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Standard 14 Van in Sweden

 Postwar Standard 14 signwritten for Ferguson

Hello Phil,

The photo of the delightful van belonging to the Belgian patisseur reminded me of a picture I have meant to send you a long time. It shows a 1947 Standard 14 unexpectedly as a van. It was operated by AB Farming, the Swedish importers of the Ferguson tractor. AB Farming was a

subsidiary of ANA, sole distributors from 1945 of Standard cars in Sweden. The car meet in June this year celebrating ANA's establishment 70 years ago was recently well reported on for the web-site by Swedish member Stefan Gustavsson. ANA stands for AB Nyköpings Automobilfabrik (the car factory in the town of Nyköping , AB meaning Ltd).  As an aside, a statement somewhere on the website that it was "set up by Black to assemble Vanguards" is unfortunately not correct. It was established back in 1937 to assemble US Chrysler products. In the post-war dollar squeeze they turned to European makes and the Standard Vanguard was their mainstay for many years being sold as an "English car of American type" always depicted in ads head-on to disguise its short wheelbase!

We all sense that normally it would be beneath a Standard 14 to appear in the guise of a commercial vehicle, but as a service van it must have put up a good show for the tractor business.  This van has unfortunately not survived for all I know and it is not known either if there were other examples.  The only information I have is the enclosed image, from which I believe the following conclusions can be made.

The photo was taken when the van was brand new because it is still on trade plates.  It has just been filled up with petrol from the blue pump with the old-style BP globe. It is probably sprayed Ferguson grey.  I date it as a 1947 model because it was then ANA took up the tractor business. It is most certainly a 14, called the 1800 in Sweden, as the British taxable HP system was not generally understood here (which it no longer appears to be in the UK either!). There was no sense in bringing in the 12 HP because in Sweden vehicles are not taxed on the size of their engines but on curb weight.  Most probably this van is a one-off built in Sweden.  In those days there were a number of local coachbuilders doing commercial bodywork on various makes of chassis. The rear wings look like the generic items they might have used. The front doors are original Standard items. The body is markedly widened towards the rear and the roof is higher than on the saloon. Just behind the front door there is the plate then statutory in Sweden showing the load carrying capacity. There is a period Lucas wing mirror on the wing but also one rather neatly on the driver's door. The van is RHD although most Standards sold in Sweden were as desired by the market LHD despite the fact that in those days Swedes  still drove on the left-hand (proper?) side of the road.

One wonders on what basis it was built. Cars were so scarce in those immediate post-war years that it is unlikely that they converted a brand-new saloon. Either they used an accident-damaged car or, being the official importers, they had persuaded the Standard Motor Company to ship them a chassis without the aft part of the body similar to what must have been  provided to  Mulliners  as basis for the "Woody" estate car built by them.

Later on, Vanguard vans were used as service vehicles calling on farms using Ferguson tractors and the 14 van (vans?) was then probably decommissioned.