New Commer Transporter for "Equipe Sunbeam"
To service cars entered by the Rootes Group for motor rallies, a special van, based on a Commer five-ton petrol engined chassis, has been placed in service. Designed to carry any Rootes Group car, the vehicle has an 11 ft. 9 in. wheelbase extended chassis, a standard forward control cab and a composite Luton body by Rootes Ltd., Maidstone. To load or off-load quickly and easily, a winch mounted at the body front end and concealed by a work bench, is fitted. The winch is used in conjunction with ramps. A feature of the body is that provision is made to carry up to 30 car wheels. These are mounted along both sides and are held in place by bolts screwing into captive nuts attached to the interior body panels.
So that on the spot service and maintenance can be carried out, before the start of a rally, the whole bench is fitted with a vice, hand tools and small spares, as well as a hand wash basin, fed from an overhead tank. To maintain an even interior temperature, the body has a double skinned, insulated roof and an electrically operated fan. A drop-down tailboard and roller shutter covers the rear end. Above the roller shutter, a canvas canopy is fitted which can be extended to give weather protection when loading cars.
For ease of entry when a vehicle is loaded, access to the work bench and body front end is given by means of a roller shutter door located at the offside front, and reached by portable tubular steel steps.
As the vehicle will be extensively used for overseas work, particularly on European rallies, Continental width and height lights at the front and rear are fitted and powerful fog and spot lamps. Finished with chromium-plated bumpers, rimfinishers, radiator grille and painted out in sea-mist with black lettering, the vehicle will undoubtedly be a familiar sight at future motor rallies at home and abroad.