This article is based on what was likely to one of the first Matchbox vehicles I owned, at the time I also have to admit they were still in daily use on our roads.
The Morris J2 pickup made by Matchbox Lesney was a truck I remember seeing almost on a daily basis, builders had them, the Post office used them and along with the Ford Thames van, Commer van and Bedford CA vans made up the bulk of the small van and truck fleets of the late 1950′s and early 1960′s.
The Matchbox Morris J2 was produced from 1958 to 1966 and Numbered 60 in the 1-75 range
Two of mine have black wheels but they were issued with grey wheels and silver wheels, the one below has grey plastic wheels, also note the colour of the decals were different with this one having a black line of text rather than the white.
The two in the picture below are the same model but the casting changed later to omit the rear window and harder to find.
This may well of been due to a damaged mould and rather than remake it they just repaired it to continue production omitting the rear window.
The decals changed a few times so worth looking out for.
Seen below, shows these are modelled with the Morris J2 inverted heart grill and verticle grill slots, they scale nicely at 1:72.
An Austin J2 made by Corgi and is part of the Trackside series mainly aimed at railway modellers and is 1:76 scale or OO in railway scales, this is number DG202009.
There are a few versions of this van and also a minibus and ambulance, the detail is fantastic but to me the big let down is the casting for the baseplate rivet at the back fills up the back window, which spoils the realistic look of the vehicle.
Maybe I’m just being fussy, but I do expect a lot when something is sold a scale detailed model, I may even take it apart and either adapt it to lose the post or at least paint it black.
They are cheap enough to pick up so could have a whole fleet of them.
The two models seen together below shows that 1:72 and 1:76 can work well together as these two scales are using by many railway modellers and even now I get mixed up with them.
Another 1:76 scale made by Oxford Diecast, this is the Austin J2 but with the Paralanian camper body, Oxford Diecast No,76JA005.
Paralanian were the Rolls Royce of camper bodies.
The real vans and trucks
The real Morris J2 was released in 1956 and ran until 1967.
Also sold as Austin J2 and Austin 152 The 15cwt J2 was BMC’s first unitary-construction van. It was also produced in pick-up, minibus and chassis-cab forms, with the latter proving popular as the basis for motor caravan conversions. The Morris and Austin versions of the J2 were differentiated by their frontal styling, with the former having a pressed steel interpretation of the “inverted heart” grille seen on the J-Type and LD vans, while the latter made do with a plainer, rectangular affair.
Above the classic Morris J2 van and the pickup below.
Originally powered by the 1489cc B-series engine, the J2 later received the 1622cc version in 1961, when it was redesignated “J2-M16″. Diesel versions were also offered.
Text from http://www.aronline.co.uk/
The vehicles were first used by Post Office Telephones from about 1960. Between 1964 and 1967 the J2 was a common sight on the streets as the demand for telephone service reached a peak.
The name ‘Paralanian’ comes from Parrys Lane Bradford where Central Garage was located and went into coachbuilding in the 1950s. The Paralanian was an expensive finely built carriage, well ahead of the later motorhomes. The first Paralanian was constructed in 1956 when the Suez Crisis had slowed sales and Central Garage needed to find new markets. Exhibited in 1957, the Paralanian attracted orders. A change in the taxation rules in 1958 gave more favourable licensing to motorised caravans and encouraged sales. Central Garage was sold to the Looker Group in 1964, and Paralanian to Spen Coachbuilders in 1965.
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