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  #1  
Old 03-04-24, 08:05
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Default “1941 CMP Amphibious vehicle” (4x4)

Niels Vegger noted this ad: https://milweb.net/webvert/a7619/106724

Is this for real? I have never seen any evidence of this being built during WW2.

Quote:
1941 CMP Amphibious vehicle
CMP amphibious vehicle. Probably the last of its kind.
Canadian Millitary Pattern (CMP) Chevrolet 4x4 with 158.25 inch wheelbase.
Right-hand drive (!) As was common in Canada at the time.
The amphibious truck landed with the Canadians in Sicily in 1943.
The history of the vehicle is mostly known.
NO! - It is not a converted DUKW. chassis number; Frame; Axles; Transmission; Tire size and many more clearly show that it was a CMP watercraft from the start.
Most of the work has now been done.
The engine, both gearboxes and winch have already been completely overhauled.
It drives under its own power and would float.
Everything is there except for the original tank and dashboard.
Also windshield, rehling and hood. I am happy about your bid.
OFFERS
Andreas Burgard: 0049 1702 044263

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  #2  
Old 04-04-24, 01:45
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I would like to see a lot more photos and some dimensions of this vehicle before passing judgement. One far shot is just not enough.

Also more information on how it moves in the water; prop and rudders or via the road wheels?

At the moment, the reality of this vehicle can range from complete fake at one end of the spectrum to it being a sole example or sole survivor of a limited piliot project built by Chevrolet Canada. To the latter possibility, GM Canada may have seen a need to have an alternate vehicle to the USA built DUKW, for any number of reasons during the war and developed something for trials. Trials may have been a failure, or a complete success, but anticipated need never materialized.

Much more documentation, details and photos of this vehicle are needed to fairly evaluate it however. Not something to drop the asking price on otherwise.


David
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  #3  
Old 04-04-24, 05:27
rob love rob love is offline
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I find it odd that such a vehicle could have been built, tested, landed in Sicily, but no mention about it in the Design Branch Records. Never say never, but.........
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  #4  
Old 04-04-24, 05:50
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I was curious about that as well, Rob, but am not familiar enough with the Design Branch documentation to know if it covered everything ever thought of during the war, or only equipment that actually made it into full production?

My thought was that perhaps GM perceived a need to supplement DUKW production, in some form or other, and saw advantages for them doing so via a CMP version. they may have gone as far as building one or more pilot vehicles, advising the Canadian Army what they were up to in the process.

If the concept was being fully funded by GM and not interfering with GM's existing obligations in any way, the Army/Government may have gone along for the ride and helped where they could. The vehicle may have been a dud, or a success that was subsequently no longer needed...end of story. If that were the case, would it ever have made it into the Design Branch records?

What I cannot figure out, however, is how one or more pilot vehicles may have survived all these years in Europe and that flows back into my concerns about the lack of information about this vehicle being offered for sale. If it were mine, I would have been screaming from the rooftops about it from the moment I found it, throughout any restoration work, to try and learn as much as possible about it. But then my wife says I am weird.

Just a thought. Is there a DUKW expert out there familiar enough with the production history of that vehicle who might know it there were any production capacity concerns with it in 1941/1942 that would have prompted GM to consider alternate manufacturing?



David
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  #5  
Old 04-04-24, 07:44
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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Back in 2010 Mark Tonner had some info on DUKWs used in Italy with Canadians.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark W. Tonner View Post
During the period of the Second World War, there were no DUKWs held on establishment of the Canadian Army. The ones that did operate with Canadian forces in both Sicily/Italy and in North-West Europe were operated by either British Royal Engineers or by the Royal Army Service Corps.
Being in use by the UK would explain right hand drive. But wasn't the DUKW 6 wheeled?
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  #6  
Old 04-04-24, 12:17
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default CMP Amphibian

Given the number of vehicles used by the 1st Canadian Division from the landings in Sicily through to the end of the war in Germany, and how few, if any, have survived to this day; I am really curious how such a 'rare' vehicle has ended up for sale in Germany?
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  #7  
Old 04-04-24, 12:25
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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It's quite elaborate for an April fools joke...
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  #8  
Old 04-04-24, 17:29
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I have been looking into the history of the DUKW a bit more as a result of Bruce McMillans comments.

Several online sources state total production was on the order of 20,000 vehicles across two models, ten percent of which went to the British Army. They were the largest none American user during the war.

The MilWeb photos still do not answer a lot of questions and if anything, raise more. However, my thoughts about this particular vehicles origins have shifted now. Rather than focusing on the CMP aspect of this item, and all the Canadian spinoff that comes with that concept, is it more possible that this might actually be a design concept trial vehicle developed entirely in England during the war? The British Army clearly liked the DUKW, they bought a lot of them. But could reliable deliveries have been enough of an issue during the Battle of the Atlantic that they seriously considered cloning the DUKW with available resources. If that were the case, it would make sense absolutely no records of said vehicle would show up anywhere in Canada. Research instead would have to focus on who might have designed, built and tested the vehicle in England. On that basis, it could very easily have been embedded in the supply of DUKWs being utilized by the British Army in Sicily, for evaluation purposes. Was there a specific research establishment in England during the war where this development project could have taken place.

As an aside to Bruces comments regarding the use of the DUKW by the Canadian Army during WW2, it seems to have persisted in another variation through to the 1950s at least. During the 1950 Flood in Winnipeg, two dozen DUKW's were on strength in Military District 10, headquartered here in Winnipeg. As the flood developed, these DUKWs were consolidated at the Crescentwood Community Club grounds on Corydon Avenue for deployment to assist the civil authorities as needed. This area was high ground close to River Heights and Ft Osborne Barracks (MD 10 HQ). Interestingly, these DUKWs were operated and manned by RCN personnel to accommodate the needs of the Canadian Army. Six of these DUKWs were still at the Kapyong Army Base in Winnipeg in the late 1960's and early 1970's and one would often be seen on the roads in River Heights with large DRIVER TRAINING signs hanging off of it, and being operated completely by 2PPCLI personnel by that time.


David
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  #9  
Old 04-04-24, 19:14
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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There should be stamps on the frame, motor, chassis, etc that give a clue to origin. If the seller is making the claim of Canadian origin then I would expect these to be revealed. Maybe it's a frankentruck.

Canada switched from right hand to left hand (steering wheel position) drive back in 1924.
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  #10  
Old 05-04-24, 00:53
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I am wondering if it could have been made by the Italians post ww2.
To utilise some of the things they had received in military aid
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  #11  
Old 05-04-24, 23:29
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
is it more possible that this might actually be a design concept trial vehicle developed entirely in England during the war? The British Army clearly liked the DUKW, they bought a lot of them. But could reliable deliveries have been enough of an issue during the Battle of the Atlantic that they seriously considered cloning the DUKW with available resources.

David
The Brits definitely liked the DUKW....I think the last 2 were released from the Royal Navy only a few years ago(?).
But, if a supply problem due to the battle of the Atlantic was the issue, why would they use Canadian overseas components to build this DUKW clone in stead of using domestic components supporting their own industry?
I guess anything is possible.....but I am with Niels that this could well be a postwar development from the Italians...or maybe even French navy?

But, the date of april 2nd for the ad is too much of coincidence for me.....there are too much different pictures to be photoshop, so the vehicle most likely exists......but I have a feeling the seller might be having a laugh with the advert text.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-24, 03:23
Harry Moon Harry Moon is offline
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I contacted the seller and asked for some info, the ad itself has several more pictures. I got the pictures of the engine plate. It wasn't made in Canada but by Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing in Pontiac Michigan. Looking into Yellow, which was bought by GM at the end of 42, I found the records of how many DUKW's they made along with several 6X6 models Interestingly they only made 49 4X4 trucks and only in 1942 but curiously the reference has a question mark where the model would be listed. My curiosity is got me going.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-24, 03:27
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Default Serial number

Also the serial number on the frame matches the engine,(as presented) Mysteries.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-24, 14:02
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Great to see the MLU fraternity diving into this mystery!

From what I know and what I read here I'd say this vehicle is at best a post war military conversion of a GMC DUKW, but much more likely a postwar civilian conversion using some CMP components.

After WW2 in the Netherlands, many GMC CCKW trucks were converted for civilian use to haul dirt/soil. As the load was at least doubled, frames were strengthened or replaced, diesel engines were fitted and axles were replaced by CMP GM C60X axles as they are stronger than the original GMC axles. I suspect that is what happened here.

A number of Italian military vehicles had a steering wheel on the right to cope with driving conditions on narrow (mountain) roads, so that may be a reason why this vehicle was converted to RHD if it is of Italian origin.

There must have been a solid reason for this conversion, it is too much work for a "folly" or an April's fools joke.

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  #15  
Old 07-04-24, 15:15
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Harry.

The engine is a GMC270. All of them were made by Yellow Truck and Coach. It’s the same basic engine as found in the Otter, Fox, C15TA and C60X
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  #16  
Old 08-04-24, 11:17
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
From what I know and what I read here I'd say this vehicle is at best a post war military conversion of a GMC DUKW, but much more likely a postwar civilian conversion using some CMP components.
If it is a conversion from a DUKW, it seems to be a pretty extensive one. It proved a little difficult to find decent DUKW drawings online, but even with a poor-resolution one overlaid on the photo, it’s clear that if this is a converted DUKW hull, a lot of cutting must have been involved:

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The shape of the front wheel well is different both at the front and rear, the rear wheel well is much smaller and squarer, not to mention further forward, the whole foredeck and the cowls alongside the cab are different, etc.
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  #17  
Old 08-04-24, 12:09
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Amphibious 4x4

So this isn't a rare Canadian vehicle that landed in Sicily in 1943? Oh darn!
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  #18  
Old 14-04-24, 21:35
Paul Hazen Paul Hazen is offline
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This vehicle was published in 1989 in the magazine Wheels & Tracks number 29. Even then, it was a mystery. It did say that it originally came from an Italian fire brigade.

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  #19  
Old 15-04-24, 09:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hazen View Post
This vehicle was published in 1989 in the magazine Wheels & Tracks number 29. Even then, it was a mystery. It did say that it originally came from an Italian fire brigade.
Thanks for digging this out, Paul! I knew I had seen it before somewhere. The way it is currently advertised does not help to establish its true provenance.
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  #20  
Old 15-04-24, 09:44
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Default Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
If it is a conversion from a DUKW, it seems to be a pretty extensive one. It proved a little difficult to find decent DUKW drawings online, but even with a poor-resolution one overlaid on the photo, it’s clear that if this is a converted DUKW hull, a lot of cutting must have been involved:

The shape of the front wheel well is different both at the front and rear, the rear wheel well is much smaller and squarer, not to mention further forward, the whole foredeck and the cowls alongside the cab are different, etc.
A detailed study of the hull structure may yield insights into whether the "Italian fire brigade duck" was converted from a DUKW hull or is some sort of copy.

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  #21  
Old 15-04-24, 10:54
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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I take it the first two photos are of the CMP conversion, since it has the steering wheel on the right-hand side, while the last photo is of a DUKW? If so, I’d say the CMP is a copy/“inspired by” rather than having been adapted from a DUKW. It looks like somebody had a DUKW at hand and thought, “We need another vehicle like that, let’s build something much like it on this CMP we also have.”
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Old 15-04-24, 13:06
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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I agree with Jakko. It is too professional a construction to be home made or a mock up or a scam and I see no evidence that it is a conversion of a DUKW - there are too many structural differences and no signs of modifaction to the wheel arches which are different to DUKW ones.

I think that the most likely explanation is that it is a post war Italian construction using then readily available new or nearly new CMP parts.

David
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  #23  
Old 15-04-24, 15:30
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Default To Duck or DUKW, that's the question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
I take it the first two photos are of the CMP conversion, since it has the steering wheel on the right-hand side, while the last photo is of a DUKW?
Yes,...
Quote:
If so, I’d say the CMP is a copy/“inspired by” rather than having been adapted from a DUKW. It looks like somebody had a DUKW at hand and thought, “We need another vehicle like that, let’s build something much like it on this CMP we also have.”
... plus I think they used some of the more intricate fittings like the propeller drive line and ducts to construct an amphibious vehicle for fire brigade/ emergency services.

The % of DUKW components is anyone's guess, this is very much a case of "Trigger's Broom". US-based operators of DUKWs have extensively rebuilt and modified DUKWs to a stage where they are a mere "dataplate restoration/ reconstruction" like many of the warbirds flying today

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  #24  
Old 15-04-24, 18:38
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perhaps a prototype or pre production with the UK as the client?
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  #25  
Old 15-04-24, 21:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Moon View Post
perhaps a prototype or pre production with the UK as the client?
GMC was churning these out by the 1000’s; why would the UK need/ want to source these from Canada? If there would have been a need for a second source, they surely would have chosen to build the DUKW to print. And if this was a bespoke Canadian design, by now we would have surely found traces in the AEDB or similar period sources. My $0.02 CDN…
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  #26  
Old 16-04-24, 01:48
Harry Moon Harry Moon is offline
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It wasn’t made in Canada but appears that it may have been built by yellow truck in Michigan in a plant that in the same year geared up for and produced many DUKW. I just can’t see anyone building a one off outside of a trials or pre production product when 6x6 DUKW were plentiful and cheap.
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Old 16-04-24, 07:20
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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There may be an Italian connection as they used amphibious fire vehicles. Perhaps a vehicle that has been done over as a military vehicle?
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  #28  
Old 16-04-24, 10:53
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
If there would have been a need for a second source, they surely would have chosen to build the DUKW to print.
The UK did want, and produced, an alternative to the DUKW:

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But given that they had both, I agree that it would be unlikely to want a third source for yet another vehicle, especially — as you mention — DUKW production was well underway in the USA.
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Old 16-04-24, 12:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Moon View Post
It wasn’t made in Canada but appears that it may have been built by yellow truck in Michigan in a plant that in the same year geared up for and produced many DUKW. I just can’t see anyone building a one off outside of a trials or pre production product when 6x6 DUKW were plentiful and cheap.
To me that's an indication DUKW parts were used in its construction. The question is if DUKWs were plentiful and cheap in the area where the subject vehicle was constructed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
The UK did want, and produced, an alternative to the DUKW:

But given that they had both, I agree that it would be unlikely to want a third source for yet another vehicle, especially — as you mention — DUKW production was well underway in the USA.
Good point, but the Terrapin was an indigenous product.
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Old 16-04-24, 12:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce MacMillan View Post
There may be an Italian connection as they used amphibious fire vehicles. Perhaps a vehicle that has been done over as a military vehicle?
Good lead, thanks! The vehicle you depicted is a Fiat Iveco 6640 G, an Italian amphibious vehicle which was "built from the early 1950s till the 1980s for the Italian government organisations". Our subject vehicle may well have been a prototype for the Fiat Iveco 6640 G...

The Italian The National Fire and Rescue Service (https://www.vigilfuoco.it/aspx/Page.aspx?IdPage=5374) used a host of ex-WW2 vehicles during its existence: https://www.vigilfuoco.it/aspx/page.aspx?IdPage=2903

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