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Bedford Camper Vans and Motorhomes is another reference-quality book from author Martin Watt, who founded the Classic Camper Club and is an authority on classic British motorhomes.
Forty years ago, Bedford was a respected name in commercial vehicles; the Vauxhall-owned brand was once the favoured choice of the British Army and its HA, CA and CF vans were as ubiquitous as Ford Transits are today, maintaining a strong position in the UK market from the 1950s through to the late 1970s.
Bedford had corresponding success as a base vehicle manufacturer for camper vans and motorhomes. Its van models were used both for panel van conversions and in chassis cab form as the basis for coachbuilt motorhomes, which became increasingly popular in the 1970s.
In Bedford Camper Vans and Motorhomes, Martin Watt tells the story of Bedford vans and the conversions they were used in. Long-since defunct names like Dormobile and Canterbury are featured, along with converters like Murvi and Auto-Sleeper that are still in business today.
The book is packed with 200 pictures, most of which are in colour and many of which picture in detail the interiors of these classic campers.
As I mentioned in my review of Watts’ book on Dormobiles, many of the conversions pictures show layouts that are still in use today – unlike, say, tent design, relatively little seems to have changed in the motorhome world over the last 40 years.
The book concludes with a look at Bedford and Vauxhall vans of a more recent vintage. Neither the Bedford Midi nor the Bedford Rascal were conspicuous successes, but both made niche inroads into the camper van world. Conversely, the Vauxhall Vivaro van has been a massive success as a van, but has not been used much as a motorhome base vehicle -probably because it lacks the buyer appeal of the VW Transporter, which is nearly identical in size.
Bedford Camper Vans and Motorhomes is another excellent book from Martin Watts and should make a very enjoyable read for anyone interested in Bedfords and classic campers.
Publisher: The Crowood Press
Published: February 2010
Size: 296×210 mm
Inside: 200 colour photographs