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Sunstar/Chrono 1/12 1960 Morris Minivan Royal Mail 5316

Just five months after the launch of the Mini saloons, BMC launched a van version under both the Austin and Morris brands in January 1960. Based on the saloon floorpan, the lengthening of the wheelbase by 4 inches plus the increased overhang at the rear resulted in an overall length of 129.875 inches, an increase of 9.5 inches. In front of the B-pillar, the only significant change was the replacement of the separate radiator grille by one stamped out from the body shell. Behind the B-pillar, a full van compartment was added, extending the roof-line of the saloon. The addition of two side-mounted doors at the rear reduced the rigidity of the body shell, so for extra strength, a new, flat, swaged load-platform was added, which also facilitated the re-positioning of the fuel tank, spare wheel and battery which were all in the boot of the saloon. The fuel tank was placed under the floor, behind the rear axle with the filler cap and pipe moved from the near-side to the off-side. The battery and spare wheel were re-sited under the floor at the front, behind the seats, on the off-side and near-side respectively. To keep costs down, the interior finish was very basic and the van section was just painted metal.
The first 50 Morris Mini vans were delivered to the Post Office in 1960 and 1963. However, because they were much lower than the Morris Minor van, getting in and out was much more difficult which made them unpopular with postmen. So, it was only after production of the Morris Minor had ended in 1971 that large quantities of Mini vans were bought. All Royal Mail vans were fitted with a locking bar on the rear door together with an extra lock, for improved security.
Sunstar/Chrono 1/12 1960 Morris Minivan Royal Mail 5316
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