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In 1954 Ford unveiled its latest van – one that was ‘Sparkling with Good Points’. The nation’s fleet buyers and shop owners were promised that the Thames 300E would be ‘a credit to your business’, Not to mention that with such a fine vehicle, ‘driving ceases to be work and becomes a pleasure’
In those distant days before the introduction of the Transit in 1965, a remote time when listening to Adam Faith’s records was regarded as evidence of mild decadence, the van of choice for many a builder, grocer or jobbing gardener was the Ford Thames 400E.
The arrival of an ice cream van was once as much a part of a summer evening as a schedule of television programmes that you would generally avoid.
Mark is the proud owner of the Austin Maestro VDP we recently featured, and he has also acquired a 216 Strata Grey Metallic Vanden Plas EFi. It was first registered on the 1st August 1988 and now goes by the name “Hyacinth”.
Decent weather is final upon us (at least it was when I wrote those words!) and, as the cinema adverts used to claim back in the 1960s, now is the time for ice cream. Highly decorated and still a part of the motoring landscape, the ice cream van is a very welcome sight at the end of a long summer’s day so here are six classic examples.
The name of Vanden Plas is one of the oldest in motoring history and the Owners’ Club is delighted to be showcasing five of its key models at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery - including one of British Leyland’s rarest prototypes.
There are certain sights and sounds that can immediately recapture the past – Nigel Planer singing Hole in My Shoe, the opening to The Comic Strip Presents... – and the sight of a well-preserved Marina or Ital Van. It would not be a typical month in 1980s suburbia without seeing a BT Morris attending to yet another malfunctioning telephone box.
Chris had two reasons for buying his Cashmere Gold Austin Metro Vanden Plas. Firstly, he is a fan of the Kingsbury-based coachbuilder, and also owns a VDP 1500. Secondly, he has also been a Metro enthusiast ‘since the launch at the NEC in 1980...queuing up at the stand waiting to sit in this award-winning car’.
In the 1950s and well into the 1960s, the Vanguard was associated with the Royal Air Force. So from Brize Norton, Malta and Aden to Gan, Akrotiri, and Gibraltar, you would find highly polished Standards bearing RAF roundels. And today, the Vignale Estate, owned by the social media Influencer ‘Mrcarstagram’, is a reminder of the sort of car you might see in a black and white British Pathé newsreel.