Hi I thought I would add some pictures and details of my old Morris Commercial truck. It was one of several bought in the early fifties by a company in Aberdeen from the army disposal sales in Irving to be civilised. This Morris was a late model radio truck that was modified into a breakdown wagon by removing the radio cabin and installing a flat platform with the curved sides and a Harvey Frost crane. The radio cabins were then sold off, apparently they were very popular as readymade garden sheds. The body from this Morris ended up as a hen house.
The Morris was bought to be the recovery vehicle for the Fountain Garage in Great Northern Road Aberdeen, who were a Reliant main dealer and used by them right up until the late 1980s when the garage closed. I bought the truck from the owner’s son in 1990 who has started to put it back into military trim but had given up due to work commitments. I refitted a 15 cwt GS body which was rebuilt from several found at an old site in the wilds of Aviemore, remade the cab doors and painted it OD green.
During it’s time with the garage the truck had been fitted with an elderly Perkins diesel and huge four speed crash box which refused to rev over 1100 rpm and give the truck a cruising speed 25 mph. After a couple of rally seasons of this I decided an engine transplant was needed. I had an old 1975 FD series BMC truck lying in the yard so pulled the 2.2 diesel engine and synchromesh gearbox out of that and transferred it to the Morris.. During the rebuild I noticed the rear axle in the FD was remarkably similar looking to the one on the Morris and stripping them both down I was able to swap the FD’s crown wheel and pinion with the Morris one. The result was a truck that could return 30 mpg and cruise happily at 50 mph although stopping was another matter.
When the Morris was with the garage it ran on a Q number plate as seen on the picture with it in green paint. Just before I sold it and it went down to England I painted it khaki and black, the picture of it with RAF markings and age related number plate was taking I believe at RAF Evington. Then recently I found on the great Classic Commercial Motor Vehicles website under the Morris Commercial section two more pictures of my old truck now in Royal Navy colours at the Chatham navel yard with its civilian number plate and 3883 RN.
A well travelled old truck displayed in the colours of all three services but as they say there is more. The Perth Australia model makers have a very good military model website with daily listings of all new military kits. And last week there was a page with Plus Models new release of a very nice 1/35 scale resin Morris in blue with the 3883 RN number plate complete with the old jeep jerry can holder behind the passenger side of the cab which I fitted to give me a bit more range and can be clearly seen in all the pictures. Sorry to anybody in advance for any copyright infringements.