No sooner was the 4.5" gun out of the workshop than a new vehicle was ready to fill the space.

In the Shopland Collection we've had this stalwart vehicle working for many years. It's lately been running erratically, famously conking out from fuel starvation in the DFVS Arena this year, and then a knocking big end meant it had to come out of the running fleet for a while, and cosmetically it needed some work.

It's a 1941 Chevrolet Field Artillery Tractor with the beetle back body. This example has been fitted with a Bedford 28hp engine at some point in its life, we believe it was used as a recovery truck in civilian life. The rear body had been cut in the middle to fit a recovery crane, and the two inner rear seats had been removed.

The engine was removed by our good friend Pete, and the yard forklift was used to push it into the workshop where the fun could begin. We took the opportunity to paint the floor in between the 4.5" gun leaving and the FAT arriving!


Taking the rear interior panel out made a lot of difference, and meant we could attack the inside and get some fresh paint in there.

Also time to clean up grotty hubs and axles and get some primer on there. Body was rubbed down and areas of rust dealt with using the wire brush whirlygig thing.


The rear door hinges were stubborn and needed some heat to get them working again.

First coat of primer on, and Rich is working on the roof hatch (the metal on the roof had rusted and the hatch was very porous and not really attached as a result).


Lots and lots of rubbing down, masking off, priming and painting followed. The door handles were given a freshening up and some oil.

The interior started to go green - we wanted to get plenty of paint in here as it would take a battering from kit etc.

Seats and other various parts were hung up to get painted.

Engine bay was masked off and first bit of green could go on while primer on other areas was finished.


The windscreens were rather rough but still strong. We didn't have time or facilities to completely rebuild them, so used rust treatment from which worked well.

Meanwhile, Pete finished rebuilding the big end with fresh bearings, and the engine was painted.
James, Herb and Pete spent a good few hours getting the engine over the axle and in (when it was removed, there was no sump which made it easier).

A few nice touches - black radiator and some brasso on the dash labels, and she was ready to go!

(well, there was a frantic evening of plumbing in on the engine, and lots of tweaking, but I was too busy to take photos for a change)

Finally, all was ready and hooked up to the 25-pounder for an important trip!