What's in a name?
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THE various models in the new Leyland light van range are to be known by a type number rather than a name. Rather surprising in view of the long and honourable Leyland tradition of denoting their models by name. Remember the Titan, Beaver, Hippo and Octopus and the more recent Lynx, Buffalo and Bison? Certainly far more striking than a 19.272.G. FL/ 2100.
However, I hear that the new van was originally to be given the name of Sherpa because of its ability to "go up hill and down dale with the minimum of effort" but someone in the heady heights of the BL hierachy decreed against it. Hence the 185, 215 and 240 etc.
A great pity, as I'll wager five bob in old half crowns that the new van will become known as the Leyland "Transit".
Is this the end?
As one drives into Eastbourne from the West there is, apart from a long and difficult hill, a rather narrow road which needs all one's attention to negotiate. Only recently there has appeared on a particularly narrow section a new traffic sign as the result of the machinations of Mr Hugh Dykes MP which prohibits the further progression of vehicles over 2 tons during certain hours.
Unfortunately, having got as far as the sign, the driver of a vehicle — particularly a large vehicle — could find himself somewhat at a loss because there is no room to turn round. Perhaps it's a crafty method of increasing the Government's revenue for the alternatives are to ignore the notice and risk a fine for doing so or reversing to the last junction, which any self-respecting policeman will interpret as reversing an unreasonable distance.
However, the siting of the new sign could be significant because it's outside Eastbourne crematorium — handy for the driver who feels like ending it all.
In case it might be thought that the siting is merely the result of ignorance of the needs of large vehicles, there is a similar one just as inconveniently placed at Pevensey.
Almost every chassis maker I've visited in recent months has vehicles standing awaiting some vital component. Component shortages were not uncommon before the post-threeday-week period, but things really have been acute this year.
Can it therefore be true, as was suggested to me by a motor industry man last week, that some component makers have upped their export percentage because the profits are richer abroad than in the UK?
This year which marks the diamond jubilee of Guy Motors (now part of British Leyland) has seen a flurry of activity involving two of the company's preserved commercials, a 1922 Little J coal lorry and a 1936 Wolf ambulance.
In recent months both vehicles have taken part in vintage commercial vehicle runs up and down the country with some success, the latesi event being the Bournemouth to Batt run which took place on Sunday September 1.
Enthusiasts might also like tc know that the ambulance will be included in the cast of a BBC television drama "The Evacuees' which will be screened on Christma: day.
What a pity it will be if them vehicles are again left to gather dus in some forgotten corner when tin jubilee year is over.
I hear that the 98-year-old Dougla! Corporation Horse Tramway in du Isle of Man, the only surviving hors tramway in the UK, has decided te breed its own horses. Since till tramway first started the horses hay( always been imported from Englane but this is now too costly and till undertaking has decided to rely oi home production.
Even so, it will be kept in th, family. Tram horse Caroline gay, birth to a foal on Wednesday September 6. This foal, and other expected in the spring, will join the 61 horses already in the corporation' stables.
Training of the foals for trar service is expected to take about fou years.
I always thought that in a moderr efficient, go-ahead company lik NBC much time and effort was spen on maximizing that is the "in word — every profit opportunity Making sure that all assets were full utilized was a first priority, I was tolc How come then that, one of Nationc Travel's coaches has been sittin unmoved for more than a month in car park close to this office? Th vehicle in question is fairly long in th tooth but someone has authorize, the necessary money to paint it in th glowing red, white and blue N134 livery. It has the name Timpsons o the side.
Perhaps some National Tray( man can tell me what the poor vehicl — now looking distinctly sad ca be doing there. For information it registration number is 446 BXD an the car park is behind the FestivE Hall on the South Bank.