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Bedford CF V8 Custom Van 1986
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Image by brizzle born and bred
My first attempt at building a custom was a CF van, way back in the 80’s. Phototaken by instant camera sold by Polaroid, the picture quality wasn’t great.

The custom van craze was very big back in the late 70s/early 80s & mine was typical of the style. You don’t see many of these about these days!

Retro Ride – My first custom van conversion – photo taken in Bristol 1986. first real V8 transplant I did. I always loved the CF as my all time favourite van. The Bedford CF van was the second most popular van in the UK, second only to the Ford Transit.

Started out as a standard Bedford CF short-wheelbase van cost about £200.

One of the first changes often done in the customizing field is to remove the stock motor and re-power the van with something bigger and better and rule of thumb is there’s no substitute for cubic inches.

Wow ..hear the sound of that engine.

To fit a V8 you’re looking at custom engine mounts and chopping the floor and bulkhead to make it fit.

Full Conversion Spec – 3.5 V8 Rover engine & Auto box. The Rover V8 engine is a compact V8 internal combustion engine with aluminium cylinder heads and cylinder block, originally designed by General Motors and later re-designed and produced by Rover in the United Kingdom.

It has been used in a wide range of vehicles from Rover and other manufacturers over several decades.

Black paint job with 1970s custom flames.

70s thrush sidepipes both sides.

Alloy Wheels with flared arches.

Engine back out again, and attention turned to the engine bay. The butchered bulkhead/tunnel area was uneccessarily close to the engine so this has been cut out further and refabricated.

All the various holes in the bulkhead were then welded/plated up, for a super-smooth engine bay, with only the bare essentials on show. The heater system is being redesigned from scratch, with a hidden intake inside the nearside wing.

Weber carbs

I decided to add a Jag diff & axles. The Jag IRS is the customisers choice, and has been for years, but may be a bit of overkill in this custom.

Full interior modifications inc captains swiveling seats – moulded rear side windows – custom moulded rear door – red velvet – draylon interior – full size double bed.

Sold the van in Gibraltar 1987 for about £2000.

Other Custom CF Bedford Vans

www.flickr.com/photos/38919941@N04/3975453149/

www.flickr.com/photos/triggerscarstuff/3871957988/

www.flickr.com/photos/38919941@N04/4570999924/