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  #1  
Old 02-06-12, 04:57
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Default FGT project

In addition to my Ford Blitz ambo project presented elsewhere in this forum, I'm also pursuing a number of FGT projects. I say “a number” because I'm not sure at this stage how far I'll get, or how long I'll live!

Initially the plan was to build a FGT 9 replica, starting with an F15A chassis. However, in the course of accumulating components over the past couple of years, I've come across some actual FGT chassis, each one better than the last, so the plan keeps getting modified. It has graduated from an F15A chassis, complemented with bits off a wrecked FGT chassis, to an actual FGT chassis, missing a few bits and quite rusty, through to a complete FGT chassis in good condition. In this way my single FGT project has multiplied, much like the fishes and the loaves!

Ideally I'd like to restore them all, as I hate to see any of these limited production blitzes disappear. No doubt Keith feels likewise – in our blitz hunting days as kids, the FGT to us was the ultimate prize – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which kept us pedalling ever onwards in the hope of finding! We didn't come across many of these rarities, but on the handful of occasions we did happen to stumble upon one, our excitement was immeasurable at the time, and we'd revisit them over and over. Keith became became so attached to a discarded No.8 body at a sawmill in Ringwood, that with no thoughts of how to retrieve it, or where on earth to put it, and no money whatsoever to pay for it, he walked upstairs to the manager's office and boldly asked if he could have it! Amazingly enough the answer was yes! I always thought that was a pretty impressive move for a kid, although I'm not sure his parents were so impressed when they got the news!

In the next few posts I shall present my 3 potential FGT projects individually. For the moment, by way of showing where it all started, here's a pic of the building where Keith hopped off his pushbike that day, leaned it up against the shopfront, and walked upstairs to acquire his first ever blitz. I think he'd agree it was a pivotal moment in his life! Some pics of the FGT body itself and various other treasures at the site can be found on Keith's website here:

http://www.oldcmp.net/ringfgt.html
http://www.oldcmp.net/rtnadt.html
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  #2  
Old 02-06-12, 07:01
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Default Fgt

Ah yes, the FGT, to me the ultimate CMP. It was the one with all the 'fruit', winch, tyre pump, seats 6, and very chunky.

This was taken the first time Tony and I saw it, we knew it must have been ex CMP because of the windscreen but were mystified until we looked in Bart Vanderveen's "Fighting Vehicles Directory", the bible for identification in those days.

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  #3  
Old 02-06-12, 07:04
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Default Another of the Ringwood Timber vehicles

This is one of their delivery F60Ls. The interesting part of the story here is the door on this truck came back to me many years ago attached to a C60S. It is now on Swiss Chris's F15 i Switzerland!

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Old 02-06-12, 11:43
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Default FGT No.8 ARN 132257

Remains of this FGT were located by Keith in a scrapyard in Greta several years ago. They consist of a rough chassis sandwiched between two other blitz wrecks, and a cab frame and front shell lying nearby amidst a mountain of scrap metal.

Having bought these remains I've since managed to extricate the front shell and bring it home, and will be returning in due course to retrieve the chassis and cab frame.

Along with an F15A chassis purchased soon afterwards, plus an F60L wreck with winch, these remains form the basis of my first resto plan. Here are some pics of the FGT parts:

pic 1: Blitz sandwich! Only a well trained eye would recognize this twisted, welded, plated, cut off chassis as having once belonged to a FGT. First clue is the brake booster linkage.

pics 2 & 3: If you're game enough to crawl underneath you'll find the original winch mounts, and the definitive twin rear crossmember.

pic 4: Minimal chassis crop makes for an easy repair (unlike my latest FGT chassis) and provided the savage twist springs back when it's finally extricated, this chassis will clean up OK with a bit of work. If not, I'll transfer the relevant crossmembers etc. onto my F15A chassis.

pic 5: FGT front shell safely rescued, subsequently revealed ARN 132257 and other interesting markings....more on that later.
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Old 02-06-12, 16:42
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Default FGT No.8 ARN 55935

My FGT resto plan A was superceded when a more complete FGT chassis became available from John Belfield's collection last year. It's a lot more rusty than when Keith photographed it many years ago (pic 3) but otherwise unchanged. It also appears in pic 4 taken some years later. Unfortunately the winch mountings have all been torched off, but thankfully the rear chassis hasn't been chopped and the rear fairleads are more or less intact. All in all it's a much more straightforward project than ARN 132257, so plan B came into effect!
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Old 03-06-12, 02:15
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Default Whitlesea

What became of the FGT 8/9 I found at Whittlesea , Terry Halls place?

The chassis was very rough , but it had a few bits on it . I think the ammo box was still on the passengers side dash .

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Old 03-06-12, 02:31
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Default 133172

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Originally Posted by Mike Kelly View Post
What became of the FGT 8/9 I found at Whittlesea , Terry Halls place?

The chassis was very rough , but it had a few bits on it . I think the ammo box was still on the passengers side dash .

Mike
It was a No9 and the steps are on Euan's CGT9 now. ARN was 133172.
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Old 03-06-12, 14:31
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Default Whittlesea FGT 9

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What became of the FGT 8/9 I found at Whittlesea , Terry Halls place? Mike
Yes I've been wanting to chase this one up for a while. Do we know where it's at currently? I'd like to rescue what's left of it and reincarnate ARN 133172. There are too few FGT 9s on the planet to let the scrappies get any more!
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Old 03-06-12, 15:32
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Default Not sure

Hi

Terry might still have it in his yard ..maybe . I might have his ph. number somewhere .

The chassis was pretty stuffed , plated and broken . The body has been chopped off and only the cowl is remaining . It had a very hard life somewhere e.g., logging . Mike
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Old 03-06-12, 15:42
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Default FGT No.9 ARN 55936

Continuing the story of my FGT projects.....no sooner had plan B come into effect than it was overtaken by plan C, when a remarkably complete FGT chassis in good condition turned up at recent clearing sale – conveniently located at Pyalong just north of Melbourne. The opportunity was too good to miss so I bought it, and upon getting it home, a light rub on the front shell identified it as ARN 55936 - next in sequence to my plan B FGT, and just like that one, a FGT 8 originally.

Perhaps they were sister FGTs in the same unit, but clearly this one has fared much better since then, as can be seen from the pics. The only damage is to the rear chassis, where the rear fairleads have been crudely torched off. Fortunately they were sitting on a pallet to be auctioned separately, so I was able to buy them too.

Within a few days of getting it home I had it running, after some initial problems, which included several sticky valves, and a nasty grinding noise while cranking over - which turned out to be coming from the oil pump. The sump in that area had been bashed in, causing it to impinge on the oil pump housing, deflecting it sufficiently to place pressure on the gears. Removal of the sump caused the noise to stop, and after removing the oil pump for inspection, I was satisfied that no permanent bending of the oil pump drive had occurred. All that was required to fix the problem was some panel beating of the sump.

Whilst the motor proved to be a good runner, the gearbox unfortunately is a write off, due to ingress of water over the years while standing. The groove in the gearshift lever which accommodates the reverse lock actuating rod seems to be a perfect channel for moisture - twice now I've found the rod rusted solid in its groove. In this case the damage had gone further – the gearbox itself had filled with water over time, and everything was rusted solid. I managed to get the gears sliding eventually, after a whole day's work with a crowbar, but the teeth are massively pitted, and the bearings make a terrible racket.

The rest of the drive train appears to be OK, except for the LH rear axle studs being sheared off, which means I'm restricted to front wheel drive for the moment.

Thus I have now accumulated 3 FGT projects, each one in better condition than the last. Perhaps if I wait a bit longer I'll come into a complete No 9 with body! Oh well, it's nice to dream.....
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Old 03-06-12, 16:07
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Terry might still have it in his yard ..maybe . I might have his ph. number somewhere
Thanks Mike, that would be great if you have his number. Otherwise if you can let me know where his yard is I can go and see him.

I've seen the pics on Keith's website taken several years ago and it was pretty rough as you say. Nevertheless I'd still like to rescue what's left and transfer it onto a spare F15A chassis as my FGT 9 replica project, preserving the ARN provenance. That way I can preserve the No.8 provenance of the other 3 FGTs.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:47
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Default fgt

Hi Tony, following your new threads with pleasure. The old photos are great. How many FGTs were made in the first place? And what's an easy givaway to an FGT chassis when the body is gone?
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Old 04-06-12, 08:21
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Hi Tony, following your new threads with pleasure. The old photos are great. How many FGTs were made in the first place? And what's an easy givaway to an FGT chassis when the body is gone?
regards
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Hi Ryan, glad to hear you're enjoying the threads. Photo's are courtesy of Keith who has thankfully kept all his old negs.

On the question of FGT numbers built we have it again from the oracle, who tells us that for No.8 pattern tractors: "Approximately 200 of these were built by Holden and Ford in 1942", and for No.9 pattern tractors: "approximately 98 Fords but only two Chevrolet No9 were delivered. About 45 bodies were built but disposed of after the war."

http://www.oldcmp.net/refat8.html
http://www.oldcmp.net/ref9a.html

The 45 bodies were all Chevs I believe, of which all but a handful were scrapped directly from Holden. Euan's is one of the few survivors, having been recovered from Hughes' yard in the late 70's and mated with a C15A chassis for restoration.

It would be fascinating to know the military history of these gun tractors. Quite a few saw action in New Guinea, and later in Korea I believe. Many were retained until the mid 60's, having given 20+ years of service in peacetime.

Sadly very few survived intact once fallen into commercial hands. Unlike sigvans which as 2 seaters made useful delivery vans, gun tractors were valued more for the winch, with most having the body chopped off soon after disposal, to be converted into compact and highly manoeuverable crane trucks. Typically the chop was performed at the B pillar, although a few like Keith's were chopped behind the C pillar. As crane trucks of course, the chassis was often heavily plated, and cropped at the rear for improved clearance, losing the rear fairleads in the process.

The chassis remains quite recognizable however, as these were the only SWB CMPs to be fitted with a winch. First clue of course is the winch itself, or if it's been removed, evidence of its former presence, in the form of winch mountings, and/or fairleads front or rear. Of course, quite a few turn out to be retrofits - evidenced by non-standard winch crossmember and/or side bearing mount plates.

The biggest giveaway on a FGT chassis is the double rear crossmember - a second crossmember, identical to the standard Ford rear crossmember, but facing backwards, was riveted just forward of the rearmost one, and connected to it with riveted plates. The set up can be seen in the attached pic, and being forward of the rear spring hangers, it survives on even the most severely cropped chassis like this one.

Another initial clue is the brake booster linkage - gun tractors were the only SWB variants to be fitted with a brake booster. The retrofit caveat applies of course, but not very likely.

Interestingly, while all cab 13 gun tractors were designed with heavy steering ends and steering box, Australian gun tractors were all fitted with light steering ends and box, due to not receiving the heavier components here until later in the war. Axle assemblies differed from F15A however, in having the lower ratio diff, as supplied for 3 tonner CMPs, for use with 20" wheels.

CGT chassis may be more difficult to identify - I'm not sure what the rear chassis treatment was, and I believe all 4x4 Chevs were fitted with a winch crossmember anyway, as an integral part of the chassis design. Chev experts here may be able to provide more info.

Being of such limited production and low survival rate post-disposal, I'm keen to rescue as many of these uniquely Australian CMP variants as possible. Even the most tragic of chassis remains can be reincarnated in some form, by donating aforementioned parts to a spare F15A chassis, and ideally contributing an ARN serial, to preserve the gun tractor provenance.

Of course, it's a major undertaking to build a repro body, but certainly not beyond our means. They're of simple construction, well within the capabilities of a good steel fabricator, and we have patterns and drawings to work from. I shall be investigating these possibilities further down the track, but I'd be pretty confident that most parts can be reproduced faithfully, provided enough money is thrown at the project! It probably wouldn't be wasted, as gun tractors seem to fetch a decent price when sold. Besides, if it was all about the money, we wouldn't be restoring CMPs!
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Old 04-06-12, 09:06
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Default CGT bodies

Actually Euan's came from a different source, via Bruce Wiltshire who restored it. It was not one of the Hughes bodies.

There is another (not from Hughes) which has just arrived at the museum in Adelaide and there are several others such as the remains of one at Copley, another which was used in the making of the Back of Beyond, and even one which wound up at Wayne M's in the 70s.

Then there's the cut up one recovered from Ballarat about 5 years ago which is destined for Dubbo.

And there is yet another in South Australia which has had the lower subframe removed.

So while we don't know the exact number of Chev bodies produced it would seem there were at least 45 CGT9s built late in the war. Only 2 were known to have been completed.

The AWM have a restored No9 FGT in their collection in the annexe as well as a F15A and F60L cab 12 GS.

As far as reproducing the No9 there are engineering drawings for most if not all the parts in existence.
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Old 04-06-12, 10:31
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Then there's the cut up one recovered from Ballarat about 5 years ago which is destined for Dubbo.
And there is yet another in South Australia which has had the lower subframe removed.
So while we don't know the exact number of Chev bodies produced it would seem there were at least 45 CGT9s built late in the war. Only 2 were known to have been completed.
Is that another in South Australia ?
It is interesting about saying 45 built as the NOS CGT No9 (Ex SA Kim Lochell found) body I have is body 59. Also lower subframe removed. I heard possibly 62 were built cant remember who told me that though.
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Old 04-06-12, 10:46
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Default Later numbers

Thanks for mentioning the later numbers Andrew... if we manage to find some documentary evidence all we have to go on is found numbers.

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Is that another in South Australia ?
It is interesting about saying 45 built as the NOS CGT No9 (Ex SA Kim Lochell found) body I have is body 59. Also lower subframe removed. I heard possibly 62 were built cant remember who told me that though.
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Old 04-06-12, 12:52
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Default fgt ids

Thanks Tony for your great response. I'll keep my eyes open.


I do know of a dual cab blitz that is a chev. It has post war doors etc, I have no idea if it's originally a cgt though. It's probably just a home made job.
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Old 04-06-12, 12:59
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That's interesting about the NOS Chev bodies - for some reason I'd assumed all the survivors were from Hughes.

So I guess there could be more out there somewhere - perhaps sitting in a farmer's shed in pristine condition!

What happened with the CGT chassis from Wodonga, ie. the Peter's crane conversion? It would be great if that could be restored with a NOS body, as one of the only known CGT9's to have been delivered.
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Old 04-06-12, 13:05
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Thanks Tony for your great response. I'll keep my eyes open.


I do know of a dual cab blitz that is a chev. It has post war doors etc, I have no idea if it's originally a cgt though. It's probably just a home made job.
Dosent look like one of the post war PMG ones does it Ryan?
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Old 04-06-12, 13:10
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That's interesting about the NOS Chev bodies - for some reason I'd assumed all the survivors were from Hughes.

So I guess there could be more out there somewhere - perhaps sitting in a farmer's shed in pristine condition!

.
Going off numbers potentially at least 59
Pristine GT wouldnt that be the ultimate find
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Old 04-06-12, 13:19
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Dosent look like one of the post war PMG ones does it Ryan?

Wow, yes, that first photo, identical. No rear tray though.
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Old 04-06-12, 13:19
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I do know of a dual cab blitz that is a chev. It has post war doors etc, I have no idea if it's originally a cgt though. It's probably just a home made job.
Sounds like a CGT candidate anyway, perhaps a late production with the canvas doors replaced. Alternatively perhaps a PMG dual cab, as seen here:

http://www.oldcmp.net/PMG_1.html

Or perhaps as you say, a homemade job. Although I'm inclined to doubt it - I've seen some weird and wonderful homemade blitz cabs (even two storey ones!) but I don't recall ever seeing a homemade dual cab.

If you can get some pics we can soon identify it.
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Old 05-06-12, 03:44
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Tony, Andrew, here it is.
Tony, I followed your oldcmp link and sure enough the actual vehicle is there, although in a different spot when I stumbled across it.
Keith, I hope you don't mind me grabbing these shots from your site and pasting them here to clear things up.
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Old 05-06-12, 04:17
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Tony, Andrew, here it is.
Tony, I followed your oldcmp link and sure enough the actual vehicle is there, although in a different spot when I stumbled across it.
Keith, I hope you don't mind me grabbing these shots from your site and pasting them here to clear things up.
Yes, the Post Master General's Department converted a number of CMPs post-war into line vehicles, mostly Chevrolets, and often C15s with an extended chassis.
They were coach built cabs and many suffered self destruction as did a lot of timber framed vehicles of the era.

Still it would be nice to see one of these restored as a PMG vehicle for posterity.
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Old 05-06-12, 14:52
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Still it would be nice to see one of these restored as a PMG vehicle for posterity.
Yes, I agree, they are definitely of historical interest. Sure they were ugly, but they were very well finished, and produced in significant numbers. When you think about, they may be the world's first commercial crew cab. Which means we not only invented the ute, but the crew cab as well!
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Old 05-06-12, 15:14
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Dosent look like one of the post war PMG ones does it Ryan?
Very interesting Andrew, I've never seen one like this before. Roof treatment is quite different from PMG, windows different too. Still very professional though - maybe a different coach builder, as a one off custom job for somebody.
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Old 05-06-12, 23:17
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Very interesting Andrew, I've never seen one like this before. Roof treatment is quite different from PMG, windows different too. Still very professional though - maybe a different coach builder, as a one off custom job for somebody.
Very possibly
I prefer its flatter roofline at least(maybe not as good for headroom though). It looks more like a CGT No8 roofline and profile
In the second picture it looks as though Australians are also the inventors of the extra cab as well .It does not have a door at the back. On drivers side at least .This one shown on Keith's OLDCMP site, originally spotted in WA by Rod Diery
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Old 07-06-12, 13:17
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Location: N.S.W AUSTRALIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Webb View Post
Yes, the Post Master General's Department converted a number of CMPs post-war into line vehicles, mostly Chevrolets, and often C15s with an extended chassis.
They were coach built cabs and many suffered self destruction as did a lot of timber framed vehicles of the era.

Still it would be nice to see one of these restored as a PMG vehicle for posterity.
It would be good to see a few restored in the PMG livery . They would have been a fairly practical vehicle for the time
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  #29  
Old 07-06-12, 14:41
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Mike Kelly Mike Kelly is offline
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Default CGT #9 Shepparton

I took a few pics of Colin Andersons CGT#9 body at Shepparton, 1977/78

We had a VMVC xmas trip to Barooga and on way home we called in .

The body was very straight and in top condition .I don't know where he found it . He subsequently put on a C15A ? chassis . Colin drove it to a club event at Pucka , around 1982 ? I remember that day as Tim Vibert had his C15 signals van there ,.. I have a pic somewhere .

I think Tim Vibert may have owned it at one point .

I wonder it it is the vehicle Bruce W ended up with ?

Mike
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  #30  
Old 07-06-12, 14:57
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Mike Kelly Mike Kelly is offline
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This is a pic of that day at Pucka

Colins CGT#9 next to Tom V sigs van . The CGT had 16" wheels fitted
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