Morris Commercial CS8 Wireless House bodies
"Gin Palaces"

Updated july 2012 with corrections

Of the 26000 Morris Commercial CS8 trucks produced there are probably only 100 trucks surviving .
These are mostly GS and Compressor types. Only a small number of other body types have survived.
Water tanker, petrol tanker, office bodies and wireless bodies are all very scarce. 
The Morris Commercial CS8 and later C4 Wireless trucks had the Number one Wireless Telegraph house body fitted.
This came in three main types - the MK1, MK2 and MK3. Some examples are shown below.

CS8 with early MK2 body and Aerial Roof  No2 fitted
The MK1 body is a little smaller with side generator access hatch.

CS8 with late MK2 body and Aerial Roof  No5 fitted

Later Morris Commercial C4 with
MK3 body and whip roof aerial only.

I am a little uncertain of the exact dates of Wireless body manufacture but it goes something like this:

MK1 = c1937 Prototype plus maybe one or two hundred production models. Constructed of wood with Aerial Roof No2 fitted.
(Prototype exist today)

MK2 = c1938 The MK2 body is slightly larger than the MK1, also made of wood with the same Aerial Roof No2.
The MK2 was later produced with Aerial Roof No5. (At least 1 of this body type exist today)

MK3 = c1942 metal clad over wood frame, different window arrangement,
Vertical whip only fitted to roof. This style of body was produced into the 1950's and fitted to other makes of truck,
At least 10 of this body type exist today.

Below is my Morris commercial CS8 truck fitted with wireless house body Number 1 MK 2 

Date of Manufacture : 1938
Engine : 3498cc 6 cylinder (60hp)
Gearbox : 4 speed 'crash' box
Fuel Tank Capacity : 2 x 11 gallon (220 miles at 10mpg)
Gross Weights : 2 1/2 tons  unladen (3 laden)
Suspension : Leaf springs and Luvax shock absorbers all round
Brakes : Hydraulic drum brakes

This Morris Commercial CS8 was made in 1938 as a wireless truck. The truck was designed for use by the Royal signals as a
communications HQ, fitted with a generator driven via a PTO from the truck's gearbox. Wireless equipment such as the pre war
wireless sets (WS) No 2 or 9  and later during the war the WS12 & R107 may have been fitted. Fortunately my wireless house
has many of the original fittings including the fixings for a ship's type speaking tube used for speaking to the driver. 

When manufactured, this vehicle had canvas doors and cab roof, with only aero screens to protect the driver and passenger from the
weather. L
ate CS8s and C4s had full wind screens and steel doors.  The wireless house is made in a similar way to a
railway carriage. Its construction is wood; canvas is used to waterproof the roof. 

My truck was in service with the Army until about 1955; It had WW2 Second Army and early 50s Territorial Army formation signs on it.
When it was sold to its first civilian owner he used it as a fruit pickers hut and later as a field repair workshop, until about 1985.
What was left of the vehicle was then stored until purchased for parts in 2008 with a second in similarly poor condition. 
The chassis axles and body were all that was left. The rear body needed a full rebuild so restoration was not a simple task.
A replacement engine, gearbox and many other parts have been found or made and I hope to have finished the majority of this
restoration sometime in 2012.

Radio equipment I have a WS12 transmitter and R107 receiver. So the intention is to restore the inside of the truck to 1941/1942
period. Trucks with this equipment  were used in pairs. An 'A' truck with a
R107 receiver and WS12 transmitter and a 'B' truck with
a R107 receiver and remote control used to operate the WS12 in the 'A' truck at a distances of up to several miles. The 'A' truck is
useable as a stand alone station.

On the generator hatch is a WW2 2nd Army formation sign it's hard to be certain of this as the colour has faded.
The door had TA markings from about 1952 and a signals flag.
The generator hatch has the post war army registration number 11 YT 02. It's wartime registration was Z397932.


I have tried to keep as much of the original woodwork as possible.
This side was crashed.

After a little TLC

The inside will be fitted out as It could have been in 1941
with a WS12 transmitter and R107 Receiver
If you like old radios then this is what's going in the truck

The body is now almost complete and the truck restoration is progressing slowly. 

         After adding the engine and some other parts

Engine : 3498cc 6 cylinder 60hp
Gearbox : 4 speed 'crash' box
PTO : For generator (BLH)


Carburettor prior to starting
the rebuild

The engine rebuild

Many new parts have had to be
made this is one of two new petrol tanks made from stainless steel.

Casting small parts was easier than
I had first thought and the result
are very pleasing 

Not long after the tanks were fitted
the truck was given its first outing
under its own power. 

Cast in sand using an open fire.

It runs and drives.
Next  is the MOT test.

Go to Fareham & District Amateur Radio Club