Classic Military Vehicle - July 2013

£4.70 (Approx $5.84 or €5.30)


Quantity

You can’t say that we don’t spread the net wide at CMV ; this month’s feature vehicles range from a tank, in the form of the M24 Chaffee, to Fiat’s little 500cc Topolino car via a couple of unusual Dodges and a bright orange CMP-based breakdown truck.

It could be argued, indeed we do, that the Chaffee – by all accounts a fine tank – missed its opportunity in the limelight of conflict as it was too late to shine in WW2 and somewhat at a disadvantage in the Korean War. Having reached its sell-by date as far as the US Army was concerned, many were gifted to allied nations with whom they soldiered on for years. While armoured vehicles, and tanks in particular, have tended to survive by being handed down from army to army – there are, after all, few civilian applications – the same can’t be said of soft-skin vehicles. While many of the hundreds of thousands of military vehicles that were surplus to requirements at the end of WW2 were passed on under various military aid programmes, as many if not more were sold into a civilian market eager for transport of all kinds.

Of course, many ended up being worked to death and were scrapped, but a number survived to be rescued and painstakingly restored to their military configuration by enthusiasts, and we chronicle the results almost monthly. However, in most cases this restoration process starts with a rusting heap of bent and buckled parts; almost anything would be an improvement. But when the basis for a potential restoration to military spec is in good condition and apparently has an established civilian history, what do you do?

You can read on page 18 what Andrew Beevers did, and next month we’ll examine a different point of view but, in the meantime, do tell us what would you do in a similar circumstance.