1948 Thames Ute
The Fordson E83W, also sold from 1952 under the Thames brand as Ford Thames E83W half ton light commercial vehicle that was built by Ford of Britain at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant between 1938 and 1957. The van was sold in Australia as the Ford Ten-Ten, and the E83W was available in various forms around much of the world as Britain strove to export after World War II. In some countries, the 'cowl and chassis' only was imported and local bodies built. The E83W was aimed at the small haulage, trade and merchant market, sectors in which it sold well.
For consignment a rare kiwi bird indeed in the form of a Thames Ute, pickup 5-window version, but with a hot-rodded twist. A totally custom build from mandrel bent box frame up utilizing the original all steel body with only the rear fenders being reproduced. 1 of only 3 known to exist in the USA.
Bathed in Burgundy Glaisert BASF paint, with Orange to Yellow flames licking rearward from each front fender, and side panels, this unusually small pickup retains its original shape and style, but has many modern conveniences added. The long vertical “French bread loaf” style dual grilles make their way downward to a custom front billet style drilled bumper which protects a custom stainless gas tank. Miniature bullet chromed headlamps flank one other side, and pristine curving fenders with small running boards sporting integrated side piped exhaust between them, frame the top of the Team 3 polished wheels, which are wrapped with Michelins in front and big BFG's on the rear. The bed has been covered over NASCAR truck series style, is louvered for opening, and has a shiny polished drilled rear wing attached to it. Bringing up the rear are front matching style drilled dual bumpers. All finished are in excellent condition.
When one starts with a blank canvas, they can do whatever they want, and this interior is truly a masterpiece in textures. Utilizing the interior trappings form a Pontiac Fiero, we see a fine mixture of cloth and leather side bolsters in nicely contrasting tan. All custom door panels adorn suicide swinging doors have power window switches within. Up front we see a modified swirl pattern aluminum dash with white faced VDO gauges trimmed with red anodized aluminum bezels. This dash has a second panel with a cluster of small gauges in the same style in front of the passenger compartment. Deep Burgundy carpet floods the floors, and a Lokar shifter stick up proudly from the center. A pristine, tight, felt headliner hovers above this wonderful interior.
A 350ci V8 with a .030 overbore and mild cam is topped with an aluminum intake manifold, and a single 4-barrel Edelbrock Carburetor. This is backed by a TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and puts power rearward to a 9” Ford 3.55 rear. Noted also are Shock hugger headers, and stainless mufflers.
The sturdy mandrel bent box tube frame supports a great little handling truck utilizing a Mustang II front suspension, coil overs, tubular control arms, 9” mustang 2 discs, and a rack and pinion steering. In the rear we can see a 4-link suspension with coil overs, and 10” discs.
A meticulously performed restoration and ultimate rodding of a very unusual vehicle, seldom (if ever) seen in the US, has straight panels, is mostly steel, a very nice paint job, and healthy customized mill/drivetrain, and a very clean undercarriage. All from the land down undah, where women glow, and men blunder.