View Full Version : Jowett Vehicles Used by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough

4th Jun 2021, 20:20
I am looking for anyone who would remember or know who i could contact about Jowett van/utility prototypes used at Brough in the 1950s.
Several Jowett prototype CD Bradford vans were used at Brough as runabouts, these cars were part of a pilot run of prototypes CD10-CD20 and the factory closed before they went into production. Several went to New Zealand and four still survive there.
I owned one that was used there in the fifties, it was dark blue JKU 945 [CD10] the only survivor in this country but it is believed that others were used and broken up at Brough. One was beige with a registration starting LAK and possibly another in dark green.

Allan Lupton
4th Jun 2021, 21:51
I presume the Jowett Car Club would be a good starting point so perhaps e-mail its secretary at [email protected]

5th Jun 2021, 19:42
Already done that sometime ago, very little is known of these vehicles and their ultimate fate. I think i will try emailing the editor at Aeroplane magazine.

Cornish Jack
6th Jun 2021, 09:28
Re Jowett vans, as a child in Cornwall, I used to be fascinated by what I recall (possibly faulty) as a Jowett van delivering Brooke Bond tea to the village shop The fascination was the engine noise, a distinctive 'pop-pop', reminiscent of a muted version of the Field Marshall single pot tractors.
Memory, which serves me badly nowadays, tells me that the engine was unusual in being 'opposed piston/cylinder'. Anyone confirm or clarify, please?

6th Jun 2021, 11:21
Probably not much help, but I seem to remember my Dad's Jowett Javelin (1955-ish) had a 'flat four' engine (and was somewhat unreliable).
I can even remember the reg!

Allan Lupton
6th Jun 2021, 17:43
Brooke Bond vans were Trojans rather than Bradfords so far as I recall. Split-single two-stroke engines with a distinctive note as CJ remembers.
Looked like this:

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/445x315/ecd2d78a_906a_11e6_923c_ddae8fc28134_31c65dbaaf7bae86ee609cf 6d3ae7c6ed5567d16.jpg

7th Jun 2021, 00:10
There was something extremely odd about the Trojan engine although I've no idea what it was now if I ever knew.
I'm sure I read once that somebody did a technical appraisal and concluded that the only way it could possibly have worked was if the crankshaft actually bent on every revolution.

The Javelin engine was certainly a flat-four so I imagine that as it was a small company with limited resources, any vans, prototype or otherwise, would probably have used the same engine.
My Dad came close to buying a Javelin too in, I guess, the early '60s but didn't for some reason.

Allan Lupton
7th Jun 2021, 07:41
The Trojan engine had a pair of cylinders connected at the blind end with the pistons on a V-shaped con-rod. It is that con-rod that has to bend each rev. to accommodate the geometry.

Jowett's use of horizontally-opposed engines included a Vintage flat-twin sidevalve, last seen in the Bradford vans, but the flat-four o.h.v. Javelin and Jupiter engine was not used in the commercials.

Cornish Jack
7th Jun 2021, 09:21
Thank you Allan, and others for the memory boost.
The Jowett Javelin,( and the Jupiter also ?) again from memory, was unusual in being aluminium bodied. The flat 4 could, possibly be regarded as its 'Achilles Heel' since, (if I remember correctly) the Halewood factory, which produced it, was owned by Ford, who refused to continue production.

7th Jun 2021, 09:43
I believe the Jupiter had an aluminium body but the Javelin was steel, and that's the Ford link. The body was built by Briggs Motor Bodies at Doncaster, who were taken over by Ford, and then sold on again.
The engine was originally its Achllles Heel but it was all down to Jowett, nothing to do with Ford.

It was a brave attempt by a small company which sadly wasn't a success.

Most, if not all, of this I had known but used Wiki, which seems pretty accurate, to refresh my memory.
Thanks Allan for the info about the engine, which I would have known if I'd looked at Wiki sooner!

7th Jun 2021, 11:59
When my father was posted to Tengah in 1958 he bought a Jowett Javelin. Reg No. BB 2290. Funny how I remember that number.

7th Jun 2021, 13:04
Alan - is this the type of van in question? https://www.autopuzzles.com/forum/2016-45/solved-neh-4509-jowett-bradford-cd-van/msg394685/#msg394685

blue up
8th Jun 2021, 15:16
If anyone cares to Googoo "Jowett Ferrari" they might find a little Pearl of a story about the Jowett involvement in 12 Cylinder Ferrari history and the Ferrari-tuned Bradford van. Worth a short read.

21st Jun 2021, 21:30
My 1st car was 1953 Jowett Javelin KWX 188 in 1964 when I was 18. Paid 45 for it. Flat 4 cylinder 1500cc engine. Memories of the car include running trips to Skegness from our village near Lincoln for several mates, bench seats with column change meant 4 in front & 4 in back, 5 shillings each & petrol 4/6d a gallon, 3 gallons for round trip, = nice bit of pocket money for me. Drive up & down seafront, windows down, music loud, pile out into pub on corner. Think I overdid it with the regular heavy payload as eventually one evening on way back home from pub about 5 miles away, loud thud/bang, looked in mirror & could only see big smokescreen behind. Nursed it home with funny engine noise. Next day at work (apprentice draughtsman) in drawing office, my mentor, who had a Jowett Bradford van & was old school engineer, instructed me how to remove engine sump (quite easy job) & examine inside, nothing horrible obvious. Instructed to remove sparkplugs & use screwdriver to poke inside to check pistons, 1 piston on nearside bank appeared to be in same position even when I turned the engine with a spanner. Remove cyl. head & disconnect con rod, pull conrod & piston out towards crankshaft, top of piston stayed at top of cylinder. More info from mentor, he knew someone in Lincoln who had several Jowetts & lots of spares. Bought S/hand Con rod & piston + new set of rings & bearings. Fitted everything back together, couldnt find pliers. Took sump off again & lo missing pliers. Discontinued trips to Skegness.
I understood that Jowett company went bust & last cars produced in 1953, probably due to high new price, Javelin approx. 1000.
Happy days.