introduced the 15/20 cwt ‘PV’ model, with a forward control layout similar to that subsequently used in the ‘J’ type, in 1939 ~ although few were made before the outbreak of the Second World War brought production to a halt. Production resumed in 1945.

Morris~Commercial post-war management meeting minutes indicate that the ‘J’ type was being designed to take a new flat-4 engine under development alongside the smaller flat-4 that was being evaluated for the Morris Minor. Neither engine got the go-ahead due to cost considerations.

Photographs exist of two different ‘J’ type prototypes, one of which shows that the Morris~Commercial designers had experimented with incorporating the Company’s then-current ‘PV’ frontal styling, featuring a vertical slatted grille, into the vehicle. This ‘J’ type prototype, with its very stylishly curvaceous pressed steel body, much improved on the ‘PV’s boxy appearance.

Prototype J-type with PV-style grille