New Vehicles for Local Delivery
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THIS year's 'Cycle and Motor Cycle Show, at Earls Court, closes its doors to-morrow, and is notable for the useful additions to the range of British light commercial vehicles that appear there.
Seven light delivery vehicles based on motorcycles are shown, apart from a number of commercial sidecar exhibits, Pride of place, from the technical aspect, goes to the newly introduced Douglas Ape.
Based on the Vespa motor-scooter, designed and produced by the Piaggio concern, of Genoa, the model exhibited was the first to be received by Douglas (Sales and Service), Ltd.. Kingswood, Bristol, which has been negotiating with the Italian organization for the British manufacturing and sales rights. The commercial model is a three-wheeled motorcycle, weighing only 300 lb., and propelled by a 125 c.c. two-stroke aircooled engine mounted under the seat: With a cast aluminium-alloy cylinder head, and an efficient centrifugal fan for cooling, the engine produces 4 b.h.p. at 4,500 r.p.m. and is able to pull a useful load of 450 lb., with a maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. Transmission arrangements consist of a three-speed silentmesh gearbox constructed as a unit with the crankcase, a dry clutch and chain drive to a differential. Gear changing is by means of a twist grip on the near-side handlebar.
The rear wheels have pedal-operated hydraulic brakes and there is a mechanical brake for the single front wheel. A transmission brake for parking is also provided.
A coil spring is used to support the front wheel, 'whilst the rear wheels are carried on pressed-steel arms, pivoting about a point immediately behind the engine mounting, connected to 'torsion bars and shock absorbers. The price of the chassis is £151 4s., or £180 12s. for the attractive box-van.
Overall length of the machine is 7 ft. 11 ins., width 4 ft. 2 ins., and turning circle 6 ft. 2 ins. The petrol-consumption rate is said to be 80 m.p.g., the tank holding 1.32 gallons.
Another foreign manufacturer revealed two models which have no exact counterpart in the British market. This gap can now be filled as a result of the recent relaxation of import restrictions on motorcycles. The manufacturer in this case is the Czechoslovak concern of Kovo, of Prague..
The company shows the CZ 125, powered by a two-stroke 125 c.c. engine, pulling a plain, open. wooden carrier behind the saddle. The small rear wheels are driven by a Sprocket on the axle, taking the drive by chain from the conventionally mounted engine in front. Springing of the load-carrying section of this model is by two large hydraulic units, mounted to the rear of the axle on each side.
The layout of the second model, the Jawa 250, is similar in that it has a motorcycle front half, allied to a two-wheeled load-carrying section. A more elaborate machine, the Jawa has art attractive and roomy metal box behind the rider's saddle. The 250 c.c. twostroke engine produces 9 b.h.p, at 4,250 r.p.m. and drives the. four-speed gearbox, with. foot-operated gear change, through an automatic clutch.
A larger 'and better-known threewheeler, the Reliant, is shown in truck and van forms, using the 8-cwt. chassis. The two driven wheels are at the rear. On the next stand is the Pashley range of 3-cwt. three-wheelers, in which there is one driven wheel at the rear and a pair of. steering wheels at the front. A Villiers 197 c.c. engine is employed and a variety of bodies is offered. The machines were described in "The Commercial Motor" on' October 7. •
Of similar size, performance and layout, but revealing more of its motorcycle ancestry, is the Dot truck, In contrast to the Pashley, the whole front assembly of the Dot turns for steering. Open and closed bodies are available, and a special ice-cream vendor's vehicle has been introduced. Its price is £185.
Two other machines on view are the Swallow Commercial Gadabout and the Corgi with a carrier. The former uses a Villiers 122 c.c. two-stroke engine and a three-speed gearbox, and a commodious steel carrier of handsome appearance is attached to the near side of the machine. The box measures 3 ft. 8 ins. by 2 ft. 1 in. by 1 ft. 7 ins. and carries a load of 2 cwt. The lid can be remov&I by means of quick-release hinges.
Smallest of all machines is the 98 c.c. Corgi. At the Show it can be seen with an open sidecar, or with an easily detachable banking side-carrier, which enables the rider to lean when cornering. The prtce of the banking sidecarrier is £21, compared with £18 18s. for the plain carrier. '