Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The J2 range of 15cwt vans and pick ups was designed by Morris but was very much a BMC product and was the corporations first unitary construction van. Launched in 1956 it continued in production until 1967 by which time over a 120,000 had been built. The J2 was originally fitted with the 1489cc version of BMC's B-Series engine, which was used in many different vehicles including the Austin Cambridge and MGA. In 1962 it gained the enlarged 1622cc engine, which was been fitted in the rest of the corporation's products, and a floor change gearbox. A diesel version using the same engine was also offered. In line with BMC's thinking in the late fifties, an Austin badged version of the J2 was made, which differed only grille shape, the Austin being plainer in style and more rectangular. The BMC JU van that was announced in 1967, and produced until 1974 was actually a very heavily revised J2 under the skin.

Founded in 1937 and celebrating it's 70th birthday in 2007, Dudley Zoological Gardens in the heart of the West Midlands is set in 40 acres of parkland in the shadow of the medieval castle. It is home to more than 1,000 animals and 200 species, many of them highly endangered and heads a prestigious conservation programme. The J2 van featured as a publicity vehicle during the 1960s.

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