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James Mair
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4849B S243AWU

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Details: The Vauxhall Combo was first introduced in late 1993 and was based on the front half of the Vauxhall Corsa car married to an enlarged rear half. The new design was officially the 'Combo B', the 'Combo A' designation having been used for an earlier model that was sold in the UK as the Astramax. The Combo B featured a stepped roof line, as also seen on the contemporary Ford Courier, Ford Escort and Volkswagen Caddy vans. Eighteen examples of the design were added to the leased fleet between 1996 and early 2000. There was then a gap until the first example of the new 'Combo C' (with a smoothed-out roofline) was added in late 2001. The latter design proved to be very popular, with a total of 170 being leased in the years 2001 to 2011. One of the Combo B vans is shown here parked close to Sudbury Hill Station. Despite the Bedford name having been dropped (in favour of Vauxhall) for light commercial vehicles in 1990, most of the Combo Bs were given B suffixes to their fleetnumbers, as seen on 4849B here. The cabside lettering is notable in having three lines. The second is 'Engineering Services', while the third is 'Civil & track consultancy'. 4849B had roof bars and was petrol-engined (some others were diesel). It was listed as a '2+2' van (with an additional pair of seats) but, as usual, it is impossible to see if these were indeed fitted. I had to use Google Streetview to confirm the location of this photo and, because of this, I can tell you that Iceland, W Sherry Funeral Directors, the Launderette and Phillips and Co Estate Agents are all still trading twenty years later, indeed the latter three are still using the same signs.

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