Lot of nostalgia for model car fans

Paul Mathewson of the North Yorkshire Motor Museum in Thornton-le-Dale, with a 1951 Ford E494C van
Paul Mathewson of the North Yorkshire Motor Museum in Thornton-le-Dale, with a 1951 Ford E494C van
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IT HAS been a familiar sight delivering carpets to homes for many years but it will also be instantly recognisable to lovers of model cars.

For the 1951 van, painted in green and advertising the “quality carpets” of C Pearson, had another role outside of its day job that caused quite a stir in collectors’ circles.

The vehicle was used by toy maker Corgi for a model replica and enthusiasts up and down the land got the chance to buy a version of the van in miniature.

Now the Ford Model 8 Van, still painted in the green business livery it had when it was reproduced by Corgi, will come up for auction next month at a North Yorkshire classic car garage and motoring museum.

Motor enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to want to get their hands on it when it goes under the hammer in Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering.

The van, the stuff of boyhood memories, is already turning heads and it is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £7,000.

It is being sold by D T Mathewson, a family business, next month.

Derek Mathewson, a partner in the business, said: “It’s quite famous in as much as anyone who has a full Corgi collection will have this van.

“It has got to be the most well-known Ford 8 van in the country because of the model.

“There’s an awful lot of people in this area who will know Clive Pearson Carpets and will know of the van.”

The Ford Model 8 Van was bought by Mr Pearson, of Clive Pearson Carpets, in North Frodingham, near Driffield, in 1986.

He was only the second owner of the vehicle, and after he bought it he had it painted in his business livery. It was two years later that he was contacted by Corgi to ask if they could make a replica model of it.

They had been struggling to find this model of van and their investigations had led to Mr Pearson’s carpet shop.

Mr Mathewson said: “You don’t see these come up for auction much.

“They are quite an unusual van in so much as there was quite a lot made but they were not robust vehicles and most of these vehicles would have been scrapped by the time they were ten years old.

“I do not know how many that there will be on the register but I cannot imagine there being more than a hundred or maybe fifty left.

“They were the Ford Escort of their day.

“The Post Office and people like that would have had them, butchers shops, bakers and places like that would have 
used them for their deliveries – they were ideal delivery 
vans.

“I would imagine an enthusiast would buy it.”

The van, which in recent years has been in storage, is being auctioned at D T Mathewson’s Museum, in Thornton-Le-
Dale, on Saturday, October 27, at 1pm.

Mr Matthewson added: “It’s very difficult to value it but I would say somewhere between £5,000 and £7,000.”

He and his two sons run the family-owned garage and museum.

The family has been in 
the classic car business for 
almost 40 years, with 22 years spent trading at the DT Mathewson garage in Thornton-le-Dale.

Son David said: “The company was formed by my dad Derek Mathewson in 1972.

“We are very much enthusiasts first and dealers second.

“It’s something we have done 
as a family for a long, long 
time.”

He said around 2,000 models of the van had been produced by Corgi.

“The model is rare and sought after – let alone the actual van,” he added.