Jump to content

Recommended Posts

After a few people expressed some interest in seeing some progress on the restoration of my Matador, I thought I would at least put up a few pictures and a bit of info on the restoration. Having owned the vehicle for the last 4 years (with a friend), some good progress has been made on returning it to it's former glory, but there is still a long way to go.

 

The Matador in question is a very early one, from the first contract, delivered in 1940, and was one of the 17 converted to petrol engine by AEC, supposedly before being put into service, and for use in Norway, although there don't appear to be any records of Matadors making it to Norway in 1940. So instead of the normal 7.7 litre diesel engine, it has a 7.4 litre A193 overhead cam petrol engine, complete with autovac on the front panel. In addition to the petrol mods, it is also completely 12v, rather than the normal split system on a standard Matador.

 

It was released from the army in 1960 and disposed of from Bicester, to Cousens of Bexhill on sea, who specialise in recovery and crane hire, and are still trading. They had it between 12-14 years before disposing of it. The previous owner to me, purchased it around 1980 from someone who intended to convert it to a timber tractor, but didn't due to the petrol engine. He had it restored/repainted and registered for the first time. It got little use, and was laid up in 1991 in someones garden, from where we bought it.

 

Here are a few pictures when I first saw it. Unfortunately, had it been covered up, it would have survived in a much better state. Despite all that, it is suprisingly original, and has had very little messing with, other than the crane on the back - more on that later.

 

Nick

S1051590.jpg

S1051568.jpg

S1051572.jpg

S1051600.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Once the engine was running I was able to start assembling the cab, as I had been holding off putting the cab back on until the engine had been successfully run.  The cab frame was build a couple of y

Not quite got the engine running yet, but getting closer - I'm currently making up some new pipework, and once that is done, I should be in a position to try getting it running again.  I wanted to get

Not been able to do much on the Matador restoration over the last year, but recently I have managed to make some visible progress with it - this video shows the engine being started for the first time

Posted Images

As you may have noticed from the first picture, it's fitted with the early style cab, which along with the rest of the bodywork, was built by Weymann. Unlike the normal later cab, there are lots of curved panels, mainly in the roof and wings, and the roof it double skinned, meaning there are twice as many curved panels that need to be reproduced :-(. Because the cab wasn't covered, the roof has suffered quite badly, with most of the inner panels having fallen off, and the woodwork in certain places has disappeared. When it was spruced up in the 1980's, a fair amout of fibreglass was used in the cab roof, which didn't help keep the rain out.

 

Anyway, below are few more differences.

 

Nick

 

The roof, from the inside:

roof.jpg

 

Vokes air filter, fitted to the front panel, and hiding all the pipework for the autovac.

filter..JPG

 

Dashboard, featuring a different selection of gauges and controls - the mileometer shows only 13203 miles, which I could quite well believe.

S1052225.jpg

 

Main electrical panel - made up from individual components, instead of the standard SIMMS or CAV control boxes

S1052268.jpg

 

Along with the slow running control, there is also an advance/retard control. There is also a switch which requires the engine to be fully retarded before it will start.

S1052701.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Once we moved it, we were able to start to assess the overall condition. Mechanically it is very good, and we were able to get it running after it sat in that garden for 18 years, which would probably have been fairly easy for a 7.7 diesel engine, but petrol engines of the same vintage are slightly more tempermetal! It was driven half a mile to the low loader, very slowly, as the brakes were binding badly! But made it onto the lorry under it's own steam. The bodywork is another story, with the majority of the wood being fairly rotten, but at least most is still there, enabling it to be used as patterns.

 

Looks quite small on the back of a fairly modern low loader!

S1051820.jpg

 

Chassis plate, showing the chassis stamped with 0853145 (below the plate), but the plate showing 853145 - indicating that the chassis was built for a diesel engine, but ended up fitted with a petrol one.

S1052908.jpg

 

Some of the missing woodwork on the cab roof

S1052203.jpg

 

The roof from above - the missing panels were in place when we first looked at the lorry, but subsequently fell off due to the lack of any supporting woodwork.

S1052166.jpg

 

It still has it's original canvas seats, and the rifle rack next to the passenger seat, although the bottom piece has been broken off, and will have to be remade.

S1052209.jpg

 

More to follow...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Nick,

Great pictures, what an interesting truck, looking forward to seeing more as you progress.

Are the windows on the rear body side screens made of fine mesh or clear plastic??

I think I have a spare bottom for the cab rifle rack if you are interested??

Regards

Mel

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Nick,

Great pictures, what an interesting truck, looking forward to seeing more as you progress.

Are the windows on the rear body side screens made of fine mesh or clear plastic??

I think I have a spare bottom for the cab rifle rack if you are interested??

Regards

Mel

Mel, the windows in the back are plastic, although they have biodegraded, and the canvas gave out when we picked it up, and we had to cut them off at the side of the road :cry:. it's difficult to gauge if they are original or not, as they may have been replaced when it was repainted in the 80's, which would make them 30+ years old anyway! Regarding the rifle rack bottom, if you have a spare you would part with, I'd be happy to take it off your hands - pm me the details please.

 

More pictures in a few days :cheesy:

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats going to be a real nice truck whens its done, glad to here you managed to get her started, and even better moving her under her own steam onto the loloader, did the air compressor still build up air while you were moving her, or has the tank got holes in.Good luck with the restoration.Howard

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the former owner of the truck, and was riding in the cab in 1987 while he was dragging felled trees around Cobham bus museum with it. I was tempted to try and take it off his hands in the early 2000s but was a bit busy with my own 2 Matadors. Glad its gone to a good home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

what a rare and interesting truck last time l heard about it was when it was in the ownership of nicholson a similar one

was sent to india it had a flat roof cab if you did not know its wartime registration was H 133460 IT WAS SAID that late in the war after a rebuild it was change to H 1736O77 l look forward to seeing it progress

 

regards wally

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thats going to be a real nice truck whens its done, glad to here you managed to get her started, and even better moving her under her own steam onto the loloader, did the air compressor still build up air while you were moving her, or has the tank got holes in.Good luck with the restoration.Howard

 

Howard, before moving it, we were able to pressurise the system using an external compressor, and tightened a few joints that were leaking, so it holds air ok, and I think we did get air up when we first got it running, but didn't move it at the time. There wasn't really a big need for the brakes when it was first moved though - when you took your foot off the accelerator, it stopped due to the brakes binding! When we moved it last time, a few weeks ago, there was no sign of any air in the system, so the compressor will probably need a bit of work.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites
I know the former owner of the truck, and was riding in the cab in 1987 while he was dragging felled trees around Cobham bus museum with it. I was tempted to try and take it off his hands in the early 2000s but was a bit busy with my own 2 Matadors. Glad its gone to a good home.

 

Grasshopper - here is a link to a picture of it moving a tree after the 1987 storms, Not your average AEC Matador -SGF911V

 

And a few more pictures of it looking quite presentable!

Outside Cobham Bus Museum - http://www.flickr.com/photos/21437618@N02/6345026406/

 

At Southern Counties Trading at some point in the 1970's - It's that Mat again!

 

And at a few random rallies:

SSF 911 V

Petrol engine Matador

PICT0037

 

None of those pictures are mine, and if anyone else has any pictures of it, I would love to see them.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites
what a rare and interesting truck last time l heard about it was when it was in the ownership of nicholson a similar one

was sent to india it had a flat roof cab if you did not know its wartime registration was H 133460 IT WAS SAID that late in the war after a rebuild it was change to H 1736O77 l look forward to seeing it progress

 

regards wally

 

Wally, Tim Nicholson was the previous owner, who I bought it from, he had owned it since about 1980 I think. I have a list of all the early Matadors that were converted to petrol, and another one of them survives in Birmingham, although it isn't restored and doesn't have the petrol engine any more. Does anyone know of any more, as I have been led to believe this is a unique survivor? Are there any petrol 854s still around, or are they all converted to diesel aswell?

 

If you (or anyone else) have any info on what it did during the war (or any leads to try) I'd be very interested Wally, as so far, all I have is the disposal date via the RLC, and a copy of the receipt when it was sold from the army in 1960. We've been able to deduce roughly when it would have been delivered, based on the AEC date codes on various components, which show December 1939 and January and February 1940. Interestingly enough, the unions that connect the petrol and vacuum pipes through the bulkhead are dated June 1940, indicating the petrol conversion may not have been done straight off the production line, as documented in the "AEC Contribution to Victory" book.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites

NICK the only way you may find any thing about its wartime service is to see a picture taken during the war of this matador you have its cenus numbers l know its a long shot but you never know l think 1939 late is about right as a build date the contract V3501 ran from 24-8-39 TO ?-7-40 l do not think l can add any more but if l come across any thing l will let you know

 

REGARDS WALLY

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mel, the windows in the back are plastic, although they have biodegraded, and the canvas gave out when we picked it up, and we had to cut them off at the side of the road :cry:. it's difficult to gauge if they are original or not, as they may have been replaced when it was repainted in the 80's, which would make them 30+ years old anyway! Regarding the rifle rack bottom, if you have a spare you would part with, I'd be happy to take it off your hands - pm me the details please.

 

More pictures in a few days :cheesy:

 

Nick

 

Hi Nick,

If you PM me your e-mail, I will send you a picture of the rifle rack base.

 

My friend has a Morris CDSW Artillery tractor which has the original side curtains still and the windows in them have a really fine steel mesh on them rather than plastic and I have always wondered if this was what the AEC's would have had originally too :confused: which is why I asked the question as the ones on yours didn't look like plastic from what I could see of them. :)

 

Regards

Mel

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mel, PM sent. I have also heard that the windows on Matadors were fine mesh, but not seen any real or documented evidence to confirm that. I know early Land Rovers also had a fine mesh instead of plastic for the rear windows in the canvas hoods.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard, that's a nice picture, I think some of the others I posted links to were from the same London to Brighton run. It was used around this time for a fair amount of recovery work, getting old buses out of fields and that sort of thing I think. So I don't know if it was actually entered into the run, or just attending as a tender vehicle.

 

This is what it looked like after it had been collected and had had a bit of a wash. You might be able to see that some of the roof is now missing, but the rest of it is pretty complete.

mat..jpg

 

Unfortunately, we don't have enough space to completely dismantle the vehicle, so the restoration is having to be done bit by bit. The current plan, which has been in progress for a couple of years now is to leave the rear body as it is for now, and work around it. Clean and paint the chassis, and rebuild the cab. It will obviously be much better to rebuild the cab onto a nice clean chassis, with a clean and painted engine. The first thing to come off was the fuel tank, which exposed a large section of chassis that was cleaned with a wire brush, treated with genolite and given a couple of coats of bonda prima, before a grey primer followed by bronze green.

 

DSCF1274.jpg

 

Having cleaned enough oil and grease off various chassis components, the first and only coat of paint on a lot of the chassis and components is bronze green - the same colour as my series 1 Land Rover (matching a part from the cab which has not been exposed to light). So a quantity of Land Rover bronze green paint has been purchased.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites

So here is the "Certificate of Transfer", issued when the vehicle was sold at auction. Someone gave me copy of this a few months ago, which allowed us to trace the first owner after army service. They were also able to provide a few photos of the Matador when they were using it for recovery work.

transfer.jpg

 

And here is a list of the chassis numbers of the 17 early Matadors that were converted to petrol.

major units.jpg

 

Again this came from the same source a few months ago. The other batch of petrol engined Matadors were 8531624 to 8531773 - so under 170 in total.

 

Nick

Link to post
Share on other sites

NICK the list of the seventeen petrol AEC MATADORS has now given me a link to what was to happen to them

some were sold before 1948 some stayed in service like 085113 in 1948 it got the postwar number 86 yy 72 l now need to check the others

 

 

REGARDS WALLY

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...