Fully functional 1940s Tri-Van appears at Lakeland Motor Museum

A 1940s light delivery vehicle – known as the “ Tri-van ” – has been restored to perfect working order and holds pride of place in the Lakeland Motor Museum.

This is the only surviving example of the 1949 Tri-Van, designed to combine the storage capacity of a small pickup truck with the low running costs of a motorcycle for small parcel deliveries and pickups.

VINTAGE: The Tri-Van also acted as such an efficient taxi (Le LDV 1950)

Originally built by Turner Manufacturing Ltd of Wolverhampton – but sold under the brand name Light Delivery Vehicles – the museum bought the vehicle at auction and had it restored locally.

The Tri-Van was rebuilt in Greenodd and repainted in Ambleside.

It has a 168cc two-stroke engine and a three-speed gearbox.

Bill Bewley, Director of the Lakeland Motor Museum, says: “One of the strengths of our collection has always been the wide range of more unusual or unique items, like the Tri-Van.

“It really is something that cannot be seen anywhere else and that helps bring a slice of our history and heritage back to life.

“Although we don’t have specific plans for driving the Tri-Van on the road, it is in perfect working order and could potentially be used on public roads.

ENGINE: The parts of the Tri-Van (The LDV 1950)

ENGINE: The parts of the Tri-Van (The LDV 1950)

“It would definitely be a sight for sore eyes!”

Chris Lowe, director of the museum, adds: “The Tri-Van is one of a trio of vehicles, which also included a ‘By-van’ model and a Rixi model that can accommodate two passengers.

“Together they traveled 2,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 1950, but to our knowledge very few have been sold.

“We would love to hear from anyone who has any recollections of the vehicles or who originally worked on them.”

This unusual vehicle is part of a unique collection of 30,000 parts, including 150 classic cars and motorcycles, all carefully assembled over 60 years.

Key exhibits include the Isle of Man TT Tribute Exhibit and the Campbell Bluebird Exhibit.

With the museum now reopened to the public, people can book their tours of the Lakeland Motor Museum for the spring and summer, with online tickets currently available between May 17 and August 31, 2021 at: www.lakelandmotormuseum.co. uk

Individuals and their bubble groups should book their visit in advance, and entry times will be staggered at 15-minute intervals to ensure social distancing is respected.

The museum welcomes returning visitors to see their new collection of vintage and high class machines and vehicles.

About Lillian Coomer

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