Your van three years old? What's it worth?

Laurie Dealer noted with interest the most recent report from CAP's senior editor commercial motors, John Watts.

He says: "The state of the light commercials market can best be described as we head toward a difficult year as one of uneasy calm."

He also picks out some winners, well not so bad losers, and some very big losers on 07/57 plates.

Stand up if you own a Toyota HiLux, or LDV Maxus. Sit down if it's a Citroen Berlingo or Dispatch, or Ford Transit Connect...

Click here to read the article.

Old truck makers, number 1: Thrifty Bespoke Lorries Ltd. (1921-1924)

Laurie Dealer is always on the look out for the rare and when a funnel turned up in a dredger just of the Dorset coast it reminded Laurie Dealer of an old engineer, who was willing to try and build anything...on the cheap. 

Manufacturer: Thrifty Bespoke Lorries Ltd, West Coker, Som.

Timespan: 1921-1924

Vehicles built: 1 (Price new: £2 s.3 d.8; RV: unknown)

By A. Chalker, first published in Western Gazette in 1924.

Cheapskate engineer Eric Shoemaker, founder of Thrifty Bespoke Lorries, built his first wagon by welding together metal table legs, dustbins, an Aga, a steel funnel, and pram wheels.

Weighing 2.3-tonnes and dubbed Nora I, his wife Nora, launched it ship style with a beer bottle. Nora I sped towards Weymouth, a seaside town five miles away, from his hilltop factory at 09.17 on a Monday.

Forgoing any steering mechanism to reduce costs Shoemaker clung in dismay to Nora I as it demolished two houses, bent a signpost, and narrowly missed several bystanders before careering through the docks and into the sea at 10.12.

According to on-lookers Shoemaker made good his escape on the 37 bus, which left Weymouth bound for Yeovil at 10.27. It is not known if he paid his fare.

This remains the only known picture of Nora I.