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The Mighty Sherpa (LDV etc)


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315 replies to this topic

#31 OFFLINE   Lankytim

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:01 PM

I would seriously HIT an LDV 400. I've got fantasies of getting a camper and just driving away from everything and living life on he road (or something)

 

Everyone I've spoken to recon's they're absolute shite though.


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#32 OFFLINE   Lord Sward

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:01 PM

They're not.  See Devon Conversions.


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#33 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:03 PM

Years back I helped my brother and his then wife move house, and we rented a Sherpa luton 350 twin wheeler that was a petrol from Albert Van Hire in Leeds, needed biceps like a female Russian shot putter to steer the damn thing, loaded up I think a glacier moved faster. Around the same time, my next door neighbour hired a 17 seater from the same place for a family holiday to Scotland, the side sliding door fell off whilst he was up there. Oh the days


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#34 OFFLINE   Lord Sward

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:06 PM

Albert Van Hire in Leeds,

 

 

Theres a blast from the past.


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#35 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:08 PM

Oh yes, most of the Sherpas they had were petrol as well, the fleet were sheds, but they were dirt cheap


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#36 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:16 PM

Anyhoo, sum moar pikturz, and Billy, this is one of your better ideas LOL

 

budget camper 400 high top

 

LDV Sherpa 400 J550DVO.JPG

 

Little Pilot camper spotted at Asbos in Stoke Park Ipswich

 

ldv pilot camper r792aoe.jpg

 

53 plater ex 'Pat' seen in Colchester a little while ago.

 

ldv pilot bu53wnx.jpg

 

Dead Sherpas belonging to a local minibus firm, they were a big user of 400's & Convoys

 

dead sherpas 1.jpg

 

Last for now, a proper mk1 Sherpa camper, I bet this is really slow

 

Sherpa camper PMO40R.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#37 OFFLINE   Asimo

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:18 PM

One of the reasons to have a Sherpa, maybe in it's Daf incarnation, is composite front leaf springs.

I have been fascinated by composite leaf springs since mid '80s visits to a  GKN site in Wolverhampton where they were being developed for the Sherpa and for HGV applications. I have never been sure for how long or to which models they were fitted, there is a wee bit of info on the AR website but not enough. 

 

Fantasy Sherpa - Early, yellow, chassis cab with wooden dropside, Leyland badge at front, Daf badge at the back, 2.0 O series + auto, composite springs/axle and pas from a later variant.

 

The Post office in Hereford are still using Convoys, the school bus for the village primary school is a Convoy (driven by the same woman who drove the Sherpa bus when my daughter was at school there in 1990).

(But when I was at school, pre Sherpa, the same driver had a Bedford CA based bus. Milkfloat slow that was.)



#38 OFFLINE   Lord Sward

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:20 PM

Keith's AROnline resource has some great Sherpa script on it.



#39 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:25 PM

I think we need to explore it's Turkish brother the BMC Levend too, IIRC that retained the older shape doors to the end, and although they looked similar to the Pilot, there were lots of subtle differences

 

497f1d80bd0d858a06def69e99df94bc.jpg


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#40 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:26 PM

I would seriously HIT an LDV 400. I've got fantasies of getting a camper and just driving away from everything and living life on he road (or something)

 

Everyone I've spoken to recon's they're absolute shite though.

 

Depends what you want from a van. My beavertail shat oil everywhere, and was hardly refined, but slogged on regardless for many a mile. It was actually surprisingly joyous to drive as long as you didn't expect a Rolls-Royce.


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#41 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:28 PM

An early Sherpa 1.7 petrol id have , the 1.8d was painful tho .
I wouldn't touch an ldv - the build quality is shocking , parts are silly expensive and hard to get and they are bloody hard work to drive compared to pretty much anything else inc land rovers !
Kingpins as said before , are an annual job but no reaming reqd at least . They rust like buggery too .

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#42 OFFLINE   Yoss

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:28 PM

Brilliant. As a postman I used to drive these regularly and loved them. Y833 TDA was my last regular one. With rear wheel drive, single wheel rear axle and nothing but a few packets in the back it was nice and tail happy even with its limited power. When approaching a left turn at little more than walking pace you could drop it into second and floor it and get the tail out at ridiculously low speeds.

I came to work one day and was told to go down to the workshops and pick my new van up. No warning at all. That was a Transit, LC55 GOX which shows it was over ten years ago. The Transit was of course better in every way but it wasn't fun like the Sherpa (it was actually an LDV Pilot but they're all Sherpas really aren't they). A couple of times afterwards I got one of the spare LDV's when the Tranny was in for service and it made my day. Everyone else moaned about them but I guess that's why I'm on this forum and they're not. The last ones at our office were a couple 54 reg hightops but they are long gone now. So have the Tranny's, everything is Peugeot now for some bizzare reason.

I remember when I first started we'd all be ferried out to our deliveries in hightops with longitudinal flip up bench seats down each side. No windows, certainly no seatbelts and sliding front doors left open on nice days. Lots of sharp edges in there and we were offered no more protection than the packets. Hard to believe now that was ever allowed to happen.

We had a couple of LDV Maxus for a while. They were truly dire, it's easy to see why they went bust. I know they had no development budget and probably thought they'd taken the Sherpa and its derivatives as far as they could but they were still better than the Maxus
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#43 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:29 PM

Oh and the rear doors on the pilot don't go to the top so loading dirt bikes is a pita

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#44 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:31 PM

Curse you Billy! Now I'm on Gumtree finding stuff like this.

$_86.JPG

https://www.gumtree....-ono/1207643146


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#45 OFFLINE   captain_70s

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:47 PM

The guy who owned my Dolly 1850HL before me had a Sherpa Highwayman camper as a daily driver before buying the Dolly. Apparently it'd do 55mph on a flat but at that point things would get quite scary, one attempt at overtaking a tractor doing 40mph ended with defeat as he just ended up sat in the wrong lane with his foot to the floor keeping pace...

 

Here's a photo I've shamelessly nicked from his Facebook page:

 

1014690_10152959301085534_505642045_o.jp

 

 

 


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#46 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:55 PM

...Sherpa... chassis development engineer...

 

 

new-4.jpg


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#47 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:58 PM

When I was at little school (as opposed to Big School) we didn't have a kitchen, so school dinners were brought in from a local Comprehensive school.

The vehicle of choice for this was a an off-white Sherpa - proper Sherpa, with the rear lights in the bumpers and shapely silver grille. It was a minibus, but it turned up every day with massive steel pots of whatever grimness awaited my less well off fellow students. As I was middle class, I had a Beano lunchbox with my sandwiches in rather than free school meals.

I can barely remember anything about that school - the names of the other kids, most of the teachers, what classes I was in. But I do remember their BBC Micro, and I remember hanging around to see the fat bloke with the white hair and big white beard reverse his Sherpa up to the hall doors and unload. 

 

I'm still considering making a camper out of a local scout groups LDV400 minibus. I mentioned it on here a while back and it turns out Devon will still sell you an entire interior for £firstborn but I reckon I could get the solid, slightly scruffy vehicle for not much at all. It's still sat there so I might start convincing them they could really do with the space.


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#48 OFFLINE   AMC Rebel

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:01 PM

In between skool and university I worked for the Ordnance Survey.  It was a great job - decent pay and perks (even as a temp) and hardly taxing - drive the van around, hold up a target a few times a day, read the paper (all day if wet).

 

When I arrived we had two Bedford CFs, one was a 3 speed in which first was a dogleg and reverse was where you'd normally find 1st on a 4/5/6 speed "H".  It was fun* rolling up to traffic lights trying to remember which van you were in and since there was no restrictor and no markings on the gearknob (or anywhere) try to make sure you didn't slot it into reverse and zoom off backwards.

 

Imagine my delight when midway through my 8 weeks we got a brand new Sherpa crewbus - slatted wooden seats in the back (we never used these as we were never more than 3 up).  It drove well enough (1.7 pez O series) - but I remember thinking it was somewhat stupid that putting into reverse (which did at least have a restrictor) meant the lever fouled the front passenger bench seat.

 

That aside it seemed pretty wonderful.


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#49 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:01 PM

...it turns out Devon will still sell you an entire interior for £firstborn...

 

Have you discussed this with Lou, or are you keeping it as a nice surprise?  :D


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#50 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:15 PM

She likes surprises, probably.


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#51 OFFLINE   lexi

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:17 PM

 I had an early Sherpa 1.7? petrol. Brand new on a 2 year lease works van. Loved it.  Campers like them as they have decent ground clearance for rough ground. Before that I bought the related  JU 250 and ran it for 6 months. What a heap, but very quaint in grey. No power steering , no heater and a swine to load with the old 50 kg( 1 cwt) bags of cement, because of the height of floor.



#52 OFFLINE   Noel Tidybeard

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 01:01 AM

ooof looks like a mega rare xlwb

http://www.autotrade...postcode=b289ns


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#53 OFFLINE   The Old Bloke Next Door

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 01:12 AM

I have both front seats for a late model LDV, new/old stock. Drivers seat has a fag burn on the cushion,passenger seat still has the factory plastic cover attached. Colour blue/grey, they are however out of a LHD van and both are a bit damp from long term storage in my unit.

Price, free collected from WS12 Hednesford.

 

Any interest and I'll dig them out this weekend for an up to date description and some pics.


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#54 OFFLINE   Rave

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 01:32 AM

Not long after I was born (1979) my parents bought a nearly new T-reg pop-top Sherpa camper, 1.7 Petrol, orangey-beige colour. They had some sort of manual cruise control fitted and it it took us to France every year until maybe 1990 for our annual camping holiday. Cruising speed was 50mph; any more and it sounded like it would explode and drank fuel. I seem to recall that it was in theory 5 or 6 berth- the pop-top was a full length side hinged one, and there was a 'double bed' over the cab; two hammock style things pulled out of each side of the roof, and you could set the cushions up below for at least one more bed, possibly another 'double'. In practice we always took a massive Blacks tent with us, and my dad (and possibly at least one of me or my two younger siblings) slept in that. It had a gas powered fridge, a two ring hob, and a sink. It averaged about 4000 miles a year, most of which was probably the France trips. It still needed a rebore at about 40,000 miles!

 

I can still remember them selling it, after they discovered that renting a 'Gite' made for a better and scarcely more expensive holiday*. Advertised at £900, a friend of a friend came to view it and test drove it. For whatever reason I was sat round the kitchen table when the guy sat them down and said something along the lines of "well the clutch cylinder is leaking, and x and y are wrong with it as well, so I can only offer you...£875". Obviously they bit his hand off.

 

Probably got some old slides of it somewhere.

 

*After that we took our Nissan Prarie. And once the Sherpa had been sold, my mum replaced it with a 1989 2CV. I know where I got the shite genes from!


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#55 ONLINE   Ghosty

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:14 AM

I do like the styling of the old 200/400. Never had the pleasure though.
There's a Sherpa minibus thingy in the Museum of Transport in Manchester, think it might even be on permanent exhibit as an example of post-Transport Act 1986 nonsense.
It's a good museum actually, I should go again at some point. They were restoring a Trans-Lancs Express bus last time I was in (2012?), wonder how that's going.

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#56 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:31 AM

My late grandfather was a stonemason, and he had one when i was very young. It was rusty and white, only thing i remember about it was the bottom of one of the rear doors was very very rusty and you could see inside from outside. Need to see if my parents have any photos of it.



#57 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:39 AM

See through rear doors were a factory standard fit on sherpas ( and smiley transits ) weren't they ?
I once saw a gardeners van where they had cut some ally plate into the profile of grass , painted it green and used that to repair the door bottoms. Good idea I thought
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#58 ONLINE   BavarianRetro

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:12 AM

I did some work at the LDV factory in about 2002/3. The death throes were in full spate. Employee dissatisfaction and theft was such that everybody's car was being searched on the way out, except if the employee you were visiting had prevously bunged the gatekeeper.

British industry in a microcosm - people with nothing to hide were spending ages waiting to get searched and the car with the boot full of laptops and servers goes straight through!

Directors ran XK and XJ8s with private "LDV 1" style plates, but there was no money to fix the heating in the IT offices.

They were building Pilots and Convoys, I think. They went mental if you referred to them as, "Sherpas".
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#59 OFFLINE   cobblers

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:17 AM

I love that story about the front axles - A third party company was developing some new leaf springs and under testing they found the heavier vans would dive to one side under hard braking. After scratching their heads for months thinking there was a problem with their springs, they realised it was the front beam axle bending. Turns out leyland just used the axle off a J4, which came off a car previously and not modified it while just upping the GVW half a dozen times.


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#60 OFFLINE   quicksilver

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:24 AM

I'm afraid I don't have much love for Sherpas in any form. Too many traumatic childhood memories of school trips on the council's utterly knackered fleet of minibuses driven by teachers who didn't know what they were doing. Highlights include a total loss of acceleration after pulling out to overtake a truck and nearly getting hit by oncoming traffic, the gearstick coming off in the driver's hand so we had to walk back to school, and worst of all, a geology field trip to the wilds of Wales, being driven along twisty mountain roads by the science teacher who was more interested in looking at the wildlife than the road!

 

Having said all that, one of the local schools got bloody good service from one of theirs. When I was at middle school in 1996 we used to borrow the secondary school's then-new N-reg LDV. They kept that thing right up until just a few years ago and then sold it for further use! I guess it lasted so long as it stayed with the same user and had a small pool of drivers who knew how to look after it, whereas the council ones were hired out to all and sundry and thrashed to death.


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