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 Army Vehicles - 1960s

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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   8/1/2014, 15:30

Len,
The book 'Now Thrives the Armourers' has just arrived. A cover is a bit tatty but inside the book is OK. The photos are very nostalgic and I can recognise some of them as things didn't change much from the time the Glosters were there to my time 3 years later. Going to enjoy this. I see the book was originally priced at £2.25 when republished in 1972. The original publication date was 1952!
Jimsigs
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unclevanya
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 225
Age : 71
Localisation : Essex UK
Cap Badge : R Sigs
Places Served : 11 Sigs Vimy 'C' Catterick Nov 1963), 224 (Radio) Sig Squadron Garrats Hey, Quorn Leics( Jan-June 1964), 16 Sigs Bradbury Barracks Krefeld July-Oct 1964), 28 (BR) Sigs St Tonis & 4 Squadron, Tongeren (Cafe Maddy) (1964-1968), HQ UNFICYP Nicosia 6 month tour (1966), HMS Jufair & Hamala Camp Bahrien, 223 Sig Sqn (Radio) Winchester, Norn Ireland, HQ Northag Kolsas Olso Norway, 11 Sigs Helles Lines Catterick, Civvy Street 1977, Retired (Grumpy Victor Meldrew 2012)
Registration date : 2012-07-15

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   11/1/2014, 11:20

Hmm - Austin champs. What were they like as a vehicle, were they as reliable as Landrover that replaced them. I can recall when posted to 28 (BR) Sig Regt, St Tonis in the summer of 1964, that there were a number of Austin Champs still being used as the Squadron Commanders vehicles when out on exercise. They were all gradually replaced with soft top short wheelbased Landies.  rabbit 
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   11/1/2014, 13:36

I know the Champ has taken some stick in respect of reliability and having bits which were awkward to get at but in the '50s, the early days in service, I can't remember that we had much trouble. Comfortable, nice engine & five speed box in forward or reverse, but with no doors and only loose fitting side screens it could be a cold place for the crew, especially for the sigs in the back if the screens had remained in stores, for there was no room to carry them on board. Poor sig, well away from the generous windscreen and with only a groundsheet or poncho to keep out the drizzle, his lot was made even worse when he had to expose his arms to clutch sheets of sigs info or operate the set.

The Landrover had better weather protection, probably had the edge off- road, probably had stiffer suspension. I always feared for my well being with 10 gals of MT70 under each front seat, but no doubt Bluebell appreciated the easier accessibility of simpler bits and pieces.
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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   11/1/2014, 13:51

We had one champ in HQ BAOR Signal Regt in 1952. It sported four stars on a red plate and was the Rhine Army Commander's radio vehicle. Never saw the General and the vehicle was used by a variety of officers going on exercises, just to show off.
I seem to have read somewhere that there were a bulk of champs based with Phantom Signal Regt
(Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment).

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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   11/1/2014, 18:04

cartav wrote:
I know the Champ has taken some stick in respect of reliability and having bits which were awkward to get at but in the '50s, the early days in service, I can't remember that we had much trouble.  Comfortable, nice engine & five speed box in forward or reverse, but with no doors and only loose fitting side screens it could be a cold place for the crew, especially for the sigs in the back if the screens had remained in stores, for there was no room to carry them on board.  Poor sig, well away from the generous windscreen and with only a groundsheet or poncho to keep out the drizzle, his lot was made even worse when he had to expose his arms to clutch sheets of sigs info or operate the set.

The Landrover had better weather protection,  probably had the edge off- road, probably had stiffer suspension. I always feared for my well being with 10 gals of MT70 under each front seat, but  no doubt Bluebell appreciated the easier accessibility of simpler bits and pieces.  

Looking back to my time driving the Champ, the biggest drawback was the fact that the RR B40 engine was required to operate on the red-dyed MT74 petrol.
There shouldn't have been black smoke coming out of the exhaust the way it did, the REME were in despair.
An engine like that needed MT 80.

I was one of two "poor sigs" that manned our BC's OP Champ. We were young and daft then, didn't feel the cold I suppose. We were more worried about staying awake.

Another drawback, no vehicle charging to the radio batteries. It was a right pain having to change batteries every few hours.
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   12/1/2014, 12:26

brum wrote:
...................................................
I was one of two "poor sigs" that manned our BC's OP Champ. We were young and daft then, didn't feel the cold I suppose. We were more worried about staying awake.

Another drawback, no vehicle charging to the radio batteries. It was a right pain having to change batteries every few hours.

________________________________________________________________

It was much easier when we could keep warm waving our arms to operate the semaphore flags, or bask in the sun when the heliograph was in use........ !

But I pondered about whether or not there was a charging system on the Champ when I tried to remember its virtues. For sure it was specially designed as military transport, unlike the Landrover which had a civvy lineage and, presumably, some thought had to be given to commercial viability & appeal.

It is unlikely that deep wading was ever a consideration when Rover decided to expand on the Jeep theme & build an agricultural rival, but MOD put water crossing capabilty in the Champ spec. No doubt someone can put me right if my memory fails after 50 odd years, but I can recall the Champ's detachable snorkel to suck in air to the carb and get rid of exhaust fumes from 4 feet under water.
There was a hand throttle to enable a wet driver to operate in a standing position, duck boards & drain holes in the footwell and a screw-on cap to keep water out of the dashboard mounted horn button's electrics. All useful after REME had waterproofed other bits before anyone tried to ford the Weser or Rhine.

In the 50's I think we loved the Champ......... It was an advanced bit of kit, too advanced, perhaps. Inevitably snags came to light, nobody loves it any more, but it was more driver friendly than the Jeeps which were still around in abundance when it was introduced.
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 952
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   12/1/2014, 18:44

Ahh the Jeep, my personal weapon.

Len (Ciphers) who will keep on posting theses inane postings until I make Lt General
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   13/1/2014, 11:07

[quote="brum"]

Looking back to my time driving the Champ, the biggest drawback was the fact that the RR B40 engine was required to operate on the red-dyed MT74 petrol.
There shouldn't have been black smoke coming out of the exhaust the way it did, the REME were in despair.
An engine like that needed MT 80..............[quote]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You're obviously ahead of my time Brum  ( who isn't ? ). We were on MT70 petrol in the '50s and I presume the vehicles we inherited were designed to run on wartime "pool"or something similar.  For sure there was red petrol for civvy use during fuel rationing but I can't recall whether or not our military stuff was so coloured.  

I remember that the Matchless G3Ls I had on charge for a time had a spacer plate added between cyl. barrel & crankcase and we were told this was to knock the compression ratio down on an engine made for prewar civvy use and make it suitable for low octane fuel. Conversely, the one girder forked G3 we had was certainly totally prewar spec & wasn't so modified.  

It could be that the Rolls Royce engines the military expected to standardise with at one time were low compression too or intended for leaded fuel. Is it possible that the malfunctioning you describe was brought about by the introduction of unleaded petrol which plays hell with the classic car stuff unless engines are suitably tweaked to accept it ?

Informed Bluebell opinion would be welcome !
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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
avatar

Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   13/1/2014, 15:49

Cartav,
You talking about the Matchless G3L motorbikes etc, reminded me what a great bike the Triumph TRW 500cc side valve was. Pity that the Army didn't go for this bike in a big way etc. This let in the boys in blue who had loads of them. We had them in the R Sigs display team many years ago and they stil have some Triumphs in their display team.
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   14/1/2014, 15:12

[quote="jimsigs1"]Cartav,
You talking about the Matchless G3L motorbikes etc, reminded me what a great bike the Triumph TRW 500cc side valve was. Pity that the Army didn't go for this bike in a big way etc................. [quote]

-----------------------------------------------------------------

True Jim ! We had just one TRW in 16 LAA and only for a short time. My BC
had joined us from a dream posting in Washington where he had sussed out US trucks & things for possible purchase for the Brits. Major Nelson was a godsend to 32 Bty's MT. Although not averse to a reasonable bit of attention with an oily rag, he saw more virtue in a truck firing up on the first pull of the starter rather than being highly polished but static in the MT sheds.

He continued with some vehicle testing as a side line, (ie checking out an early Unimog as a LAA tractor for instance ) and he brought in the single TRW for the once over. Unfortunately he had been promoted to Regt 2 i/c when it arrived and battery Don Rs never had chance to do more than cast covetous eyes at the generous ground clearance inherited from the Triumph Trophy's trial bike frame and the chromium on handle bars & exhaust system.
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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   14/1/2014, 15:32

Thanks for the response Cartav. Great little bike the TRW. Don't see many around even at classic bike shows. I have a 1964 500cc Tiger T100. Similar to the TRW except mine is OHV and I have updated it with 12v electrics and electronic ignition.

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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   14/1/2014, 16:05

jimsigs1 wrote:
Thanks for the response Cartav. Great little bike the TRW. Don't see many around even at classic bike shows. I have a 1964 500cc Tiger T100. Similar to the TRW except mine is OHV and I have updated it with 12v electrics and electronic ignition.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nearest I got to a G3L recently was at one of those 40's weekends where some mock airborne lads let me sit on it to remember cold nights in ice & snow. Wasn't allowed to get mobile however. And how small it looks now !

Drifting away from 6o's mil. kit, I see you've got a T100 and I've wondered since if the postwar stuff inherited the same sort of cogbox I had on my first bike .... ie one down & three up not the other way round as most had. That bike was a Tiger too, but an antiquated 350cc Tiger 80. Caused a giggle when a mate drove it home with me on the back. Pushed the lever down after accelerating hard, got 2nd instead of top and nearly had both of us over the handlebars.
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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   16/1/2014, 17:08

Yes Cartav, the gear change on my T100 is still one down & three up. Here's a picture of the bike




No the original colours for the year (1964) but I adopted the colour scheme from the 1959 Triumph Bonneville which I had in 1959 (New).

Also had a Triumph Speed twin 1955 model in Cyprus - 1956-7.
Here's a picture of me on that bike. :




Fond Memories of that one
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   20/1/2014, 10:46

jimsigs1 wrote:
Yes Cartav, the gear change on my T100 is still one down & three up. Here's a picture of the bike




No the original colours for the year (1964) but I adopted the colour scheme from the 1959 Triumph Bonneville which I had in 1959 (New).

Also had a Triumph Speed twin 1955 model in Cyprus - 1956-7.
Here's a picture of me on that bike. :




Fond Memories of that one

Jim, I have never been a motorbike enthusiast but even I can see that that bike is IMMACULATE !
My compliments.
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jimsigs1
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Army Vehicles - 1960s   20/1/2014, 13:34

Thanks Brum,

Thinking of having a go at one more rebuild, looking for a 1959/60 Triumph Bonneville but would have to sell current bike to fund another project. I find as I'm getting older it gets increasingly more difficult to weather the cold round the garage, even with a heater etc. Will wait for some better weather then decide.
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