It Might Just Work

Peter Simp­son and Rowena Bishop em­braced a leap of faith

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

It took a leap of faith to con­vert this For­ties Ford­son into a tea van.

Put sim­ply, I re­tired from a ca­reer in IT to fol­low a dream. The dream started to be­come a re­al­ity on May 16, 2017 when I pur­chased ‘Joseph’ a 1949 Ford­son 7V and em­barked on a jour­ney to cre­ate a vin­tage mo­bile cater­ing busi­ness. The 7V had ac­tu­ally been a cater­ing van al­ready… I was fas­ci­nated by its story and I traced it back to when it was sold at auc­tion in 1990. It was re­stored in red and op­er­ated around Low­est­oft as Mrs Mig­gins Pie Shoppe. It was sub­se­quently sold at the end of 1991, then some years later ended up in the John Mould Col­lec­tion in Read­ing. Sold as part of the John Mould auc­tion in 1998, reg­is­tered as ERX 99, it then ap­peared for restora­tion again in 2007 with David Wall in Nor­folk with the reg­is­tra­tion RSJ 195.

Given a new green liv­ery, it traded as Mrs Mig­gins Pie Shoppe once more and was seen at many events in­clud­ing the Good­wood Re­vival in 2013. I found it in 2017 and its been pretty in­tense ever since. It has had a full body restora­tion and re­spray and we’ve re­built all the run­ning gear, too. It has a dou­ble wheel con­ver­sion and is run­ning a Ford Cologne 2.3 V6 and au­to­matic box – it has to do some mileage, we re­ally do drive it, and the orig­i­nal 3.6-litre ‘nail­head’ V8 en­gine wasn’t with it when I bought it any­way. In­side I have fit­ted a Fran­cino cof­fee ma­chine, Zenith grinder, Burco boiler, Mainho 800 grid­dle and two fridges. Last to go in were the twin sinks. A new vinyl roof was also fit­ted to what we be­lieve is the last 7V panel van of its type in the UK.

Pre-resto This is how the van looked for many years be­fore it was fi­nally res­ur­rected.

Al­most ready to live again. In­te­rior is kit­ted out and re­built V6 in­stalled.

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