Vintage bullion van attracts thousands of bidders

A VINTAGE Bank of Scotland van which was used to deliver money and gold from the Royal Mint in London to its branches in central Edinburgh at a top speed of 45 miles an hour has gone up for sale on eBay.

Nita Ewart with the bullion truck. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The 1959 bullion lorry, which was manufactured in Scotland, was last driven on a trip to Orkney from central Scotland and back around 25 years ago. It has lain unused since then.

Fraser Ewart, who is selling the van, painted the iconic Bank of Scotland blue, said he was contacted by a vintage truck enthusiast in Lanarkshire who had owned it for more than 30 years.

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“He’d only driven it once – up to Orkney and back, so he could take it to a car rally there,” he said. “He told me it took him four days as he couldn’t go above 45 miles an hour. He asked if I’d be interested in buying it and I decided I was as soon as I saw it.

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“It’s a fantastic van - it’s an original and hasn’t been mucked about with, it still has all of the woodwork inside.”

He added: “Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any of the gold bullion left behind.”

Ewart, who, with his wife Nita, owns a business which rents stretch limousines, but deals in classic cars as a sideline, said there had been a high level of interest in the truck.

“There’s more than 500 people watching it on eBay and more than 7,000 have viewed it,” he said. “It’s a really interesting van. Some people have said they’d want to use it as a catering van, like people do with campervans and things like that.”

The lorry, which has its original number plate, was manufactured by Scottish motor company Albion Trucks of Scotstoun, Glasgow – Scotland’s best known car production company, whose slogan “Sure as the Sunrise” was known across the globe. It is a “Claymore” delivery truck model, which was also used by organisations throughout Britain, including brewery and furniture removal fleets.

Originally known as Albion Motor Car Company, the firm was founded in 1899 by Thomas Blackwood Murray and Norman Osborne Fulton and was later taken over by Leyland Motors. It was in 1998 sold to American firm American Axle & Manufacturing, and now makes axles, chassis systems and chassis components. The vehicle also has a coach back, built by Dalkeith coach builders K&I coachworks, which is still in operation today.

The Albion brand was also used by rival company Royal Bank of Scotland to make trucks for its mobile banking operations, which allowed people living in remote rural communities to access accounts and services.

A spokeswoman for Bank of Scotland said: “We believe Bank of Scotland did use bullion vans, so it’s nice to see such an old vehicle has survived all these years.”

In the 1950s, the Royal Mint was at Tower Hill in London, before moving to its current location at Llantrisant in south Wales in the 1970s.

The truck has so far attracted 28 bids with a price of £4,100. The bidding ends ­tomorrow.