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Latest 10-12-cwt. Van Costs Only £470

23rd September 1960
Page 129
Page 129, 23rd September 1960 — Latest 10-12-cwt. Van Costs Only £470
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INTEGRAL construction and independent front suspension are features of a completely new forward-control 10-12cwt. van announced today by the British Motor Corporation at the competitive price of £470. A long-wheelbase Austin Gipsy 4 x 4 with a payload rating of 15 cwt., a version of the 1.2 van, and a standard tipper based on the Austin and Morris 10-ft.-wheelbase 7-ton chassis (described on page 320) are other new models.

The new 10-12-cwt. van is known as the 1.4 and will be sold under the names, Austin and Morris. It is intended to replace the JB 10-cwt. van, which has been in production for 12 years, It will be manufactured in company with the Austin 152 and Morris 1.2 1.8-cwt. models. A drawing of the new van appears on page 294.

The 1.4 has functional Nit' attractive lines and its compact overall dimensions make it suitable for delivery work in congested city streets. The turning circle is only 33 ft., whilst the overall length is 13 ft. 3 in.

Set-back Engine

An important difference between the 1.2 and 1.4 is that in the latest model the engine gearbox-unit is set back farther from the front of the van. This gives clear access over a shallow cooling duct to the driving seat from the inside door. Another welcome difference is that a floor-mounted gear lever between the driver's seat and engine cowl has been adopted, in preference to the steering column lever of the 1.2.

The engine is the B.M.C. B-series 1.489-litre four-cylindered petrol unit fitted to the Austin and Morris 18-cwt. vehicles. It produces 42 b.h.p. (net) at 4,000 r.p.m., with a maximum torque output of 73 lb.-ft. at 1,200 r.p.m. The compression ratio is 7.2 to I. The entirely new Solex horizontal carburetter has a paperelement air cleaner which almost completely shrouds the carburetter assembly.

The 8-in.-diameter single-dry-plate clutch has hydraulic operation, and the engine is unit-mounted with a four-speed gearbox which has syncromesh engagement of second, third and top gears. The forward ratios are 3.944, 2.403, 1.49 and 1 to 1, whilst reverse is 5.159 to I.

The linkage between the gear lever and the gearbox is simple but effective. Fast and positive gear changes can be made both up and down. Moreover, the lever in no way obstructs movement of the driver between his seat and the kerb-side door.

Because of the set-back engine location and the extended tail of the gearbox, the

propeller shaft is short. The threequarter-floating rear axle has hypoidbevel final-drive gearing and a ratio of

4.875 to I. This gearing gives a maximum speed in top gear of 55 m.p.h.

Performance figures obtained by B.M.C. experimental engineers with an early production version carrying an 11-cwt. payload showed that 30 m.p.h. and 40 m.p.h. could be reached from a standstill in 11.5 and 17 seconds respectively. Top-gear performance between 10 m.p.h. and 30 m.p.h. was equally good. At 30 m.p.h. 29 m.p.g. was obtained.

The front-axle layout is identical with (and, therefore, interchangeable with) that of the Austin A.55 and Morris Oxford cars, apart from the use of coil springs with a higher rate. There are twin wishbones and the stispension is controlled by lever-type dampers. To ensure maximum stability the front track is relatively wide 'for a vehicle of this type, being 4 ft. 21 in., which is only 31 in. less than the rear track.

Wider track has not affected accessibility of the seats, nor has it meant dispensing with a sliding door. The rear suspension consists of semi-elliptic springs, which have rubber-bushed eyes and shackles. Lever-type dampers, are fitted.

Two-leading-shoe hydraulic brakes with a drum diameter of 9 in. and with 21-in.wide linings are employed at the front wheels, and the rear brakes are leadingand-trailing-shoe assemblies of the same diameter, but with 11-in.-wide linings. The system is hydraulically operated and the total frictional area is 149 sq. in. A pistol-grip hand-brake lever mounted centrally below the facia panel actuates the rear brakes through a compensating linkage.

Flashing Indicators Pressed-steel disc wheels with four-stud mountings carry 5.90-14-in. (6-ply) tubeless tyres. Chromium-plated 'hub caps are standard. The electrical system is 12v. and the 57-amp.-hr. battery is stowed in the left of the driving compartment, behind the passenger seat when this is fitted. The electrical equipment includes flashing indicators, with amber lenses at front and rear and a selfcancelling switch, single Windtone horn and cab interior light.

The instruments are centrally grouped in the facia panel and on each side of them a parcels shelf extends to the sides of the cab. The instruments consist of a

speedometer with mileage recorder, thermometer, ammeter, petrol gauge and warning lamps in circuit with the direction indicators, oil-pressure switch, dynamo and head-lamp high-beam filaments.

The integral body is of all-steel welded construction and it offers a payload capacity of 160 cu. ft. The load space is 7 ft. 11 in. long, 5 ft. wide and 4 ft. 5+ in. high at the highest point. The body floor is ribbed for rigidity, the ribs acting also as rubbing strips 'to protect the floor pressing.

Flat-topped rear wheel-arches are continued back as far as the rear-door pillars, so that they can be used for the storage of compact articles. The twin rear doors open through just over 90°.

Sliding or hinged cab doors are offered, a similar basic door assembly being used for both applications. The door opening is wide, and both types of door have two horizontally sliding glass panes.

Insulated Engine

The engine cowl, the top of which lies slightly below the level of the seat cushions, with its forward edge behind the front edges of these cushions, is double-skinned for heat and sound insulation.

With the cowl removed, the engine is surprisingly accessible. The seats themselves are quickly detachable and beneath them are panels which can be taken off to gain access to the carburetter and other engine auxiliaries.

Home-market vans do not have a passenger seat as standard, this being offered as an optional extra, but two seats are standard equipment in vans for export. Standard items on models for both markets include rubber mats on the cab floor and painted steel bumpers.

Chromium-plated bumpers, heater and demister, spare wheel and tyre, radio set and sun visor are listed as optional extras, whilst one sun vizor is standard for export. Left-hand drive is offered.

Rust protection of the body is particularly thorough, the lower half of the shell being put through a six-stage phosphate treatment followed by "slipper dipping," whilst the upper half, is sprayed with primer before painting. The price of £470 is for the van in primer finish, but for an extra £10 it can be supplied in any of four colours. These are light blue, charcoal grey, light grey and mid-green.

One of the early production vehicles was offered unladen to The Commercial Motor for a brief run in the Longbridge area. The general handling was particularly good, whilst the gear-change action was a marked improvement on that of any other make of van in this category.

The absence of roll when cornering quickly was noteworthy, whilst a fullpressure brake stop from 30 m.p.h. produced little of the rear-wheel hop and locking so often encountered with this type of van. The range of vision was most impressive, whilst the driving position and access to the cab were entirely satisfactory. Engine noise was negligible because of the location of the power unit.

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