The 'Vixen' 4 tonner, and the Vixen tower waggon

A 'Vixen' tipper. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The 'Vixen' chassis was popular in many parts of the world. It had a low height chassis and ease of access to the cab.

Its many uses included delivery vehicles, mobile libraries and shops, and pantechnicons.

Another feature was it's low fuel consumption, around 28 m.p.g.

A 'Vixen' chassis. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

4 ton 'Vixen' Specification:

Guy 3.4 litre, 4-cylinder, compression ignition unit, 58 b.h.p. at 2,400 r.p.m., torque 154 lb. ft. at 1,500 r.p.m. The Perkins P.4. could be fitted as an alternative.

4-speed and reverse, constant mesh type, constant mesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th speeds, with provision on the right hand side of the gearbox for a power take-off. Ratios: 1st 6.061 to 1, 2nd 3.473 to 1, 3rd 1.746 to 1, 4th 1 to 1, reverse 6.051 to 1.

Borg & Beck. 11 in. diameter, single dry plate.

Single shaft (short wheelbase model), double shaft, with self-aligning centre bearing (long wheelbase models), statically and dynamically balanced.

Front axle
'I' section steel forging, with robust ends to take the braking torque. The hubs were mounted on taper roller bearings. The king pins were case hardened, and renewable bushes were fitted.

Rear axle
Fully floating heavy duty type, with spiral bevel final drive. The pinion and crown wheel were mounted on roller and ball thrust bearings, with a double roller spigot bearing at the rear of the pinion. Axle ratios: 6.2 to 1, or 5.7 to 1.

High efficiency cam and roller type.

Semi-elliptic springs at the front and rear. The front springs were anchored at the rear, and shackled at the front. Shock absorbers could be fitted if required.

Girling two leading shoe with Lockheed hydrovac assistance on all four wheels to give positive and progressive braking. Front drums 14 inches diameter, rear drums 16 inches in diameter. The hand brake operated on the rear wheels only

Wheels and Tyres
Michelin 7.00 x 20 heavy duty pneumatic tyres, single fronts and twin rears, with interchangeable disc wheels of the eight stud type. Spare wheel and carrier were provided.

A rigid frame assembly using 7 inch deep, pressed steel side members, braced with deep channel section cross members secured by fitted bolts.

12 volt lighting system from two 6 volt heavy duty batteries giving 63 ampere-hours. The headlamps are sunk into the front dash plate.

Fuel tank
17½ gallon capacity.

A 'Vixen' 4 ton lorry. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

A 'Vixen' mobile library. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

A 'Vixen' delivery van. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

Another, slightly larger 'Vixen' delivery van. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

A 'Vixen' furniture van. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The 'Vixen' tower waggon

Because Guy Motors was a major manufacturer of trolley buses, it must have been almost inevitable for the company to produce a vehicle to assist in the maintenance of overhead wires, and street lights. The 3-stage hydraulically operated tower wagon was designed to give an extended working platform height of 25 feet, and a minimum closed height of approximately 13 feet.

From the sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The driver’s compartment had a door on either side, complete with a sliding window protected by vertical guard rods, a three-piece windscreen, and bucket seats for the driver and his mate.

The linesman's compartment had a seasoned English ash or oak frame, panelled with Plymax, and steel or aluminium panels. There was a compartment for the storage of tools and line equipment, and a workshop, with a workbench, and a 4 inch parallel vice.

The roof was strongly constructed to stand the weight of the line crew. The tower consisted of 3 sections, constructed of selected English ash or oak framing, strongly braced with steel diagonals and corner irons. The revolving platform was 8 ft. 6 inches long x 4 feet wide, mounted on a turntable which could revolve through 360 degrees. It had a circular rack and pinion, and a locking gear to hold it rigidly in position.

The tower was operated by a hydraulic ram, complete with oil pump, reservoir and drive, and a safety device which prevented the towers from accidentally crashing down, if the hydraulic system failed.

The vehicle with a fully closed tower. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The tower fully extended. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The lineman's compartment, complete with seat, tool and storage racks, workbench,  and vice.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The cab of one Wolverhampton Corporation's Guy tower wagons, showing both compartments, and the large windows surrounding the linesman's workshop.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

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