Classic Van Auction Talk

Wednesday 19 February 2020

1965 FORD THAMES (400E) VAN - SILVERSTONE AUCTIONS Race Retro Sale Saturday 22nd February 2020 Warwickshire Exhibition Centre Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth CV8 2LG



Race Retro Sale
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Warwickshire Exhibition Centre
Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth CV8 2LG

Chassis number:
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
Engine number:
Odometer Reading:

  • Late production 15cwt Thames fitted with the Zephyr 4 engine and 4-speed box
  • Lovingly restored by an ex-Ford employee and described as running and driving very well with very little use since

  • Delightfully finished in classic Lotus Cars colours from the sixties
  • Purchased by our vendor to be a period-correct tow truck for his 1960 Lotus 19 Monte Carlo
  • Pure nostalgia but nevertheless an excellent support vehicle for historic motorsport
This delightful example of small-commercial restoration depicts one of the medium-capacity Thames vans deployed by the emergent Lotus company to carry car kits, engines, gearbox, axles etc during the 1960s. Lotus had used two types of Thames van, one powered by the Ford Zephyr 4 engine intended to deliver Lotus Elan and Elite kits to customers by towed-trailer while the alternative, for racing team use, was equipped with a 2½-litre Ford Zephyr 6-cylinder engine necessary to tow at sustained high-speed on European motorways, and to punch the vehicle and its load "over the Alps". 
This handsome little Ford Thames Light Van (400E) was purchased and restored by a former Ford employee and it is clear to see that this ground-up restoration became something of a labour of love. Our vendor, at the time, owned the Lotus 19 Monte Carlo Chassis ‘953’ you will see on offer on Friday the 22nd in the competition car sale. The opportunity arose to purchase this lovely British Racing Green van and once acquired, he immediately added period signwriting (Lotus Cars Cheshunt, Hertfordshire) in Lotus Yellow with the intention of using the van as a period-correct, tow vehicle for his Sixties racing car.
Our vendor informs us that the opportunity to ‘roll-up’ at an event with the full period rig didn’t present itself and the little van has only really been used at a few shows and events. With light use only, this is a great opportunity to purchase a lovingly restored, Lotus-signwritten, 1960s Van that would certainly evoke many memories and spark conversation at any classic motor show you wish to attend.

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