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Maude wins in Brighton

Aug 07, 2017
Abels’ 1941 Bedford, affectionately known as ‘Maude’, has recently completed the London to Brighton commercial vehicle rally, winning first in class and second overall.

The company has become well known in the UK for its love of old vehicles.  Abels already owns an 1896 horse-drawn vehicle and acquired Maude in 2013 as an addition to its heritage fleet.   

A great deal of time and effort has been taken to recreate the livery of their horse-drawn vehicle, including the company cornflower blue colours and signwriting completed by hand painting not transfers or decals.  With the exception of some body panels and the hinged bonnet the whole vehicle is original.  

Mitchell Bowen, Senior Storeman and Abels' 2016 employee of the year now devotes all his free time cleaning and polishing Maude so she sparkles.  Her 6-cylinder, 27.34hp petrol engine gives her a top speed of 35 mph making her something of a star at weekend shows and rallies organised for the vehicle enthusiasts. The Abels offices are adorned with cups and medals she has won in the past two years. 

The London-Brighton rally is organised by the Historical Commercial Vehicle Society (HCVS) and includes around 200 elderly vehicles driving the 50-mile route.  There are 15 classes of vehicles encompassing various grades of lorries, vans, buses, coaches, fire engines, taxis, tractor units, steam wagons and farm tractors.  The famous manufacturers are all represented.  It is not a race but a procession of history.    

Maude was 6th to arrive at the destination and then awaited the judges’ inspection.  Maude was voted ‘best in class for large vans and lorries built between 1940 – 49’.  Even better news was the presentation of the Concours d’Elegence 2nd place out of all the finishers and categories.  Mitchell Bowen, Operations Manager Dave Potter, team captain Neil Pertoldi and Senior International Co-ordinator Jayne Eastick all travelled with Maude.  

Abels vintage fleet also includes a 1963 ERF and trailer from 1950. For more information e-mail:  

Photo:  Maude with Mitch Bowen and Dave Potter.

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