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Barn find Leyland Retriever


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Yes your right Richard I'm sure Ive seen this one before I thought it was a recovery truck for a bus from company up north? From what can be seen I would guess it may be a fairly early production truck possibly 1938/39 as it's fitted with the 'Lorry' radiator, the scuttle is original as are the wings but the cab is custom made a common civilian post war mod.

 

Has it got the original engine? if so it will be magneto ignition ( a war office requirement, don't ask why)late 1940 and all 1941 models went back to the conventional distributor system.

 

Do you have a clear photo of the makers plate it will give the model number and frame number it may be possible to date it more accurately then.

 

Nice find well worth saving

 

Pete

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I have come across a photo of a similar cabbed Retriever which was a recovery vehicle. Wondering if it was a London Transport breakdown lorry.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/38118841@N08/favorites/with/14962121537/lightbox/

 

Certainly similar but the windscreens are different in construction and height which I doubt would have been easily changed so I think they are different vehicles.

 

David

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The National Fire Service acquired a number of ex military Leyland Retrievers about 1944 on which their workshops built a variety of bodies, this one had a crane fitted and became a Breakdown Lorry. In 1948 it passed to the Birmingham Fire and Ambulance Service and it is interesting to see it still has their radio call-sign M2FB20 painted on the rear bulkhead.

 

Dusty

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Certainly similar but the windscreens are different in construction and height which I doubt would have been easily changed so I think they are different vehicles.

 

David

 

Thank David,

I could see they were different lorries, but similarities and may well have been built for bus recovery. One in the photo I posted, according to details on Flickr was snapped at a location near Lincoln and was described as a breakdown ex-Buckfastleigh garage.

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The National Fire Service acquired a number of ex military Leyland Retrievers about 1944 on which their workshops built a variety of bodies, this one had a crane fitted and became a Breakdown Lorry. In 1948 it passed to the Birmingham Fire and Ambulance Service and it is interesting to see it still has their radio call-sign M2FB20 painted on the rear bulkhead.

 

Dusty

 

That's the one I was thinking of!

I have a picture of it in a book somewhere

It would also explain the reg number. Nice lorry though

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So presumably it was a Military vehicle at some point in time, before being used by the Fire Service?

 

It would be interesting to know if it has a GS body or a house type, and hopefully it can be tastefully restored back to an MV before its nabbed by our 'greatest rivals' :D (those who like restoring ex-MV's as Fire Service vehicles, and who probably own red Dodge Weapons Carriers, just to spite us!!!!):D

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So presumably it was a Military vehicle at some point in time, before being used by the Fire Service?

 

It would be interesting to know if it has a GS body or a house type, and hopefully it can be tastefully restored back to an MV before its nabbed by our 'greatest rivals' :D (those who like restoring ex-MV's as Fire Service vehicles, and who probably own red Dodge Weapons Carriers, just to spite us!!!!):D

 

 

Almost as bad as those with old AFS trucks restored as MV's!;):D

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I have come across a photo of a similar cabbed Retriever which was a recovery vehicle. Wondering if it was a London Transport breakdown lorry.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/38118841@N08/favorites/with/14962121537/lightbox/

 

By chance I have just come across an earlier photo of the Retriever I linked to here, and it was on this forum, see post #5;

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?31410-Leyland-Hippo-Retriever

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A friend of mine was involved with Birmingham Fire and Ambulance Service back in the day and remembers this vehicle well. He told me the following:

 

"I remember this Truck coming into use during the later part of the War, the Body was built and the Crane fitted in the NFS Workshops in Tyburn Road Birmingham and was painted NFS Grey. Soon after 1948 it was painted Green and given the fleet number 100. I understand when it was sold off around November 1970 it was used by Birds of Stratford on Avon (Scrap Dealers) for a number of years."

 

The picture attached of it was taken in the Fire Station Yard at Birmingham A1 Central.

 

Hope this is of further interest.

Scan-150117-0001.jpg

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  • 3 years later...

When I was serving my apprenticeship in the early 70's at the Bon accord commercial garage we had a Leyland Retriever the same colour and with the same rear body as this one, but with a recovery crane jib added. It was scrapped in the early 80's when the garage closed and ended up in Milne's yard in Blackburn near Aberdeen. I tried to buy it in 1982 but the asking price jumped from £150 to £1000 when the yard owner apparently heard that the Calor gas company was looking for a retriever to restore for their anniversary as they started out with them as delivery trucks. Underterred I bought a running and driving Bedford QLT from the garage just down the road form him for the princely sum of £85.

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