Model TU. 20

Fixed Platform

Battery Works Truck  

Factory tag



Electricar Platform Electric Trucks were a common sight

in the Bristol Aeroplane Company works

from the end of the ‘30s and on into the ‘50s.

 This one was used in the Patchway Works

in connection with the manufacture  of aero-engines.


Although this example has the registration EC 1938, this is probably not an official registration mark.  The present Electricars at the Filton works are still allocated EC ‘registration’ numbers.  It is tempting to suggest this model was built in 1938, and the brass tag implies it was the second to be bought by the company, but this has not yet been confirmed.

 Restoration to as near its original state as possible has taken one of the volunteers about a year.

 Electricars Ltd was set up in 1920, producing mainly heavy duty electric road vehicles, diversified into doorstep delivery vehicles in the 1930s, then in 1935 began building industrial trucks.  The more versatile fork-lift truck led to the demise of the platform truck in the early 50s.

Information on Electricars kindly supplied by Keith Roberts, Sketty, Swansea.


The Restoration

This vehicle was found in a sorry state after some years of neglect, and has been restored to its present condition by volunteers of the Bristol Aero Collection over the past year.

 The original dark green factory colour was still visible in places, but it had been repainted brown many years ago.

 An initial inspection showed a lot of corrosion to the battery boxes, and the two angle iron cross-members supporting them, but the welded chassis was still sound, though with heavy rust.  Panels covering the controller column also had areas of rust-through.

The controller was missing (we are still trying to locate a replacement if you have one!), the horn was non-functional, one front lamp was too badly corroded to restore, the horn and light switches needed replacement and there were no timber deck planks or control hand grips.


The battery box and controller badges were restored to their former glory by Reg Hopkins.

The two battery boxes were in a very poor state, but parts of the worse one were used to repair the frame of the other, and a new frame and casings were made.  

The lamp shown here has been restored, though the other front lamp was beyond help. A matching replacement was sourced at a Welsh auto-jumble by Mike Jones, and a new light switch and knob bought at the Bristol Classic Car Show.  The rear lights responded to some TLC.

The horn, probably a ‘60s replacement, has also been restored to full working order (new horn button courtesy of the Westbury-on-Trym milk delivery depot). 

The missing drum controller is still on the wants list. 

The bulk of the restoration work has been carried out by Dave Hall with encouragement and support from other members of the Bristol Aero Collection volunteers.                May 2004

© Dave Hall 2004  e-mail:-  dave(at)hallvw.clara.co.uk

Bristol Aero Collection website is at www.bristolaero.com