SORRY NOW SOLD – SIMILAR WANTED
A homage to the potato merchant, a spudtacular Mk1 Ford Transit Flatbed truck.
Chassis cab body with 2-door cab, flat bed with rear bulkhead, twin-wheel rear axle, load tie hooks, side door window down windows plus opening quarter lights, built in cab steps, three seats, carpeted cab floor, twin sun visors, can heater/ventilator, fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge, speedometer, odometer, foot operated windscreen washers, ashtray. Custom features; Bespoke built Keruing timber load bed and bulkhead, cab roof rack, large door mirrors, Baxter & Guion Ltd colour scheme paintwork, Baxter & Guion Ltd vinyl livery, side mounted spare wheel carrier, LED roof and side lights, inertia reel seat belts to outer seats, electric fuel pump prime button, tool box.
The Mk1 Ford Transit certainly needs no introduction having earned the accolade of ‘The Backbone of Britain’ and gaining iconic status since its launch in 1965. This example is a homage to what was one of the largest Potato merchants in the country, Baxter & Guion Ltd of Peterborough. The firm ran mostly Foden lorries which were painted in the distinguishing cream over black with gold and red lettering. They also ran a Mk1 Transit flatbed to which this example has been built to celebrate by a former employee! The cab is very presentable having had a full historic restoration whereby all structural body work was prepared prior to painting. The result is a structurally superb example requiring no remedial work whatsoever but not cosmetic or factory perfect. The superb bespoke flatbed was made by the previous owner using knowledgeable techniques and the highest quality materials. The Keruing timber wood for example was purposely laid and fixed while wet to ensure that upon drying there would be shrinkage to create a small gap between the boards to allow for re-expansion in poor weather. The vinyl lettering looks superb, as do all trim and light fittings the latter of which although mostly genuine Ford fitment, strict afficionados will note for example that the front repeaters are of the post 1971 type as opposed to half repeater/half side light. Massively nostalgic for those who appreciate years gone by!
An interior that underlines just what commercial vehicles used to be, a work horse equipped with just what you need and not much else! The clean and functional cab features black vinyl seats in fantastic condition free from rips and a fully fitted carpet. The interior metal work is painted to co-ordinate with the exterior colour scheme. The black headlining is intact and all functions and controls operate including the period aftermarket radio cassette. Custom features and elements such as incorrect style door cards have never concerned the previous owner and the next should appreciate this truck is certainly not standard or perfect in condition, albeit altogether very presentable and a true commercial!
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The four-cylinder Essex V4 sits snugly behind the flat front grille, correct for this engine and as opposed to the ‘bull-nose’ extended fronts required for the Perkins/York diesels and Essex V6 petrol variants. This simple and reliable 2.0 unit has been maintained to a good standard to deliver capable if not overly rapid performance. The four-speed manual gearbox operates well requiring familiarisation with the long gear lever a long-lost feature in vans!
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES.
Six steel wheels are painted red and look smart shod in quality brand 185 R14 heavy duty tyres with excellent tread remaining. The brakes operate well having been well maintained and following the fitment of a Transit Mk2 front axle with discs brakes for upgraded performance.
Supplied new on the 1st May 1968, the supplying Ford Main Dealer was Halls of Finchley, North London. Remarkably, the original Halls of Finchley supplying dealer plaque remains fixed to the nearside inner A-pillar! The previous owner, Mr Howard Gosland, purchased the vehicle in 2010 with one aim in mind, to recreate something that he held special to him. This was to be a vehicle that played homage to a long established Peterborough firm that gave him a ‘big-break’ as a young self-employed haulage contractor. Baxter & Guion Ltd were primarily potato merchants and indeed one of the biggest in the country. The firm offered Howard parking facilities as well as sub-contract work and their Black and Cream vehicles were for many years a familiar sight around Peterborough and their city centre-based premises. Now retired but not before a fascinating career which Howard feels was helped kickstarted by Baxter & Guion Ltd, the Transit truck seen here replicates the firm colour scheme and livery. Owned now for twelve years, six of which it took to restore the vehicle, this delightful classic commercial was bound to attract attention and indeed occupied a five-page feature in the September 2018 issue of Classic Van and Pick-up. It was even the main cover feature and thankfully a pristine copy of the magazine is held in the history file. The history file itself holds a vast collection of receipts and invoices pertaining to the build as well as an original operator’s manual. There are detailed accounts of the history of Baxter & Guion Ltd and even email exchanges from Mr A E Baxter’s Great Nephew who himself and his father worked for the firm!
MOT January 2024.
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