GPO Vehicles

Make Morris
Model Minor
Type Utility
Use Linesmans vehicle
Registration Number DYP 635
Fleet Number U16556
Year of vehicle  
Date of picture 1937

Utility Van for Linesmans use. Note the angled windows above the windscreen
which were used for spotting overhead wiring problems.

Ray Holder from Bournemouth comments:-
I drove U8272, reg. GUW272, for 3 or 4 years during the war around the Wareham, Lulworth, Bovington and Purbeck area, and had ridden in it as a passenger in 1938 as a Youth in Training., the picture is of the very same version, the spokes in the wheels being in a straight line in the rims, whilst the later version had alternate spokes in a different line in the rims.

The transmission shaft had canvas couplings instead of mechanical universal joints, and these would fail at times, causing considerable vibration, and the rear axle half shafts failed fairly often, breaking just inboard of the hub.  These vans were often grossly overloaded and later versions had a double row ball race hub bearing instead of the earlier single row type.

The passenger seat was a basic fold down flat piece of plywood, I found an army seat cushion one day on the road, and that made life a bit more comfortable for the occupant.  The floor of the cabin was in lift out sheets, with a finger hole just below the driver's trouser leg, and driving through an unseen large puddle on the road resulted in a very wet leg!!!

The rear springs would weaken sometimes, and on a bouncy road the transmission shaft would touch on the rear support for the floor panels, making loud noises and lots of vibration.

The van had an automatic choke carburettor, with a temperature "sensor" on the exhaust manifold. This was often unsatisfactory, and the float chamber top air plug had to be removed, so that a screwdriver could be used to flood it and start. The disadvantage of this was that a fly would find its way into the petrol, and end up in the jet, so a quick removal of the float chamber was necessary to clear the obstruction. I once had this loss of power after I had overtaken a loaded tank transporter and only just drawn back in in front of it. Fortunately he was able to stop in time.




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Last revised: February 05, 2021