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Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer

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Visited the Military Odyssey show at Kent County Showground, Detling, a couple of weeks ago and saw sdkfz's immaculate Jagdpanther. (http://www.sdkfz.com). The machine is really impressive but I was shocked to hear the costs involved for restoration. The group expected to spend GBP 350000 but it turned out to be more like half a million. Some deep pockets but what got me thinking was the rebuild was from almost nothing with extensive new replacement parts. When does a restoration become a replica? Is there a set persentage written somewhere or am I just turning greener day by day?

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Bit like Trigger's [ Only Fools and Horses ] broom. 6 new heads and 4 new handles, but its the same brush he's had since man and boy.

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Dam good question and one that I have quite often thought about myself. I was reading an article in one of the MV mags last month how people are pulling of tanks ( what is left of them) of the ranges and rebuilding them. When you look at our MV's, how much of them is original? I wouldn't believe for one moment that my truck is the same truck that went into service but I believe that it isn't that far off but how would I know.

 

Does it matter if it is a total rebuild from new/engineered pieces? To me, yes it does but the most important thing to me is that these total rebuilds are doing the job off keeping history alive for future generations......that can't be bad, can it?

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In the aviation world, I've often heard the figure of 15% original parts being the cut off point before it is considered a replica. But what really is a replica??

 

If you build a Sherman out of plywood, horsesh*t and bus tickets, but it looks 100% spot on, then I'd call it a replica. If however you use the original drawings, and copy each part in the original material, then in my mind, it is not a replica, but a "New Build" Sherman, possibly with some original parts. Stand it next to a WW2 vintage Sherman and they are identical, they are both Shermans, just one is an older version. It's age doesn't change the fact whether it is a Sherman or not.

 

Taking it to extremes, the famous Boeing B-17 Fortress bomber was also built in the USA by Douglas and Vega. It may be the same age as a Boeing example, but does that mean it isn't really a B-17 because Boeing didn't build it? The other companies also made changes to the original design ( making spares identification a nightmare ). It's the same age, built using the same materials and drawings, although slightly changed here and there, just the manufacturer is different.

 

If you answer yes, of course it's a B-17, then by the same breath are you also saying that the Hotchkiss M201 Jeep is just the same as a Willys MB, just a later mark and a little more refined????

 

I don't think the age of the parts makes a difference personally. How many military vehicles at the end of the war had all the same parts as when they left the factory?? With replacement and repaired parts being fitted, it's not the same vehicle???is it? the parts were younger and from a different company???

 

Who's to say that the steel you are using to repair your body tub isn't steel that was recycled from scrapped vehicles after the war? Steel is steel, rubber is rubber; replacing parts for new doesn't make the vehicle any less a vehicle, just as it didn't during the war, it just means the parts are younger, and the vehicle will continue for longer. All vehicles are in a constant state of "Restoration", even during wartime to keep them running, so no vehicle is original, only the age of the parts is different.

 

There will be purists who want every nut and bolt to be wartime origin, but sooner or later, age will take it's toll, and they will be the ones with static unusable vehicles.

 

Guess I've prattled on long enough now!!

 

Steve

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It’s all to do with that very important chassis number. Re manufacture EVERY part and assemble it you've got a replica; re manufacture every part but add an original data chassis number, [that may be on a separate plate] and you've got a 1st class restoration.

 

Big court battle some time ago re TWO parties that rebuilt a famous Brooklands crash. Both claimed originality, one had a damaged repaired chassis; the other had the bulkhead data plate. The case cost thousands, and there was a court ruling.

 

There are several parts built jeeps presently for on sale, they have new everything including chassis. They are NOT ww2 jeeps.

 

 

 

[Edited for spelling]

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So what ratio of plywood/horsesh*t and bus tickets is acceptable for a Sherman build then ? :lol:

 

Tim(1)

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So what ratio of plywood/horsesh*t and bus tickets is acceptable for a Sherman build then ? :lol:

 

Tim(1)

 

The trouble only really starts when you go down to the D.V.L.A. for a registration plate, see you have to prove the manufacture date. Now we wouldn't want a 'new build' Sherman running around on a 'Q' plate.... would we. Just wouldn't look right.

 

So why not fake a chassis number with a set of punches and take the whole chassis down and show them the number, and get youself a nice age related plate. Then you'll have all the kudos of lovely black and white lettering rather than that new yellow stuff.

 

You won't stand out in a crowd, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have a real restored vehicle rather than a replica.

 

Karoshi

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I was involved in recovering a line of 3 tanks from Pirbright Range, having been shown them in 1975 when I was based at Chertsey as Tank Trials Officer. These tanks had been shot at with a variety of weapons by test personnel from RARDE/MVEE/FVPE/Quinetiq from 1943 onwards.

 

The first vehicle was the Jagdpanther which had been shot at with Bazookas I arranged for the boys from Duxford to remove the engine. Subsequently I arranged for Bob Fleming to be allowed to recover it for restoration. As you saw at Detling, it is no longer a test target, but a fully restored tank destroyer.

 

The second vehicle was a RAM2 less turret. I recovered this in 1983 and it has been restored to good external appearance with turret and is on display outside ATDU at Bovington. Most of the restoration effort was filling the 133 shot holes caused by Bazookas and Panzerfaust. No attempt was made to make it a runner.

 

The third tank in the line was a pilot model M3 Grant with about 400 shot holes from Panzerfaust and Panzershrek. I recovered this tank 2 years ago and demonstrated it with Carl Brown at Beltring this year. Unlike the Jagpanther, however, Carl Brown and I agreed to repair rather than restore the tank. The tank had been used from 1943 to 1975 as a test rig for firing enemy weapons at, subsequently used for testing armoured ammo bins. The chargehand in 1975 pointed out that the Trials Branch Register recorded the tank as "Armoured Test Rig, Wing No 1952, Do Not Paint" as burning paint obscured camera shots of bin tests. He had spent 3 days paint stripping this tank inside and out. He had remounted the turret 11 times after trials went wrong. So the tank has been repaired to running order, but no paint has been added outside and no shot holes filled - they represent the historical provenance of this tank. What other vehicle demonstrates what a Panzerfaust or Panzershrek can do to an American tank? We have also avoided fitting numerous bins and stowage items, as they get in the way and as a test rig they had all been deliberately removed. Basically, the tank is ready again for another Armour Test Rig trial.

 

So the Jagdpanther and the M3 Grant both started from the same range at Pirbright in very similar condition - collanders. But I wold argue that the M3 Grant has better retained it historic provenance having been repaired as opposed to restored.

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Sorry this post is a bit late, I have only just joined the forum.

So far as the one end of the scale how far do you want to go? wartime oil in the sump? fuel in the tank? air in the tyres? or compare with Bovington's Matilda Mk. 1. This is a composite of two or three very poor wrecks and new parts. It is propelled by a Rover V8 and auto gearbox. In the Museum is another, absolutely complete and original model, long since dead. Surely there is a valuable place for both - one moving and one original?

I had to face this dilemma when restoring my Valentine DD. The hull was original and all of the internals. The turret, engine and radiator doors were cut off and thrown outside, some of them were recovered. All of the external DD parts were missing except for the propellor drive and controls. I had to use a turret ring from a different mark of Valentine as I did with a radiator door. One engine cover I made along with the screen frames and mechanism. Is this a replica? By weight I would think that more than 17 tons of the 17 1/2 came from the original factory, about 16 3/4 tons on the one vehicle. Would it have been better to not do it or should I have spent the rest of my life in a fruitless search for the missing pieces?

One point, I would never criticise someone else's compromises on restoration but all modifications should surely be to the replacement parts so that original parts can be refitted if they later become available. As an aside, in my experience, the most extreme purists on the authenticity spectrum rarely have their own examples of vehicles that they have personally restored and seem to be coming to the subject from a theoretical rather than a practical standpoint.

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John well put. I totally agree. To see a moving exhibit is poetry in motion, it makes history come alive. There is of course a place for " reference works " and I'm endebted to those that store such exhibits under cover in a well protected environment, for the benefit of future generations. But alas, oh so many of those vehicles are not for public viewing!

 

I have to totally agree with your closing comment, and recall the old addage:

 

"Those that can DO, those that can't....... TEACH.

 

Let the flaming begin.

 

Karoshi

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Just reading old posts and wanted to say that all those German Sd kfz 250 & 251 halftracks that have been restored by the Sdkfz people realy do look good at Military Odyssey and bring the show to life - and yet if you read the history of each of them you will find they were nearly all scrap yard wrecks before having thousands of pounds spent on them. As for the Jagdpanther I went to the show specifically to see it in action and I think 99% of those who attend shows would rather see it restored and running than see that M3 full of holes, just as they would prefer to see a Hurricane, Mig or Bf 109 restored to flying condition even with lots of new parts, than see it 'as found' in a Russian forest.

 

I have nothing but admiration for people like John, who bring something previously 'lost' back to life!

 

NB - John why is it though, that in all the photos of your Valentine, you're never pictured driving it? I hope you get the occasional go in the hot seat !!!!!!!!!

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Why not drive my Valentine? Ah! Several answers!

Firstly I am too bloody tall and fat to easily get in: 6ft 3 and more than 19 stone. I do get in and out but would not like to do it say 4 times in the same hour!

Secondly: I always have to pull number 1 son out of the driving compartment before I can get in as he has been driving it since he was 9 yrs old and still does most of the driving

Thirdly: I did loads of driving while I was restoring it.

Fourthly: it is very hard to drive physically and now I have heart disease

Fifthly: I like to wave at people from the turret and also like to be the one in command of my investment (time and money) rather than just being the chauffeur acting under orders.

Sixthly: I tend to let (almost) anyone else drive it if they ask nicely and have done some work, supplied parts etc. and it is best to be in control of it rather than let a complete unknown tell me when to pull out of junctions etc.

Lastly: the driving viewing slot is so small that you can't see me even if I do drive!

Strange really, I do enjoy driving it of course but the best bit is talking to people (especially veterans) about it or writing about it.

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If someone has made the time and effort to restore or reconstruct a vehicle for us all to enjoy then I'm happy. I am never going to do it myself so will readily accept any compromise the people at the coal face make to get their projects completed. Anything that gives us more variety to keep the MV movement strong is fine by me. Examples of WW2 era British armour are especially welcome. Keep them rolling...

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in my experience, the most extreme purists on the authenticity spectrum rarely have their own examples of vehicles that they have personally restored and seem to be coming to the subject from a theoretical rather than a practical standpoint.

 

 

reminds me of the story about the American flyer who painted his Catalina pink. Lots of aviation "experts" thought this was a crime. One such "expert" confronted him at an airshow one day and told him he really shouldn't have painted his warbird that disgusting colour. "Why?" replied the owner, "What colour is yours?" 8-)

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I have a friend who was with the Flying Tigers in CBI. He laughs when he hears this sort of thing as he said that several of their aerolanes were pink. They had been painted in red primer which had gotten bleached out and they never received the top coat of paint for them as everything was in such short supply.

 

Tim (too).

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I agree most of us want to See a vehicle back together, and lets face it there isnt any solid vehicles left that are dug found after 60 odd years. Its the quality of the re-pro parts as-well I think and you have to shop around, making/casting /machining one offs is a very expensive business and a rare machine can run into tens of thousands.............is it worth it? people's faces at Military Odyssey should reveal that question. http://www.SdKfz.com great site always wanted a Demag.....sdkfz to big to get in my garden.

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He he. I've also seen pictures of pink Spitfires ~ I think they were recce versions.

 

 

My father's ship HMS Aurora was painted pink for a while during WWII. The most dangerous time (pre-radar) for a ship was sunrise, when you could suddenly find yourself sitting inside an enemy fleet. They thought the colour gave them an extra 5 minutes grace over ships painted grey. Although it must have been hell for the rest of the day, not to mention when they brought it into port! :whistle:

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He he. I've also seen pictures of pink Spitfires ~ I think they were recce versions.

 

 

As I understand it the SAS use Pink Panther Landrovers because a Mosquito (IIRC) crashed in the desert and faded to pink in the blistering heat and scouring effect of the wind in no time at all. This made for such good camouflage (the wreck lay undiscovered for a long time) that the SAS decided it was the right colour for their desert vehicles.

 

Or is the story apochryphal?

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Whilst the story of an aircraft may be true I very much doubt that it would have been a Mosquito, too early in the war.

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The version I heard said that it was a Liberator bomber. :dunno:

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As I understand it the SAS use Pink Panther Landrovers because a Mosquito (IIRC) crashed in the desert and faded to pink in the blistering heat and scouring effect of the wind in no time at all. This made for such good camouflage (the wreck lay undiscovered for a long time) that the SAS decided it was the right colour for their desert vehicles.

 

Or is the story apochryphal?

 

 

Apocryphal I think!!! The ww2 vehicles were painted the same as the LRDG.

Pink was, IIRC, introduced during the Yemen & Oman troubles as the sand up on the Jebel was a peculiar pink colour.

 

As ever though - open to correction here!!!

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