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|Why not indeed! This article by Sandy Campbell appeared in the June 1959 edition of "Australian Country" magazine at a time when CMPs or blitzes were all the rage on the land. I've scanned and OCR'd the article, complete with some inaccuracies. I've also made a link to a larger image of the whole page.|
|Here's the article... I like the bit about the American Army... what about CANADA, I ask? The carrying capacity is also fascinating.|
"IT could be worth a lot to you to know that there's still a lively and widespread demand for Blitz trucks - the work-horses many of us knew so well during the war.
production started in 1942 and ceased in 1945, the Australian Army has
still many thousands in use. They are regularly offered for sale through
the Disposals Commission in the various States.
In most capital cities there are companies which specialise in buying, selling and reconditioning ex-Army Blitz trucks. Their vehicles go to all parts of Australia.
What do you have to pay for them? Up to about £630-£700, although plenty sell cheaper. Not a bad buy, when that amount of money gets you something you might have had to pay £2,000 for-and depreciation is only a fraction of what it would be with the more costly sort of new truck. And they don't need roads!
When - the American Army commissioned, the production of the four wheel drive truck we now know as the "Blitz" , they demanded a rugged go-anywhere do-anything track capable of making its own way through life without the luxury of a made road.
Most Blitz trucks to be used here were made by Ford and Chevrolet. They answered the army demands so successfully that the old war-time khaki has been traded in for a peace-time green, and they're still in use all over Australia. You see them doing anything from carrying seven tons of sugar cane to operating boring rigs from rear driven winches.
A Sydney firm which specialises in Blitz wagons, Russell Pearson Motor Sales, recently told COUNTRY that one buyer flew in from Oodnadatta, bought a reconditioned Blitz and drove it home 1,900 miles. The same firm has also sold vehicles to graziers and farmers in the Kimberleys, northern Queensland and N.T.
Even at £600 or more, a Blitz is good value provided its mechanical condition is faultless and the mileage moderate. They are versatile workers, extremely robust and durable and capable of carrying up to eight tons when fitted with dual rear wheels. Being second-hand units they carry no sales tax.
A man who normally uses a truck for 8,000-10,000 miles a year can reason it this way: A new truck capable of doing a similar job as a Blitz retails around the £2,000 mark, including sales tax, Its rate of depreciation is high, particularly during the first few years. He can expect its value to drop about £800 in eighteen months - a depreciation factor of over £10 a week.
In comparison, a reconditioned Blitz involves an investment of about £650. The days of its initial high rate of depreciation are long since over, Given normal use, the owner can expect it to depreciate at about £3 a week for a year or two and then at a lower rate.
Apart from price considerations, the ready availability of spare parts and good mechanical accessibility are important reasons contributing to the popularity of the Blitz. Both Chevrolet and Ford trucks use engines which are almost identical to the power plant sold in the sedans of the 1939-1946 era. Apart from the transfer case, which provides front wheel drive and two driving ratios, all mechanical parts are common to normal Ford and Chevrolet trucks. New and used spare parts are readily available. Major components can be quickly removed for overhaul or repair.
In most cases, Blitz trucks bought from the army disposals are in good mechanical shape, with a reasonably low mileage. Many have been standing for long periods and it is likely that some oil seals, particularly those in the transfer case, will have deteriorated to the point where they require replacing.
A range of Blitz trucks and types are currently being sold - short wheelbase, long wheelbase, l2ft. table top, 14 ft. table, single and dual rear wheels. Some of the firms specialising in reconditioned Blitz units equip them with new table tops before selling. They are sold in a range of capacities - 15 cwt., 30/40 cwt., 3 ton, 5 ton and 7 ton.
The mechanical specifications are conventional. They have four speed gearboxes, with a rear mounter transfer case offering high and low driving ratios as well as two and four wheel drive. Boosted hydraulic brakes are usually fitted.
Because there is an ample supply of ex-army Blitz trucks on the market and a steady demand for them from a wide range of users, at least one dealer operates a mail order business for customers who cannot get to a capital city. END."