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 Crank Up - Eye of York

Report by Mike Humphreys. Photos supplied by Nick Calvert & Michael Humphreys

In sharp contrast to last year the weather was truly appalling for the start of our season. The temperature was just a few degrees above freezing, with dark skies and rain. Despite all that, we hardy folk from hill and dale in Yorkshire turned out in numbers for the RV outside York Castle Museum

I was one of those meeting up in the Tadcaster lay-by at 10.30am for a convoy into York via the A64 dual carriageway and the A19. Approaching 20 vehicles, of all ages, left there a little later than planned after running repairs to a potential new recruit’s jeep. Owned by Mark Calzoni from Bradford. I had a problem with a fouled spark plug, which was easily fixed and it went on it's way with no further problem. There was someone in a jeep, near the rear of the Tadcaster convoy, without hood which was very brave indeed.

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I caught a few people early on before they disappeared into the warmth to get a few photos of their pride and joy! I must get out more because there were a number of vehicles I had not seen before. Nick Bullock’s Chevrolet CUA HUA Ambulance from 1943 being the first to catch my eye. Previously owned by Bart Vanderveen and beautifully restored in dark brown camouflage colour number 2 this looked the ideal transport for a wet day. Nick had had a lengthy drive from Spurn Point to be with us.

Parked alongside was another superbly restored example, this time a Land Rover Wolf 90 made as late as 1996 and brought back to ‘as new’ by Drew Edwards who has owned it 2 years. The registration is L90 MOD in the photos. Alongside was another very smart Wolf 110, registration 276 CUM owned by Craig Mathews.

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A practicable sized hard cab truck from the War is Graham Golder’s Dodge WC43 made in 1942 easily recognised both by its rarity and Daffy Duck emblazoned on the side. These trucks were only built for 2 years.

Paul Marshall of Cumbria and South Lancs had brought his 1944 Stower Kettenkrad painted in Afrika Corps livery. He told me that whilst he would love to have driven it, the track rubbers cost some £2,000 a time and so it arrived on a trailer today. Also on a trailer was a Faun Kraka previously used by the West German forces as an airborne mule. Built in 1972 it has a BMW 700 twin engine and is 2 wheel drive. Owned by Ron Loveday of Sheffield this to me seemed the ideal transport for getting around Beltring.

Dave Boston-Dunn’s Mark II Ferret looked absolutely immaculate parked on the perimeter and braving the elements acting as an essential extra pair of eyes to York and back home was John Wymark Hoar.

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It was not possible to miss Stuart Kinroy’s 1938 Chevrolet Master de Luxe ‘Staff Car’ in the centre of the display. Restoration was completed this time last year after the engine had been rebuilt, the interior re upholstered and all filler removed from the bodywork and replaced by metal. Looking at it and the paintwork done by a lady called Hazel; no doubt several pages of restoration detail could be extracted from Stuart. He told me that this model was only built for a year with later versions becoming more streamlined. He had driven over from Bridlington.

Parked at the perimeter looking fresh from the paintshop, which indeed it was, sat Brandon Young’s 1943 Dodge WC 62 6x6. Brandon, Ivor and Sue Waterhouse had toiled over 3 weekends since Easter to rub it down ready for paint ( Ivor) so it could make its first outing. Just behind Brandon was Chris Symthe’s Morris Quad. You will see from the photo that he brought along a cardboard cut-out of himself to leave on guard whilst he and Val disappeared into York.

Craig Bourne’s 1968 Series IIa Land Rover with Military Police Markings and a Cyprus camouflage scheme looked very smart. The Volvo with the Signals body belonged to Alan Roffey from Beverley, another potential recruit. Built in 1975 it is a 6x6 with a 3litre petrol engine. It was ex Swedish army and he has had it 3 years. Vehicles like this with potential home comforts have a strong appeal – well to me anyway!

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With over 40 vehicles on show including a sizeable number of jeeps, this was without doubt an impressive start to the season.

Just added in May 2009, is this video of a ride in a Ferret heading in to York from Tadcaster for the 2008 Crank Up.