By Graham Edge
The Leyland Beaver name survived for over forty years from the first appearance of this distinguished model in 1928. Within ten years of its inception there was an almost confusing assortment of Beavers suitable for just about every task a lorry could perform. Leyland Motors had perfected the top-weight four-wheeler and dominated the market for this particular kind of vehicle. After the Second World War, for fifteen years or so, Beavers were often seen as part of wagon and trailer outfits, their lorries exuding strength and reliability. As road transport modernised in the 1960s so Beaver articulated lorries became increasingly popular. Beaver production lasted until 1971 when it was phased out in favour of the '500 series' Buffalo. Because of the longevity of the production of the Beavers the story is quite complex, embracing not just the UK but also the models sold overseas, often in modified forms. Graham Edge charts our way clearly through this history and in his appendices includes chassis and engine details. The photographs, all high quality, are former Leyland archive material housed at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum Trust. The images range from 1928 - and what is believed to be the first Leyland Beaver - to a 1968 'two-pedal' model coupled to a 40 ft trailer, hauling for a steel stockholder.
Publication Date: 1/1/2000