As British truck production resumed after World War II, the government, including the Post Office, embarked on a large fleet replacement process. Records show that in 1951 the government approved the purchase of 1100 vehicles for its use, including 375 new trucks. The trucks included Bedford K, M, and O models, including K specials, and Austin Loadstars.
Later purchases included the Ford Thames ET6, known as the Costcutter. Prices paid for a 3-ton cab and chassis averaged £654 ($40,810), and £764 ($47,770) for a 5-tonner. Fitting out, including body-building, would have added to this cost. The Bedfords were used in many different combinations, including flat deck and canopy trucks for mail and line work. Other applications included winch trucks, tippers, extra cabs, tractors with fifth wheels, and a few even had a post hole borer mounted on the rear deck. Photographs taken at the time show the range of different activities.
Photo: A Bedford K special with a canopy and ladder racks for line work. This would have had the 6-cylinder Bedford engine, common at the time.
Photo: A Ford Thames Costcutter. The majority of these had a 4-cylinder petrol engine, although some had a diesel, and a few even had V8s.