"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov

Ya ever seen my house?

Ya ever seen my house?
Neither have I Ted! You douchebag.
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Monday, July 06, 2009

I've got a thing about trucks...

My head's been in some silly, big-truck space of late so, since I'm in the mood, we'll be tying up some loose ends re the LRDG trucks
First though, I never knew our own sweet little Kenworth brand (started in Portland) could produce this wicked-bad thing in this video.

Okay, if you've seen one 6X6 Kenworth pull out a tanker, then, you've pretty much seen them all.
Ladies and gentlemen;
the trucks of the Long Range Desert Group:
Below, the sole survivor of the bunch, a scarce, earlier version put together from locally procured (read: Cairo) Chevy, 1 1/2 ton trucks.

This jewel's name is W8 Waikaha, a 30 cwt WB. No idea what the WB stands for. These guys being Kiwis, their rigs were given Maori names. 30 cwt = "thirty hundredweight" ie 1, 1/2 tons.
This sat for decades in the desert in Lebanon - completely undiscovered until, I think the '90's.
The others were all discovered and high-graded for parts by the locals long ago.

Of course, Waikaha and the one pictured below were based on the 1940 Chevy.
For reasons that completely escape me, these seem like the coolest trucks in the world - not the 1940's, the later model.

The 1941's started as off-the-rack, right-hand-drive, ton-and-half trucks.
Other than mounting the box on the back and cutting off any and all metal that wasn't doing a job, not much was done to them.

I think part of the charm is that they were just plain old trucks - with two-wheel-drive at that. But they'd travel hundreds of miles at a shot through the desert.
Somewhere there's a story of one truck that had a hole knocked in its differential a few hundred miles from home. They patched the hole but they'd lost all their oil - so they stuffed it full of bananas and drove home. Repeatedly re-stuffing it en route, I should think.

This information is all available elsewhere so I'm just going to show pictures.
The one below is a homemade repro.


To close, a drawing of a 30cwt scaled and superimposed on a photo of that most ridiculous of vehicles, a Ford Excursion.
They're almost exactly the same size. The Chevy's got an inch or two more wheelbase.
And I think we'll all agree that the Ford would only benefit from the dash-mounted Lewis gun.


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