Lebus truck restoration

By Luke White

A close friend has purchased an old delivery truck from the 1950s for restoration, upon closer inspection it appears to be an ex Harris Lebus vehicle.

We are trying to get this truck back to the original condition and livery as used by its first owner which seems to be Harris Lebus Ltd. We discovered this from a piece of paper with some driver instructions stuck to the inside of the cab.

We would appreciate anyone who can give us information regarding original look of this truck, we want it period correct, or if anybody has any further information regarding the Harris Lebus fleet from the 1950s.

Update from 9 October 2019:
So far we’ve pulled the head off the engine that’s now been sent off to be skimmed and have new valves cut into it, hopefully it’ll be back by the end of the week and back together over the weekend to see if it’ll start – fingers crossed!

We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Lebus truck restoration

Lebus truck restoration

Lebus truck restoration

Lebus truck restoration

Lebus truck restoration

Lebus truck restoration

Further transport related articles have previously been submitted and can be accessed from the following links:
Driving for Lebus
Driver training
Harris Lebus on wheels
Lebus after Tottenham
Lebus diorama
Merchandise Transport
Scottish connections
The Hale
Tottenham Hale

12 thoughts on “Lebus truck restoration

  1. Martyn Brisland says:

    Good luck with the project. The only information that I can add is that the number NLR 318 was issued between Feb 1953 and November 1954.

    • Richard Lebus says:

      As you will know already, Martyn, NLR 318 is not registered at DVLA!

    • Michael barry jones says:

      Martin sorry to inform that George BASSETT DIED AGE 98 IN January 2023
      i believe you may have known him he was my foreman in the Tottenham garage a brilliant engineer,He joins Ivor Thomas,and Pete Manton ,
      yours Mick Jones

  2. Mustafa says:

    This was probably the original livery:

  3. Richard Lebus says:

    This is all brilliant. I’m in contact with Luke and will take a keen interest in the restoration project.


    Your vehicle is a Bedford O model LEBUS ran a mixed fleet Bedfords A and O models Albion Clamore Chieitain and VICTORES also Jensons Imay sworked on your restoration as i was a fitter at Lebus HAPPY DAYS the transport manager was Mr FORREST the lorries were in grey with Lebus emblum and had tail sheets and loaded tailboards those were the days

    • John Freeman says:

      My uncle and Dad Tommy and Bill Freeman plus another uncle Fred Britten worked there during the 50’s and 60’s and more than once i drove with them on model A’s O’s, big and little wheeled TK’s, Coronets (my personal favourites), Albions and Jensens with one or all of them at various times. I recall Mr Forrest was Percy to most of the drivers and loading up at Ferry Lane was a great treat for me as a kid!! Ans sheeting up a tailboard was a joy to behold and by jove did they load the tailboards in those days!! Happy memories of great times never forgotten.

      • Michael Parsons says:

        This an amazing piece of news for Mustafa’s site, a year or ago I did put a piece on the Lebus site asking if any of the 250 or so trucks in the Lebus fleet were still around in any form but no real answers, the photograph seems to prove that there is such a truck.
        It would be a shame if this truck was not bought back up to the Lebus fleet standard I would have liked to have seen a TK, ALBION VICTOR or an ALBION CHIEFTAIN but this is a great find so let us enjoy this piece of history and perhaps some help with the rebirth of NLR 318.
        When I started with Lebus in 1961 there were two or three of the BEDFORD O types on the fleet and my first run out and my first night out was with one of the O types down to Sheerness with about twenty drops starting in Maid-stone then on to Sheerness where I stayed in digs so it might have been this one, I do remember that the Luton was huge and seemed to turn the corner before the truck did and the truck rolled on each and every corner but I survived my first trip.
        A couple of questions where was the truck found? and the body does not look to bad although they at that time had a lot of wood content, the cab would require a good bit of TLC so can it be done?.
        I did find an ALBION VICTOR in Siloth in Cumbria but it was not one of the Lebus fleet which was a shame and I did photograph it.
        This is one of the times that I wished that I did not live in Canada, this find would have been a nice reason to get my hands dirty again, keep the news coming in so that we can all follow the progress and maybe a trip to Brighton at some time in the long distance future, regards Michael Parsons.

        • Michael Parsons says:

          The names of management was Fred Forrest manger and Percy Mounteer transport manger. I had to phone Fred Forrest from Scotland one Saturday dinner time when I could not finish my load and he told me to stop out. Michael Parsons.

  5. Malcolm WILLIS FORMER MRCHANDISE TRANSPORT assistant Transport advisor says:

    I was assistant to Percy MOUNTEER when i was in the ofice at Ferry Lane.

    This restoration is a great project and wish it every success and i am keen to hear the progress on the restoratin of the Bedford lorry.

    Thank you
    Very much,

    I DID DRIVE a big chieftain at some time from the Depot at Ferry lane,
    and my home was opposite Fred Forrest.

  6. Michael Parsons says:

    Hi Malcolm,
    Was you the guy that used to come down to the gate office to discuss various things with Bill and Chaz during the day back in 1961/62 and always wore a light colored overcoat if it is you there is a photograph on Mustafa’s site on who I assume might be you standing at the gatehouse.
    Some of the Chieftains were repainted from Merchandise sign writing into Glenroy’s sign writing and shipped up to Glasgow the Jocks were not very pleased with Tottenham’s second hand lorries as they were a bit tired.
    Regards Michael Parsons.


    is there any more progress on the rebuild of the ex HARRIS LEBUS truck? i am interested because i was a fitter at LEBUS

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