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M1A1 Wrecker: difference between Ward LaFrance and Kenworth

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I was wondering if there are any visible differences between an M1A1 Wrecker made by Ward LaFrance and Kenworth. How can you disdinguish them? So far I found only the differences between the older M1 Wreckers.

 

Any help is appreciated.

 

Thank you

Chris

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the top of the radiator brush guard on a ward is flat, were as the kenworth is raised in the middle slightly.

 

i don't think there are many differences between them at the mk5 stage as the parts were standardised so it was all interchangeable.

 

rare to find a kenworth made m1a1 in europe as they generally went to australia for what ever reason.

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the top of the radiator brush guard on a ward is flat, were as the kenworth is raised in the middle slightly. i don't think there are many differences between them at the mk5 stage as the parts were standardised so it was all interchangeable. rare to find a kenworth made m1a1 in europe as they generally went to australia for what ever reason.

 

Thank you for your Input. I thought that raise in the radiator brush guard was only valid for the M1 models, not the M1A1 models? The Swiss Army extensively used these Wreckers, so I'll try to find out how many Kenworths actually were by comparing pics. Easiest way is telling by the chassis number, but have got only about half of them. Of the M1 wreckers there was one Kenworth for sure (preserved in Burgdorf CH), not sure if there was one or two others. As in official documents they usually called "Ward LaFrance". So have to dig further...

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Chris, I guess you've already seen this web page which has some detail on the technical differences, some of which will be visible:

 

http://olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_ward_lafrance.php

 

Possible Mike Gillman might be able to shed more light if he sees this.

 

Thank you Sean. I saw this site but I think it doesn't tell the difference between WLF and KW, just compares the different series models?

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... according to a friend, M1A1 Kenworths had a different bumper than WLF. Can somebody confirm that? Here's an example of a Kenworth bumper??

 

In official Swiss Army documents this wrecker is a Kenworth. However, the chassis number says its a Ward LaFrance. So I'm a little bit confused.

 

M1A1 Wrecker.jpg

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.... just had a look at the Tankograd TM 6029 about the Heavy Wreckers. So a Kenworth had the same bumper as the WLF. The wrecker on the pic above had therefore probably replaced it before the Swiss laid hands on it.

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if the workshops that worked on the diamond t's are any thing to go by don't be at all surprised if it was the same for the heavy wreckers.

 

as the trucks went in for major over hauls the trucks would be stripped down and the individual parts would be put together so radiators in one pile, bonnet panels in another pile and so on. so it is very unlikely a ward or kenworth would have the same parts on it as it left the factory today.

 

it is common to see a early diamond t 980 fitted with a late radiator header tank with no DT emblem or a late dt 980 fitted with an early ballest box. so it is no surprise if a ward has ended up with a kenworth brush guard and so on.

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

There seem to be very few surviving Kenworth M1A1s. I currently know of one in the UK undergoing restoration by an HMVF member, and two in Australia belonging to a different HMVF member.

 

As far as anyone has been able to establish there is no difference between the two makes of M1A1 other than the chassis numbers. At delivery the Kenworth whiffle tree was cast rather than fabricated, but 75 years on that is now no indication of manufacturer! The cast Whiffle tree is shown on an M1 on p37 of the article in Wheels and Tracks no.3.

 

The bumper in the photo is an earlier one which has been fitted to a later truck.

 

Tankograd No.1001 states 1,323 Kenworth model 352 (M1A1) built between 1943-1945.

 

- MG

Edited by TooTallMike

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Hi all,

I'm in Australia and own (as of yesterday) 3 kw573s, albiet two are basket cases.

 

There are at least 3 more I know of, 1 is in a collection in Melbourne (John Belfield), plus another that was cut up for scrap only 15 years ago, despite my efforts to buy what was left of it.

 

Australians are great for working their vehicles into the ground, so mostly they are pretty poor.

 

As for differences between WLF Series 5 and KW573, from memory, including what has been mentioned in earlier posts:

 

- the shape of the radiator shell and brush guard. This is far less pronounced than in earlier models, not even noticeable in a casual look.

 

- the WLF whiffle tree is fabricated, the KW whiffle tree is all cast. Hang on, I'll check that when I get home in a few days, it certainly looks cast even from close up.

 

- the toolboxes on the rear body, under the boom are a completely different design. These tool boxes shown in TM9-796 (I think) are KW boxes, quite different to the WLF boxes commonly seen on European trucks.

 

- the 'mechanics' tool box, mounted on the drivers side front end of the rear body is, I only suspect, also different between KW and WLF. The KW box, as shown in TM9-796 is made by Plomb. They turn up VERY occasionally. I don't know about the box I usually see in modern European pictures.

 

From memory, WLF built about 4500 M1/M1A1s and KW built about 500 units. I'm told that the Australian Army received about 30 M1/M1A1 trucks, some of which were used right up into the mid 1970s! All Kenworths.

 

As I am away from home, all this is from my not-always-real-good memory.

(don't laugh, your turn is coming!!!)

 

Hope it helps.

Have a nice day.

Sam.

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Dear all

 

Thank you very much for your contribution and your input. That's highly appreciated!

 

I just travelled around Aussie a few months back. Saw the Belfield collection a few years ago before it was sold. I was very surprized to see a Swiss M1A1 in his collection.

 

Greetings

Chris

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