Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Reynolds Boughton RB44 Camper – How Did a Dodge Van Cab End Up Being Used On A British Military Vehicle?

posted at the Cohort by Nathan Williams

Every car has a story, but this one’s is a bit complicated. Yes, this is a former British military truck, befitting its very British name. And yes, that is a Dodge van cab, as originally used by Reynolds Boughton. Here’s my best shot at explaining it.

In the late ’70s, Chrysler Europe was in desperate need of a new light-medium truck, as the old Commer PB was very long in tooth. So they hit on the idea to use the American Dodge van cab, and adapt it to a very different European chassis. In the middle of developing what became the Dodge 50, Chrysler bailed on Europe and sold their ops to PSA. But PSA had no use for the Dodge truck line, as they had their own line, so the Dodge was sold to Renault. So these were sold by Renault, as the Dodge 50. It’s a small world after all…

The line included several models going up into the low-medium class.

Most had one of three Perkins diesel engines, but a version of the 225 slant six was available too.

The cab interior was totally different than the US version, with a very simple dash and a modular IP, which made it easy to locate it on either side for RHD and LHD.

Here’s a better view of that dash. There was also a step van version too.

That brings us to the Reynolds Boughton RB44. It was a private venture, and after a lengthy development, went into service with the British Army in 1989, or 1992, depending on the source. Some 2000 were built. It too used a Perkins diesel engine. And it looks mighty tough. And obviously, the cab was bought from Dodge, meaning Renault actually.

And this is obviously a privatized RB44, with its military front end intact but nicely refurbished. It undoubtedly makes a very capable rig for overlanding. I’d have one of these as a second van, for when the really rough stuff calls.

Here’s a shot of the back end, sandwiched between two more conventional vans.