Tuesday, 11 October 2016

When Is An International 6 x 6 Truck A US Army Troop Transporter?

I have been discussing with my collector friend in Germany the International 6 x 6 Truck models that were released as 1118 and 1133. We thought that were simply four versions: 1118 being mainly for the UK market but with some made with US transfers and a few with Dutch transfers and then 1133 produced solely as a US Army Troop Transporter with the US Army transfers.

Everything seemed fairly nice and simple - you could easily tell the 1118s apart as long as they still had their transfers and 1133s had a different canopy, with a circular indent on top where the white star transfer would go. OK, so people might swap canopies over the years but we could live with that and it needn't really complicate matters.

Then Anders sends me a link to a forum where they are sharing photos of two completely different chassis design. One has gaps above the rear wheels and another appears solid from the side view. There is a difference in ground clearance too. That forum maintains that all 1118s had one type and all 1133s had the other.

Then, as if he hadn't already caused me enough sleepless nights, Anders sends me a link to a long, long French article on Corgi's military models. After struggling with my little Collins Gem French Dictionary for best part of a morning I learn that this chap lists two quite distinct colours which he seems to call Olive Drab and English Green or something similar. The English Green could be exclusively for the 1118s with UK markings but I'm not so sure that would actually be the case. Nevertheless, there are now two shades to take into account and, conceivably, they could be across the range of different chassis types for both 1118 and 1133 models.

I was going to update my catalogue lists at the start of this but now have descended into a sort of depression and may start drinking again.

In an attempt to figure out exactly what versions may or may not exist I decided to imagine how conversations between a worker and supervisor might have gone in the factory, starting some time in 1959...

Here come the trucks in bare metal.
Let's paint them 'military green'

These are for the UK. Add the British transfers.
But leave six in that box which can go to Holland. Add the Dutch transfers. No I don't know the difference between The Netherlands and Holland or why they're called Dutch. Just get on with the job.
Oh, some chaps in the US want some too. Damn. Er.. take the next ones and add some white stars to them and some US numbers.
The paint's running out...

Get some more.
It's a bit lighter...more khaki...

Never mind. No-one will notice. Well, not until some French bloke starts writing about them.
Most of them can be UK transfers but you'd better make a few for the Americans just in case.
Someone just called from Army HQ to say that there's something wrong with the truck.

Yeah. He says it's too low and shouldn't be blocked in at the back.
Bugger. Tell Production to change the cast.

Here come the new ones.

Good. Carry on where you left off then.
The paint's run out again.

Oh for Heaven's sake. Just get some more. Don't worry about the colour. Just make sure it's sort of greeny brown all over.
Sales Dept are on the phone.

What do they want now?
They say they need lots more for America.

OK, so just do lots more for America with those star things on. What's the problem with that?
They say that the stars are not always in the centre.

Jesus H Christ! This is a ruddy American Truck not an art exhibit!! But, OK, tell Production to make a different lid for the back. Put a dent in it where the star has to go. Then the idiots in the transfer area should be able to see where it goes. And stop putting them on the bonnet.
I don't think they always put them on the bonnet anyway.

Don't confuse matters any more, kid...
Sorry. Sales Dept are on the phone again.

What do they want now?
They say that the Americans want it to be called a Troop Transporter.

I don't care what they want to call it. They can call it a Big Green Cucumber for all I care.
Yes but it will have to have that name on the box.

Don't be stupid. We can't have 1118 International 6 x 6 Truck Troop Transporter...
And they want it to be called US Army Troop....

You mean they want 1118 International 6 x 6 US Army Truck Troop Transporter written on the bloody box? There isn't room unless we write in tiny letters.
No. They want a different number and just US Army Troop Transporter.

Oh boy. I suppose we need their money...
Yes. Sales say that they haven't sold many to the Brits and need to flog a few to the Americans to make it worthwhile making.

What's the next number?
Call it 1133 then.
Er... OK.

[Later that decade]
Production just called.

They say that with all this Peace and Love stuff no-one wants great big Army trucks any more. Especially American trucks. Seeing as how they're losing the war...

Don't let them hear you say that...
Anyway, they have stopped making 1133. 

But what do we do with all the stock? We have thousands of those 1118s left over too that have been lying around since they stopped that in 64.
They said they're thinking of a Flower Power edition....

[Expletives deleted]

No comments:

Post a Comment