This was issued in Suffolk, but so far the original operator hasn't been identified as the vehicle wasn't photographed when new. The original blue/ green colour was an unusual choice for a local authority fleet. Can any reader help? In truth, the N-Series cab was a bit of a cobble-up and, in many ways, typified the lack of vision from British senior management and 'grip, in dealing with a rapidly changing world, in which 'driver comfort' was playing an increasingly important part. A key priority was to go for a one-piece screen in a pressed-steel garage door remote keypad
Rubery-Owen Group member, Motor Panels of Coventry was already supplying cabs for several other commercial vehicles, such as Guy, Scammell and Seddon, so it seemed like a natural choice. Unfortunately, SD managing director, Stanley Quin blanched at the cost of both the pressings, as well as the cost of jigs and fixtures to weld them together. The problem was, SD just didn't build enough chassis to enable Motor Panels to supply complete cabs a matter made even more complex when taking into account that both a 'single' 2/3 man and a 'crew' 6/7 man cab versions of each would be required. As a result, a compromise was hatched with the main front panel, including screen header rail, the cab doors, door frames and a few other sections coming from Motor Panels, while the rear part of the cabs and the cab roofs would be constructed from a mix of wood, aluminium and GRP in the SD garage door remote keypad shop. Even so, the cost was still seen as too high by Stan Quin who had never worked for any company other than SD and the drawing office team led by Tom Tillson previously at Dennis another manufacturer that, historically, had had problems with designing modern cabs .
So out went the special extra-deep windscreen of the prototypes and there was much debate over the design of the unique-to-SD wide step door and frame. SD wanted exclusivity, but didn't want to pay for it. Meanwhile, Seddon was on the verge of a comeback in the Municipal market as the garage door remote keypad of the 4 had provided 'rising star' Heil importer Jack Allan with a chassis independent of both SD and Dennis. And the Seddon cab was structurally better. From ancient to modern apart from operating modern Econics, GWR still operates some of the last Foden chassis built.