How the collection evolved
Ron Leach was an enthusiastic restorer of vintage commercials and is well known for the ground up restoration of his Fordson 5 cwt (E494C) decorators van.
Ron and his wife Vera travelled thousands of miles to rallies and shows, winning many trophies. It was a great loss when Ron passed away in 2002. However, his enthusiam for restoration, skills, knowledge and expertise live on having been passed down to his two sons, Ron junior and Terry.
1949 Fordson 5cwt Van model E494C.
Ron purchased the van from the previous owner who had stripped it down to the last nut and bolt. I helped him collect the 12 tea chests full of conponents with the body being the only exception! A project not for the faint hearted! At least if you had stripped it yourself you would have some idea on how to reassemble it. Having entered into retirement Ron spent most days and nights (as you do) rebuilding in meticulous fashion. Every conponent was stripped and painted and where necessary completely overhauled. It took him some two years to complete and it became his pleasure to travel to rallies far and wide, in Cheshire where he lived to Yorkshire where he was born, becoming a celebrity on many circuits and making many friends. Ron was a master decorator and sign writer so it was the colour scheme and lettering that put his personal "stamp" on the finished article. Today Ron junior has followed his foot steps making the van all the more treasured by the family. Above is a photo of Ron & Vera attending one of the many rallies.
1959 Commer Karrier Plaxton Bodied C15 Mini Coach.
The coach is a forward control BF series Commer Karrier with a Plaxton Venturer body, having an engine which is a two litre long stroke torquey power output. Given the weight of the body it needs to be. It was originally supplied to J Abbott and Sons of Blackpool, the family that I believe later traded as Abbotts of Blackpool. I was recently asked to "do a piece" for the "CDC" Coach Drivers Club magazine. The pages are attached which gives you an overview of the total restoration that followed it's purchase in 1998 and recent history.
1956 Ford Prefect 100E
Above is SLN 691 a 1956 Ford Prefect - 100E. Probably the best model with all the chrome before a cost reduction excercise by the factory. This car was the first vehicle to start the collection when I purchased it back in 1980. I bought it from a gentlemen who returned with the car for Malaysia. The Malaysian climate was very kind to the vehicle all solid structures and no need for the "gas bottles". After a total restoration the maiden trip was to a rally at Kirkstall Leeds. A Ford Sidevalve Owners Club Rally.
My childeren Craig and Genette 1984.