Leyland Sherpa (CV306)
The Sherpa was a brilliant product, developed on a shoestring. Initial cost estimates said £1m and, on the strength of such favourable financial forecasts, the project was given the green light. Of course, Dews naturally kept trying to add in more goodies, much to the chagrin of the Product Planning and Finance Departments. The CV306 very much needed to be designed and built on a shoestring – and every addition to the basic concept that Dews added would tip the finance further away from the original and appealing £1m estimate.
It went on to live a long and fruitful life. Here’s its story.
We all know and love it from the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, but Leyland’s Sherpa had a vitally important role in life – to beat Ford’s all-conquering Transit. And given the resources available at the time, it was a fantastic effort. Leyland’s Transit By the late 1960s, BLMC’s offerings in the […]
In 1964 a Turkish truck-building company (BMC Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.) was set up at Izmir (the birthplace of Alec Issigonis, incidentally) in partnership with BMC to build Austin and Morris trucks under licence. The Turkish Sherpa The company later became independent of British Leyland, but has retained its BMC name; indeed, when the company began exporting […]
The Sherpa/LDV 200/400/Pilot/Convoy was a perfect example of British industry make-do-and-mend. In an ideal world, the boxy JU/J4-based van would have been replaced sometime in the early 1980s, but it ended up going on a whole lot longer… Here’s the fascinating story of one aborted attempt at replacement, and how it went on to become […]
A variation on a theme of our popular Unsung Heroes section. This time we pay respect to what was once ‘The biggest selling and biggest sized van in the UK’. Words: Mike Humble It’s Britain’s biggest van! Funny as it seems, but to feature a commercial vehicle in the ‘Unsung Heroes’ section actually makes perfect […]
They say Sherpa vans don’t quit… and neither do their drivers – well, here’s the proof. Vans from China’s biggest motor manufacturer are locked and loaded for launch in Australia in October after a formal sign-off ceremony in China this week. Words: Ron Hammerton A shipment of 120 LDV V80 vehicles produced by SAIC subsidiary […]
For those who wanted a home-from-home when they went on holiday, Torcars offered these two Sherpa-based campers. Suntor Sherpa Folllowing on from the success of their Marina-based models, Torcars introduced this full-size camper van, taking the Sherpa 215 as its basis. A fully insulated, fibreglass elevating roof, complete with side windows and ventilation grilles, gave […]
Following the 1952 merger, BMC rationalised its van range by concentrating on the Morris models. However, in order to keep their spearate Austin and Morris dealer chains supplied, they turned again to badge engineering, with certain vans being offered under both marques with just the badges and grilles differentiating them. In August 1968, the fledgling […]