Luton body

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1933 Bedford two-ton Luton van.
A Ford Transit van with Luton body

A Luton body is a style of commercial vehicle body incorporating an enclosed box body extended over the cab. It takes its name from the town of Luton, in Bedfordshire, where the Bedford commercial vehicle plant was located. It was "invented" by Mr B.E. "Bertie" Barrett who owned a haulage business in Luton which had, as its principal source of clientele, the millinery industry which made the town famous in the early twentieth century. Hats, many of which were made of straw, were distributed in hatboxes which were bulky, but had little weight. Since trucks were mostly delivered without bodies at the time (just a chassis and cab), Mr Barrett had bodies built which extended over the cab and most of the way over the bonnet of the truck as well. The front of the "Luton" was tied to the front bumper of the van by means of a metal pole on either side.

The body style is common in medium commercial vehicles such as the Ford Transit, as well as larger vehicles especially those used by household removals companies. More modern examples may be streamlined to reduce wind resistance. Some commercial vehicles have a wind deflector on the cab roof, but this is not a Luton body: the Luton is functional and can be accessed from the main body. The portion of the body that rests over the cab is referred to as the peak, also referred to, in some quarters as a luton, or a kick.

Many commercial vehicles have tilting cabs. To allow for this the floor of the Luton may be hinged, and there may be a hinged flap at the front.

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