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Citroen Half Track


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Hi, does anyone know the fate of this Citroen half track, a local historian is trying to trace its history as it was built for William Robinson to tour his estate of Gravetye near us at East Grinstead, i have been told upon his death it was bequeathed to Bovington museum as an unusual vehicle, does anyone know of this?

 

OC0459.021Robinson&MarkhaminCitroenTrackcar.JPG

DOC0459.022Robinson'sCitroenTrackcar BovingtonTankMusPhoto.jpg

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Hi, does anyone know the fate of this Citroen half track, a local historian is trying to trace its history as it was built for William Robinson to tour his estate of Gravetye near us at East Grinstead, i have been told upon his death it was bequeathed to Bovington museum as an unusual vehicle, does anyone know of this?

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]71629[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]71630[/ATTACH]

 

Hi John, I'm not sure if it is the same vehicle, but I saw one like it at a highland show in Kinross in 2011, so there is certainly one about still. I'm sure I read some bumf about it around that time, so there should be information out there somewhere.

 

Not sure that helps a lot, but it it would be interesting to find out more anyway.

 

Good luck,

 

Steve.

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Kegresse, built by Citroen between the wars and used by French Army, Foreign Legion, and all the huntin' shootin' fishin' types in the UK with a country estate

 

Because they were relatively rare and got limited use they have a very high survival rate - I've never heard of one being scrapped.

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The Kegresse track is mentioned in the Manual of Military Vehicles (I.C. Engined) 1930. It states that the attachment had been trialled and not proved satisfactory. Experiments were underway to move the drive sprocket to the front and split the wheel with tongues on the track to center it (as seen on most modern tracks).

 

Your photo shows the drive sprocket at the front, so I wonder if that's a military version, or if the improvements were adopted on the civvy models as well.

 

The two photo's look different - the idler arm to the bogies on the top one is the trial configuration, as are the blocks on the track and around the drive sprocket.

Edited by Lauren Child
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The two photo's look different - the idler arm to the bogies on the top one is the trial configuration, as are the blocks on the track and around the drive sprocket.

 

Lauren,

I think there is no difference, it is down to the lower photo having 3 men on board and the suspension has levelled out. My grandfather drove this actual car from 1922 and I think it predates the military trials, will dig out the details when I can.

 

The car's owner, William Robinson, was a landscape gardener, he became wheelchair bound and this car was a godsend in that he could be driven to all parts of his estate.

Edited by Richard Farrant
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Hi John,

 

That is my grandfather driving the Citroen. He was Wiliam Robinson's chauffeur. I have a couple of photos, but not this one, I have a little bit of info, you can PM me. My father grew up at Gravetye.

 

best regards,

Richard

My goodness Richard what a small world, I will PM you , regards John .

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Thank you all for the info and interest, I have another picture so will upload this soon.

I remember as a boy going with my father and a ward la France ( Thornes of Uckfield )to tow out some early solid wheeled vehicles from sheds there, but that was 40 years ago, I can't remember if this was one or not or where they went.

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Lauren,

I think there is no difference, it is down to the lower photo having 3 men on board and the suspension has levelled out. My grandfather drove this actual car from 1922 and I think it predates the military trials, will dig out the details when I can.

 

The car's owner, William Robinson, was a landscape gardener, he became wheelchair bound and this car was a godsend in that he could be driven to all parts of his estate.

 

I've zoomed in on the tracks so hopefully you can see what I mean. On the upper photo there is a metal bar that connects to the idler, bumps around the drive sprocket, pads on the track, and tongues rather than a solid ridge on the track interior.

 

Kegresse.jpg

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Kegresse, built by Citroen between the wars and used by French Army, Foreign Legion, and all the huntin' shootin' fishin' types in the UK with a country estate

 

Because they were relatively rare and got limited use they have a very high survival rate - I've never heard of one being scrapped.

 

Looking at the Kegresse register, http://kegresse.dk/images/Kegresse_register_low.pdf , there's one noted as being in a Scottish museum.

 

There was a Kegresse on an episode of Salvage Hunters on Sky Chanel Quest (http://www.questtv.co.uk/shows/salvage-hunters) recently. Drew, the salvage hunter, managed to get access to an estate in Scotland somewhere and it showed this such vehicle in one of the sheds, albeit it an unrestored condition.

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I've zoomed in on the tracks so hopefully you can see what I mean. On the upper photo there is a metal bar that connects to the idler, bumps around the drive sprocket, pads on the track, and tongues rather than a solid ridge on the track interior.

 

 

 

Lauren,

Looking at other photos I have of that car, I can now see the upper one is not the same vehicle as the one with Grandfather driving, but does have the same registration number. If you look closely it has more louvres in the bonnet sides and looks to be larger.

Richard

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Lauren,

Looking at other photos I have of that car, I can now see the upper one is not the same vehicle as the one with Grandfather driving, but does have the same registration number. If you look closely it has more louvres in the bonnet sides and looks to be larger.

Richard

 

Ah OK. Interesting stuff. Looking through the register photo's it looks like the changed setup became standard across the board. An interesting snapshot of history though :)

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Perhaps at some point there was an upgrade to improve reliability, improved track set up and bonnet louvers to improve engine cooling ?

 

Just noticed also that the car in the upper photo has 6 stud front wheels there all the Type P2 models (like the second photo), had 4 stud wheels. They were built on different models of Citroen, as you will see on the register database that someone has posted a link to. All very interesting, as it was one of those things that my father used to tell me about.

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From dim distant memory, and I have been wrong before so that is my out if I am this time, there was some kind of Trans Canada expedition years ago funded by some adventurer toff like character that used a number of them.

 

Upon reaching western Canada, they encountered some severe terrain and I think funds or time or fuel supply or the whole darn lot conspired to thwart their progress, it was near a big river and a massive drop off above it.

 

The silent documentary showed the vehicles being launched over the cliff, It did give one the impression that some were left up top. The team then were extracted on horseback or something esoteric like that.

 

Will dig around to see what I can do to support my suspect memory.

 

R

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Bovington definitely had at least the complete chassis and running gear for one whilst I worked there many years ago(1999!!!!). When I left the museum in 2000 to return to my previous career of classic car restoration they asked if I would be interested in restoring it voluntarily, but I can't for the life of me remember if there was any bodywork there at all. Maybe someone on here with closer links to the museum can confirm if it's still there?

Regards

Daren

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HI

 

I think you wil find the Bovington HALFTRACK MENTIONED is a CROSSLEY KEGRESSE I moved it to THE MUSEUM OF

ARMY TRANSPORT BEVERLEY FOR THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM where it stayed until 2004 I recall it had no Body

work but we managed to get plans for most parts and a sponser to make the tracks for free as we had a bit of the

original track IT seems it had a checked life since 2004 But now has found a home at THE RLC MUSEUM DEEPCUT

 

 

REGARDS WALLY

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Many thanks Wally for the information, if its the same vehicle it would be interesting to find out, does anyone have a Deepcut contact to see/ find out ?

 

hi John,

The halftrack that Wally is taking about is a Crossley based Kegresse. There have been photos of it on here recently taken at Deepcut I believe. This is based on a Crossley truck and larger than a Citroen.

 

Sorry I have not got back to you this last week, but not had a lot of time to spare. When time permits I will dig out what I have and send it to you to pass on to your historian friend.

 

regards, Richard

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hi John,

The halftrack that Wally is taking about is a Crossley based Kegresse. There have been photos of it on here recently taken at Deepcut I believe. This is based on a Crossley truck and larger than a Citroen.

 

Sorry I have not got back to you this last week, but not had a lot of time to spare. When time permits I will dig out what I have and send it to you to pass on to your historian friend.

 

regards, Richard

Thanks Richard for putting me straight! Whenever time allows your offer will be most welcomed.

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