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Australian newspaper article in the drive section, January 31st, 2002

Ah well, they can't get everything right - the date of course should be 1943

And for those of you who require reading spectacles... the text of the article by Robert Wilson

It's fairly common to see an executivelooking type driving to the office in a brawny four-wheel drive. But Euan McDonald of Melbourne goes one step further. His daily transport until recently was a World War II Chevrolet Blitz truck, or CMP as it's properly known.

Canadian Military Pattern trucks were the standardised design used by the British and Commonwealth forces during World War II. More than 350.000 CMP chassis roiled out of Canada's General Motors and Ford truck factories to be completed in countries as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, India, Egypt and Britain.

With two, four or sometimes Six-wheel drive they served as transports, fire engines, gun tractors, mobile kitchens, radio vans or, occasionally, armoured cars. Standardisation, serviceability and toughness made the CMP, or Blitz as it came to be known in Australia, a military classic. Norway's defence forces kept using them until the early 1990s but most of Australia's Blitz trucks were sold after the war. Many went into a second life as bushfire tankers, where their four-wheel drive - then rare - was a valuable feature. "Most fire brigades used them until the late 60s." says Euan. "My original one was a tanker with the Chiltern bushfire brigade,"

Euan's interest in military vehicles came from his father, Graeme, who still drives the original World War 11 left-hand drive Jeep he has owned for 50 years. But no young man wants to have a car like his dad's, so Euan bought his first CMP in 1984 at the age of 16. He now has eight. "I was looking for a challenge and I worked part-time in a supermarket to earn the money to buy it," he says. "They're a unique look, pretty beefy and different to anything else on the road, especially with the windscreen that slopes the wrong way. That was designed to stop reflection in the desert and keep them from being spotted by aircraft."

Blitzes are tough vehicles, he says. "They weren't designed for a long lifetime, and the finish on them was very raw - but mechanically they were over-engineered." "The Ford runs a (3.9-litre) flathead V8 while the Chev used the (3.5-litre) stovebolt six. People used to say that if you were in a hurry to go you'd take the Ford, but if you wanted to get there you'd use the Chev." Both

Ford and Chev Blitzes rumble round the McDonald farm in the Grampians but his pride and joy is a short-wheelbase Chev that for 15 years he used to drive to his work at a prestige car dealership in Melbourne. As he rose through the ranks in the workshop he ended up driving the open cab vehicle in a suit and tie - "That got people looking!"

Now retired to weekly use, the Chev has some features original Blitz drivers could only have dreamed of: 12-volt electrics, wide tyres, a bullbar, spotlights, a PTO winch and tyre pump and Recaro seats. "It's got plenty of ground clearance in the bush," he says, "but it's not real fast on the road. Around town you'd get up to 40 or 50km/h; on the highway you sometimes get to 90. "I never worry about speed cameras. I've only ever been pulled up once because the copper couldn't see the windscreen, but I think he really just wanted a closer look and a chat."

A recent pic taken at my place in Eltham - and what a nice sight indeed! Euan's C15A (right) rides tall on 12.00 20 tyres. He's also fitted it with a winch and 2 speed transfer case.
The Sunshine roof has the canvas rolled back.