Can’t beat a little truck with a big cab! I’ve long been a fan of a Space cabbed 7.5 – 12 tonner, whether it’s an Atego, a DAF or the delightful MAN TGL. Having run both a MAN and a Mercedes myself, it’s very difficult to pick a winner between the two, they are both great trucks and full of big truck feel. The likes of DAF don’t do their own big cab but the Hatcher Components conversion is very good but isn’t factory finish and then there’s the Iveco. Anyway back to the little truck in the photo, you’ve probably seen it at one of many Truck Shows last year where owner Brian Hill picked up more than a couple of decent trophies including a number of 1sts. I’ve been trying to get to see the truck for a wee while now and of course meet Brian. The truck is used by Harrison Commercials to collect and deliver vans to and from auction houses and the like and their Newark base.
The truck was once a boggo standard TGL LX with a matching black box body. Fancing a new challenge and a change from the Italians Brian bought the truck and soon set to the bodywork. A local chap put together a fag-packet proposal for the beavertail bodywork and feeling brave Brian said yes! If you get a chance to look at the body it is a masterpiece in cutting and welding. As for the rest of the outside, a whole host of marker lights, spotlights, home made half shaft covers and some custom made graphics. The full set of light bars down the down and round both the top and bottom of the can were custom built by Jimbars. A small one man band is Jimbars but he does seem to be a favourite with the owner drivers, having even supplied a few bars to other MAN TGL ambassador, Steve Marsh Express. I have to say the exterior of Brian’s little MAN is one thing but oh the interior is something else. My photos are rubbish and just don’t do any justice whatsoever to the one off, cosy black leather lining that luxuriate the little German.
You’ve got to see it for yourself! Door cards, quarter lights behind the main Windows, the seats, the fridge, the engine tunnel, etc etc have all being given a very gentle covering of black leather to match the outside. Wanting something different a shoe maker friend of Brian’s suggested just straight diamond padded panels rather than the big button leather interiour that is fairly common place in custom trucks. I have to say once again the subtle approach wins my vote. I know it was dark and wet when I met Brian but not only did sitting in the pilots seat make me want my own Tonko Toy again but it just gave up that classy cosy, could-drive-all-night feeling. The whole thing edged a lovely set of Tartan curtains with blackout insides, perfect a for night out now and again. The engine tunnel that is pictured above was stitched free hand by the afore mentioned show maker and what a unique job he has done, Brian is rightfully well chuffed!
Great bloke and great truck. The more time I spent round the both truck and driver the more I liked them, so I had to leave Brian to his cosy night out in the leather luxury of N8 BPH. There might not be quite as many show appearances this year but if you get the chance, this truck is as good as any of its big brothers on the show circuit. It’s individual, unique not to mention very subtle and you definitely won’t find a better polished cab in the UK!