During its 12-year production life, the Morris J-Type proved to be a big hit with SMEs and large fleets alike with over 50,000 examples going into service around the world. Among the customers were a number of high-profile names – most of whom are still with us today – and here is our pick of the Top 10.
While Geoff Duke is most famous for being the multiple TT winner and motorcycle racing world champion, the Lancashire-born rider went into business upon retirement in 1959 and bought a Morris J-Type shortly after. His company set up the first roll-on-roll-off ferry service to the Isle of Man in 1978.
R.G. Jones is one of the world’s oldest professional audio services companies, having been established by Ronald Godfrey Jones, born in Caerphilly 1926. The R.G. Jones J-Type was famous for it’s four large roof-mounted speakers.
Walls Ice Cream
Walls started out life as a butcher’s stall and only started selling ice cream as a way to keep trading during the summer months when sales of pies and sausages started to fall. The 1950s was a busy decade for Walls with the opening of it’s new high-capacity ice cream factory in Gloucester and the J-Types were recruited to keep up with demand.
Australia was a popular destination for many J-Types and Dunlop Australia, the local operation of the global tyre company, used the J-Type to assist with the distribution.
Emery Airways started in the US during 1946 primarily aimed at the air freight sector of the business using the famous Douglas DC8 aircraft and in the UK Emery Airways used the J-Type to help with cargo delivery around the airport area.
Pickfords was founded in 1630 by William Pickford in south Manchester, making it one of the oldest, continuously functioning companies in the UK. They have operated as a removals company ever since, catering for both the UK domestic market as well as corporate clients operating around the world. Whilst Pickfords mainly used the large “Pantechnicons” for the large household moves, they also used the Morris J-Type for smaller projects.
Lyons were one of the great names in catering in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. From modest beginnings, in 1894 they became the largest catering company in the world within 30 years. J. Lyons also produced tea and the J-Type was used to deliver tea to the thousands of independent grocers throughout the UK.
General Post Office
The General Post Office was the single largest customer of the J-Type, buying over 17,000 examples during the course of its life and they were used in a variety of jobs, from the general delivery van to radio investigation vans. Obviously buying so many allowed them to specify unique variants which included rubber front wings and changes to the position of the main headlights.
Back in 1824, John Cadbury began selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate from his premises in Birmingham, however, by the 1850’s the business began to decline rapidly. In 1861, under new ownership, Cadbury’s went from producing drinks to chocolate and by 1864 the company was profitable again. Now Cadbury’s is the second-largest confectionery brand in the world.
John Lewis was founded over 100 years ago by John Spedan Lewis as part of an experiment into a better way of doing business by including staff in the decision-making process. At the time, this unusual approach to business turned out to be very successful meaning the John Lewis brand began to experience rapid growth. To meet demand, John Lewis relied on a team of J-Types to form its distribution network.