Rare Pickfords’ lorry restored to its former glory

Jan 19 | 2021

A rare Atkinson View Line heavy haulage vehicle from 1970 has been restored to its original Pickfords’ livery by Logistics Consultant David Batty. David currently works with road tanker specialist Abbey Logistics, but the project has been completed in his spare time.

The restored Atkinson View Line lorryDavid spotted the vehicle in a scrap yard in Stoke-on-Trent seventeen years ago and realised that it was a rare find.  There were only about 200 Atkinson View Lines manufactured between 1968 and 1970 and Pickfords acquired twelve of them to add to its heavy haulage fleet.  The vehicle was at the time a revolutionary design, used by heavy haulage operators such as Pickfords.

The cab was the first of its kind and featured a distinctive one-piece front windscreen giving greater visibility and improved safety. The Atkinson View Line stood out among other lorries and was a highly sought-after vehicle, being seen by drivers as quite a status symbol at that time. 

David acquired the View Line and spent seventeen years restoring it to as near as possible original specification.  He researched and found the original build sheet from the Atkinson factory, sourced the distinctive Pickfords ‘Oxford Blue’ paint, and matched the original Pickfords Clarendon font to complete the restoration.

The work involved completely rebuilding the cab, along with all the main mechanical items such as the engine, gearbox and axles, which are all now working as well as they did when the lorry left the factory.

Pickfords’ Managing Director Mark Taylor commented, “This is an amazing piece of work.  So much care has been taken to restore the vehicle faithfully and it’s a credit to David’s hard work and commitment.”

The vehicle is fully road legal and David plans to exhibit it at shows and events across the UK in the coming years.

Photo: The restored Atkinson View Line lorry.