The Bedford CF Van and Camper Web Site

(Very) Brief History of the Bedford CF

I've got hold of some of the sales brochures for the CF range. To view the scanned copies click HERE

I've just added an assortment of Bedford publicity and PR releases. I've yet to sort the photos but if you want to see them click HERE

The CF was first introduced in 1969 as a replacement for the CA & TJ series vans. It was Bedford's answer to the Ford Transit.
Initially there were 2 wheelbase versions available, 106in and 126in. Payloads of 14, 22, 25 & 35 cwt were available. The lighter weight models had a short wheelbase and single wheel rear axle. The heavier were long wheelbase with double wheel rear axle. Body styles were van, minibus, chassis/cowl and chassis/cab. Sliding cab doors were available on the van and minbus. Bedford decided to use the 'modern' overhead cam engine with the cam driven by a toother rubber drive belt and tilted at 45 degrees to give more room and to lower the center of gravity. It was quite an unusual engine for a van of that time. The diesel models used the old but trusty Perkins engines. The engines used were 1599cc (petrol) and 1760cc (diesel) for the lighter models and 1975cc (petrol) and 2523(diesel) for the heavier models.
Chassis numbers consisted of 5 digits. The first 2 (97) indicated that it was a CF. The next one gave the vehicle size, 1 = 14/18cwt, 3 = 22cwt, 5 = 25cwt & 7 = 35cwt. The final 2 numbers are the body type. 60 = chassis/cab, 70 = van & 90 = chassis cowl

For more info on CF VIN details try the Bedford CF VIN checker HERE

In 1972 the petrol engine sizes were uprated to 1759cc & 2279cc by increasing the bore. A new variant was made available, 35cwt chassis/cab.

By 1975 the models were identified by gross vehicle weight (GVW) and carried a badge over the front wheel arch, IE CF220 - 2.20Ton. An extra long wheelbase chassis/cab was also made available with a wheelbase of 140in, double rear wheels and powered by the 2279cc petrol engine

In 1977 a new GM diesel engine of 2064cc was introduced to replace the Perkins units.

In 1980 the whole range was given a facelift. This is when the plastic grilled front end was introduced. Most owners incorrectly call this model the CF2. At the same time the range was modified and now consisted of CF230, 250, 280 & 350. The engines were 1759 petrol for the 230 model with the rest having either the 2279cc petrol or the diesel, now increased to 2260cc.

In 1984 the range was superceded by the CF2. Visually they were very similar the the CF1 with 1980 facelift. Only one engine was available, the 1979cc petrol. At this time the CF was also given front disk brakes. A Ferguson 4WD version was now available. This was based on the 350 model.
There was also an electric version built which was jointly developed with Lucas.

Production of the CF ceased in July 1987 :-(

A few people have asked me to add some of the mechanical details to this page so, here's some VERY basic info. I'll add more as I get it.

Engine, gearbox & axle info for the 1982 era
During the 1982 model era the following combinations were available :-

1.8L Petrol giving 66 BHP @ 5000 RPM
2.3L Petrol giving 78 BHP @ 4600 RPM
2.3L Diesel giving 61 BHP @ 4000 RPM

CF230 & CF250 models were available with the Bedford 4 speed box. The CF230 & 250 had the same ratios but the perol CF250 had higher 1st, 2nd, 3rd & Reverse ratios. An overdrive option was available for the CF250 Petrol model.
CF280 and higher were fitted with the 4 speed ZF gearbox. The diesel models having a slightly lower ratio 2nd gear for better acceleration. A 5 speed ZF 'box was an option on the CF280, CF350 & CF350L models. This box had a much lower 1st gear
The GM 3 speed auto box was an option on all models except the CF350 & CF350L

Back Axle
CF230 and CF250 had a semi-floating, hypoid drive axle with a ratio of 4.63-1
CF280 as above except the petrol model ratio was 4.45-1 and the diesel model 5.22-1
The CF350 and CF350L both had a fully floating, hypoid drive axle. The ratios were 5.22-1 for the CF350 and 5.13-1 for the CF350L

Engine, gearbox & axle info taken from the 1982 Bedford CF sales brochure

In Feb 1987 the following options were available:-

All models - Available with 2.0L GM Petrol (78bhp) or 2.3L GM diesel (61bhp)
Transmission options - ZF 5-Speed manual or GM 3 speed auto

Ratios on the ZF box as follows:-

Fleet CF2/230 & CF2/250 - 3.92, 2.19, 1.43, 1.00 & 0.81:1
CF2/280, 350 & 350L       - 4.69, 2.51, 1.48, 1.00 & 0.81:1
The ZF box has, as standard, provision for a heavy duty 20hp power take off to be fitted.

Info taken from the Feb 1987 Bedford 'Light Commercial Range' brochure.

I've got hold of some of the sales brochures for the CF range. To view the scanned copies click HERE

Click HERE to return to main menu

Contact CF-UK

Copyright © 2005-17 - Colin Birch