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Clayton and Company of Huddersfield supplied several of their 3 ton Karrier "WDS" lorries to the War Office for use at home and overseas. It is unlikely that mine was one of them. It is, however, considered to be the sole survivor of its class so on that basis I thought it would be of interest to hmvf readers despite its tenuous connection.

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Chassis plate for Karrier WDS 2927 of 1919

WDS no. 2927 was discovered at Manor Farm, Appleton-le-Street, Malton, Yorkshire in 1977. Somehow the 1970s are now 40 years ago (if anyone can explain how that happened...?) Since that time 2927 has had several owners, coming into my possession in 2018. I hope to finish the restoration of this unique vehicle.

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As Found, September 1977

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Recovery, 1977

Some history: It was road registered AK6063 on 29th January, 1921. A continuation log book shows that whilst in the ownership of James Fairbank of Manor Farm it was taxed until 1936. A petrol ration was claimed for the vehicle during the period 1943-4.

One mystery to be solved: AK is a Bradford registration. Why not CX (Huddersfield - where made) or BT (Yorkshire, North Riding - where found). Did the lorry have owners prior to Mr Fairbank? Any information that forum users can share on Karriers in general or 2927 in particular would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Arriving at its new home November 2018

 

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A  few parts from ww1. original photo taken from my glass neg. ASC stores 1918, don`t know if they fit a Karrier.  Keith  

OK, if you felt a little cheated by the last post, this one has more substance to it. General topic: getting stuff off the floor and back on the lorry.  I needed a small quantity of 5/16" BSF sin

Have taken the first two days of my annual leave entitlement. To be fair they were not unlike my recent work days save for not actually having to do any paid work. A couple of small jobs now tick

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Nice to see something from Huddersfield in preservation. Is the truck still in the North?

One of these days I would like to find a "Dalesman" motorcycle, made in Marsden. 

And don't worry about the lack of military connection, this little corner of HMVF has become the secret haunt of the solid-tyred commercial vehicle weirdos in general. 

 

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Thank-you to everyone who has shared information. I had not seen the "Motor Traction" report before. I have a photocopy of a parts list, also a detailed article from the periodical "The Automobile Engineer". There's also interesting articles on the Karrier lorry and Tylor engine in the Commercial Motor archive. 

I also stumbled across this report in Implement and Machinery Review:

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1 hour ago, andypugh said:

 

One of these days I would like to find a "Dalesman" motorcycle, made in Marsden. 

 

 

Hi Andy,

I know this is 'off topic', but as you mentioned it .... Dalesman motorcycle ..... I owned one, a trials bike, it was only a couple of years old when I bought it and it had been ridden in the Scottish Six Day Trial by the previous owner. Just worked out that I bought it 50 years ago 🤔

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4 hours ago, Richard Farrant said:

Hi Andy,

I know this is 'off topic', but as you mentioned it .... Dalesman motorcycle ..... I owned one, a trials bike, it was only a couple of years old when I bought it 🤔

It seems I have confused my marques. I was really meaning "Mountaineer" (though I Dalesman would be fun too)

https://www.marsdenhistory.co.uk/work/mountaineer-motorcycles

 

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What an amazing collection of period material. Thank-you all!

 

The rear end of my chassis has been replaced - presumably the original was quite rotten. As I do not have the remains, I can only trust that the replacement is the same length as the original.

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Rear view of 2927 chassis.  New metal starts behind the arched cross member. (Look carefully and you can see where a patch has been let into the off-side bottom) Note trial - fitting of new laser cut lamp brackets, also new "fake" rivets.

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Drilling "rivet" holes through jig. Machined lip was intended to hang on the edge of the chassis rail, but a weld bead got in the way...

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Tapping "rivet" holes

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Fitting "rivets"

A detailed article published in the September 1916 volume of "The Automobile Engineer" gives the following dimensions: wheelbase 14ft., track 5ft. 6in. overall length 21ft.

A general arrangement drawing when re-drawn based on 35.5 mm across the chassis rails = 39" puts the position of all cross-members except the rear one in reasonable agreement with my chassis, but mine is 21" longer.

An advert published in a 1919 edition of Commercial Motor shows a lorry with an enclosed cab and a body of similar pattern to those supplied to the War Office.

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Illustration from 1919 Commercial Motor advertisement

One detail difference between this image and many of the images earlier in this thread is that the illustration shows a body supported on 6 bearers whereas those in the photographs had 5. I had wondered if the post-war civilian chassis were longer than their military counterparts. However, I note that the body on the lorry depicted in the 1917-18 Christmas advertisement also has 6 bearers. 

Among the details that have led me to conclude that mine is a civilian lorry are: no body mounting brackets (or holes for them) no sprags, no water-cooling on the transmission brake, base coat paint colour is black.

 

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The scope of this restoration project is rather different to many of those shared on this forum. I am extremely fortunate in that the chassis is largely complete. Much work has already been undertaken. That which remains falls into discrete categories: 

1) jobs not started,

2) jobs completed but which have deteriorated over the last 40 years

3) jobs not done to an acceptable standard.

I don't mean the last category to sound critical. Firstly and most importantly, this vehicle was saved. Work started over 40 years ago. Budgets, the decision whether to repair or replace, availability of services and techniques were all very different compared to today. I am typing this entry on the same lap-top computer that I also use to run 2d and 3d cad packages. Laser cut steel profiles can be produced as readily as printing. New castings can be produced directly from cad models via 3d-printed resin-impregnated sand moulds. That being said, there are other things which are more difficult / no longer available. I am very fortunate in that the lorry has been fitted with new Dunlop solid rubber tyres. These were still available in the 1970s. Today (without recourse to a stash of new old-stock tyres under the bed) one has to make do with moulded and profiled rubber. Whilst good work can be done, they're not the same as "real" tyres. For other restoration projects I have had batches of BS190 Whitworth nuts and bolts manufactured. I generally order them in 10 ft quantities as EN8 hexagonal bar comes in random 10 ft lengths. For this project, a quantity of 1/2" BSF bolts (without GKN on the heads) and single chamfer nuts were required. I was informed that 0.82" AF EN8 hexagonal bar is no longer available so he would either have to use 13/16" AF or machine from the round on a mill-turn. I opted for the latter.

 

In category 1:

Bodywork and Cab

Bonnet, bonnet catches, tappet covers, plug lead conduit, radiator stay, under pan.

Silencer and exhaust pipe

Control linkages, fuel pipes etc.

Greasers: all  brass greasers (Rotherhams' No. 2) missing. Brass caps from steel bodied greasers of Clayton and Co's own manufacture missing.

Magneto bracket and clamp missing.

In category 2:

Paintwork. The hideous blue undercoat has done a good job of holding back the rust on the chassis, but has to go. Or at least be sanded back and covered up. On other parts the rust is coming through again.

Engine and transmission. I understand that attention had been given to the crank and bearings, also the oil pump. A previous owner reported that the engine was tight and wanted "to go on the belt" but by the time I purchased the lorry the engine was seized from standing. The clutch, gearbox and transmission brake were also stuck.

In category 3:

Bulked support buttresses. Originals were a comparatively thin-profile steel casting. One has to imagine that these were seriously corroded as they had been discarded in favour of some rather clumsy fabrications. Whilst it is true that, with the floorboards in place and the cab door shut, they would be hardly visible, I felt that more authentic replacements were required.

Bonnet support. In common with many vehicles of the period, there is an angle iron support for the bonnet immediately behind the radiator. Fortunately I had the remains of the original support and one bracket.

A new one had been fabricated and welded to new folded 1/4" steel brackets. It was apparent that the profile did not match the original. In addition the folded brackets were not the correct shape as they did not fit.

The above was an initial assessment. Other problems have been discovered during the course of my restoration work - these will be discussed at the relevant time.

 

Sorry, that was a lot of words.

 

Turning first to the body and cab. Whilst copious photographs were taken during the extraction and recovery of 2927, no drawings of the cab and body remains exist. Neither is it possible to know if these remains were from the original bodywork. So what should I build? Given that this was most likely a civilian vehicle, the temptation would be to build an enclosed cab akin to that in the Commercial Motor advertisement. However, in the absence of drawings or dimensions, I feel that the best I could create would be a pastiche. For an open War Office pattern of cab, there are numerous photographs from which to deduce the constructional details. Also these appear to have been of standard dimensions - 75" wide x 47" tall; certainly Leyland and Thornycroft cabs appear to conform to these dimensions. Therefore I have decided that I can build a more faithful replica of a War Office cab than a civilian one. Similar considerations apply to the body.

So I have taken the following approach. First I have created a 3d cad model of the chassis, bulkhead, etc. Next I have constructed the seat box to the above dimensions, and placed it on the chassis to straddle the fuel tank with the back boards located where rust scour marks are visible on my chassis. Thereafter I have experimented with different timber dimensions and iron bracket sizes to give a body that resembles those in period photographs.

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Model of my chassis and bulkhead

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With seat box in place

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Now with a body

Perhaps a bit "odd" as I have opted for the earlier open-planked design on a later long chassis (which, by rights would more likely have had fully planked sides). Personal preference, though since I have yet to order any timber, I still have time to change my mind. Have placed 3 steel hinges on the tailboard. All coach bolts 1/2" Whit with 0.92"AF square nuts. In a photograph of a lorry with this style of body (kindly provided by the Goslings) the heads of the coach bolts are clearly visible. This model has stanchions supporting the headboard, to the same pattern as on the sides, but this seems to result in too great a clearance between the back of the cab and the body. So perhaps the headboard construction was similar to the tailboard - fully planked with iron strap reinforcement. In due course I will create this in model form for comparison.

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War Office contract with Clayton was for 5 lorries per week from 17/10/14 at cost of £775 [£85,000 in 2019] each on a 6 week rolling contract. Clayton/Karrier wanted an increase of £25 [£2,443] per lorry in March 1915 which was refused and lorries continued to be supplied at original price until November 1917. The contract was then revised to increase the cost to £815 [£53,750] (amazing how the wars years affected the inflation calculations according to the Bank of England). In October 1921 Clayton/Karrier took the War Office to court for £24,875 [£1,157,603] which they believed was the money owed from March 1915 to November 1917. The outcome of the court case has yet to be discovered. In September 1915, the Director of Transport in France described Karriers as being ineffective due to lightweight chassis that kept breaking.

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4 hours ago, Minesweeper said:

I take it that this the same vehicle that was owned by MS at one time and when it was in his possession , it sat in his Shed with a Furniture Container on it? It looked complete, I thought.

 

The very same, though has been through two further owners before it came to me. Compared to many of the heroic restorations reported on this forum, yes it is substantially complete.

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3 hours ago, Roy Larkin said:

War Office contract with Clayton was for 5 lorries per week from 17/10/14 at cost of £775 [£85,000 in 2019] each on a 6 week rolling contract. Clayton/Karrier wanted an increase of £25 [£2,443] per lorry in March 1915 which was refused and lorries continued to be supplied at original price until November 1917. The contract was then revised to increase the cost to £815 [£53,750] (amazing how the wars years affected the inflation calculations according to the Bank of England). In October 1921 Clayton/Karrier took the War Office to court for £24,875 [£1,157,603] which they believed was the money owed from March 1915 to November 1917. The outcome of the court case has yet to be discovered. In September 1915, the Director of Transport in France described Karriers as being ineffective due to lightweight chassis that kept breaking.

Roy,

Lots of interesting information there, all new to me. I am sure I read somewhere that the torque tube rivets were prone to working loose, though have forgotten where that was. The chassis breakage would seem odd given its massive proportions - 8" x 2.1/2" profile for the bulk of its length. Perhaps the 1/4" plate thickness was deficient, or there was insufficient cross bracing.  Certainly  makes the Leyland RAF type chassis look fragile in comparison.

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:26 PM, Roy Larkin said:

Doc, nothing odd about the chassis breaking. It was the most common problem for all makers, lorry & car on the Western Front.

Roy,

" In September 1915, the Director of Transport in France described Karriers as being ineffective due to lightweight chassis that kept breaking. "

I understood from this statement that Karriers were routinely subject to broken chassis thereby rendering the whole marque ineffective, not that the Karrier was no better, no worse than other marques in this respect. It was the differentiation of the Karrier chassis over others in this way that I found odd.

That all motor vehicles were, to a greater or lesser extent, prone to chassis breakage is, as you suggest, no great surprise.

What is the origin of the 1915 quote? Is this an appraisal of the whole transport fleet? Are reprint copies of this report available? Sounds like it would make interesting reading.

Doc

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