Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An FE panel van with a slight difference.

I've seen it before but maybe you haven't. It's a 1956 FE Holden panel van over from Victoria for the Bay to Birdwood Classic. In the side panel you can see a window with sliding glass. Behind that is another flat piece of glass but not like the curved glass that curls around to the tailgate like on the station wagon. So what you say.
Now come around the other side. Look, a back door. And a back seat with a baby seat attached. Isn't that interesting. There must have been a purpose for all of this. There were later model Holden vans, EJ, EH, HR etc custom built with this configuration for use as ambulances. These were bigger vehicles and by then the panel vans had a raised roof. The idea behind it was that a stretcher could be slid down the right-hand side and an ambulance officer could sit in a small seat in the back and attend to the patient, but I'm not sure about this one.


Colin said...

I cannot say I remember FE ambulances but the website: http://www.old-ambulance.com/Old-Holdens.htm shows an FC ambulance with stretcher on LHS with folding bucket seat for passenger who then relocates to jump seat in back along side patient. In my area in the later 50's we have a mobile library vehicle that dealt books out of a similar window in the side of the car. Thanks for showing this as i have filled in an hour or so on a bloody freezing night in Zurich.

John L said...

Zurich eh? Isn't that amazing. I just finished reading Bruno's (our Milano and TVR owning friend from Switzerland) latest blogpost from Zurich where he discovered a Bristol in a side street.

Colin said...

I must try to catch up with bruno and see his MIlano

any suggestions

Colin said...

The New Nagari at $ 198,000 or I can buy a 997 Turbo at E 99,000 ( about AUD 160,000) No contest.

John L said...

Colin, I'll dig out the phone number in the morning. Meanwhile you can try vonrotz.bruno@bluewin.ch

Colin said...

Just browsing other forums and I found this from the FE and FC Holden Forum

There are quite a few of these vehicles still surviving in both FE and FC form. They were built in Victoria by Baileys Motor Body Builders and by other companies in other states. But Baileys seemed to be really good at it and converted hundreds of them. They are essentially a factory panel van with a wagon rear door and rear seat added along with full roof lining and a sliding window.

They were built primarily for tradesmen who wanted a van for work and a wagon for taking the family out in.

Back in the days when families only had 1 car.

They came in various configurations, the cheapest was a van with a wagon rear seat. (The kids climbed over the front seat). The 3 door was pretty much the upper end but the Baileys advertisement I have shows one with 2 tone paint (similar to how this one now looks) and with spats and a sunvisor - they had marketed it as an Estate Car.
I don't have any records of them being used by the police since they would have been painted in Police blue (a factory order colour). But this doesn't mean that there were none.

I have 5 on my database

All 5 vans are dated between May 1958 and March 1959 - none later - I'm not sure whether they were not made later on. They are certainly not prevalent in later models such as FB EK EJ or EH although I have seen a few HR and HKTG ones about.