Historic Truck Brands
Morris bought the assets of Soho, Birmingham axle manufacturer E G Wrigley and Company after it was placed in liquidation late in 1923. Until then a few commercial vehicle variants of Morris cars were built at the Morris plant at Cowley, but, with the newly acquired plant in Birmingham, serious production began.
Morris bought the assets of Soho, Birmingham axle manufacturer E G Wrigley and Company after it was placed in liquidation late in 1923.
Until then a few commercial vehicle variants of Morris cars were built at the Morris plant at Cowley, but, with the newly acquired plant in Birmingham, serious production began.
The first one-tonner used a passenger-car, 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, side-valve petrol engine and three-speed transmission, with pneumatic tyres and electric lighting standard.
In 1926 a half-track derivative was shown, along with a 2.5-litre engine and four-speed, gate-change transmission in the Z-type 1-11/2-ton truck that also had servo brakes.
The 1-1/2-ton D-Type 6×4 was aimed at the military and was powered by a 35hp, side-valve petrol engine, with four-speed main box and an auxiliary deep-reduction box.
A ‘Dictator’ 28-seat passenger model was released in 1929, with110hp six-cylinder petrol engine. It had a removable front end – axle, springs, engine, clutch and transmission – to aid maintenance.
Also in 1929 was a new 2.5-ton RD six-wheeler, with the same engine as the D-Type.
In 1931 the Courier, 4-5-ton truck was launched, with 85hp, 5.1-litre, high-cam, overhead-valve petrol engine. That engine also powered an updated Dictator and a double-deck, half-cab bus, but the single-deck Viceroy had a side-valve engine.
In 1932 the business was moved a few miles across Birmingham to the former Wolseley factory in Adderley Park and, in 1936, Morris sold the company into his Morris Motors Limited.
The bonneted or semi-bonneted C-Type embraced the 1-1/2-3-ton payload range and the Leader handled 4-5-ton payloads. The Equiload semi-bonneted model was also launched and remained in production right up to 1952.
Just before the outbreak of World War Two a new COE five-tonner was released, along with a 20-26-seat coach chassis.
During World War Two, Morris produced several vehicles for military use, including the Morris C8 field artillery tractor, with 72hp four-cylinder petrol engine and 10-speed transmission. and Morris 15 cwt truck. Morris Commercial also built the Terrapin amphibious carrier.
Restyled 2-5-ton Equiloads appeared in 1951, with petrol or diesel engines and hydrovac brakes.
In 1952 Morris Commercial merged with the Austin Motor Company to form the British Motor Corporation Ltd (BMC) and the Equiplaod soon had an Austin engine.
From 1956 the light trucks and forward-control J4 light vans produced by Austin and Morris Commercial were identical.
While production of the light vans remained concentrated on the Birmingham Adderley Park site, production of the F-series and W-series light trucks moved to Scotland with the opening in 1960 of the company’s Bathgate plant.
The light trucks in the 1960s included the FF, a forward-control design introduced in 1958, along with the WF bonneted truck.
The updated version of the FF, the FJ, appeared in 1964, with a split-circuit braking system. The FF remained in production and the two vehicles were offered side by side.
Austin/Morris commercial vehicles in the 1960s also included the Austin/Morris FG-series with the doors set at an angle across the rear corners of the cab, to permit door opening in confined spaces.
The use of the Morris Commercial brand name continued until 1968, when British Motor Holdings, by then the parent of Austin as well as Morris, merged with the Leyland Motor Corporation to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation.
In 2017, Morris Commercial Ltd announced a proposal to resurrect the Morris Commercial brand. It proposed a retro-styled J-Type light commercial battery-electric vehicle with a range of over 120 miles and a top speed of around 90mph.
In 2017, Morris Commercial Ltd announced a proposal to resurrect the Morris Commercial brand. It proposed a retro-styled, electric battery, J-Type light commercial vehicle with a range of over 120 miles and a top speed of around 90mph.