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I’ve collected my new toy today in the shape of a Autocar U8144. I had no intention of buying it but I was looking at something else a while back and it caught my attention and now my barn is a little fuller than it was !!

 

It’s mostly complete and I’ve got most of the cab including some new panels (open cab). The engine runs nicely and mechanically it’s all there. The chassis is straight and just needs a quick shot blast and paint with no bad rust anywhere. It looks like it could have been a radio bodied truck as it has no winch and the rear chassis looks like its been cut back to the length of the tractor unit, however the chassis plate clearly says it’s a U8144T and states the semi-trailer weights etc. so I’m not sure if and when it was converted so if anybody could shed any light on anything similar they are aware of please let me know.

 

Not sure when I’m going to start restoring it as I’ve a couple of other jobs on the go currently and I’m still desperate to find a rear body for my Diamond T 969 Wrecker but I can’t wait to get going on it so perhaps it may jump the queue a little. :-D

 

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102_6303 (2).jpg

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very nice will be when finished. i think this is one of jacks favourite,s you might be in for a v.i.p parking space at the clubhouse when its up and running ;)

 

You are right there MW - they are and one day.......

 

Great find Andy and loved to see more of those on the roads. When there is enough of them (spoke with N.O.S. about this years ago) we will take them all abroad drive one of the Red Ball routes in proper fashion.

 

http://www.skylighters.org/redball/index.html :)

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Hi,

 

PM on its way. In the mean time take a look at the following threads on here:

 

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?3922-Autocar-U-8144-K-31-RADIO-VAN-TRUCK&highlight=autocar+8144

 

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?20189-Autocar-U8144-van-truck-restoration&highlight=autocar

 

Regards - MG

Edited by TooTallMike
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Guys

 

Thanks for your replies, yes a Red Ball Express with Autocars and GMC's would be very impressive, just got to find a fifth wheel and trailer to put on the back !!!!!!! (plus a couple of hours rebuilding it of course). :nut:

 

Andy

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I'm definitely not liking the steering wheel, but the rest of it looks just fine. Always struck me as a little silly to have something like a radio body and have a soft cab on it, but I'm sure the economies of scale production made up for it, even if the driver got cold.

 

What sort of body are you planning for it, or will you get it up and running as a chassis cab and wait for a body to turn up?

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Yes a new steering wheel is defo on the list of parts needed along with an exhaust (any ideas for a supplier anybody please). Its a bit of a dilemma whether to go Radio Body or fifth wheel coupling/tractor unit, it does appear to be originally a Radio Bodied one according to some info I've been given.

 

As you say I'll get it restored and see what comes along I guess a proper Radio Body is going to be very tough to find. If I went that way the chassis would need extending behind the back axle but I've got with it another rear cross member of the same size with some short chassis legs attached, if I extended those and bolted the extension to what's there (all the cross members are bolted and not riveted in any case) it would be an easy job to fit and put a Radio Body on, this would make it easy to change from one to the other.

 

I'll spend a bit of time getting some of the bits together and starting work on it and take it from there but happy to listen to anybodies suggestions or ideas.

 

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Does anybody out there have a manual for a U8144 ? I have some information on the engine etc. out of a Diamond T manual I have but I'm looking for some breakdown on the open cab so I can see what panels I maybe missing (my cab came in bits) and information on the rear open box in front of the fifth wheel, the fifth wheel its self and a radio body as I have to decide if to rebuild it as a tractor unit or as a radio body so need to know what's the most practical option.

 

Andy

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  • 1 year later...

Andy: McClellan here in the U.S....I know it's been four years but...have you found a manual(s) yet? I have them, plus a supplemental parts list (TM-10-1118) and a couple of maintenance manuals, original and in fair nick: TM-10-1569...as well as thee two shop manuals. They're proving invaluable in the restoration of my U-8144-T. Happy to get them to you if necessary. You can reach me via e-mail at sprang@yahoo.com. Look forward to hearing from you. I think it's finally time to post pictures of my stable here...long as the wife...doesn't see the recent acquisition of the GMC 6X6...

 

 

cheers,

 

Philip

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