Brooklands celebrates military classics

| 21 Nov 2011

With everything from a WW2 amphibian and a GAZ light field car, to a Dodge Weapons Carrier and a string of Forward Control Land-Rovers – plus a Humber staff car and WW 2 General Douglas MacArthur’s Cadillac – yesterday’s Military Vehicle Day at Brooklands was packed with diversity.Star attraction at the fog-bound Weybridge site was a 1942 Ford GPA Amphibian (below) that was nick-named the Seep for its sea-going Jeep abilities. One of 6000 that were in service in WW2, it was used after the war to provide rides at a seaside resort where it succumbed to rust and was abandoned in the open for five decades before being recently rebuilt.

Also boasting WW2 provenance were a M3A1 Scout Car from the Ohio-based White Motor Company and a four-wheel-drive 1944 Dodge Weapons Carrier WC51 that owners Sean and Julia Walsh from Twickenham restored to match the livery it wore in service with the British 2nd Division in Burma in WW2.

Later military classics included a 1968 GAZ/UAZ 69M, that was supplied new to the National Peoples Army of East Germany, and a 1953 Daimler Ferret Mk1 Scout Car that was in service for 38 years with the Royal Armoured Corps, including stints with the 10th Royal Hussars in Jordan in the late '50s and the Queen’s Royal Hussars in West Germany in the 1980s.

More familiar fare included a line-up of Willys Jeeps and Land Rover 110s – including a V8 Cargo Hard Top example that served time in Bosnia as part of a NATO peace force – but the event stand-out was the 1941 Cadillac 75 and 1944 Humber staff car pairing provided by Tony Oliver.

“The Cadillac is a limousine version and was US Army General Douglas MacArthur’s staff car in the Philippines,” said Oliver. “I bought it from a Cadillac collector for use in the film Evita and didn’t know about its history until it was delivered,” added Oliver. “The previous owner was more interested in the fact that it's the only example fitted with an electric division than its military connection!”Oliver – who runs the History on Wheels Motor Museum and supplies cars for movies – bought the Humber a couple of years ago to complete the WW2 look, which friend Mike Barr (below) assists with by impersonating Field Marshal Montgomery.

“It’s the fifth of seven Super Snipe Convertibles and is identical to the one supplied to Monty,” said Oliver.