Sunday 8 March 2015
The Bedford CF was range of full-size panel vans produced by Vauxhall's Bedford Vehicles subsidiary. The van was introduced in 1969 to replace the older CA model, and was sized to compete directly with the Ford Transit, which had entered production 4 years earlier.
As Vauxhall/Bedford was a General Motors subsidiary, outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the CF was sold through Opel dealers as the Opel Bedford Blitz from 1973 on.
The CF was notable for being the last solely Vauxhall-engineered vehicle when it was discontinued in 1987 (the last Vauxhall passenger car had been the HC Viva which had ceased production in 1979); since all Vauxhall models by that point had switched to being based on Opel platforms. The Bedford brand continued on certain badge engineered light van designs from Isuzu and Suzuki, before being retired in 1991.
Introduced November 1969 to replace the 17 year old Bedford CA, the CF van variants soon became some of the most popular light commercial vehicles on British roads.
The CF could be specified with a sliding door in the side panel directly behind the passenger door, and it was generally with this layout that the van was also commonly used as a base vehicle for a caravanette.
The engine was the well-proven Slant Four engine which was introduced for the Vauxhall FD Victor models in 1967. Apart from an increased engine capacity from 1.6 l (1,598 cc) to 1.8 l (1,759 cc) units and from 2.0 l (1,975 cc) to 2.3 l (2,279 cc) in 1972, the power units remained unchanged. A four cylinder 1.8 l (1,760 cc) Perkins diesel engine could be specified for an extra GB£130 (1969), while a larger 2.5 l (2,523 cc) version was used for heavier versions. In 1977, a 2.1 l (2,064 cc) overhead valve (OHV) diesel engine from Opel replaced the outdated Perkins units.
In Australasian markets, the CF could be optioned with Holden six-cylinder units, in 2,850 cc (173.9 cu in) and 3,310 cc (202.0 cu in) forms. This was as an answer to the rival Ford Transit range, which in Australia used six-cylinder engines from the Ford Falcon vehicles.
The Bedford used the same basic suspension lay-out as the Vauxhall Victor, though married to greater wheel arch clearances and calibrated for greater weight carrying capacity. The front independent suspension featured a double wishbone layout with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, while the rear wheels were suspended by a combination involving a live axle and traditional long single-leaf springs.
Several different manual transmissions were used, namely the Vauxhall three-speed, four-speed, Bedford four-speed, ZF four-speed, ZF five-speed, and the General Motors automatic. The Laycock type of overdrive was available to order or on the later Vauxhall four-speed models.
There were three CF1 body styles. A standard panel van which was intended to rival the Ford Transit; the special van body (essentially a self-contained cab with a general-purpose chassis onto which a wide range of custom-built bodies or beds could be built), and the Dormobile (caravanette).
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 2000 cc
- horsepower: 80 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 105 km/h