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Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Deliverette Van

CAC Deliverette

Image: CAC Deliverette

Source: Museum Victoria

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 have been sourced from a BMW R66 motorcycle. With the end of World War Two in 1945, orders for military aircraft were greatly reduced. The delivery vehicle project utilised 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, the vehicle 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 again. However 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.

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