Fordson Thames Trucks
Ford Thames E83W dropside 1957.jpg
Manufacturer Ford of Britain
Also called Ford Ten-Ten (Australia)
Body and chassis
Body style van, pick-up
Engine 1.2 L Straight-4
Transmission 3 speed manual
Wheelbase 78 in (1,981 mm)
Length 157.5 in (4,000 mm)
Width 64 in (1,626 mm)
Successor Ford Thames 400E
The Fordson E83W, also sold later under the Thames brand, was a 10 cwt (half ton) light commercial vehicle from Ford built at the Dagenham plant in the United Kingdom between 1938 and 1957. The van was sold in Australia as the Ten-Ten, and the E83W was available in various forms around much of the world as Britain strove to export after WW 2. 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, with many a local Fordson butcher's or grocer's delivery van being fondly recalled by the baby boom generation. A 'Utilicon' estate wagon conversion was available in the UK. Vans are the most common today, along with builders' pickups, which were flatbeds. Many rusty vans have been cut down to make a wooden back pickup, flatbed in other words. The rarest by far are the steel back step-side pickups, with only 10 or 20 known to exist in the UK. During and after the second world war, many specialist variations such as mobile canteens, ice cream vans and even fire pumps were built on the E83W chassis.
The E83W was powered by the 1172 cc Ford 10 hp side-valve engine, with a 3 speed gearbox, and was heavily geared down in the rear axle. This made the Fordson much slower than the saloons, with an effective top speed of not much over 40 mph. Apart from the 10 hp engine, the E83W shares few parts with the other small Fords, which does make the spares a little harder to get hold of. The front and rear axles are much heavier than the saloon and 5cwt van components, and share some parts such as bearings and other internals with the contemporary Ford V8 models (Models 62 and E71A Pilot). The head lamps were shared with the E27N tractor, for which they were an optional extra only.
The E83W was a simple and slow but sturdy and lovable little commercial, which continued to serve well into the 1960s in good numbers in many parts of the world, and which survives in reasonable numbers today.