Chas Jellis’s Chevrolet G7113 rig is in a class of its own, as John Blackman reports
It would be fair to say that although Chas Jellis has an interest in military vehicles, aviation is his real passion. As a youngster growing up in the Buckinghamshire village of Cheddington, he lived but a mile from RAF Cheddington, an airfield that opened in 1942 and is probably best known as a base for USAAF B-24 Liberators. After WW2 it was used by the British Army before officially closing in 1952, although it is rumoured to have been used as a secret CIA weapons dump until the mid-sixties. Whatever the truth, for Chas and his friends it was a playground dotted with derelict wartime buildings and taxiways, a great place to play soldiers and, in Chas’s case at least, develop an interest in the area’s wartime history.
Also fuelling that particular fire was the fact that, on 15 November 1944, a Liberator taking off from Cheddington crashed on Chas’s cousin’s farm at nearby Ivinghoe, killing the navigator and waist gunner. On seeing some of the detritus ploughed up – including live .50cal rounds – Chas, as well as digging up some bits of wreckage himself, started researching the incident, eventually tracking down the pilot in 1997 and visiting him at his Long Island, New York, home in 2000.
Between-the-wars vehicles are few and far between. Scott Smith takes a look at a rare 1926 Morris-Commercial D-Type owned by Paul Bowyer
Entering production at Morris-Commercial’s Soho, Birmingham, site in the latter half of 1926, the D-Type was made to a War Office specification calling for a six-wheeler with a 30cwt payload. It used a War Office-designed rear bogie and suspension unit featuring two driven axles with twin wheels over which rudimentary tracks could be fitted.
During its period of production, there were regular design changes, notably an increase in the rear-bogie centres from 36 to 40in (914 to 1012mm) after the first 2000 chassis and the introduction of a 144in (3658mm) wheelbase 40cwt variant in addition to the original 120in (3048mm) wheelbase model.
One person lucky enough to have not one but several of these fine vehicles is Paul Bowyer. The example in the photographs was manufactured in 1926 as part of a military contract but little else is known of its service history. We do know that it served with the 36th Company Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), spending some time in India, and was last recorded at Bulford in 1935 before being sold off.
Ian McCallum’s Maple Leaf Chevy is a real head-turner, as John Blackman reports
You could choose any number of words to describe green machines, but ‘beautiful’ will rarely be among them. I’m struggling to think of another vehicle that we’ve featured in CMV that could be so described beyond, perhaps, a couple of staff cars. But this, a 1944 Maple Leaf Chevrolet is, as they say, in a class of its own.
The ‘ute’, as this type of utility pickup is known in Australia, is owned by Ian McCallum of Worlingham in Suffolk, and it isn’t the first time that one of his vehicles has been on the cover of CMV. Back in June 2011 we featured his 1940 Ford WOC1 8cwt 4x2, a not-unattractive vehicle from the front, due to its civvy-styled bonnet and wings but as pig-ugly as any other military vehicle from the back. No offence intended.
The sleek Chevrolet started life in 1944 at the General Motors car plant in Oshawa, Canada, as a Model 1311 ½-ton light commercial, serial number 1734. Produced as a ‘chassis with flat-face cowl’, it was one of many shipped to other Commonwealth countries to be locally assembled and bodied; the chassis, transmission and axles (with cowl and wheels removed) in one crate, the engine – a 3540cc Chevrolet sixcylinder, overhead valve unit – in another.
Pat Ware looks at the development of the Hotchkiss M201 and, following years in the enthusiast wilderness, its eventual emergence as something more than just a look-alike Jeep
Years ago, I’m told that there were those who believed that ‘WOF’ stood for ‘Willys or Ford’, rather than ‘Willys Overland France’... and that the Hotchkiss M201 was somehow not a proper Jeep. I remember being told by a Hotchkiss owner who had removed the second battery holder and replaced all of the French electrical equipment with American – at considerable cost – that he was ‘putting it back to how it was when it left the factory’! Nowadays most enthusiasts know better. But, what is the story behind the Hotchkiss company, and how did it come to build what is virtually a copy of the Willys MB in the post-war years?
In the first of an occasional series, John Blackman visits Tobin Jones and talks to him about his motivation and ever-changing, ever-growing collection
In May 1969, a USAF Voodoo jet from Upper Heyford crashed at Steeple Aston, narrowly avoiding the local school. It’s said that the pilot,Major Robert Sipes, stayed with the aircraft to guide it away from the school rather than eject, and perished as a result. Tobin Jones was an eight-year-old pupil at the school narrowly avoided by the Voodoo, and he cites the incident as both the cause of nightmares and for his subsequent interest in things military. An unconventional introduction to the MV world you might say, but Tobin Jones isn’t what you’d call a conventional collector; there is no obvious acquisition policy beyond what takes his fancy and he has filled his life with all manner of interesting projects.