Heritage Commercials

PIONEER AND EXPLORER

Like the Pioneers, the Explorers were sold-off at auction to begin a second life as commercial breakdown trucks or as showman tractors, invariably they were re-engined with a less thirsty diesel, like the Gardner 6LW. Hundreds of garages up and down the country saw the Explorer as a ‘safe pair of hands’ for their business. Jackson’s of Morpeth, a 24-hour heavy recovery service closely allied to the military, based at Priestbridge, about 25 miles from the Otterburn ranges in Northumberland, ran both Pioneers and Explorers over the years. Fortunately, the company is sympathetic to the enthusiast marketplace, so most of their surplus equipment has been directed towards the preservationists as Mike and Julie Blenkinsop found out.

Derek Willis who ran the coach company ‘Willis of Bodmin’ acquired an Explorer originally supplied to the Royal Navy for work at Devonport dockyard. While involved in

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