There was a definite military atmosphere pervading this month’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting at Queen Square thanks to the presence of the six military vehicles featured in today’s blog which were promoting The Dig For Victory Show, a 1940’s Family Festival that will be taking place on the 13th to 14th of June at the North Somerset Showground.
Most unusual amongst the Jeeps present was this 1942 Willys MB painted in the colours of a Royal Naval Beach Master for the 1944 Allied Invasion of France.
The 1940 Bedford OY 3 ton truck above was a hasty adaption of the civilian Bedford O series first seen in 1939.
Just as Bantam could not hope to satisfy the demand for a general purpose off road vehicle with the original Jeep evolution of the “Blitz Buggy”, by October 1941 it had become clear that Willys Overland were struggling to meet the US Government’s demand for their Willys MB evolution and so Ford were contracted to produce licenced versions known as the GPW (Government, P Ford speak for 80″ wheelbase, Willys licenced) like the 1942 example above.
After the 1939/45 war Jeep production continued for several decades, in France Hotchkiss produced the M201 like the 1960 example above until 1981 and the last “La Jeep” remained in service with the French Military until 2000.
The immaculate Willys MB above was built in 1943.
Finally Britain began looking for a replacement for it’s Jeeps in 1947 and one option was the Rolls Royce powered “Truck, 1/4 ton, CT, 4×4, cargo & FFW, Austin Mk.1” like the 1954 example above which is more commonly known by it’s civilian name “Austin Champ”.
The next Avenue Drivers Club Meeting will be at Queen Square, Bristol 9am on Sunday the 12th of April.
Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 03/15” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Oldsmobile Delta 88. Don’t forget to come back now !