It all started with an add in Hemmings Motor News January 1979 page 152 under MIXED MAKES CARS For Sale. First question what is it? Based on this advertisement it would be hard to say just what the vehicle was. There it might have ended as I never could seem to get the owner on the phone to get more information.
But a few years earlier I had bought an interesting little book, Bart Vanderveen's, Vanderveen Observers Fighting Vehicles Directory World War II. This provided the key information C-8-A as being in reality a Canadian Chevrolet Heavy Utility Personnel (HUP). Had it actually been British with the prospect of trying to find parts I probably would not have bothered going further. But now with a picture of the truck along with a little technical information my interest level was raised considerably and I continued to call until finally the young owner of the truck gave me a call back.
From my note on the add you can see original asking price. My first look at the truck was on a very cold Saturday morning in January when I drove over to Vermont. This is when I learned what the definition of "good running condition" was but then again it did start with the temperature well below freezing with a little help from a battery charger you can see sitting on the running board. Once started I drove the truck down a back road testing out the brakes (very weak) transmission (all gears present) and the transfer case (which engaged and disengaged smoothly on the move). As I accelerated through all four gears the young owner looked on in amazement and then said gee this is the first time I've been in this out of 2nd gear. He explained that he couldn't seem to sort his feet out to double clutch and shift so he would start it in second gear. He had not driven in more than a few miles since having bought it from the original owner.
The pictures above show the HUP as I first saw it in 1978 in Manchester Vermont. When first shown these pictures my wife's response was "Oh what a BEAST" and the name stuck. Having now seen what other people have restored I realize the surprisingly good condition that the truck was it. In the pictures below the only rust in the truck can be seen at the lower rear corners. The remainder of the dents and tears to fenders were relatively easy to repair. The only real problem was roof which had been used at various times to carry things resulting in the roof being bowed in. On the rear panels over the wheels can be seen the outline of the BBC sign that had been painted on the side. The lettering had been sanded off instead of painted over it was to be several years until I knew what it had said.
The HUP held in the storage box under the rear seat and in a large wooden box a treasure trove of bits and peaces. Though many little parts such as engine access panels had been removed over the years but they had all been dumped in the storage box, under the middle seat, along with the original tools.
BACK TO HOME PAGE