Sunday, December 07, 2008
Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Morris/Austin/BMC FG
I'm not sure exactly how old I was when the Morris FG first came to my attention, but I must have still been pretty young as my earliest memory of this famous truck was looking up into the cab through the curved window mounted at the feet of the cab's occupants.
These little windows were designed to give the driver a better view of the kerb and street so eliminating a traditional blind spot, but to a young boy like me they provided a little peek into a different world.
The Morris FG was introduced the same year I was born - 1960 - and continued in production (under various badges including Leyland) into the early 1980's. It was considered quite innovative when it was first introduced - partly for the low set windows but also because of the novel design of the doors which were hinged at the rear of the cab in such a way that, when opened, the doors barely protruded beyond the width of the cab and, with the engine mounted beneath the drivers feet, this made the cab very short from front to rear.
These trucks were everywhere when I was young and in all sorts of forms. Flatbeds, horseboxes, recovery trucks, ambulances - the FG filled a number of roles - but best remembered for me was its role as the "Corona" lorry round my way. Corona was a drinks company making various flavours of fizzy pop and the lorry delivering to the local tuck shops was a familiar sight back in the sixties and seventies.
Apart from the obvious pleasure from drinking the pop there was the added benefit of getting a penny (later 2p) back on the empty bottle when you returned it to the shop. Believe me, a penny was worth something back then - and if you had three or four to return you'd have enough to buy an ice lolly or something. I suppose it was an early form of recycling, but it also meant that no kids thought it would be a good idea to smash the bottles for "fun" - unlike today when broken bottles seem to litter the street all the time.