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There are still loads of British vehicles around but a lot are kept in storage & cherished.

We have a Bedford MW & bought her 3 years ago as a restoration project.

She had never been registered since leaving the Army so we are the 1st registered keepers.

She was bought by a Haulage company along with 5 others & the Owner only registered 2 of them. What he then did was as 1 vehicle died he just put the plates on another one. The 6 of them lasted him through his business & he sold ours on to a chap who used to drive them in the war. He started a full restoration from the ground up & even had every spring/nut/bolt etc sand blasted & re painted individually before putting it back together. Unfortunatly he died before he could finish the truck & it sat in his sons barn for a couple of years. We only got it from a chance conversation ( as is usual) & finished off the restoration to show winner standard ( Beltring last year, best restored WW11 british vehicle).


I presume there are many more British vehicles like this dotted throughout the country & many of the old boys don't like to sell them on.

It is only when the younger generation are left them & want them out of the way that they come on the market


This is only 1 theory although there are probably many more. It will be interesting to read other stories.



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You say why aren't many British Vehicles seen at shows compared to American Vehicles.

Well, at this years War & Peace Show (on the Friday at least) when the the British Vehicles came into the arena the turnout was massive, in fact they were running out of room to get them all in. But when it was the turn of the American Vehicles they had the impressive display of only two Rio's!

Perhaps there are less British Vehicles but at least thier owners are proud of them :lol:

As to the comment that "young 'uns" aren't interested in British MV 's is a little unfair. I am 30yrs old and already have an AEC Militant Mk1 HAA Gun Tractor, a Daimler Ferret Mk1/2, a 155mm FH70 Howitzer and am on the look out for more soon. I also have a Russian ZIL 131 and I regulary display my vehicles at local shows.



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  • 2 months later...

I think one of the main reason's that, certainly in preservation, the lack of WWII era, softskins, is that, they were not produced in anything like the similar no's, compaired to what was being churned out by our american allies, in consequence, with the passage of time, and a market eager for vehicles,immediatly once the war was over, unfortunatly, (for potential buyers), there are not many left.

Look to the steam rallies, up and down the country, where, Matadors, and the odd Scammell are still to be found;

With the Matador, loads are still being used as timber tugs, and still going strong, after all these years. Surely a feat of the engineering qualities of AEC.

Don't forget, loads were left at Dunkirk, thus giving the german army, a helping (if thats the right expression,) hand, bearing in mind, a lot of their transportation was still horse drawn.

(no disrespect, to any vet's reading this, and yes, I also saw the stupid question on the BBC WW2 site)

It does make me :roll: when I hear people at 'do's', think that we only used american vehicles, not helped by the fact, to those not 'in the know', that all vehicles of that period wore a white star.


Me ? I like all soft-skin's.



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I think its a case it depends what shows you go to, because at duxford

this year there were at least 4 Tillys, and also with the amount of yank

MVs you see at shows i think you can easily be overwhelmed and miss

a jem of a brit vehicle, as for young people i am only 20,

(cant wait only a few more years till retirement)

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i suppose I'm still classed as young still but I meant it as in there are a lot more of the older generation farmers etc who won't let the vehicles stagnating in barns be sold. I know of 2 jeeps up the road from me that are getting worse year by year & the son can't wait to sell them but the old boy wont hear of it. It will get to the point before too long where there isn't going to be anything left to restore. the son can see the logic in selling them to an enthusiast(regardless of age) who can bring them back to their former glory. Further up the road in another village is a QL that could have been restored a few years ago but the tree now growing through the middle of it has seen to it that it will be impossible to move her let alone put her back on the road. This again is owned by an old farmer who wouldn't sell.

A son/daughter in this hobby wouldn't sell an inherited vehicle but on the other hand we wouldn't have let the vehicles corode into non existence in the first place.

That is what I meant when I said 'It is only when the younger generation are left them & want them out of the way that they come on the market' I wasn't implying all of the younger generation didn't care.

sometimes they haven't got the time & realise that the vehicle would be better off with someone who could love & cherish it as much as they would like to.

hope that makes sense



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Ah now i see, theres a farmer in the next village on from me

with prototype british ww2 trucks etc in his feild and he's also

got a ex sigs champ, i went to his place and inquired about the

champ and that, he just said he bought them cos he could, and

that he has "only the intension of leaving the trucks in the field",

the sad thing is he has no one to pass them onto so who knows what will

happen to the after he's gone, theres a K9 sigs truck in a feild 10 miles

away also and its easily saveable too.

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I've noticed there are very few of the bigger British trucks turning up at shows nowadays.

At Kemble there were only four 6x6s, two AECs and two Scammells.

Beltring wasn't much better, 400 Jeeps, 400 Land Rovers, 3 6x6 AECs, 4 6x6 Fodens and a few Scammells.

It's probably the fuel cost that's causing it, it's getting close to £1 a mile for me now.

Tanks usually get appearance money, so do steamers. I think it's about time the bigger trucks did as well.

I don't expect someone to fund my hobby for me, but faced with putting £100 worth of diesel in the Militant or £15 worth of LPG in the Land Rover it's tempting to take the cheaper option.

Which one makes a better show ?

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I agree with you there Graham,

I have noticed a lot more larger trucks at the local events as opposed to the usual jeep & landrover. At nibley this year we only had a handful of smaller MVs & were hard pushed for space. With a couple of Scammels a foden 3 Thornycrofts,a couple of QLs, a Militant etc it was impressive to see.

Even me & Russ took the smaller vehicle to events further away, we did cheat for Beltring & A framed the VW on the back of the Discovery.

Fuel & comfort do play a very large part in how far we drive our WW11 truck & this year we stuck to taking her to local instead of national.



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Cost is a big issue for us as well with a TM and rake of 101s to fuel up, now joined by a Scania beavertail to transport the Sabre which is why we don't wander too far from the SE. We are thinking of asking the commercially organised shows we attend for a contribution to the cost of putting on our display.

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Tanks usually get appearance money, so do steamers. I think it's about time the bigger trucks did as well.



I agree! If it wasn't for us taking our vehicles there wouldn't be anything for the public to look at!

Some of these shows seem to look on the Vehicle owners as if we have done something wrong. " Be there before 9am, no more than 2 passengers, do not leave before 5pm!" As well as all sorts of other rules! God, why do we bother! :?

I think, at the very least we should be treated as if we are important, maybe have somewhere, just for exhibiters, where we can get discounted food rather than having to queue for hours to pay 4 quid for a cold burger.

I would be nice if a small donation was made towards our fuel bills as well.

It is the big stuff that draws the crowds, don't get me wrong I like LandRovers but most people have already seen one.

My War and Peace highlight as got to be "Hager" powering through the mud and over that mound of soil while towing a loaded trailer, especially as the trailer only just stayed upright! :lol:

The little stuff just dosen't impress as much.




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Hi all,

i belive tha there are more U.S. vehicles around at the shows because after Dunkirque (sp) most of what we owned was left behind. Even though the British motor industry was still turning out vehicles i belive the lend lease agreement led to American vehicles being available in far greater quanities, and i hate to say i also think they were nicer to drive and quicker than the British ones (JMO :) )

Also in the early days of military vehicle restoration the image of the gung ho `John Wayne` yank with sub machine guns and pistol holsters and grenades, ammo belts festoonining the uniform was much more attractive than a bristley shirt and blouse with pre war webbing and a rifle

Or was it even in those days a fact that U.S. vehicles were easily more available.

Speaking to some one i know not to well who drives a scammell tank transporter tractor unit with lowloader, sexton self propelled gun, 55 tons all in weight on a 102 hp petrol engine at a max speed of 10 mph (with the wind behind you) not to mention the MPG :roll: is a fairly daunting task, and i am sure he is over 70 yrs old ?? wants to pass the vehicle on but cant find no takers, may be i had better extend the garage ?



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Hi Ashley,


There are several reasons why US vehicles are more common in preservation than British.one is the fact that most army's in Europe were equipped by the USA in the post war years so large numbers of these vehicles were rebuilt and shipped over,some remained in service into the 80's!


Another reason is British vehicles were not as well built and those that did pass into civvy hands after the war were worked to death,and now many collectors go for the easier option of restoring a US vehicle where parts are not such a problem.I think it's a great shame more British vehicles are not being restored.


Of course don't forget that many of the vehicles in service with the British military by D-Day were Canadian built Fords,Chevrolets and Dodges.



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Hi matt,

i totally agree with your statement as one of the many contributing factors which have led tothe lacking of Brit vehicles, back in 1978 i was trying to buy a guy ant F.A.T. from a local timber merchant in the new forest the truck was in pretty poor shape but just about save able but he would part with it. Mid 1980 he agreed to sell it for £500 but by this time after ten yrs parked under trees the body frame work had collasped and the engine had been sized also the rear had been converted to mount a crane and was too far gone for me.

This year the truck had been completly `flat packed`for better storage and was still £500 :cry:

But also on site all this time and still working is a matador with crane but apparently the water pump packed up last year and he reckons it will cost him hundreds to replace :roll: but will he sell it NO

Therefor the possible end of two fine Brit vehicles.



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Too many i suppose, oh by the way i made another HMV discovery in one

of the local villages there is a proper old style garage, what i mean is it

has the old filler pumps the bell that rings when you drive over the cable

and pics of all the classic cars that they have ever serviced or filled up,

on the walls hundereds of them litrelly, anyway i went in there to pic up

something and they have a WW2 jeep in the back of the garage, aparently

its sat their for awhile, one of the workers owns it or something and it was

their project (now board with it) but what i mean by that is he was

moddifying it eg hard top (bodge), and big off road wheels but from what

i could see that was all the mods, i will see if i can get some more info and

some pics, still finding out about that champ and them trucks.

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  • 1 month later...

In alphabetic order then...





BSA (motorcycles)

Citroen (assembled CMP vehicles)




David Brown












Matchless (motorcycles)




Norton (motorcycles)

Royal Enfield (motorcycles)






Triumph (motorcycles)


Velocette (motorcycles)



In fact, the entire British motor industry.

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