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Chrispy

Help with identifying a WW2 vehicle

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During WW2 my father was a Padre with the 8th Army at the battle of El Alamein.

 

We have very few photographs of him at this time but the attached shows him with a group of fellow soldiers and a vehicle in the background.

 

When I get to the point of restoring an old vehicle I would like to restore one of these in his memory and the work of chaplains. He was awarded MC for tending to wounded in no mans land during the battles.

 

Can anyone identify the vehicle behind my father?

IMG_0781.jpg

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Hi and welcome to the forum, I am thinking Humber snipe.

 

(beaten by a couple of minutes by monty :)

humber snipe.jpg

Edited by rog8811

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Hi and welcome to the forum, I am thinking Humber snipe.

 

(beaten by a couple of minutes by monty :)

 

 

OH!!! there was a contest coming on did know sorry

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I thought it was a Snipe at first, but I'm not sure it is on a closer look.

 

The front doors are hinged at the front, rather than the rear like a Snipe; the doors are much more upright with two rather than three ribs, the windows are a different shape, and the bonnet, running boards and wheelarches look different.

 

Edit - having said that, could it be a different coachbuilder?

Edited by Sean N

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During WW2 my father was a Padre with the 8th Army at the battle of El Alamein.

 

We have very few photographs of him at this time but the attached shows him with a group of fellow soldiers and a vehicle in the background.

 

When I get to the point of restoring an old vehicle I would like to restore one of these in his memory and the work of chaplains.

 

Can anyone identify the vehicle behind my father?

 

It could be a Canadian built Ford?woody estate, Military desert version, only a few now exist so not much chance of finding one to restore, these type of military woodys are now Very rare and valuable

Edited by Nick Johns

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I thought it was a Snipe at first, but I'm not sure it is on a closer look.

 

The front doors are hinged at the front, rather than the rear like a Snipe; the doors are much more upright with two rather than three ribs, the windows are a different shape, and the bonnet, running boards and wheelarches look different.

 

Edit - having said that, could it be a different coachbuilder?

 

Agree with you after looking at images of the Snipe.

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Zooming the photo up and comparing with Ford C11AS and C11ADF as well as Humber Snipe, there are several features to the body that do not compare to these vehicles, maybe it was not a standard military model. There look to be three side windows ( one more than Humber or Ford), and the front edge of the doors is vertical (unlike a Humber which is raked, and they had 'suicide doors'). Something else although minor is the door, the horizontal bars to not match the above vehicles.

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Some civilian type Chev's were bought locally from Egyptian dealers and converted for Desert use by Army workshops, could this be one of those vehicles?

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Some civilian type Chev's were bought locally from Egyptian dealers and converted for Desert use by Army workshops, could this be one of those vehicles?

Certainly the front mudguard and panel immediately in front of the door are consistent with Chevrolets of the period. Intruguingly, the bonnet & radiator appear to be missing.

I would be wary of drawing any conclusions from the bodywork, as this could have been built or modified locally.

perhaps a militarised version of this?

image.jpg

image.jpg

Edited by mtskull

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There is some foreshortening in the photograph, but the coachwork looks tall for a standard station wagon. It's a type that lends itself to Shooting-Brake bodywork though.

 

There appears to be a rolled and strapped tent or net obscuring the bonnet line.

 

Chrispy, do you have your father's service record and know exactly which unit he was attached to ? Can you visit the National Archives at Kew ?

 

War Diaries are generally only for GHQ Chaplains departments but may indicate where he was posted. Any diary could (but probably won't !) refer to 'The Padre's Chevrolet'....even an Ordnance or REME diary might have a reference. It means a lot of archive work but the answer could be there. Days spent in archives are something that most people either love or hate. If it's something that appeals then I'd very much recommend it. The diaries are often hand written and give a 'feel' for how things were which no subsequently published account can come close to. You can also look at the establishment for the type of unit that he was with. There will have been other vehicles too.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=chaplain&_ser=WO%20169&id=C14376

 

The Museum of Army Chaplaincy might also be worth contacting. http://www.army.mod.uk/chaplains/23363.aspx

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There is some foreshortening in the photograph, but the coachwork looks tall for a standard station wagon. It's a type that lends itself to Shooting-Brake bodywork though.

 

There appears to be a rolled and strapped tent or net obscuring the bonnet line

I thought that was a tree or bush in the background but on closer inspection it appears that you are correct; bonnet etc. are there but obscured.

Edited by mtskull

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This might help:

 

Mystery%20vehicle.png

 

Whatever it is, it's got heavily offset wheels with, I'd say, at least 9.00 x 16 if not 10.50 x 16 tyres, but that could be a local mod.

 

It's niggling me that I know what this is, but i can't place it. At the moment I'm inclined to think Chevrolet on the 1/2 ton or 1 ton truck chassis / front end.

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Every detail that can be clearly discerned in the photo is consistent with Chevrolet. Here's a photo of a 1311x3 from a similar angle.

image.jpg

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Every detail that can be clearly discerned in the photo is consistent with Chevrolet. Here's a photo of a 1311x3 from a similar angle.

 

I was beginning to think the same, the vents in bonnet side and running board coming back from the wing. As I think these patrol vehicles were supplied to the Middle East as chassis/cowl (ie no cab), this would explain the vertical 'A' pillar at front of body, most likely an Egyptian body builder.

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Every detail that can be clearly discerned in the photo is consistent with Chevrolet.

 

Even the bonnet ;)

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Zooming the photo up and comparing with Ford C11AS and C11ADF as well as Humber Snipe, there are several features to the body that do not compare to these vehicles, maybe it was not a standard military model. There look to be three side windows ( one more than Humber or Ford), and the front edge of the doors is vertical (unlike a Humber which is raked, and they had 'suicide doors'). Something else although minor is the door, the horizontal bars to not match the above vehicles.

 

I quite agree with all these observations. It seems to be a tricky vehicle to identify.

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Hi Chrispy, I don't think it is too difficult - OK, the bodywork or coachbuilder might be hard to pin down (though I'm still sure I've seen this woody, or one like it, before); but everything about the vehicle itself says it's a Chevrolet light truck, probably for me an early wartime one.

 

The good news is that there are plenty of these around for restoration, though at a price (particularly given the low pound at the moment), and you might have to take an educated guess at the body, though getting a good approximation probably wouldn't be that difficult.

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There is some foreshortening in the photograph, but the coachwork looks tall for a standard station wagon. It's a type that lends itself to Shooting-Brake bodywork though.

 

There appears to be a rolled and strapped tent or net obscuring the bonnet line.

 

Chrispy, do you have your father's service record and know exactly which unit he was attached to ? Can you visit the National Archives at Kew ?

 

War Diaries are generally only for GHQ Chaplains departments but may indicate where he was posted. Any diary could (but probably won't !) refer to 'The Padre's Chevrolet'....even an Ordnance or REME diary might have a reference. It means a lot of archive work but the answer could be there. Days spent in archives are something that most people either love or hate. If it's something that appeals then I'd very much recommend it. The diaries are often hand written and give a 'feel' for how things were which no subsequently published account can come close to. You can also look at the establishment for the type of unit that he was with. There will have been other vehicles too.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=chaplain&_ser=WO%20169&id=C14376

 

The Museum of Army Chaplaincy might also be worth contacting. http://www.army.mod.uk/chaplains/23363.aspx

 

Thank you Captain. I have the chaplaincy records for dad so will look again. Visited Amport where the chaplains records are kept. Will look at visiting Kew to look further. Thanks for the pointer.

Chrispy

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Hi Chrispy, I don't think it is too difficult - OK, the bodywork or coachbuilder might be hard to pin down (though I'm still sure I've seen this woody, or one like it, before); but everything about the vehicle itself says it's a Chevrolet light truck, probably for me an early wartime one.

 

The good news is that there are plenty of these around for restoration, though at a price (particularly given the low pound at the moment), and you might have to take an educated guess at the body, though getting a good approximation probably wouldn't be that difficult.

 

Thank you Sean, I can at least start an informed search.

chrispy

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