1927 Dennis 2.5 Ton Flat Bed Lorry

Make: Dennis
Model: 2.5 Ton Flat Bed Lorry
Year: 1927
Registration Number: RX 1183
Chassis Number: 31891
Engine Number: 21374
Sold For: £6050

Lot No: 232

Like many British Engineering Firms of the late 19th and early 20th century, it all started with bicycles. In this case the Dennis brothers, John and Raymond, initially made Speed King Bicycles, producing their first motor car in around 1899. The first purpose built motor vehicle factory in Britain was built in Guildford by the Dennis Brothers and mainly cars were produced until 1913, although the first bus appeared in 1903 and fire engine in 1908. After 1913 the commercial market proved to have less competition, so larger new premises were built on a 12 acre site on the outskirts of Guildford. Production was taken over during the First World war by the Ministry of Munitions making 30 ton lorries and Fire Engines. The post-war years saw a glut in commercial vehicles and demand for new trucks dropped. Dennis spotted a market for municipal vehicles however and expanded into dustcarts, street cleaners, tankers, pumps and the like. They also acquired a controlling interest in their engine supplier White and Poppe of Coventry. A single chassis design was used for lorries and buses, the latter having a lower ride height. Lorry production was slowed by the Great Depression of the 1930s but one again war production was able to take advantage of the overall range of vehicles on offer and the company thrived.

This 2 ½ Ton Lorry was originally supplied to Beaumont College in Windsor. By 1937, it was in the ownership of H K Keeling of Wokingham and then in 1977, it belonged to Leonard and Gillian Cullimore of Charfield, Gloucestershire and it remains in the blue, red and gold livery of their business. The current custodian purchased the Dennis in 2008 and it has since formed part of an extensive private collection of historic vehicles and has participated in many events including the London to Brighton Historic Vehicle Run. Sadly due to poor health, it has arrived for auction in Dorset from Nottingham and as such is a rare opportunity for a commercial vehicle enthusiast.

The Lorry has been in dry storage for some time and will now require recommissioning. The cab is presentable, but could be improved. The chassis and underside are both clean. We note that the radiator core and rear timber cross members are damaged and the floor boards and seat are not included. In terms of the engine, we do not know when the Dennis was last started or used. 

The file contains the original RF60 from 1927, plus green VE60 continuation book for 1977.

ADDENDUM: Three floorboards and the seat are included in the sale. The V5C registration certificate has not been found - the new owner will need to apply to DVLA for a new V5C with the assistance of the Dennis Owners' Club. The missing magneto may be found at a later date. 

Auction Date: 23 November 2023