Light Delivery Vehicles Limited


The Turner 168 c.c., two-stroke 'By-van'. Stan Simmons is putting his tools away, while boss Richard Lee looks on. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
In the late 1940s the Turner Manufacturing Company Limited, of Wolverhampton formed a separate company called 'Light Delivery Vehicles Ltd', (L.D.V.) which operated from Turner’s Lever Street factory.

L.D.V. produced the two wheeled 'By-Van', and the three wheeled 'Tri-Van', and 'Rixi'.


The front cover of the sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.
 
The photograph shows the volume of goods that can be carried in a 'By-Van'. From the sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The 'By-Van' was a motorcycle, equipped with a steel carrying box, which had a capacity of 5.57 cubic feet, and could carry a load of up to 1.5cwt.

The 'Tri-Van' had two rear wheels, and a larger container, which had a capacity of 23 cubic feet, and could carry a load of up to 3 cwt.

The 'Rixi' was a rickshaw taxi, capable of carrying two passengers and the driver.

The three models were powered by a Turner 168 c.c. single-cylinder two stroke engine, mounted above the front wheel, which developed 3.5 b.h.p. at 2,500 r.p.m.

The 'By-Van' had a 2-speed gearbox, and the 'Tri-van' and 'Rixi' had a 3-speed gearbox. They had a top speed of 30 m.p.h. with all day cruising at 20m.p.h. The 'By-Van' sold for £120 and the 'Tri-Van' sold for £150.

Unfortunately little interest was shown in the products, which only sold in small numbers.


Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


From the sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


A 'By-Van', as seen in the sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

Brian Shaw's 'By-Van'.

As seen at the 2007 Festival of Black Country Vehicles, at the Black Country Living Museum.

A 'Tri-Van'.

From the sales literature.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

This photograph, also from the sales literature, shows the volume of goods that can be carried in a 'Tri-Van'. It can carry up to 3 cwt.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The 'Tri-Van' specification. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The 'Tri-Van' was also available as a pick-up truck. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The front cover of the 'Tri-Van' sales literature. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.
In 1946 a 'By-Van' was demonstrated in Brussels, but little interest was shown in the machine.

It was powered by a 125 c.c. Royal Enfield 'Flying Flea' engine, which was mounted on top of the pressed steel forks.

A diagram from the sales literature showing the front part of the 'Tri-Van'.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The specification of the 168 c.c. Turner 'Tiger' engine. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

   
View the L.D.V. Service Manual
   


A 'Rixi'. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The 'Rixi', a version of the 'Tri-Van', was intended as a taxi for the far east, but like the other two products it was not successful, and did not sell.

One 'Rixi' was a familiar sight in Wolverhampton during 1950 when it was operated by Bob's Taxis of North Street.


Another 'Rixi'. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

A description from the 'Rixi' sales literature.

Courtesy of Brian Shaw.


The 'Rixi' specification. Courtesy of Brian Shaw.

The 'Rixi' that was used by Bob's Taxis
of North Street, Wolverhampton.

Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.


The By-Van, Tri-Van, and Rixi about to set off on their epic journey. Actress Sally Rogers wishes them good luck. Courtesy of Derek Beddows.

As part of a publicity exercise, a 'By-Van', 'Tri-Van', and a 'Rixi' undertook a 2,000 mile trip. The part was from Wolverhampton to Land's End and back, then from Wolverhampton to John O'Groats, and back. The idea was to show that the three machines, which were designed to undertake short distance work, could accomplish the feat without mechanical trouble or breakdowns.

The trio left Lever Street at 10a.m. one Friday morning and arrived at their first overnight stop in Wellington, Somerset at 6.20p.m. The following morning they set off for Paul, near Penzance, their next stopping place. Sunday was a rest day apart from a short run in the afternoon.

Early on Monday morning they left for Land's End, where photographs were taken, and then proceeded to Exeter for another overnight stop. At 8.30a.m. the following morning they returned to Wolverhampton for an overnight stop, travelling via Bristol and Gloucester.

At 7.45a.m. on Wednesday morning the trio assembled on Tettenhall Green where Turner's Managing Director Mr. P. B. Dumbell and L.D.V.'s Managing Director Mr. F. L. Tildersley were on hand to wish them well. They set off at 8.15a.m. and travelled to Kendal, where they arrived at their hotel at 6.45p.m.

The next day they travelled to Stirling, and on Friday proceeded to Inverness, in readiness for their journey to John O'Groats the following day. After an early start the jubilant trio arrived at John O'Groats at 7.00p.m. where they were greeted by the locals.

Sunday was to be an easy day and so they travelled about 60 miles to the fishing village of Brora for an overnight stay. On Monday they began their return journey, travelling to Fort William and Ballachulish, where they spent the night. The day had been a testing one because of the extremely wet weather, which often occurs in the area.

Tuesday was also a very wet day and they decided to work the machines hard on their journey through Glencoe and across Rannoch Moor to see if any defects could be found. That day they travelled to Edinburgh via Glasgow and received an enthusiastic welcome on their arrival in Edinburgh, where photographs were taken in the castle forecourt.

On Wednesday they travelled to Durham, and then to Sheffield the following day. Their journey ended on Friday at 1.47p.m. when they arrived back at Lever Street Works to be warmly welcomed by a large number of onlookers. The average fuel consumption for the whole trip was 83m.p.g. for the 'By-Van' and 74m.p.g. for the 'Tri-Van'. They did not travel lightly as the 'By-Van' carried a load of 1cwt. and the 'Tri-Van' carried 2cwts. The 'Rixi' carried one passenger, along with the driver, and 50lbs in weight. This was a fitting tribute to the excellent engineering and design work, that went into the products.

This photograph shows the 'By-Van' that was demonstrated in Brussels in 1946. It is being tried out in a Brussels Street.
The only surviving L.D.V. 'Tri-Van' known, and its previous owner Mr. Hardie.

Seen at the 2009 Festival of Black Country Vehicles at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley.

Another view of the 'Tri-Van'.
A final view of the 'Tri-Van'.

It sold for £2,645 at a Bonhams auction in June 2014.


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