This 1983 Land Rover Series III Lightweight is owned by Peter Clarke. Army designation: Truck Utility Half-ton
4x4 Rover Series Three. Army reg no: 84 KB 78. Service history:
Joint Support Chain (Services), Ashchurch, Glos (storage depot); 14-10-1987 –
Support Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps, Vehicle, General Purpose stock 15-03-1993 – 3
Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, Church Crookham, Hants 23-05-1994 –
Support Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps, Vehicle, General Purpose stock 11-05-1995 – 2 Battalion 52nd Lowland
Volunteers, Headquarters, Edinburgh 28-10-1997 – Cast off
In the early 1960s both the Royal Marines
and the Army required
a vehicle that could be carried by air. They had taken delivery of the Westland Wessex helicopter, which could carry
an 1140 kg (2500 lb) load slung beneath. The
smallest Land Rover available at the time was a Series IIA 88 inch
wheelbase, which was too heavy. A new modification to the basic Series IIA was
devised by making many body components easily detachable and removing many
non-essential items. The result was the Land Rover Half-Ton, known widely as
the Lightweight or Airportable.
To reduce weight sufficiently for the helicopters of the day to lift them in
combat conditions, the tilt (roof) and sticks, the upper parts of the body, the
doors and windscreen were removed, to be refitted later (see picture). The most
significant change, however, was a reduction in width by 4 inch
(100 mm), by redesigning the standard Series IIA axles and fitting shorter
half-shafts, which meant it would fit on a standard pallet. Complete, the Lightweight
IIA weighed 2,650 lb, heavier than a standard 88 Land Rover! The term Lightweight was, therefore, confusing.
The first Lightweight Series
IIa production models were completed on 11 November 1968 and the Series III
production started in 1972 and continued until 1984. Over 20 countries besides the British used the Lightweight. LHD models were used by
the British Armed Forces in support of their NATO commitments. Many LHD models
were used by the Dutch military and were predominantly fitted with diesel
engines. This vehicle has been slightly modified to suit today’s
driving conditions with a Fairey overdrive, unleaded cylinder head, parabolic
leaf springs, freewheel hubs and electronic ignition.
A stripped down LHD Lightweight ready for an airlift
From Tony Patrick: I joined the MVT last year (2017) but unfortunately due to a long standing commitment on the first Thursday of the month I have not been able to attend the meetings, so the first photo of me with my Auto Union MUNGA is my ID! The MUNGA has now been sold and my present vehicle is a Russian UAZ 469 (second photo), ex- 9th Airborne. This vehicle was bought after once again giving up the search for my first two choices, being a Russian LUAZ 967 or German 181 Trekker.I'm sure I'm not on my own having problems sourcing military vehicles particularly in this country, which has prompted me to inform you of the supplier of my UAZ who I can thoroughly recommend.Ross Howard is a vehicle enthusiast who runs what I would call a hobby company Motors Through Time (not his main occupation) Rosshoward@yahoo.co.uk situated just outside Stamford. Tel: 07790 007087. Ross is in my opinion is a very helpful genuine enthusiast who acquires classic vehicles, including military, and sells on either as found or repaired/restored to the costumer's requirement. Military stock at the moment is a 1991 BMY Harsco (third photo) priced as it stands at 10k. I hope this info can be helpful to members who have access to to your information services.
Tony's present vehicle, a UAZ 469
1991 BMY Harsco
Ian Gardiner's GMC 353 was bought in November 2016 from the Cobbaton Combat Collection near Barnstable in Devon. The truck was one of the vehicles used during the making of the film Fury. He says:"After it was delivered by a friend's low loader, I drove it for the first time and sadly found that the engine wasn’t in quite as good a condition as I thought. The head was removed to show a badly blown head gasket. "The engine and gearbox were removed and then over the last 12 months I have rebuilt the engine, gearbox and removed all rust from the cab. "The chassis and everything from the body forward has been stripped and painted. The painting was made particularly difficult as the whole vehicle has been sprayed with some sort of bitumen paint which had to be painstakingly scrapped off by hand. "Due to space I decided to do the front part of the truck first then next year will attempt to do the body and rear chassis after I have driven it around and attended a few shows. I am booked to take part in the Red Ball Highway Express run in June 2018 so have to pull my finger out and get it built in plenty of time. "I would like to thank the following people for their help up to this point: Neill Elliott, Ryan Gardiner, Brian Rive, Andrew Speechly and Martin Samson."
Neill Elliott with the tired engine
This 1944 Willys MB was bought in January 2016 after viewing in a stripped state in a shed.It was rebuilt by the Americans in Germany prior to transfer to Norway but nothing much is known about its history from then. It is undergoing a 100 per cent strip and rebuild. The tub was deemed to be too far gone and reluctantly a replacement was bought. We are a little behind schedule but have most of the hard work done.
FJL 233 - AKA Audrey - was manufactured on January 29, 1945, for the Royal Air Force. She now wears her original wartime hood
number 208960 and postwar registration 22AA28 from when she was used with the RAF in occupied
Germany. She was sold by HM Government in 1953 to William Taylor & Sons,
Spalding, Lincs, as a hack to repair threshing machines etc. Later sold to Hoggs
Buses, Benington, as a recovery vehicle, then bought by Paul Faunt,
Boston, aged 19 for £45 in 1970. He painted her red and black and, not being
able to pick up girls in her (and his mum telling him off!), she went to A
Oliver & Sons, Swinehead, from 1971 then to Larry Dench in Long Sutton in US
markings. So she’d been in Lincolnshire for 60 years!
She is very original, having never been fully restored and
only having five owners since the King! For 2017 she has been recently restored in
her original markings and made her debut at the Old Warden Fly Navy show on June 4, 2017. Her markings show her assigned to 146 Wing, 83
Group, 2 Tactical Air Force (British Air Force of Occupation) RAF Ahlorn, Lower
Saxony, Germany, circa mid-1945 with 263 Squadron which flew Hawker Typhoons. The markngs are in
memory of Ft Lt Doug Sturgeon, who flew with them . . . an old friend, sadly no longer
with us. Her current custodian is Ben Brown, Northampton, and she
is often to be found at her second home – Sywell Aviation Museum!
Audrey's little friend is a
1943 BSA folding airborne bicycle, Penny. In 1941, during the Second World War, the
British War Office called for a machine that weighed less than 23 pounds (this was
not achieved - the final weight was about 32 pounds) and would withstand being
dropped by parachute. In response, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA)
developed a folding bicycle small enough to be taken in small gliders or on
parachute jumps from aircraft.
The BSA folding bicycle was rigged so that,
when parachuted, the handlebars and seat were the first parts to hit the ground
(as bent wheels would disable the bike). BSA abandoned the traditional diamond
bicycle design as too weak for the shock and instead made an elliptical frame
of twin parallel tubes, one forming the top tube and seat stays, and the other
the chainstay and down tube. The hinges were in front of the bottom bracket and
in the corresponding position in front of the saddle, fastened by wing nuts. The peg pedals could be pushed in to avoid snagging and further reduce the
space occupied during transit. From 1942-45, the folding bicycle was used by
British & Commonwealth airborne troops, Commandos, and some infantry
regiments; some were used on the D-Day landings and at the Battle of Arnhem.
About 60,000 were made. Many were "acquired" by other units and strapped to
Jeeps, tanks and carried in aircraft as a useful, compact runabout, especially
on spacious RAF airfields. This example was purchased in the 1970s by an
engineering apprentice for £4. On his first day at work his colleagues undid
the wingnuts causing the bike to collapse on his way home and he didn’t ride it
again! It remained in a barn until 2017 when it was acquired by its present
owner, Ben Brown, Northampton.
This little Jeep is
half the size of a real one . . . just imagine it twice as long, twice as wide
etc! It was scratch built at Newport Pagnell, Bucks, in 1991 by Dennis Reyland
for his grandchildren. They have now grown too big for it, but the great-grandchildren now love it. Chassis: Mainly
Body: Mild steel and
Motor: 24 volt from a
Front wheels: From a
wheelbarrow or two.
Rear wheels: From a
The MT350E is manufactured by Harley Davidson.
These bikes originated from the Italian SWM Tornado in the early 1980s.
It was also developed in a military version, but the firm was in financial
trouble and, in the collapse, the design went to Armstrong-CCM. In 1987, Armstrong's
military motorcycle business was sold to H-D and the MT350E is a development of
the Armstrong MT500 with
a smaller capacity engine, electric start and disc brakes. It appeared in 1993
and continued until 2000.
carrier at the back takes an SA-80 rifle and the front panniers are for fuel
cans, ammunition . . . or beer!
MT350E went into service with the Army in 1996 and carried the military
registration GH 08 AA. It was released after only covering about 8,000 miles
and I am its first registered civilian owner, putting it on the road in 2016.
H-D was a large producer of
military motorcycles in WW2 with their WLA (American Army), WLC (Canadian Army)
and US (South African Army) models being the best known.
this the longest combination of vehicle and owner in the MVT? John Marchant,
the grandfather of the MV preservation movement and former MVT chief judge,
bought his Canadian Military Pattern Ford F60S in 1947 and has owned and used
in ever since.
CMP was built in 1942 and until 1946 was in service in North West Europe. It
was sold at the Bordon disposal sale with 15,210 miles on the clock.
rebuilt the engine and used it on his Northamptonshire farm until 1997,
clocking up another 13,025 miles. He then fitted a new Canadian engine and
rebuilt the body.
now lives in a comfortable retirement on the farm but was brought out and given
a run around the fields at the South East Midlands Area’s 2014 Crank-up Weekend on
readers know of a member who has kept the same vehicle from before 1947, please
let the webmaster know!
John Marchant (above) and the 1942 Ford of Canada CMP F60S he bought in 1947. All the markings and camouflage are exactly as they were when it served in Europe during the war.
Tim Webster's fire enginestarted out as a Green Goddess, however due to his work with the Museum of RAF Fire Fighting at RAF Scampton, he discovered that back in 1968 in Malta the RAF purchased two Army Fire Service Goddesses, repainted them and put them back into service in one of the satellite stations to RAF Luqa. Tim Says: "I obtained the vehicle record cards from RAF Hendon and also the correct paint codes used. I then had to contact the RAF Historic Branch to obtain the station crest which is one the side of the vehicle. The Historic Branch informed me that I needed to contact the MoD Crown Copyright Branch to obtain permission for display. This done, it was back to the Historic Branch who then issued a disc with the crest on it. Then it was a case of taking the disc to the signwriters for reproduction. The point is I am probably one of a few people that found out you do need permission to display insignia. The finished product is now an exact copy of the vehicles used by the RAF at that time. Left: A visit to RAF Scampton by a party of school children from
Malta, who posed in front of Tim's vehicle.
The RAF Fire Service also turned out
Gordon Beale's Army
Fire Service vehicle with Tim's RAF Fire Service truck
February 2013: I have been doing an M38 and here are some pictures. It was blue when I bought it 18 months ago. The paint was not good and nobody wants a blue one so I took it apart, painted in olive drab and I am now slowly rebuilding it.
From Wikipedia: The Willys M38United States Armyjeep, replaced the World War Two models known as MB and GPW. It was a 1/4 Ton 4 × 4 Utility Truck manufactured between 1950 and 1952 with a total production of 45,473 units. The M38 was based on the civilian model CJ3A. Willys designated it an MC. However, this version carried a beefier frame and suspension than the CJ3A. Some were assigned to the Korean theatre of operations and after that conflict was over in the mid 1950s, they were manufactured for export overseas.
Is there something green lurking in your garage? Let other area members have a look and send a few words and some jpeg pictures to the webmaster (see contacts page).