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Old 23-08-20, 22:40
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default Mike Ebeling's cars #1: 1942 Ford WOA2 Heavy Utility Car, UK

As you may have read, Mike Ebeling has passed away recently. He restored and owned quite a number of vehicles, two of which remain. As Mike has always been a fan of Commonwealth vehicles, I've offered his son Mark to advertise them on MLU Forum.

Mark is open to offers. If you are seriously interested, please contact Mark by email. Please let him know you saw it here.

Here's the first Ford:


1942 Ford WOA2 Heavy Utility Car

85-bhp V8, two wheel drive

The WOA2 was introduced into service in May 1941. Production stopped in July 1944. A post-war document prepared in 1950 by HMSO entitled, “Report on the Motor Industry,” states Ford built 9,059 of these vehicles alone. Some sources claim that the production of the WOA2 between May 1941 and July 1944 was as low as 5,000 vehicles. These vehicles were never armed and carried no weapons apart from passengers’ personal firearms.
The WOA 2 was an acronym and apparently stood for: W=War Office; O=1940; A=Passenger vehicle and 2 identified the period of the Second World War. The WOA2 had a 4x2 drive. The British Army, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy used the vehicle as a staff car and command car. A variant known as the WOA2/A used 6.50-16 tires on standard road wheels. Production of this version started in December 1945 and continued until 1947.
Weighing 3,555 pounds the vehicle fell into the category of “Heavy Utility” and was produced in an all-steel version with a hard top. A roof rack could be fitted to allow additional cargo to be carried such as tents when on campaign.
A second version with a canvas soft-top was also produced and this was known as a “Tourer.” This version was used during the North African campaign, and Commonwealth troops, such as the Australians, also had this version available to them.
The vehicle had a long bonnet (hood) that gave access to the engine for relatively easy maintenance and servicing in the field. Headlights were fitted and during the war these were masked with covers for the ‘black-out’ conditions. Suspension was transversal semi-elliptical leaf-spring type, the brakes were mechanical and the electrical system was six-volt supply.
The WOA2 was fitted with a Ford V8, water-cooled petrol (gasoline) engine which developed 85 HP at 3600RPM to give a top speed of 56 mph on roads. A three-speed gear box was fitted which also provided reversing gear. The fuel tank had a capacity of 12.5 gallons with the filling point located on the left hand side of the vehicle at the rear. Fuel consumption depended on road speed and conditions but an average figure of 3.7 gallons per 62 miles would give a maximum operational range of around 208 miles on one full tank.
The WOA2 measured 14 feet and five inches in length, six feet and three inches in width and five feet and ten inches in height. The actual wheelbase was 108.25 inches (9 feet and a quarter inch) and ground clearance was 8.5 inches. It was fitted with a large one-piece windscreen which provided good visibility. It was a right hand drive and two doors fitted either side and the interior was quite spacious. Behind the front seats were folding tables which could be used for writing and the rear seats could be folded down to provide extra storage space. These features were in common with other similar Heavy Utility vehicles such as the Humber.
The spare tire was carried fitted to the rear access hatch which was split to allow the portions to be folded up and down. It would appear from wartime photographs that some WOA2s had roofs which could be opened.
Besides the driver, the vehicle could carry up to five passengers and used for liaison duties and as command vehicles. Some vehicles were equipped with radio sets and used as communications vehicles seeing service in Europe after D-Day in June 1944 and accompanying units as they advanced into Germany in March 1944.

Photos:

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  #2  
Old 24-08-20, 23:11
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default Looking splendid

Mark just sent in some more pictures of the WOA2:

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  #3  
Old 08-02-21, 18:35
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Default Ford WOA2 heads to auction

Follow the link to read the entire article, but here's a snippet on the late Mike Ebeling's WOA2:

Quote:
"Unique Mercury Eight Estate and rare Ford WOA2 head to auction
WWII era Mercury Eight Estate and Ford WOA2 'Heavy Utility' cars up for sale at the April 14th Imperial War Museum auction in Duxford, UK."

https://www.militarytrader.com/milit...ead-to-auction

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"This particular example – chassis 7038837 – took the late Mike Ebeling, a noted WW2 vehicle restorer, four years of intensive work to return to its former glory (1997-2001). Known for his relentless pursuit of authenticity, Mr Ebeling used parts from five donors to renovate the WOA2.

Interviewed by Classic Military Vehicle magazine in 2006, he explained his motivation thus: ‘To own a vehicle, or type of vehicle, that played a part in the most awe-inspiring conflict the world has ever known gives me the inspiration to see the restoration through to the end. If I am honest, I get more of a kick from the research and the restoration work than I do from driving the vehicle. Days spent at the Imperial War Museum’s photo library in Lambeth going over photos with a magnifying glass, endless research into the manufacture and variations in design, the arm of service that would have used the vehicle, and even the equipment carried. Maybe, in some way, I do all this work in memory of my father who was killed in France a month or so after D-Day. Of course, my life in the motor trade and service with the REME must also play a part in my enthusiasm for the hobby’."
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Old 09-02-21, 14:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Fuel consumption depended on road speed and conditions but an average figure of 3.7 gallons per 62 miles ...
What an unusually random set of numbers!

I would have thought it would make calculations much simpler to quote consumption in the form, say, of "5 Gal to go 83 miles" or "5.95Gal per 100 miles". Or even the more traditional form of "16.6mpg".
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Old 09-02-21, 14:57
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Smith View Post
What an unusually random set of numbers!
I would have thought it would make calculations much simpler to quote consumption in the form, say, of "5 Gal to go 83 miles" or "5.95Gal per 100 miles". Or even the more traditional form of "16.6mpg".
As a guy who started in miles and had to convert to metric while growing up, when I see a number like 62 it makes me think they were doing their mileage calculation based on 100km and converting it back to imperial.It would work out to 14 liters per 100km.
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Old 30-03-21, 18:59
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Default c.1942 Ford WOA2 Heavy Utility Car

And a link to the auction itself: https://www.handh.co.uk/auction/lot/...car/?lot=52432

Quote:
c.1942 Ford WOA2 Heavy Utility Car

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Possibly the finest example extant

(Imperial War Museum Duxford, 26th May 2021)

Estimate
45,000 - 55,000
Buyer's Premium applies (subject to a minimum charge and VAT)


Lot details

Registration No: RBJ 599
Chassis No: 7038837
MOT: Exempt

1 of just six examples known to have survived
The subject of an extensive, chassis up restoration which took some four years to complete
A multiple award winner in Historic Military Vehicle circles and the subject of various articles
Liveried in authentic Headquarters 21st Army Group 1944 markings (a unit that used the WOA2s)

The Miracle of Dunkirk which saw 800 boats (many of them fishing vessels and pleasure craft) evacuate some 340,000 Allied troops over the course of just eight days, May 26th – June 4th 1940, proved pivotal to the outcome of World War Two but also caused a major logistical headache with the abandonment of 85,000 in Northern France. Requisitioning passenger cars for Staff and Command usage as a stop gap, the War Office put out urgent requests to UK manufacturers for more suitable replacements. Ford responded with the WOA1 and WOA2. Both were derived from the Blue Oval’s prewar Model 62 Saloon but with a strengthened chassis, bigger 3.6 litre V8 engine, lower ratio back axle and 9.00 x 13 cross-country tyres. However, while the former resembled a jacked-up version of its civilian sibling, the latter wore a bespoke six-light body of imposing proportions (14ft 5in long, 6ft 3in wide and 5ft 10in tall). Designated as ‘Staff’ and ‘Heavy Utility’ cars respectively despite a comparatively modest 80kg weight difference, the pair saw active service in a variety of combat theatres. Despite Princess Elizabeth (now HM The Queen) famously piloting a WOA1, the Armed Forces showed a marked preference for the WOA2. Ford built some 9,059 of its ‘Heavy Utility’ cars between May 1941 and July 1944 and also released a less butch / more tarmac friendly WOA2/A variant when peace came. Tough, dependable and commodious, the six-seater was repurposed by ambulance services, utility companies and landowners throughout the UK. Literally driven into the ground with more than a few meeting their end via stock car racing (though, not before two starred in the Dambusters and Guns of Navarone), WOA2s are a decidedly rare sight today. Indeed, some sources put the number of known survivors as low as six.

This particular example – chassis 7038837 – took the late Mike Ebeling, a noted WW2 vehicle restorer, four years of intensive work to return to its former glory (1997-2001). Known for his relentless pursuit of authenticity, Mr Ebeling used parts from five donors to renovate the WOA2. Interviewed by Classic Military Vehicle magazine in 2006, he explained his motivation thus: ‘To own a vehicle, or type of vehicle, that played a part in the most awe-inspiring conflict the world has ever known gives me the inspiration to see the restoration through to the end. If I am honest, I get more of a kick from the research and the restoration work than I do from driving the vehicle. Days spent at the Imperial War Museum’s photo library in Lambeth going over photos with a magnifying glass, endless research into the manufacture and variations in design, the arm of service that would have used the vehicle, and even the equipment carried. Maybe, in some way, I do all this work in memory of my father who was killed in France a month or so after D-Day. Of course, my life in the motor trade and service with the REME must also play a part in my enthusiasm for the hobby’.

Liveried in authentic Headquarters 21st Army Group 1944 markings (a unit that operated WOA2s), the Ford has won numerous awards and remains highly presentable some twenty years after its completion. Beautifully and correctly detailed throughout from its sliding steel sunroof to its rear convoy light, the six-seater further boasts such niceties as folding map tables and headlining-mounted canvas blinds. A Command Car with a commanding presence, the styling of which echoes through to today’s SUVs, this wonderful WOA2 is worthy of close inspection. A fitting tribute to the late Mr Ebeling’s remarkable skill, it surely belongs in a museum or major collection.

PLEASE NOTE: The black and white photos are not of the sale car. They were used by the late Mr Ebeling as a reference guide during the restoration with the first one inspiring his decision to replicate the 21st Army Group's livery.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
damian.jones@handh.co.uk
07855 493737
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