Ap­pren­tices re­pair Dad’s Army van

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

The 1935 Ford BB van that ap­peared in the orig­i­nal BBC TV se­ries Dad’s Army has been given a full me­chan­i­cal over­haul by ap­pren­tices at Ford’s Da­gen­ham plant.

Un­der the con­trol of Ford’s her­itage ve­hi­cle tech­ni­cians, the van needed recom­mis­sion­ing for it to star in the big-screen ver­sion of Dad’s Army.

The team fixed the run­ning gear of Jack Jones’s fa­mous van – in the same build­ing at Da­gen­ham that it would have left the plant more than 80 years ago. The work in­cluded a full en­gine re­build, new clutch and new wiring looms.

First seen on the small screen in Septem­ber 1969, the ‘J. Jones Fam­ily Butcher’ van ap­peared through­out the se­ries’ nine-year run. It was bought by the Dad’s Army Mu­seum, Thet­ford, Nor­folk for £63,000 at auc­tion in 2012.

Stu­art Wright from the mu­seum says: ‘It’s fan­tas­tic to see the van op­er­a­tional again and we hope it will cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion of younger vis­i­tors as well as trig­ger­ing happy mem­o­ries for the older gen­er­a­tions.’

Karl Carter, trade and skills di­rec­tor of the FBHVC ap­plauds the pro­ject. He says: ‘Ap­pren­tices tak­ing the FBHVC Clas­sic Car Restora­tion course are be­ing taught all the skills re­quired to re­store a Ford BB van such as the one that has been ren­o­vated by Ford ap­pren­tices.

‘The course is de­signed specif­i­cally for his­toric ve­hi­cles and they would have more rel­e­vant skills than ap­pren­tices trained on mod­ern ve­hi­cles.’

www.dad­sarmy­thet­ford.org.uk

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