All-electric Morris JE Commercial looks the part

Torbay Weekly

Motor manufacturers started making retro designed new cars well over 20 years ago.

The idea being simple. Think of their best-selling car from a previous age and clothe it in a modern body that emulates the past design.

Obvious ones are the Mini, Fiat 500, VW Beetle, Jaguar S Type and XK8.

All these draw heavily on their past success in the hope of captivating some of the earlier magic.

Some might say they had run out of original ideas.

The new cars have little in common with their original predecessors and the VW Beetle and Fiat 500 are front engine and front wheel drive unlike the originals with rear engine set up.

The Beetle retains it’s ‘Bug’ persona. The Mini Clubman however, has completely outgrown the original. It is more akin to a Cortina Estate car and certainly much wider.

Fiat always knew their 1950s 500 was as cute as they come so this is what they have returned to. It works very well for the firm.

Retro cars are highly fashionable in the USA with Ford Mustangs, Dodge Challengers and Chevrolet Camaros all harping back to their 1960s character.

Even Land Rover has joined in the fun.

The long-awaited new Defender is a direct crib on the outdated model which has graced our farms since the end of World War Two.

It is selling like hot cakes as well.

My favourite and newest motor to join these ranks is the E Van based on the post-war Morris J Series.

Called the Morris JE Commercial, complete with split screen, it is all electric with a one tonne payload and a 200-mile range.

This kind of application suits battery-powered vans very well since weight is not a major issue if you are pottering around doing deliveries locally or selling ice creams at the beach.

Although it is a bit pricey at £60,000, I have to say it looks the part and I remember our village on Dartmoor getting a weekly bread delivery in one of the originals.

I can still smell the inside to this day!