1935 Ford Box Van (Dad's Army)
Lot 307
The ex-'Dad's Army',1935 Ford BB Box Van Chassis no. BB5307774 Engine no. R57332
Sold for £63,100 (US$ 106,059) inc. premium
Lot Details
The ex-'Dad's Army'
1935 Ford BB Box Van
Registration no. BUC 852
Chassis no. BB5307774
Engine no. R57332


  • No comedy series of recent decades has given us more unforgettable characters and memorable catch phrases that the incomparable Dad's Army, 80 episodes of which were screened between July 1968 and November 1977, spanning BBC Television's transition from black-and-white to colour. As well as the main characters making up the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon, the series also featured an extended supporting cast – Mrs Pike, the vicar, the verger, ARP warden Hodges, Mrs Fox, etc – to which one might with some justification add the Ford van owned by Jack Jones the butcher, played by Clive Dunn (catch phrases: 'Don't panic!' and 'They don't like it up 'em!').

    Corporal Jones' van was a two-ton Ford BB, one of the first commercial models produced at Ford's new Dagenham factory when it opened in 1931. Initially the models B, BB and BBF used the 3.3-litre, 40hp Model A engine before a V8 option became available a little later. It is unlikely that an independent provincial butcher like Jack Jones, with but a single small shop, would have needed such a large van, but the programme's producers were no doubt mindful of the fact that they would need to fit the entire platoon inside it whenever the need arose.

    'BUC 852' had been discovered lying derelict in Streatham, South London by Frank Holland, one of the BBC's assistant property masters. Recognising its potential, he contacted Fred Wilmington, whose company supplied vehicles to the BBC, and the van was duly acquired and restored. Some time later it was spotted at Wilmington's Kingsbury premises by Paul Joel, Dad's Army designer, and co-opted for use in the series. Suitably sign-written 'J Jones Family Butcher', 'BUC 852' made its screen debut on 11th September 1969 in the very first colour episode: 'The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones' and continued to make regular appearances thereafter.

    'BUC 852' was purchased by the Patrick Collection at auction in 1991, some 21 years ago, for a hammer price of £11,200. It carried an estimate of £8,000-12,000. Running well, the vehicle is described as in generally good condition mechanically, with good paint, chrome and interior. It is offered with MoT to November 2013, Swansea V5 registration document and extensive correspondence. Four manikins are included in the sale: Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Corporal Jones and Private Pike. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a charismatic and much loved commercial vehicle with considerable potential for promotional work.

    Please note:
    If you are unable to collect this Lot with your own contractor by the given time, the uplift to store and storage charges will differ from those outlined for standard motor cars in the catalogue. The cost for this Lot will be at quoted rates from Polygon Transport. We recommend that prospective purchasers implement a contingency plan with Polygon in advance of the Sale. Please visit www.polygon-transport.com

Saleroom notices

  • Removal and uplift to store on this lot will be £350 + VAT. This vehicle does not appear to have an MoT as catalogued. The vehicle has several Declarations of Exemption V112G forms with the documents.
  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 5809
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802