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HotBed

Oldest Bedford OY

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I’ve been delving into the history of my OY with the help of a good friend, it appears that my OY, serial number 31191 built on the 30/6/40 is the 90th one to be fitted with the steel body.

Are there any ones left older than mine ?.

Edited by HotBed

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Bedford Vehicles supplied to the Government list the first Bedford OY chassis as starting at OY-21839 to OY-36100 for 1940 production

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Hi I would be cautious about taking one sources as a definitive when gauging the age of an ex-military vehicle. While Vauxhall/Bedford gives the number of OY-type chassis produced in 1940 just over 14.000 units while the late Bart H. Vanderveen’s book Kaleidoscope of Bedford and Vauxhall Military Vehicles gives the first contract as V.3603. In the Chilwell Allocation by Central Census “B” Vehicles W.D. Numbers that contract number appears 9-times with a total number of allocations in the region of 4.750-vehicles total. Without spending hours over the computer looking into the Army contracts awarded that leaves a little over nine and a half thousand chassis unaccounted for.

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17 hours ago, Baz48 said:

Hi I would be cautious about taking one sources as a definitive when gauging the age of an ex-military vehicle. While Vauxhall/Bedford gives the number of OY-type chassis produced in 1940 just over 14.000 units while the late Bart H. Vanderveen’s book Kaleidoscope of Bedford and Vauxhall Military Vehicles gives the first contract as V.3603. In the Chilwell Allocation by Central Census “B” Vehicles W.D. Numbers that contract number appears 9-times with a total number of allocations in the region of 4.750-vehicles total. Without spending hours over the computer looking into the Army contracts awarded that leaves a little over nine and a half thousand chassis unaccounted for.

Hi Baz many thanks for your reply. I am new to ww2 vehicles. I have just purchased a Bedford oy Project. The bedford is registered as a 1945. After looking in the Bedfords at war book the chassis and engine numbers put it as a 1940. I am interested to try and find out the history of the vehicle if that's possible. Would the contract number be on a plate somewhere on the vehicle? Thanks Andy 

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Congratulations on the OY a good choice of vehicle. Finding a definitive history of your OY will be something of a challenge if it has a brass plate on the chassis (LH-side) that may give you its post-war registration and census number. If you have that then you may be able to trace its wartime service history there are often people on here who can point you in the right direction. There is a good chance your vehicle will at some point been rebuilt usually in the early fifties. If as you say your vehicle is a 1940 production and it hasn’t had a cab transplant then the instrument layout on the dashboard is likely to be from the left to right. Oil and Water temperature gauge with an Oil pressure light above next to the Speedometer/Mileage meter  next a Bakelite switch cluster comprising ignition switch and ignition warning light with main light switch below and to the right of that an Ammeter. A simplified instrument layout came about around Chassis number 43522 sometime in 1941 or so the book say’s. Any marking the vehicle may have worn might be revealed under the layers of paint so be careful when removing the paint on the doors bonnet and wings.

Along with the OY Bedford produced a very similar looking vehicle almost indistinguishable the OW-S or L short or long wheelbase. Same front end cab and wheelbase externally the difference was wheel types and twin rear wheels with a 5-ton payload against the OY’s 3-ton. The engine was also slightly different valve stem dimensions carburettor brakes hubs and front axle all slightly different. The OW was primarily for civilian operators and the M of S the RAF used OWLD 4x2 5-ton General Service, OWL 4x2 5-ton Tender Pantechnicon  OWST 4x2 5-ton Tipper in significant quantities alongside OY’s

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Hi..congrats on your recent Bedford purchase...any pics please!!!

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Hi Baz many thanks for the info. It has the twin wheel rear axle. I have not really looked at it to closely as it arrived in the dark. I have covered it up for. I have a list of jobs to finish on the house before I start on it. 

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It was quite common for them to be changed to twin rear wheels in civilian life.

David

 

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Hi David. Thanks for that. I have seen war time photos with twin rear wheel axle. I did read that some of the  early production had twin wheel rear axle. If its dry on Saturday I will try and take some photos to post on here. Andy. 

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 Hi All. A couple of photos, the dash. Painted numbers on the cad engine panel and rear dif. The cad has a plate over what may have been an observation hole. It has a twin wheel rear axle and o ly one fuel tank on the drivers side. Not sure if it's a OY or OW any help would be useful. Thanks. 

DSC_0096.JPG

DSC_0097.JPG

DSC_0095.JPG

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10 minutes ago, andytomo said:

 Hi All. A couple of photos, the dash. Painted numbers on the cad engine panel and rear dif. The cad has a plate over what may have been an observation hole. It has a twin wheel rear axle and o ly one fuel tank on the drivers side. Not sure if it's a OY or OW any help would be useful. Thanks. 

 

 

 

The letters OEP on the rear diff stand for Oil Extreme Pressure and probably would have had the number 220 below. This is basically an ordinary 90EP gear oil.

The WNR number is I believe a reference number to a rebuild and would be dated from 1950's I think, the letters  VM could well stand for Vauxhall Motors.

You can be pretty sure this is an OY, by the army references afore mentioned. The chassis number is stamped on side of chassis, below passenger side of cab and will be prefixed OYD if it is a cargo, or OYC if it had another type of body such as tanker.

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Captured Twin rear wheel axle Bedford 1940. Original photos from my collection.

   Keith

bedfords troop.jpg

bedford truck 67.jpg

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Hi Richard. Thanks for your reply. I have not looked on the pasanger side of the chassis. But there is a small tag on the drivers side just behind the cab with the chassis number on it. I have the Bedford at War book and if its a OY the engine and chassis numbers put it at an early 1940. But when looking on the OW page they have the same engine and chassis numbers that would make it a 1945. It is registered as a 1945. This was what is confusing me. Unfortunately I don't have any history or the truck. Thanks Andy 

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just thought you might like this from a large book i have.

 I do have over 500 original photos of Bedford trucks most are ww2 and used by the germans .

 Keith

add 14 Bedford (2019_01_15 16_17_59 UTC).jpg

bedford petrol truck (2018_04_26 11_45_26 UTC).jpg

Egypt Maadi flood Cairo 1944 bedford (2019_01_15 16_17_59 UTC).jpg

post war bedford tilly (2018_01_13 18_51_57 UTC).jpg

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I suppose the very early OY's will be quite rare as the vast majority were left in France after Dunkirk.

I have seen hundreds of 'Soldiers Photos ' of abandoned OY's in France and the majority seem to be on single tyres , does anyone know when they swapped from Twin Rears to big singles ? Couple of  IWM pics here of early twin rears one at a French port dated 28/01/40.

BEF transport french port 28 jan 1940Bedford OY 3-ton trucks of 1st Armoured Division  parked under trees at Pacy-sur-Eure 23 May 1940.BEF BEDFORD OY 3 TONNER GS  2ND DIV  2 FIELD HYGIENE SECTION

 

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A number of OY's and a couple of Morris 15 cwt ended up being used by the German's in the Channel Islands. A number of them then went on to be used by farmers after the Liberation. I can remember queues of them waiting for the Mail Boat loaded with round tubs of Jersey Royal potatoes in the early 1960's.

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The one above may be on singles and it may be 1940 production while its engine side panels are post 42 singles all round I understand came in end of 40 early 41 for OY's while OW's kept 32x6 single fronts 34x7 twin rear's 

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1 hour ago, Baz48 said:

The one above may be on singles and it may be 1940 production while its engine side panels are post 42 singles all round I understand came in end of 40 early 41 for OY's while OW's kept 32x6 single fronts 34x7 twin rear's 

I know Graham's lorry, you will also see it has sling plates on the front hubs. These were introduced in late 1943 as I recollect. Not many vehicles of this era would have remained in the exact spec. that they were originally built to. Some surviving ones may have gone through several rebuild programmes in their life. The chassis number denotes its age, but other features could have been change over the years. Do we have to restore our vehicles as they left the factory, or leave them as they were in service later? Also previous owners may have changed a few things whilst restoring.

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