Classic UK Lorries - On The Move
This is one of many illustrated classic British lorry guides I've created for the community. I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to find out more about the classic British lorry art featured in this guide please click here.
This guide features several classic British lorry names from the 1950s-1970s.
In Britain during the fifties and early Sixties the only commonly seen articulated heavy lorries were the bonneted Scammell "Artic Eights" and "Highwaymans". The Highwayman name was used from 1960 after the Scammell takeover by the Leyland Group in 1955. Scammells had always supplied the vehicle as a complete "Artic Eight" but under Leyland's direction it was eventually redesignated a 4x2 tractor unit becoming known as the Highwayman and available with a conventional fifth wheel coupling.
The Beaver range was first produced in 1933 for 7.5 ton payloads and over the years both normal and forward-control models have been produced, but the former was dropped after the war. Built before the artic revolution and fitted with one of the last of the old style cabs, which began to disappear in the early sixties, this model had a gross weight of 24 tons. The Dyson semi-trailer had air suspension and was fitted with a large capacity fuel tank.
This was one of the last type produced by the company before Guy Motors were finally absorbed into the Leyland organisation. Rigid and tractor units were manufactured, which could be fitted with engines from AEC, Meadows, Cummins or Rolls-Royce. The Guy range of the 1950s was considered by many to offer the best-looking cab on any lorry and many famous firms had Guy Warriors in their fleets.
In 1958 the startling new S21 cab was introduced for the FG range. It became known as the Sputnik or Mickey Mouse cab. In addition to their stylish cabs, Fodens were always well equipped vehicles and their ranges were constantly updated during the 1950s and 1960s. Twelve-speed range-change gearboxes became common fitment and Gardner engines remained optional on all models.
Following their tilting S34 cab, introduced in 1962, Foden produced a succession of handsome new cabs through the 1960s and into the early 1970s, such as the fixed S36 with twin headlamps, the S39 and the S40.
Over the years ERF has become the leading British manufacturer; in fact by the 1990s it was the only British owned maker of heavy commercial vehicles - apart from Dennis which specialises in fire appliances, municipal vehicles and buses. The LV series was introduced in 1962 with a range from 6 to 42-tons and a wide variety of wheelbase options. Engines could be Gardner, Perkins, Rolls-Royce or Cummins.
Atkinson Black Knight
Atkinson began naming their "Knight" range in the early 1960's - Black Knight for rigid vehicles of all configuration, Silver Knight for tractor units and Gold Knight for tippers and cement mixers (or other short wheelbase use). Atkinson Vehicles Ltd were the subject of a takeover by Seddon Diesel Vehicles Ltd of Oldham in 1970 and Seddon-Atkinson was born. The last Atkinson badged vehicle was produced in 1975, the company then acquired by International Harvester of North America.
Atkinson epitomises the British commercial vehicle in it's heyday during the late 1930s through to the 1960s, when British-built lorries were among the finest in the world. It is little wonder that transport enthusiasts nowadays look upon them as great classics.
AEC Mammoth Major Mk5
The AEC Mk 5 range was announced at the 1958 Commercial Vehicle Show. A feature of the new range was their stylish cabs, built mostly by Park Royal Vehicles plus their powerful engines. The main power unit for the leading heavy models, the Mandator tractor and the maximum-weight Mammoth Major eight-wheeler, was the AV691 unit of 11.3-litres/689cu in capacity. Over 6,000 of all versions of the MkV were built up to the end of production in 1964.