Not a Ford van, but a J4 – we have lift-off!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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