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Civilian Mk1 Militant

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On 8/13/2020 at 7:19 AM, Zero-Five-Two said:

The Guv'nor has a collection of crappy old motors, (sorry, I mean classic cars) that he intends keeping in there


I hope your Guv'nor doesn't read HMVF ...... or has a very good sense of humour ..... but likewise how might he refer to your Militants behind your back .... ?

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  • 2 months later...

Had a run out yesterday for a bit of proper truck work. 

Got a call a bit back from a friend, could I use the Militant to help him extract an historic vehicle he had just purchased, from a field.  He was quite vague with the details about what it is, apparently it's a bit special and he wants to keep it's details secret until he is ready to reveal it to the public at large.  

So all I can say is, it's not an MV but it is big and heavy, and had to be dragged sideways from between a fence and a building.


Arrived on site early, sticky mud and wet grass


Got set up ready for winching, fence was a bit in the way and had to be moved, drop the spade and...


Forget to take the Slow Moving sign off before digging it right in.


It didn't go well for it and a new one will be getting purchased shortly


After the few teething troubles were cleared away winching went quite well


Even had the snatch block out as well, at one point.

Got the thing dragged out, turned sideways, and towed out ready for loading and transport to it's new home

Turned out to be a good little day for the old girl, we've done a bit of crane work with her but apart from dragging that container the other week, we haven't used the winch in anger before. She performed well, but needed the spade dug right in to stop her sliding.  


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  • 7 months later...
Posted (edited)

Haven't posted anything recently, mainly because nothing worth writing about has happened, but now as restrictions are being lifted and some sort of normality is returning things seem to be starting to pick up again.

First off, the "Secret" vehicle recovery last October.  The vehicle in question was a coach!  Now I know we are Military vehicle types on here, and coaches are a bit out of our field, but as history enthusiasts I'm sure we can appreciate the significance of the thing.

It comes from the same stable as the Militant, The AEC factory at Southall, and is called the Sabre.  The last remaining of only 4 that were ever built.  First British coach to be powered by a V8 engine.  Apparently it could cruise the unrestricted German autobahns at 100mph.  This was in the days before speed limiters had to be fitted to commercial vehicles.  

The reason for the secrecy is that the present owner was concerned that if it became public knowledge that it was still around, souvenir hunters would turn up intent on raiding un replacable bits.  The coach is now well hidden and under going a full restoration.  As the recovery story has now been published in various bus publications so I feel quite safe putting it on here


    This is the beast in question, been parked here for the best part of 30 years.  Used to be an open field but since it was parked a trading estate arrived beside it and a container house was built close behind it.  What with the row of trees in front of it, the only way out has to be sideways


So attach a strop to the wheel nuts and pull.


Of course it didn't approve and dug it's heels in, but it was no match for the might of the Militant.  Having got it off the fence, it was then simply a case of towing it out


Sounds easy, but it took all day.  Various bits of video were taken during the day, and these have been joined up to show how it all went. Follow this link to you tube



Edited by Zero-Five-Two
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Coach recovery job was last October, and basically I haven't been near the old girl since, not even to wash the mud off!!  Finally got to see her a couple of weeks ago, and she does look neglected.


Shiny red paint is all faded, moss growing every where and various spots of rust bubbling up.  So decision made.  Bank holiday weekend would normally see us at the AEC rally in Newark, but like last year, this years show has been cancelled, so we'll get her over to the workshop for a bit of TLC and a quick blow over.

Good plan, but shortly after breaking out the sanding discs it became very apparent, that the blow over wouldn't be that quick.


Small bubbles developed into nasty bits of corrosion, requiring much cleaning and a good amount if filling and repair.


The tin cupola cover was so bad a replacement was the better option.  Took both Friday and Saturday and a fair bit of Sunday morning with me and our Stuart going at it hammer and tongs to get her in some semblence of order ready to get some fresh paint on.



Masking up was the easy bit.


This is how we left here this evening.  Looking a good deal brighter, but still wet and sticky.  Further pictures tomorrow as we see how it has dried

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There are not many V8 engines about they are a very different animal to the 11.3 or 760. you have done a fantastic job recovering the coach. There is alleged to be a 6x4 Mammoth Major with a v8 engine on Malta.

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Well, how does she look this morning?


Bit bright in the sunshine.  Slightly concerned about the colour here, looks a bit orange.  As for the finish, not too bad.  Couple of runs, and a bit of over spray that will need polishing out, but generally speaking quite pleased with it.


Back at the farm a couple of hours later and it seems to have toned down a bit.


Black bits need doing now to finish the job, and half a gallon of brasso on the window frames.  First show booking is 7 August at Woodchurch.  Can't wait to show off again

Sounds good too.  Full chat going up Detling hill on the way home

Best listened to with the volume well up

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Posted (edited)

Not only looks good but works as good as it looks. Have I missed it is there a picture of the pair together in their finery? TT and T.

Edited by john1950
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Like you say, in the first pic she does look orangey but it looks a lot better in the next ones. Paint does take on a different hue when it dries properly but its always worrying when at first look it doesn't look like you thought it should!

The finish does look good and I think that finished colour suits it. Well done.

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37 minutes ago, Scrunt & Farthing said:

Looks great, look forward to seeing at Woodchurch.  We will be there with the steam engine, so I we will have a trundle round.

Can't wait for that weekend. Plan is to have both of them there, so plenty of together photos

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anybody spot the oil patch under the front when she was getting painted the other day?


The guilty party was one of the oil cooler hoses.  Obviously showing it's age and giving up on life.  Pair of new hoses was hastily purchased and fitted today.


Hose maker is always a bit generous with the length and they were a bit of a fight to bend them round to fit. Main thing though, leak has stopped.

Set to with the black paint brush after that, touching up the over spray and generally smartening up.  She's not finished yet, but beginning to look quite good again


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