Stylish pick-up was too good for manure; CLASSIC WHEELS.
EVEN at the early age of seven I developed a caring attitude for cars of the 1950s when I was horrified to see a beautifully-styled pick-up being used as a humble farm manure carrier.
My father laughed at my reaction, but I could not stand to see the almost artistic Standard Vanguard pick-up being used for such a lowly purpose.
These days if you had a Vanguard pick-up in the garage you would be quids-in because there were not many of them, the RAF being a main customer.
It was one of the body options available in the Vanguard range which was announced in July 1947.
At that time Britain was fed up with wartime austerity and wanted cars that were less boring than the black boxes the country had been used to. So in drove the Vanguard with jelly-mould styling, bearing no resemblance to any Standard that had gone before.
It was named, with the blessing of the Royal Navy after Britain's last battleship, HMS Vanguard, a neat and magnetic marketing move which captured the attention of the car buying public, The styling of the car resembled the pre-war American Plymouth with a sloping beetle-back rear, but there was a burst of indignation from behind the Iron Curtain because Russian media felt the car had been influenced by the Soviet GAZ Pobeda.
One British car magazine got it wrong when it stated that the Podeba showed a resemblance to the Vanguard because it failed to realise that Pobeda had been launched a year before. But such things happened in the strange days of the Cold War.
As with the saloon, the pick-up's front suspension was independent at the front with coil springs and a live axle and leaf springs at the rear. Front and rear anti-roll bars were fitted and brakes were hydraulic with nine inch drums all round. To make the most of interior space, a column gear change, a key feature of 1950s motoring, was used.
Wet cylinder liners were fitted and the engine was very similar to the ones made by Standard for the Ferguson tractor that the company was making in large numbers.
It just goes to prove that when we see massive pick-ups thundering past with wild and worrying names such as Barbarian, Ram and Animal, Britain was doing very smart and stylish pick-ups like the Vanguard years ago and the market loved them.
* WELL-LOVED: The Standard Vanguard pick-up