During the late 1950's Park Royal produced cabs and some trailers for various AEC chassis at volume production rates. The AEC Mandator was classed as a G Series Heavyweight vehicle.
Stephen Gray writes: These are probably an early production Mark 5 cab. The purpose of these images is ostensibly to show the PRV content of the structure. Studying the cab all the panel work in white is PRV opposed to the darker panels which would have been assembled at AEC Southall on the production line in the form of cab floor, inner and outer front scuttle and wings. PRV would have also built the seats and doors, fitted the lighting, instruments and trim. The AEC part number for the complete cab structure was Q248A. This cab was only offered on the G Series Heavyweight range which incorporated Mammoth & Mandator models.
I am uncertain of this cab but my guess is that it is a Park Royal cab, similar to the one above, mounted on a Maudslay chassis that would have almost certainly been a badge-engineered AEC. It was most likely destined for the commercial motor show in 1959. ( Does anyone have any knowledge of this vehicle? Ed.)
Stephen Gray confirms that this vehicle is a Maudslay badge-engineered AEC Mandator Mark 5 tractor unit fitted with a prototype pre-production cab. There are a number of detail differences on this cab which make it unique:
a) Lower front steps are non standard.
b) The roof appears to be of a different profile / moulding / construction.
c) Front bumper is Mercury / Marshal / Mustang model profile - swaged top and bottom.
d) Door glass aperture / swage line and moulding in outer door panel plus positioning of outer door handle.
e) Mirrors fitted - although this style was fitted to early production models.
f) Position of rear cab glass. The two corner windows and rear pane on the production cabs were deeper.
g) The location of the glass was lower on the rear panel on the production versions.
The Express Dairy Mammoth Major 8 Mark 5 makes for an interesting comparison to this Maudslay Mandator in terms of the detail differences above. Not withstanding what an excellent vehicle the tanker was!
Reference has already been made on this site regarding ACV using badge engineering to ensure more floor space at the Commercial Motor Show which was always at a premium whilst the show was held at Earls Court. The examples given are for the Bridgemaster, which was originally shown as a Crossley model, and the PRV Royalist coach. The same reasons applied to this "Maudslay". To my knowledge no Mark 5 lorry model was ever sold as a Maudslay to any customer. Space was tight on the AEC stand at the 1958 Show which happened to be the year of the launch of the Mark 5 range so utilising space on the Maudslay stand starts to make sense.
I am not surprised the vehicle was displayed in BRS livery - they were an important customer and due to large orders AEC allowed them to call vehicles off the production line. Not many customers were allowed that privilege! I am making enquiries as to whether the BRS fleet number on the cab is genuine or not. My guess is that if BRS did take this vehicle into stock I would assume it was rebadged as an AEC before delivery.
This was a complete revelation to me as I had seen a photo of this vehicle somewhere on the internet but having searched in vain could not find it again! This photo is superb and confirms that I had not been imagining it!