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  #1  
Old 25-09-20, 08:58
Matt Austin Matt Austin is offline
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Default Aussie WW2 staff cars

Afternoon, folks,

While the Australian military made extensive use of Chev sedans as staff cars, (my own included), did they also use other Holden-bodied GM types in that role? The more I look in the AWM registers, the less I see, and while I see reference to the odd Buick possibly used by the top brass, I can't see whether Oldsmobile or Pontiac sedans were also used by the military. I cant put my hand on Norm Darwin's book, which I recall has a chart of GMH''s wartime car production.and use, so I thought I'd ask the MLU brains trust. Thank you!

Cheets,
Matt
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1942 International K5 3-ton truck ARN 43362
1940 Holden-bodied Chevrolet staff-car
1941 Holden-bodied Chevrolet staff car
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  #2  
Old 27-09-20, 07:16
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Default Impressed

Might have been some 'impressed' sedans of various makes in use early on, 1938 to 40 models
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1940 cab 11 C8
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  #3  
Old 01-10-20, 10:21
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Oldsmobile ?
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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad
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  #4  
Old 17-10-20, 10:10
Matt Austin Matt Austin is offline
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Thanks Mike,

I'd hoped that there was a military connection for the 1940 Pontiac, as I've just picked this one up.

My wife asked me how long I'd had my 1940 Chev sedan project, and she was bemused when she realised I'd had it for five years, and done very little with it. She suggested I get a loan, buy a runner, enjoy it now, and have it paid off in five years. So I did! No Chevs available when I looked around, and I'm pretty happy with the very similar Pontiac. And as a bonus, only 480 Silver Arrow sedans were built in 1940, so it's pretty unusual.

So, failing a military connection, or as one esteemed chap suggested, doing it up as a squadron leader's private vehicle, I'll have to bring it to Corowa and park outside!

Cheers,
Matt
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1942 International K5 3-ton truck ARN 43362
1940 Holden-bodied Chevrolet staff-car
1941 Holden-bodied Chevrolet staff car
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  #5  
Old 17-10-20, 11:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Austin View Post
Thanks Mike,

I'd hoped that there was a military connection for the 1940 Pontiac, as I've just picked this one up.

My wife asked me how long I'd had my 1940 Chev sedan project, and she was bemused when she realised I'd had it for five years, and done very little with it. She suggested I get a loan, buy a runner, enjoy it now, and have it paid off in five years. So I did! No Chevs available when I looked around, and I'm pretty happy with the very similar Pontiac. And as a bonus, only 480 Silver Arrow sedans were built in 1940, so it's pretty unusual.

So, failing a military connection, or as one esteemed chap suggested, doing it up as a squadron leader's private vehicle, I'll have to bring it to Corowa and park outside!

Cheers,
Matt
Nice car. It may have been purchased new by a doctor or wealthy landholder, somebody who qualified under the essential user permit scheme. If it has Victorian heritage , the AOMC can do a engine nr. search but its a rather expensive fee for the limited info they give you .. rego nr. and engine changes , thats it. Sadly, all of the owners details were destroyed.
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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad
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  #6  
Old 17-10-20, 12:41
Wayne Henderson Wayne Henderson is offline
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Default staff car

Western Command Staff Car Holden body
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  #7  
Old 17-10-20, 14:23
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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I reckon the Australian DMV book lists all the staff car types used by the Armed forces?

See Keith’s repro here: http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=31596 (no, I’m not on commission )
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  #8  
Old 02-02-21, 03:05
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Well I had a rush of blood to the head and finished up with two 1940 Chevrolets to take to Alice Springs. Management just rolled her eyes.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-21, 11:18
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Well I had a rush of blood to the head and finished up with two 1940 Chevrolets to take to Alice Springs. Management just rolled her eyes.
Wow, that's a great makeover! Now you just need to get that trailer sorted to sleep in.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-21, 11:30
Lang Lang is offline
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Hanno

I can't drive two. What about a visit to Australia (if you have had the jab by then) in July and help me get the two to Darwin?

Looks like I can keep the black one black. Have found a few photos of them black with senior officers on board. Attached is an American one but mine will be Australian marked (with Holden body of course)

Lang

PS Is that a rolled up camouflage net over the general's car in the parade photo?
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1940 Chevrolet Staff Car1.jpg   Chev40j.jpg   Chev40k.jpg   Chev40m.jpg   Chev40o.jpg  


Last edited by Lang; 02-02-21 at 11:46.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-21, 12:37
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Mike Kelly Mike Kelly is offline
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Default more

A few more
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8581.jpg   011734.jpg   16746.jpg   021674.jpg   023375.jpg  

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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad
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  #12  
Old 02-02-21, 12:42
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More pics..............
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024818.jpg   47512.jpg   050769.jpg   050938.jpg   057846.jpg  

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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad
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  #13  
Old 02-02-21, 12:46
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.................................................. ...
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058298.jpg   74268(1).jpg   100565.jpg   139968.jpg   141687.jpg  

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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad
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  #14  
Old 02-02-21, 12:51
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.................................
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150215.jpg   150217.jpg   212502.jpg   261206.jpg   123094393_2875564175992018_3386081849579461379_o.jpg  

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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad

Last edited by Mike Kelly; 07-02-21 at 04:03.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-21, 22:16
Lang Lang is offline
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Thanks Mike

A few 1942 models in there. I am sure they are mechanically identical and even much of the body the same only a bit more modern looking in the front and no running boards.

Lang
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  #16  
Old 02-02-21, 23:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
Hanno

I can't drive two. What about a visit to Australia (if you have had the jab by then) in July and help me get the two to Darwin?
Hello Lang,

That sounds like an exciting trip, and what a great offer! You were saying 3,000km to the start and another 3,000km home from Darwin. Plus another 1,500km for the tour itself? That makes for an epic trip.

Let's play it by ear to see how and when we get "back to normal" (or rather: adjust to the new reality). For what it's worth, currently in Holland we are locked up at night like we were during WW2 and supplies of jabs are lagging behind the schedule ...

Cheers,
Hanno

PS: I've started reading up on the trip here: https://www.backtothetrack2021.com
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  #17  
Old 03-02-21, 00:56
Lang Lang is offline
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Yes Hanno, I doubt your ability to travel in the 6 months remaining before the start. We will send pictures!


Lang
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  #18  
Old 03-02-21, 11:07
Lang Lang is offline
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Picked up the first Chev and blew the turbo intercooler hose off the Nissan Navara for the second time in 10 days. Limped into Ipswich and had the incorrect hose clip replaced with the proper one. Thankfully it only took 10 minutes. With 200hp and 600nm of torque this little ute is really outstanding for towing - didn't know it had the Chev on the back.
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  #19  
Old 03-02-21, 13:25
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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It is surprising how big a bang it makes when you blow a turbo hose off. I did it and my first thought was a tire blown but then realised that nothing had happened to the handling but I didn't have any power. They go much better with the hose back in place !

Nice Chevy too !

David
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  #20  
Old 03-02-21, 22:21
Lang Lang is offline
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Yes David a big bang!
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  #21  
Old 04-02-21, 09:23
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Quote:
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Yes Hanno, I doubt your ability to travel in the 6 months remaining before the start. We will send pictures!
Please do! I'd better start to plan for the next event...
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  #22  
Old 06-02-21, 06:55
Lang Lang is offline
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Got the second one home today.
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  #23  
Old 06-02-21, 13:26
Matt Austin Matt Austin is offline
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Absolutely fantastic, well done Lang!

Of course, my 1940 Pontiac came after I sat on my 1940 Chev for the last five years, and my wife suggested I buy a runner rather than depending upon my almost-nonexistent mechanical skills! I did so, being very happy with the Pontiac, but disappointed that it doesn't have military history.

So Lang, I hope you don't mind if I vicariously live out my staff car dreams through your posts!

Cheers,
Matt
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1940 Holden-bodied Chevrolet staff-car
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  #24  
Old 06-02-21, 22:07
Lang Lang is offline
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Thanks Matt

I think you are going well with the Pontiac. I would not be too precious about the staff car history. The only thing that makes them special is the colour (and as I found out the black ones were used by the military though whether impressed, borrowed or on strength I have no idea).

I was trying to get some history from GM and GMH sites and from what I can see the black one has a normal non-military set of codes on the data plates. This does not mean it was never used by the military but leans toward initial civilian ownership whether impressed later or not.

The green one has a government delivery code but this could be for any department including the services so no proof there. I don't really want to be trawling through the AWM records searching for it. It looks to have a sand colour as the base coat on the firewall but GMH had a similar colour on offer for general sale.

Whatever, I am going to choose the best of them, mix and match (not motors) to get the best and sell the other one. If the black one wins it will stay black and if the green one wins it will probably have its American markings removed and receive Australian citizenship.

lang
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  #25  
Old 06-02-21, 23:05
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default Aust Staff Cars

An interesting but in some ways complicated subject, for which I can provide no comprehensive answers due to the lack of surviving detailed records. So in alphabetical order from the surviving records I have had access to, makes of 'Cars, SS' and 'Cars DS' used across all three services:

Alvis, Austin, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, De Soto, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Hillman, Hudson, Morris, Nash, Oldsmobile, Opel, Packard, Plymouth, Pontiac, Renault, Rolls Royce, Studebaker, Triumph, Vauxhall, Willys.


The dominant types were Ford (965 minimum not including MC & CMP 6-seaters) and Chev (2,082 minimum not including MC & CMP six-seaters). Total includes several left hand drive Buick, Chev and Ford sedans purchased in the Middle East after the losses in Greece.


There were also several makes for which there has been no registration information located, but which appear in holdings and disposals lists: Bantam, Citroen, Peogot, Reo and Wolseley.



In addition, there was an unknown number of sedan cars supplied to the USASOS and USN which were in use by US Forces on Australian roads. Many of these were returned for credit to the RLL account and disposed of by the CDC. These included Austin, Morris, Standard, Chev, De Soto, Hudson, Nash, Plymouth, Pontiac, Studebaker.



Mike

Last edited by Mike Cecil; 06-02-21 at 23:51. Reason: incomplete sentence corrected
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  #26  
Old 07-02-21, 00:51
Lang Lang is offline
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There you go Matt.

From Mike's info you can definitely take your Pontiac to a military show because it certainly was owned by the Army. Impressed by the Army, Impressed by US Army, loaned to the army, carried an Army officer or was seen by an Army officer during the war.

As I said, unlike others, I am not precious about the history of a particular vehicle. We have all seen vehicles at shows with photos and "recorded" history. General Macarthur has 476 personal cars that he drove every day. Patten, Montgomery and numerous other generals had vast personal fleets which can be seen at any show in USA or Europe.

The fact you have saved an original type from the period is a credit to you in this day of chopped, lowered and re-engined historic vehicles. The heavier truck people have no trouble because the hotrodders are not too interested but light trucks and cars are becoming precious.

Matt, just to put everything in one place here is your stuff on Chevs from 6 years ago.
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=23897

Lang

Last edited by Lang; 07-02-21 at 06:02.
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  #27  
Old 07-02-21, 03:42
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The RAAF seem to have preferred Dodge staff cars , late VMVC member Neil Wain restored a ex RAAF 41 Dodge sedan

CAIRNS, QLD. 1943-08-26. DRIVERS OF THE WOMEN'S NATIONAL EMERGENCY LEGION, POLISHING THEIR VEHICLES BEFORE STARTING THEIR SHIFT, WORKING FOR THE UNITED STATES FORCES IN THIS AREA. LEFT TO RIGHT:- DRIVER (DVR) N. ERSKINE; DVR D. DUPAIN; DVR T. LAWSON; DVR S. MIDGEY; DVR H. ARMSTRONG.


Darwin, NT. c. 1944. An informal group standing beside their motor vehicle, RAAF 202505, waiting to greet Lady Wakehurst on her arrival for a visit to a RAAF Medical Receiving Station. Left to right: Air Commodore A. M. Charlesworth AFC, Air Officer Commanding North-West Area; 501129 Matron C. J. McRae of Glen Innes, NSW, Principal Nursing Officer; Wing Commander V. E. Knight, Principal Medical Officer; 251203 Wing Commander R. W. D. Fisher of Elwood, Vic, Commanding Officer of the station.
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057844.jpg   288862.jpg   US air force with Aussie Dodge staff car.jpg  
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1940 cab 11 C8
1940 Morris-Commercial PU
1941 Morris-Commercial CS8
1940 Chev. 15cwt GS Van ( Aust.)
1942-45 Jeep salad

Last edited by Mike Kelly; 07-02-21 at 03:56.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-21, 04:06
David Dunlop David Dunlop is online now
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Hello Mike.

In your first photo, Post #27, the cars all seem to have a long triangular ‘badge’ at the front right edge of the bonnet. Any idea what that might be?

David
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  #29  
Old 07-02-21, 06:08
Lang Lang is offline
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Just found out the colour of my "military" Chev is Sand Drift. Very close to Light Stone military but a standard production colour offering.

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=23897


As mentioned in the old thread above many vehicles had their civilian colours painted over green straight off the production line. As my vehicle has a 253 production number (government order - not necessary Army) I am going with this story. In fact you can see my car 19th back from the front in this factory photo.
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Last edited by Lang; 07-02-21 at 06:16.
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  #30  
Old 07-02-21, 06:24
Lang Lang is offline
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David

That photo with the markings seems to show Australian girls working for the Americans. Possibly Plymouths issued to the Americans. Several MP photos are to be found but I understand they had quite a large number of these Australian built vehicles in general service within Australia like the one below it with General Kenney.

Lang

Here is a closeup of the badge - unfortunately the censor has scrubbed it out!
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Last edited by Lang; 07-02-21 at 07:02.
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