Not a Ford van, but a J4 – we have lift-off!
LETTER OF THE WEEK
In the 30 August issue of CCW, The Way We Were, Summer 1956, Newquay, I think that the van by the white and blue-roofed 123E Anglia in the picture is actually an Austin/Morris J4 rather than a Ford. I believe the giveaway is the red badge above the radiator grille and also the small size of the radiator grille itself. From what I understand, one of the problems of the Austin/Morris J4 van/ pick-up models was that if you drove it at anywhere near its top speed then you could get a build-up of air under the vehicle, which in turn lifted weight off the front wheels and made the steering very light as a result. By extending the wheelbase and moving the engine and gearbox forward when developed into the Sherpa range, I think that these modifications made for a more stable vehicle at high speeds.
Another vehicle which I understand had a similar problem of the steering getting too light when driven at speed was the 4x4 one-tonne forward control Land Rover, which was made for the military and also had a flat front and could be prone to the aforementioned problem when driven at high speed.
J Kirby, Stoke Newington, London Our thanks to all the readers who wrote in to identify the van pictured at Newquay – Ed.