It needs a bit of work but nothing too complicated although I bought it from an advert & have not seen it in the flesh - I have to arrange transport from Arnhem to here.
It is an early WW2 GMC truck - the all metal cab tells you that as later a cut down version with a canvas top was produced, easier to flat pack for shipping as well as a saving of steel. The odd thing is that I can find no record of a GMC being made with a swinging boom crane although a similar rig was fitted to the larger Diamond T truck. Many wartime vehicles left in Europe were bought by garages & converted to breakdown trucks & at first I thought that this could be one of them but the amount of engineering required to allow a PTO drive to at least THREE winches is not the work of a weekend in a shed! Also if this crane was already on a slightly larger truck why remove it & spend time putting it on a smaller one?
So far I have found a similar crane which has been mounted on another WW2 truck type by the US navy to be used for aircraft recovery although I have found no official documents which confirm that this is a "real" wartime truck either. Many trucks were adapted for various roles in limited numbers. Basically the factories produced chassis/cabs on the production line, with or without a front mounted winch. At the end of the line the trucks went to have the appropriate body added, in house they added a standard cargo body or batches went to specialists for others. Just over half a million GMCs were manufactured during the War, most of which (405233) were standard cargo trucks. The rest were made up to be anything from a mobile map making truck, tippers, fuel tankers, telephone pole installers, air compressors, fire engines - the list is long & photos of these examples can usually be found, even a photo of a special radio body of which 1801 were ordered but only one was ever built!
So it may be that I have a rare example of a little known adaption or just a very interesting & useful bit of kit to help me with my DUKW restoration. Either way it is a lot to play with & it will look good at the rallies!
So, what did you guys & girls get?