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TRAVELLERS' BODYWORK Offers Scope for Ingenuity

13th August 1937, Page 46
13th August 1937
Page 46
Page 47
Page 46, 13th August 1937 — TRAVELLERS' BODYWORK Offers Scope for Ingenuity
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Planning the Body to Best Advantage so that Ample Space is Afforded for the Transport or Display of Samples. Some Sound Suggestions by our Coach building Expert

WHEN conditions allow, the commercial traveller prefers the private type of car. Proof of this is the popularity of the standardized saloon, several of which may usually be found in any parking place close to a town shopping centre.

Sometimes a four-door saloon is not considered to have sufficient accommoda tion, and., the traveller makes inquiries for a larger car, such as a limousine. Such a vehicle has a division between the driver's and rear compartments. The lastnamed may be regarded, with its cushions and squabs and, perhaps, occasional seats removed, as a readymade separate loading compartment.

An Arrangement of Shelves.

It may be fitted with a light assembly of shelves, which extend along the off side and across the back. There is a space for entry and inspection on the near side, but normally the door on the off side, where the samples are stored, is kept locked.

As one or more shelves will cross the windows a neater appearance will be given to the car if opaque be n12 substituted for clear glass, or if the blinds be lowered.

A-limousine measures from 5 ft. to 5 ft. 6 ins, long from the division to the back of the car. The traveller may, however, desire an even longer body, say, another 10-12 ins. If the limousine has been acquired at an attractive price and be in good condition, he may consider that it is worth while to have the body lengthened.

This type of conversion is also feasible with a landaulet, because the folding head, which would otherwise detract from the value of a car which is to carry a load above of body favoured has doors on each side, in addition to the back door to the loading portion.

The rear door leads to a central gangway, above which there is from 5 ft. 3 ins. to 5 ft. 6 ins. headroom. Entry is facilitated by a folding step, or a well-floor may be built into the body and extend as far forward as the back-axle casing.

Enclosing the Roof.

An extra load may be carried on the roof. In this instance there is a roof rail all round and a light steel ladder is bolted to the back of the body, or is fitted at the side, next to the cab. Instead of a ladder, folding steps, similar to those fitted

to a coach for giving access to a roof luggage locker, may be provided.

Generally speaking, the commercial traveller's vehicle gives no outward indication of the class of goods carried. On the other hand, many vans which are used for general delivery purposes are designed not only to carry goods, but also to display samples of them, in one or more showcases on each side of the van.

As the showcase is only a few

inches deep from front to back, it does not detract unduly from the loading area and is suitable for almost any size of van. For a small van, the showcase is about twothirds the length of the loading portion and extends from the waist to the roof.

Where Body Strength is Needed.

The ends and backā€”are secured to the body framework and no support frott the floor is necessary. If more height be required, the case forms an upward extension of the wheel arch enclosure.

For a bolder scheme of display, the greater part of the side of the van may consist of showcases. When a large and unobstructed area of glass is being considered, the strength of the body must not be overlooked.

As a rule, it is not advisable for the width or height of a glass panel to exceed 5 ft. With large areas of glass, precautions should be taken to increase the rigidity of the body framework by means of flitch and corner plates.

Quite an effective display is, however, possible if the articles displayed be of moderate size and the side of the body be divided into two or three separate cases. Then the side standards may be arranged between the cases and the body framework is practically normal, except that there are fewer and stronger pillars and the lengthwise members are set out to suit the arrangement of the cases.

The shape of the cases may be of orthodox, rectangular outline, or their contour may be utilized to form part of the decorative scheme. The top line of the cases may follow the shape of a streamlined roof and back panel.

The bottom line. may be conventional and coincide with a horizontal waist-line, or, with a set of three cases, the centre one may have greater height. This extra height may be afforded above the top of the other cases if there be ample headroom, or below the waist-line if the position of the wheel-arch be favourable.

The " Shop-window " on Wheels.

For the maximum display of goods, the van is designed as a travelling shop window. It may have large windows on each side and glazed doors at the back. The whoie of Abe loading portion may be utilized for display, or a portion is set apart for storage and has panelled sides and its own side doors.

It is an advantage for this storage portion to be next to the cab, so that, with glazed back doors, there is publicity value at the rear, as well as at the sides of the van. The partition between the display and storage compartments may have a sliding door and the back doors have intermediate rails to strengthen them.

The floor is built above the wheels, so that there are no wheel-arch enclosures to obstruct it. There is a deep panel immediately below the cant-rail, also below the floor level, for writing display.

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