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Matador_Doris

A.E.C Matador Restoration

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Meet Marg, an Associated Equipment Company Matador, Model 0853. Chassis Number 7837, Contract Number S2263 (Contract for Medium Artillery Tractors). Built for The War Office on July 21st 1944. Registration H5471004, later 94YY94 (circa 1950). She was auctioned at Ruddington during December 1965, Lot Number 904. She worked in bus recovery after disposal before starting a new chapter with Bill Kemball of Wantisden Hall Farms in 1977. She was used during harvest, towing trailers of vegetables from the fields. Her last known operation was in 1997, it was around this time she was laid up for more than twenty years before her recovery late in 2018. I would purchase her in February 2019.

Currently under a long-term restoration to factory performance and aesthetic. The restoration will utilise as many original parts as possible whilst maintaining the goal of factory aesthetic and performance. She will be restored true to her original specification, from batteries and wiring, to the finish on every nut and fastener. Below are a few photographs of the Matador and the parts sourced for her restoration. 

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Edited by Matador_Doris
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Welcome aboard, nice choice of project, looks like you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Please keep the blog going and the pictures coming, we love them all

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A few more "before" shots. She hadn't changed much since disposal in 1965, just some additional wiring and paint (outside only). Note the casting date on the rear spring hanger, 8th April 1944. Also photographed, the original Axle Flood paint on the rear differential casing and she's only done 6275 miles!

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By Axle flood paint do you mean the white painted area?

That to me is more like to be for a rear convoy light to light up.

So it can be seen by a following driver but not by anyone else.

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The "Lamp, Convoy" had the designation B-WD-AF1 (There was a Lucas alternative.) which stood for Butlers, War Department, Axle Flood 1. The "AF" stands for Axle Flood. Operated by a Bakelite change over switch mounted to the rear cross-member, which alternated the circuit between the Axle Flood and Tail. The switch marked "Tail" on the C.A.V control box (in the cab) had to switched on for the circuit to be live. Having the change over switch to the right would illuminate the tail lamp, having the switch to the left would illuminate the axle flood lamp. 

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Edited by Matador_Doris

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A recent pick up. A near mint example of the Pyrene fire extinguisher bracket used in second world war British vehicles. Not an easy model to find, the post-war American version is common. This was mounted on the drivers door post in my Matador, 7837. Though I have seen them mounted in other locations. 

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Good haul of original parts there! I like it when vehicles are restored back to as original as possible. I've got a Douglas tug that I'm restoring and i've been trying to buy original light fittings etc. Even though it's only a tug it was so original when I got it that I want to put it back to how it was when new. 

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Love this project and very much looking forward to following it and seeing the updates with progress. Congratulations on your journey so far 

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Thank you for your comments. Finding parts is a labour of love! Here's something I posted on my Facebook page a while back.

She Vowed to Thee Her Country in times of war, with a faithful service spanning twenty-one years. In retirement she worked in bus recovery and farming, eventually laid up and forgotten she stood motionless through winter's storms and summer's blazing heat. Twenty years passed her by as she sunk ever deeper into mother natures grasp, Her Pride was Suffering. Then, at the grand old age of seventy-four, she was awoken from her ever deepening sleep and once again felt the ground move beneath her. Her elation was short lived as her rescuer began breaking her for parts. Then, one overcast February day she was met by the man who'd save her. Her new rescuer did everything he could to prevent further breakup, and succeeded. Fates plans for her untimely demise, would have to wait. Her new owner vowed to restore her with a love that never falters. With every passing day her shining bounds increase. Built to aid in the taking of lives, she'll become a living memorial to those who served and her ways will be those of gentleness and all her paths of peace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el38Xr2l9UE

 

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Looking forward to following the restoration here on on your blog, little and often is the key to maintaining progress and focus on a major project like yours.

Good luck and keep posting :thumbsup:

Pete

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I try to achieve something every day, in whichever form. Be it research, searching, buying, strip down etc Found her a replacement winch plate this week.

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Just in, Koken tools! Just received several hundred pounds worth of Koken socketry and tools, made in Japan.

The historic Birmingham manufacturer King Dick doesn't produce the six point Whitworth socketry, only twelve point (which aren't as good). So I've chosen the Japanese manufacturer Koken to supply my socketry in Whitworth sizes. Reportedly high quality with a price tag to match!

I have received the following tools:

Reversible ratchet - 3/8 drive with 3/8 drive six point sockets:

1/8W, 3/16W, 1/4W, 5/16W, 3/8W, 7/16W, 1/2W, 9/16

Plus 3/8 drive sliding T-bar.

Reversible ratchet 1/2 drive with 1/2 drive six point sockets:

3/16W, 1/4W, 5/16W, 3/8W, 7/16, 1/2W, 9/16W, 5/8W

Plus 3/8 and 1/2 drive extension bars in the following lengths:

50mm, 75mm, 125mm, 150mm, 250mm

Also 1/4 drive tools, 1/4 drive BA sockets, hammers, rules, engineering books and forty-four piece hollow ground screwdriver set. Lots more to purchase, jacks, compressor, 3/4 drive tools, vapour blasting machine, paint system.

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My latest purchase, bought locally. War Department, 1944 dated. High Octane tag. No obvious dents or holes. Nightmare to restore. Industrial strength chemical bath to strip back to bare steel inside and out before refinishing in the correct fuel and rust resistant enamel? May be worth calling a decent Jerry can manufacturer to ask for advice. They will all carry the correct Diesel tag.

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Latest purchase, a C224 charge box. The C224 carried the 3rd and 4th charges for the B.L. 5.5" Medium Gun. The eventual goal is a full (dummy) cargo of 5.5" projectiles and charges. All real look and weight, in the region of four tons! Also pictured, a fully loaded Su-Coe, almost identical to how a fully laden Matador would have looked.

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You have the bomb squad in action on every place you park 😀

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I don't think so Citroman. I've been around deactivated firearms, inert munitions, imitation firearms and imitation munitions many years, I rarely hear of problems.

Towing a 5.5" Medium Gun around, it's obvious to all but the totally blind. Some dopey member of the public catching a glimpse of something gun or munition like in the back of a Fiat Punto is another thing. Driving an eighteen ton combination around in public, you'd be surprised how many people think you're the M.O.D. Other's will think "Ah, there's a piece of WW2 artillery.". Long as what you're carrying is legal and kept covered and out of view, there's no problem transporting this kind of thing.

Johann, whole thread is dedicated to the vehicle restoration. In my opinion, the Jerry cans and charge boxes are part of the vehicle. She won't run without diesel and without a cargo she's without purpose. The goal to drive her on a living history tour of Europe, through the back roads of France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and Italy, down to Rome. Visiting battlefields, cemeteries, museums and other places of interest. Living from the Matador as in 1944/45. Carrying out maintenance with the period toolkit, washing, sleeping, cooking, defecating, doing laundry, all in the period way and at 20-25mph all the way to Rome. The long way around. 

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Edited by Matador_Doris

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A  matador with 5.5 inch gun and a quad with a limber and 23pdr gun regularly attend the veterans show at Weymouth, just need consideration when parking the units up whilst out and about ! 😁

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Of course Ashley! Here's my young family of Jerries, 1944 BMB, 1943 AMC, 1944 W&W. Few dents and no holes as yet. Certainly need a few for 7837's 7.7 Litre engine, especially towing a combined eighteen tons. Extra cans can be seen on the roof in wartime film and photographs.

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Edited by Matador_Doris

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A question, stocking the shells on the ground like on the picture will that not cause problems for/in the gun?

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Apparently not Citroman, common to see them stacked on the ground in original photographs. Give them a brush over before loading, the hessian "grumet" (spelling?) protects the soft metal drive bands on the shells in transit.

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7 hours ago, Matador_Doris said:

 

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It looks to me that the shells are on a sloping bank recently dug, would that be normal practice?

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