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Bedford mw history help


Neilmwd
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Hello, i have recently purchased a 1942 bedford mwd and would like to try find out some history of the vehicle. The vehicles registration is 25 ra 37 i have no idea if this helps. Even understanding the number plate would help! Thanks.

neil 

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From 1/1/49 UK military vehicle identification numbers changed to a new system using plates in the style nnLLnn [n=number, L=letter]; before that the army used a system with a letter indicating the type of vehicle, followed by a serial number. Different pairs of letters were allocated to the three services, and to different types of vehicles. Prior to 1949, rebuilt softskin army vehicles were given a new identity , and initially this continued under the new system. The numbers allocated to such rebuilt vehicles were from 00RA01 onwards, allocated when the contract was let, so 25RA37 is a pre-1949 army softskin vehicle rebuilt under a very early contract.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi

The RLC museum does have the key card for 25RA37. If you let me have the chassis and contract number, I should be able to give you a very good estimate of the date of manufacture (to within a week or two). The key card will give you information as to the chassis number, contract number, original war time bonnet number (Zxxxxxxx) and date/place of sale. It won't give you any history of which units the vehicle served with, you may be luck if there is remnats of unit markings under the layers of paint.

Cheers

Richard

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20 hours ago, Neilmwd said:

Thank you for the replys! I think this is what you need ... please let me know if you need a y other numbers

Hi - thanks for the photo, there should be another data plate that shows the contract number, this is either on he passenger side of the bulhead under the bonnet or on the instrument panel.  According to my records it is from contract V3904,   which was for 3000 MWD's, contract was placed on 19th April 1940 with first deliveries on 27th Feb 1941.  Contract V3904 is a messy contract, but a good estimate of date of delivery to the Army is 6th May 1941.

Cheers

Richard

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50 minutes ago, 64EK26 said:

Hi - thanks for the photo, there should be another data plate that shows the contract number, this is either on he passenger side of the bulhead under the bonnet or on the instrument panel.  According to my records it is from contract V3904,   which was for 3000 MWD's, contract was placed on 19th April 1940 with first deliveries on 27th Feb 1941.  Contract V3904 is a messy contract, but a good estimate of date of delivery to the Army is 6th May 1941.

Cheers

Richard

Ahh really!  I will have a look for the other plates as i dont get the vehicle until tuesday. Thank you very much though for the info so far! 👍🏻

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6 minutes ago, Neilmwd said:

Can any one tell me what this actually means please the one with the reg plate 25ra37 its the 6th from the bottom.7FFE20B5-D0A3-43DB-BA05-60CB982C97F0.thumb.jpeg.b1ea0831f9557b5d4956cd7418e0ce37.jpegthanks again

The second column is Chassis number, 3rd is Contract number, 4th is the pre-1949 Census number which will have the prefix Z as it is in the Up to 1 ton class.. Open Cab shows that it is the early one with aero screens and only canvas doors, CVD Ashchurch is the Central Vehicle Depot were it was prior to auction. The auction would have been at Ruddington and sold in 1961

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9 minutes ago, Richard Farrant said:

The second column is Chassis number, 3rd is Contract number, 4th is the pre-1949 Census number which will have the prefix Z as it is in the Up to 1 ton class.. Open Cab shows that it is the early one with aero screens and only canvas doors, CVD Ashchurch is the Central Vehicle Depot were it was prior to auction. The auction would have been at Ruddington and sold in 1961

Hello, thanks for that, still a little puzzled why the top of the card says closed cab in brackets. The bedford i have bought has had the cab changed at some stage in its life to cab like the oy type 

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Hi

Bedford MWs changed from being aeroscreen from chassis number 26308.  Yours would have been built as an aeroscreen. Also the bonnet number Z1661333 means that it underwent a rebuild during or just after WW2. As to why it says "closed cab" at the top of the key cards this is because most of the MW's in the 22RA04 TO 38RA99 range are closed can ones or were converted to close cab ones before the change to the later post war registrations.

In addition quite a few MW's had different cabs fitted after disposal like...

1728280774_convertedMW.thumb.jpg.e9ddbb1c1a9b847a0f41f28414438f82.jpg

 

Cheers

Richard

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Neil,

If the cab has been changed to an OY type (quite a common civi mod) the steering column will probably have been changed too as the MW driving position and so the steering column angle is lower than the OY type. The steering box is a different casting with the mounting lugs to the chassis at a different angle. I re-machined mine to make it fit but it is not the ideal solution.

The wooden MW cab is relatively easy to reproduce if you have one to copy and good OY cabs are getting hard to find so don't throw anything away.

Have fun,   David

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Hmm ok! Well i dont plan on changing  it back to how it was built anytime soon. Ill have to look in to it more when i get it deliverd tomorrow. All very interesting  though.  Would it have been a possibility that the army have changed the cab to this type? I feel it would be less drafty haha

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Hi Neil,

Well done , a great choice of truck. I had the pleasure of driving one (with aero-screen) in the Lord Mayor's Parade in Newcastle umpteen years ago.
I can tell you from my records that yours, 25 RA 37 was sold out of Ruddington on Wednesday the 20th September 1961 as lot number 738 and it was one of a batch of six sold together (This was normal practise for the MWs, OYs and QLs, probably because the auctioneers had so many to sell.) Although that particular batch did not have its price recorded, a similar batch of six went for £120 (yes, for all six!). The odd times they were sold off individually, the going rate was £40-45.

Enjoy your purchase, look forward along with everyone else on here to seeing the first pictures of it.

Mike.

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I don't think I've ever seen a key card before, so thanks for showing. 

Numbers 3 & 4 make interesting reading as being Lost or stolen, nothing to do with that army major who was mentioned in an earlier thread, be a bit young then!

What do the letters S/O stand for? It's probably obvious but not to me. Presumably the other abbreviations are for their respective disposal locations, I see one went to the Federation Army. All a quick search gives for that is the US Army?

As for the others what are those organisations?

MOS = ministry of supply? 

MOA = Ministry of Agriculture?

BER?

MELF?

WD = war department?

Lots of abbreviations on this card, just a bit curious

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Hi

S/O = struck off

BER = Beyond Economcial Repair

MELF = Middle East Land Forces

WD = War Department

MOS = Ministry of Supply

can't remember what MOA is but someone here will know

Cheers

Richard

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I wonder if the cab was replaced by the military. I can't see a civilian replacing the cab (presumably for more comfort) but retaining the roof hatch. It would have been easy to obtain an OY cab when this truck was disposed of but equally the army/air force would have had lots of trucks to cannibalize post war. If it was serving in a non-combat role the conversion would make sense.

Another issue with converting it back is that the bonnet and sides are different on a MW as the bonnet extends back further and is at a more horizontal angle.

I think that I would keep it the way it is. It looks nice and is much more comfortable and usable with this cab though not as 'military' looking. It may have genuine military provenance as it is now - the first hint is the disposal card indicating it as 'closed cab' when it was built as an aero screen.

David

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10 hours ago, David Herbert said:

I wonder if the cab was replaced by the military. I can't see a civilian replacing the cab (presumably for more comfort) but retaining the roof hatch. It would have been easy to obtain an OY cab when this truck was disposed of but equally the army/air force would have had lots of trucks to cannibalize post war. If it was serving in a non-combat role the conversion would make sense.

Another issue with converting it back is that the bonnet and sides are different on a MW as the bonnet extends back further and is at a more horizontal angle.

I think that I would keep it the way it is. It looks nice and is much more comfortable and usable with this cab though not as 'military' looking. It may have genuine military provenance as it is now - the first hint is the disposal card indicating it as 'closed cab' when it was built as an aero screen.

David

Thanks for the feed back, i think its best of both worlds really small enough to keep on the drive and the looks of a bigger oy 🙂 got a few jobs to tinker with first then ill get it out on the road

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Perhaps off topic for which I apologise! I did my Army Driving Test in an Bedford MW 15cwt in 1959 - 13RE80 and fond memories go with it. I often wonder what happened to it and I wonder if either - or both of you -Wally and Richard - have any record of it?

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Tony, what sort of cab did the one you took your test in have? - did you see any with the OY cab fitted?

I wonder if anyone can find a photo of an MW with an OY cab in service. The more I think about it the more sensible it seems that a batch could have been rebuilt like that.

David

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