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A very unusual 'barn find' E83W comes to light.

Details of a rare coachbuilt E83W discovered in May 2005.

Harry got in touch, asking if I could give him some info on E83Ws, as he's toying with the idea of buying this 'barn find' restoration project, as shown on this page. We spoke on the phone for well over an hour, and he sent me these photos, which we discussed at some length. The rear body is very unusual, as it isn't the usual Ford van body that we can see here. Rather, its a well-built (coachbuilt?) van. The van's rear lower sides are steel, the (fixed) upper half being a wooden frame over which a doped canvas finish has been applied, in a similar vein to fuselage coverings on 1930s aircraft.
The E83W sees the light of day
E83W nearside front
A close look at these photographs reveals a very unusual van. Did it start out as a pickup or chassis/cab in an earlier life perhaps? Note the design of the rear coachwork, and the separate rear wings, unlike the flared-in wings of the standard Ford body. The fuel can on the front wing is a temporary gravity-feed just to try and get the 1172cc engine into life.
grille
E83W grille
The front end of this E83W. Does anyone recognise DRP 970 from when it was in use?
The E83W osf
E83W offside front
The unbeaded front wings have suffered on this Fordson-badged example, although the most problematic area of rot is above the cab where the canvas roof cover joins up to the metal surround. Note it is fitted with the wider section 16" rims, as only fitted to pickups as standard. Of course they may have been changed at some time, or else it could suggest that it started out as a pickup.
wing
E83W drivers wing
The wings on this E83W show many signs of battle, including the usual splits along the edge of the wing that non-beaded wings can suffer from. The later Thames models had a bead around this edge, to beef it up a bit.
interior and dashboard
E83W cab
Fortunately this van appears to be very complete - I'd never seen one with a shiny white steering wheel before til these photos came over, it hasn't been painted either, this is how it was made. A second example like this has come to light, see here. The metal screw-in floorpans have been replaced with wood over the years, and have rotted quite severely.
rear body
E83W rear body
This view from inside the body, looking forward, gives few clues as to what this unusual van was used for originally.
rear doors
E83W rear doors
I don't have a photo showing the back end of this van, but I do have this view from inside, showing the split tailgate layout that has been built into this van. The rear window section hinges up, and the wooden lower section hinges down to form a flat surface. Just what this van was used for is a mystery, the slim shelves on either side couldn't have been used to hold very much after all, apart from a mug of tea perhaps!?

Thanks again to Harry for ok'ing the use of these photos here, hopefully this E83W will be restored and retain this perhaps unique body construction.



 
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