A Classic Cargo Truck From 'British Chevrolet'

Illustration for article titled A Classic Cargo Truck From 'British Chevrolet'
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Time for your daily dose of derelict trucks rusting in their final resting place.

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This is a Bedford Vehicles J Series, circa late 1950's. The J could be had with a petrol or diesel engine, and was primarily sold as an export from England to developing countries due to its simplicity.

Formed around 1930, Bedford was the truck subsidiary of Vauxhall. The first models were called "Chevrolet Bedfords," named after the English county in which GM's Luton manufacturing facility was located— Bedfordshire. The "Chevy" part of the name was quickly dropped and Bedford became a defined truck brand.

The Bedford name and assets were sold in the late 80's to a company called AWD Limited who built upon the platforms to make large military vehicles, but the company didn't last long. It was bought again by an outfit called Marshall SPV shortly after, who supply military vehicles to the British to this day.

Wikipedia claims Bedford was GM's most profitable venture "for several years." I'd love to hear any opinions on that from people who know these trucks.

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Image: sludgegulper/Flickr

DISCUSSION

Bedfords were rarely strong in the export market, and usually faced strong competition at home, so I doubt they were very profitable in the long run. They usually focussed on smaller short-haul trucks. In the 1970s Bedford tried to step up with the bigger Bedford TM, but they just couldn't compete with other trucks from mainland Europe (and Leyland).

A few models were resold on mainland Europe with Opel badges:

But these are now coming onto the market, extremely cheap since the army has given up pretences of local procurement and replaced them with something better from Germany: