A 1971 Indian crime drama–thriller, the Hindi movie Caravan features a heavily modified Bedford J4 truck in the form of a ‘touring talkies’ van. It features Jeetendra and Asha Parekh in lead roles. Starting with Parekh’s father (played by Murad) firing his employee (played by Krishen Mehta) for embezzling money, the plot proceeds to Murad being killed by Mehta. Consoling Parekh, Mehta convinces her to marry him. Upon marriage, Parekh finds out about Mehta’s bad intentions from his girlfriend, played by Helen. She decides to rush to her father’s old friend at Bangalore. The brakes of car fail on the way and she jumps out of it in the nick of time. Watching from behind the bushes Mehta’s desperation to find her as he talks to the police inspector present, Parekh runs away to find refuge in Jeetendra’s van, which is passing by. At a stop, Parekh attempts to steal the food Jeetendra is eating and gets caught. Taking kind to her disposition, Jeetendra gives her a ride till Mumbai.

Watching Mehta talk to Helen about killing her the moments he finds her, Parekh runs away and hides in the van which hasn’t proceeded because of a mechanical failure. Mehta is unable to find her, but does not stop pursuing. Befriending the third character on the van, played by Junior Mehmood, Parekh goes to Khandala where the gypsies are. They have hired the van for performances, providing Jeetendra the means of livelihood. Attracted towards Jeetendra, Parekh, unknown to her, walks into the crosshairs of the gypsy leader’s daughter (played by Aruna Irani) who excels at throwing knives. She too is attracted towards Jeetendra. A turn of events leads to Jeetendra and Parekh reaching the stage of marriage.

Parekh flees (leaving behind a letter for Jeetendra) and calls her father’s friend seeking help. He informs her that Helen has told him all about Mehta. Before Parekh can reach however, Mehta kills her father’s friend. Jeetendra and his friend, Kapoor, get Parekh to safety. Mehta catches up with the gypsies, having bribed two of their members, and rounds up Jeetendra, Kapoor, Parekh, Irani, and junior Mehmood. A fight ensues. Jeetendra helps Parekh to get back her father’s estate and returns to the van. Parekh steps in front of the van.


Sold as a truck chassis, the Bedford J4 truck was produced by Hindustan Motors in the mid-60s in India. It was powered by either a Bedford four-cylinder 133 hp five-litre petrol engine or a Perkins six-cylinder 83 hp five-litre diesel engine. Fitted with a four-speed synchromesh gearbox, the vehicle featured a pneumatic braking system with drum brakes all-round. It was fitted with a worm and sector steering system and semi-elliptical leaf springs suspension (and telescopic dampers). It could be had with different wheelbase dimensions (three for tippers and three for haulage) and different length dimensions accordingly. With a GVW of 8.9 tonnes, the J4 featured 20-inch dia. wheels and 8.25 x 20-12 ply rating (nylon) tyres.


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