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Motor Van - Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) 'Deliverette', 1948 Object Reg. No: ST 036817

This prototype for a small delivery vehicle was constructed in 1947 at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) factory at Fishermans Bend, Victoria. It was powered by a modified 597cc BMW twin-cylinder motor cycle engine believed to be sourced from a BMW R66 motorcycle. With World War Two ending in 1945, orders for military aircraft were greatly reduced. The delivery vehicle project could utilise the aircraft manufacturing technology and materials already in the factory. CAC also began producing pressure-cookers and bathtubs in the post-war years.

Dubbed the Deliverette, it was designed especially for city deliveries. The narrow aluminium body allowed it to be driven down tight laneways or onto the footpath. The tall open sides flush to the kerb and saddle seat let the driver leap in and out with ease.
The prototype generated strong interest. Milkmen, bakers, hot-food vendors, ice-cream sellers, laundry services and the Post Office all saw merit in the odd but practical vehicle. A florist was especially enthusiastic. She told the company it would enable her to deliver flowers already arranged in vases. Production plans were shelved when the Korean War broke out in 1950 and aircraft orders began to increase. The Deliverette project proved to be a useful experience for CAC which later made bodies for the long-lasting and popular range of Comair buses based on Bedford chassis units.

The prototype was acquired and owned for many years by Sir Laurence Hartnett, former Managing Director of General Motors Holden. It was purchased by the Museum from his estate in 1987.
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 228 cm (Height), 162 cm (Width), 396.5 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: delivery vans, motor vans, aircraft manufacturing, internal combustion engines
Themes this item is part of: Engineering Collection, Transport Collection, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Winjeel, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) CA-6 Wackett Trainer, North American Aviation / Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Mustang Fighter, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Deliverette Van, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Wirraway
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: ROAD TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Motor Vehicles
Tertiary Classification: motor vans
Manufacturer: Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Fishermans Bend (Fishermen's Bend), Victoria, Australia, 1948
Company Manager/Director: Sir Lawrence Wackett, Fishermans Bend (Fishermen's Bend), Victoria, Australia
User: Sir Laurence Hartnett, Victoria, Australia
  1. [Journal], BeeEm - Magazine of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Victoria, Melbourne, Jan 2007, p.18 Pages

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