Panel van | Wikipedia audio article

Panel van | Wikipedia audio article


A panel van — also known as a car-derived
van (United Kingdom) or sedan delivery (United States) — is a cargo vehicle based upon
passenger car chassis, and typically has one row of seats with no side windows at the rear. Panel vans are smaller than panel trucks and
cargo vans, both of which are built on a truck chassis. As it is derived from their car chassis, it’s
evolution of the design is also intermingled with it as well, with much of its evolution
dependent upon the various international locations where a particular model’s found. North American panel vans were initially based
upon the 2-door station wagon models. In Europe, where many cities have histories
(and roads) hundreds of years’-long, necessitated that panel vans were (and still are) typically
smaller than those elsewhere, and are built on either a bespoke chassis or the chassis
of a subcompact car. In Australia, panel vans were a development
of the ute (a small pickup truck based on a passenger car chassis, e.g. Chevrolet El
Camino), often using the longer wheelbase of the station wagon chassis.==Origins==It is not known when the first panel van entered
production, however it became an established type of vehicle by the end of the 1920s.The
panel van body style has experienced separate evolutions in America, Europe and Australia,
as a result of the separate evolutions of the passenger car platforms (upon which the
panel van is based) in each region.==North America==A panel van is often known as a delivery in
North America. It’s an older term that usually only applies
to station wagon-based vehicles (sedan deliveries/delivery wagons) such as the Chevrolet Delray and Ford
Courier, or pickup-based vans (panel deliveries). Large, boxy unibody vans based on truck platforms
(such as the Ford Transit , Ram ProMaster , and Chevrolet Express) as well as smaller
unibody vans (like the Ford Transit Connect and Ram Promaster City ) are usually referred
to as cargo vans or just panel vans. Larger vehicles built on a chassis cab with
a custom cargo box are usually called box trucks or moving vans. In the late 1920s, Ford produced “Town Car
Delivery” and “Wood Panel Delivery” as part of the Ford Model A model range. Later Plymouth produced a sedan delivery from
1935 until 1941. Pontiac produced deliveries until 1953 in
the U.S. and until 1958 in Canada based on the Pontiac Pathfinder. Sedan delivery models were usually produced
in small quantities of 200 or less, for example 449 Canadian Pontiac sedan deliveries were
built in 1958.From 1959 on, the sedan delivery was no longer practical; it was phased out
in 1960 as a Chevrolet model, so the requisite Chevrolet body was no longer available. With the growing sales of the Volkswagen Type
2 and the introduction of compact vans, sedan deliveries faded from the scene. Chevrolet dropped the body type after 1960,
while Ford moved it to the Falcon line-up until 1965.In the 1970s, Chevrolet and Ford
offered subcompact sedan deliveries with the Chevrolet Vega Panel Express and the Ford
Pinto Panel Wagon. The Vega Panel Express was introduced in September
1970 and it was Chevy’s first sedan delivery in ten years since the final full-size model
was offered in 1960. The Vega Panel Express body style accounted
for less than 2% of the total Chevrolet Vegas produced during the 1971 through 1975 model
years. First year sales of the Vega Panel Express
peaked at 7,800 units and after leveling off to 4,000 units per year, only 1,525 were sold
in 1975. The Pontiac Astre Panel, Pontiac’s version
of the Vega Panel Express, was available in Canada in the 1973-75 model years and in the
US for 1975. The Pinto Panel Wagon was introduced in 1976
and was offered in both a commercial and a “factory customized” Pinto Cruising Wagon
version that featured a round porthole style window on each side. The Ford Courier name, previously used for
Ford sedan delivery vans, began to be used with Ford’s import pickup truck line.In 2002,
Chrysler showed a concept car edition of a panel van based on the PT Cruiser at the North
American International Auto Show, but it was not manufactured. In 2007 Chevrolet released a panel van version
of the HHR, marketed as the HHR Panel.The small cargo vans currently sold by American
manufacturers are from their overseas divisions, for example the Ford Transit Connect and Dodge
Ram ProMaster City.==Europe==European panel vans of the 20th century include
the Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette, Morris Minor, Renault Estafette, Citroën H Van, Citroën
C15, SEAT Inca and more recently the Renault Kangoo and the Opel Combo.From the 1950s onwards,
a larger alternative to the panel van was the van (based on a commercial vehicle chassis
instead of a passenger car chassis), such as the Volkswagen Type 2, the DKW van and
the first-generation Ford Transit in 1965.In the United Kingdom, panel vans benefit from
having lower taxes than station wagons and do not have the speed restrictions which apply
to larger vans. This has given rise to some anomalies. Authorities and dealers are not always certain
on what qualifies as a car-derived van.Examples of panel vans from the last 30 years are the
Renault Kangoo (1997), the Fiat Doblò (2001), Opel Combo (2001), Ford Transit Connect (2002)
or the Volkswagen Caddy (2004). They are also purpose-designed to be utilitarian
base model MPVs / people carriers, for a range of such vehicles. In 2018, Ford Europe introduced a van configuration
of the Ford Fiesta, sharing its body with the regular passenger version.As of 2019,
the market consists of the following models and many more: Citroën Berlingo
Dacia Dokker Fiat Fiorino
Fiat Doblò Ford Fiesta Sport Van
Ford Transit Courier Ford Transit Custom
Mercedes-Benz Citan Nissan NV200
Opel/Vauxhall Combo Peugeot Partner
Renault Kangoo Toyota ProAce City
Volkswagen Caddy==Australia==The first Holden panel van produced in Australia
was the FJ Holden, which was released in December 1953, although many manufacturers offered
panel vans in their range prior to this. As per many Australian panel vans, it was
based on the ute model, with additional body work at the rear. In May 1961, Ford Australia released a panel
van version of the XK Falcon, marketed as the “sedan delivery” body style. The first panel van by Chrysler Valiant was
part of the CL Valiant model range and was introduced in April 1977.Painters, electricians,
general labourers and film crews would often use panel vans, due to the extra cargo area
and customisable interior in a relatively compact vehicle. Australian police forces also used panel vans
as police vans (nicknamed “divvy vans” or “paddywagons”).Early Australian panel vans
used swing-down and -up tailgates and a standard roof height, due to their origins of the ute
body style. Some later models offered horizontally opening
rear doors (nicknamed “barn doors”) and a higher roofline for increased cargo area. By the early 1970s, at a time when the American
panelvan was in decline, panel vans had become Australian cultural icons. The most popular model was the Holden Sandman,
which was marketed towards young men, in particular targeting the surfing lifestyle. The first Sandman was built in small numbers
in 1974 for the HQ model range, however the model’s popularity greatly increased with
the following HJ generation, which was released in October 1974. In the 1979 movie Mad Max, a modified 1975
HJ Sandman model appeared as one of the vehicles driven by the lead character (played by Mel
Gibson).Ford’s equivalent of the Sandman was the Surferoo model, which was introduced into
the XB Falcon model range in 1973, which was not a successful model. The Surfaroo was replaced by the more popular
Sundowner model, which was introduced into the XC Falcon range in 1977. In 1976, Chrysler released a similar model
called the Drifter, which was part of the Chrysler CL Valiant. The Drifter was not a success and ceased production
in 1978. Younger drivers were especially attracted
to panel vans, for reasons such as the ease with which a mattress could be installed within
the cargo bay. Consequently, panel vans also attracted nicknames
such as “sin bins,” and “shaggin’ wagons”. This kind of activity was frequently carried
out at the local drive-in theatre. During the 1970s it also became fashionable
to decorate the exterior sides with murals, often painted with intricate detail. Along with the Volkswagen Kombi, panel vans
were very popular with surfers, as it was convenient to sleep in the cargo bay while
carrying surfboards on the roof. By the end of 1979, the Sandman had largely
lost its place in the contemporary Australian youth culture – order figures were down and
many of the vehicles were now being sold with the stripes and tailgate logos deleted. The final Sandman model was during the Holden
HZ series and featured a choice of V8 engines only, along with a four-headlight grille and
under bumper front spoiler. According to a GMH Price List dated 25 January
1979, a basic HZ Holden panel van was priced at A$6,076, with the Sandman option package
an additional A$1,700. If a buyer selected every Sandman extra, which
would cost in excess of 50% more than a basic HZ panel van, Holden would include a velvet
mattress with Holden logo embroidered. The Sandman ute was phased out in October
1979, followed by the Sandman panel van prior to the end of the HZ series.Panel vans in
general were declining in popularity during the 1980s. Holden’s last panel van was the WB model,
which ceased production in 1984. Subsequently, Ford became the sole manufacturer
of them until 1999 when production of last entry in the history of the Australian panel
van, the XH Falcon, ceased. In 2000, Holden unveiled a Sandman show car
based on their Holden VU Ute of the time. This Sandman was never released, however from
2003 to 2005 an optional canopy in the same style was sold as panel vans, however they
still retained the rear window and firewall of the ute they were originally based on,
preventing movement between the cargo bay and the passenger cab, as offered by traditional
panel vans.==See also==
Car body style Light commercial vehicle
Panel truck, built on a truck chassis, a panel truck is usually larger than a panel van
Pickup truck

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