Bedford Beagle (1964 to 1973)
The Bedford Beagle was an estate car conversion of the Bedford HA 8cwt van, which itself was based on the Vauxhall Viva HA. The conversions were undertaken by Martin Walter Ltd in Folkestone, Kent, most famous for Dormobile campers based upon the larger Bedford CA commercial vans. Whilst the vans were very common at one time, the Beagle was altogether rarer and there are very few left today.
The Beagle formed the basis of the Roma, a camper van designed by Martin Walter Ltd. Roma was marketed in standard and deluxe forms, both featuring standing headroom of 6 ft 5ins and a full length 6 ft double bed. A third bunk, fitted into the canopy of the elevated roof, is a feature of the deluxe version of the Roma.
Introduced in 1964, originally with the 1057 cc engine, the Beagle was basic, with drum brakes all round and minimal interior trim. Later engine upgrades arrived in 1967 (1159 cc) and 1972 (1256 cc), bringing the top speed up from 72 mph (116 km/h) to about 80 mph (129 km/h), but the Beagle was finally discontinued in 1973. It was more or less replaced by the superior Viva HC estate cars.