Westward HO! MVPA Convention

mvpa-logo-intlby John Neuenburg

After a 13-year break, the annual Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) convention came back to California with 241 vehicles to an indoor and outdoor venue that seemed to be enjoyed by everybody. The Military Vehicle Collectors of California (MVCC) produced the 1999 show at the fairgrounds in San Jose, the 2003 show at the USS Hornet Museum, and this one was at the large Alameda County Fairgrounds just over the hill from the San Francisco Bay Area proper.

M19A1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriages are seldom seen. These vehicles were designed during WWII to replace the M16 and M15 anti-aircraft halftracks and were built by Cadillac and Massey-Harris. Fewer than 300 were built before the war’s end. They used M24 Chaffee chassis and had twin Cadillacs behind the driver. The A1 added an auxiliary generator to operate the turret when the main engines were off, plus radio equipment and spare barrel storage. This vehicle is owned by Joe Garbarino. Photo by Tim Sammons

M19A1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriages are seldom seen. These vehicles were designed during WWII to replace the M16 and M15 anti-aircraft halftracks and were built by Cadillac and Massey-Harris. Fewer than 300 were built before the war’s end. They used M24 Chaffee chassis and had twin Cadillacs behind the driver. The A1 added an auxiliary generator to operate the turret when the main engines were off, plus radio equipment and spare barrel storage. This vehicle is owned by Joe Garbarino. Photo by Tim Sammons

The idea behind this venue was to provide a variety of display and vendor opportunities inside and around the four rented buildings,  from shady lanes to an open paved area to a lawn area called Camp Grizzly (after the bear on the California flag) which was for displays that included military tents.

Here is something rarely seen at a show in the U.S., Joe Garbarino’s Fiat TM-48 artillery tractor. These diesel powered trucks carried the gun crew plus ammunition in the rear compartment. The large diameter wheels were said to be useful when in soft condition or rocks.Photo by John Neuenburg

Here is something rarely seen at a show in the U.S., Joe Garbarino’s Fiat TM-48 artillery tractor. These diesel powered trucks carried the gun crew plus ammunition in the rear compartment. The large diameter wheels were said to be useful when in soft condition or rocks.Photo by John Neuenburg

A dizzying variety of MVs showed up, highlighted by nine tanks if one assumes a M19A1 twin 40mm gun carriage is a “tank.” Tanks have never been common at California events. This is amazing considering the MVCC’s annual Spring swap meet is the largest annual MV meet west of the Mississippi and attracts people and MVs from many states.

But, between super-collector Joe Garbarino, Lee Edwards, and newcomer Glen Ghilotti, the heavies showed up. In fact, eight of them would not have made it but for the awesome effort put out by Glen and his two drivers from Team Ghilotti Construction in Petaluma, CA.

This show was blessed by having nine tanks on display! Glen Ghilotti made the jump from vintage Caterpillars to tanks by purchasing Joe Garbarino’s M41 Walker Bulldog light tank and then more recently, Joe’s M22 Locust airborne tank and M47 Patton main battle tank. Not only did Glen transport his tanks from Petaluma, he grabbed five more from the Garbarino collection! Here is Glen showing two young boys and their mom the M47 - a rare experience for possibly a future MV collector! Way to go Glen! Photo by John Neuenburg

This show was blessed by having nine tanks on display! Glen Ghilotti made the jump from vintage Caterpillars to tanks by purchasing Joe Garbarino’s M41 Walker Bulldog light tank and then more recently, Joe’s M22 Locust airborne tank and M47 Patton main battle tank. Not only did Glen transport his tanks from Petaluma, he grabbed five more from the Garbarino collection! Here is Glen showing two young boys and their mom the M47 – a rare experience for possibly a future MV collector! Way to go Glen! Photo by John Neuenburg

Joe Garbarino decided to up the ante by also bringing his Ward LaFrance M1A1 wrecker, Fiat TM-48 artillery tractor, and oh, by the way, a lowly Bantam BRC-40 prototype jeep!

Jack Valenti (right) took the Best Overall Display award with his “British WWII Desert Special Forces” display. It consisted of Jack’s two replica 1942 Canadian Chevrolet 1533X2 India-Pattern, right-hand drive trucks as used by the Long Range Desert Group primarily in Libya and Egypt, a 1942 Ford GPW which portrayed the pilot cars used in LRDG patrols during the second half of the desert war, a 1941 Chevrolet 1/2 ton support truck owned by one of Jack’s LRDG troopers George Escobedo, a borrowed Kubelwagen, and John Neuenburg’s replica 1942 Special Air Service jeep. The Chevy on the left is Jack’s latest project, a radio truck to go along with the original truck that he and partner Rick Butler created in 1993. This past year, the final assembly of the second truck has been done by Doug Boales and volunteers from the Eagle Field Foundation in South Dos Palos, CA. Doug’s crew transported both of them to the convention along with two vehicles from the Foundation. For more LRDG historical information and reports on displays in the West by the Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society, go to www.lrdg.org. Photo by John Neuenburg

Jack Valenti (right) took the Best Overall Display award with his “British WWII Desert Special Forces” display. It consisted of Jack’s two replica 1942 Canadian Chevrolet 1533X2 India-Pattern, right-hand drive trucks as used by the Long Range Desert Group primarily in Libya and Egypt, a 1942 Ford GPW which portrayed the pilot cars used in LRDG patrols during the second half of the desert war, a 1941 Chevrolet 1/2 ton support truck owned by one of Jack’s LRDG troopers George Escobedo, a borrowed Kubelwagen, and John Neuenburg’s replica 1942 Special Air Service jeep. The Chevy on the left is Jack’s latest project, a radio truck to go along with the original truck that he and partner Rick Butler created in 1993. This past year, the final assembly of the second truck has been done by Doug Boales and volunteers from the Eagle Field Foundation in South Dos Palos, CA. Doug’s crew transported both of them to the convention along with two vehicles from the Foundation. For more LRDG historical information and reports on displays in the West by the Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society, go to www.lrdg.org. Photo by John Neuenburg

Another large grouping came from Herman Rowland’s new American Armory Museum in Fairfield, CA. Manager Geoff Lippman used several of their military tractor-trailer rigs to bring a great display. Dave Wang from Armytrucks, Inc., a MV rental business, made the long trip from Southern California to create a nice “Desert Storm” grouping.

But seeing armor or large displays by individuals are not the only reasons why people enjoy MVPA International Conventions. It’s about the opportunity to see something rare, examine many examples of the same vehicle type for comparison, have a vehicle judged according to a standard, and maybe the most important thing, speak with like-minded restorers and collectors. Oh and buy parts! Vendors attended from as far as Australia and reports from them were excellent.

An impressive early morning lineup of vehicles face the main vendor building at Alameda County Fairgrounds. Here we see two of the handful of halftracks at the show, a Cletrac M2 aircraft tug owned by Taigh Ramey, and the eight tanks from Joe Garbarino and Glen Ghilotti. Photo by John Neuenburg

An impressive early morning lineup of vehicles face the main vendor building at Alameda County Fairgrounds. Here we see two of the handful of halftracks at the show, a Cletrac M2 aircraft tug owned by Taigh Ramey, and the eight tanks from Joe Garbarino and Glen Ghilotti. Photo by John Neuenburg

One great advantage to having an outdoor display component at a convention is it allows the possibility of engine demonstrations. The 1943 Higgins LCVP landing craft and OH-6 “Loach” helicopter were regularly started up. Late arriving jeeps and trucks in motion early each day delighted spectators as they were moved into position by careful ground guides. under the supervision of Vehicle Committee Chairman Dan McCluskey.

Joe Garbarino displayed his M60 Main Battle Tank, M24 Chaffee light tank, M4A3E8 Sherman medium tank, M19A1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage, and an M5A1 Stuart light tank. Glen Ghilotti displayed his M47 Patton heavy tank, M41 Walker Bulldog light tank, and M22 Locust airborne tank. Glen transported them all plus Joe’s M1A1 wrecker, Fiat truck, Bantam jeep, and John Neuenburg’s M20 Armored Utility Car - an effort that took days. Photo by John Neuenburg

Joe Garbarino displayed his M60 Main Battle Tank, M24 Chaffee light tank, M4A3E8 Sherman medium tank, M19A1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage, and an M5A1 Stuart light tank. Glen Ghilotti displayed his M47 Patton heavy tank, M41 Walker Bulldog light tank, and M22 Locust airborne tank. Glen transported them all plus Joe’s M1A1 wrecker, Fiat truck, Bantam jeep, and John Neuenburg’s M20 Armored Utility Car – an effort that took days. Photo by John Neuenburg

This event was not only about MVs and vendors. Offsite excursions included a bus trip on Thursday to Wente Vinyards for wine tasting. Friday featured a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco with options to tour the WWII USS Pampanito submarine, SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship, and/or take a Bay Cruise. On Saturday there was a trip to tour the USS Hornet aircraft carrier museum.

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Vendors reported very good action and as you can see, travelled from half a world away! Most were located indoors and others in large spaces with roofs outdoors around a vehicle display building. Photo by Chris Hughes

The “Ladies of the MVCC” were active as they are at the annual events at Tower Park. Their info tables in the vendor building gave them a place to talk about regional events from the female perspective, and included a nice display of vintage aprons.

Nancy Porter and Janine McCluskey hosted a seminar on Thursday called “Home Front Efforts During World War II” focusing on food rationing and recipes common in the 1940s. Friday was “Rosie the Riveter Day” commemorating womens’ efforts as war-workers during that time. “Rosie” bandanas were for sale at their table so women could emulate the famous morale poster of the era. Friday was also about vintage clothing, hair styles, and makeup, thanks to Nancy Hoskins and Kyla Metzker.

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The newly created American Armory Museum in Fairfield, CA brought a load and here are some of them: 1943 Mack NO, 1944 International M5 modified by the Israeli Army with a diesel engine, 1944 Dodge WC-53 Command Car, 1963 FMC C&R prototype APC, with their 1992 Oskosh M-1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter complete with M-1000 trailer, and either a Freightliner or AM General tractor to the right. AAM manager Geoff Lippman was a busy dude before and after the show! Learn about Herman Rowland’s AAM at www.americanarmorymuseum.org. Photo by Chris Hughes

On Friday evening, right after the perimeter was locked up, a dinner was held in the building used for meetings and seminars. The food was great and good times were had by all. Following dinner, the annual MVPA auction caused pocketbooks to open to purchase items rounded up by Auction Committee Chairman Mike Rinehart’s crew.

A “75th Anniversary of the Jeep” display was coordinated by Dave Aro who provided is very nice slat grill Willys. This featured one of each model and significant variation of U.S. jeep-type vehicles. Well not every one, but it was an excellent and educational line up. Notable and rare jeeps included a Willys MA from Jimmy Strauss, Bantam BRC-40s from Joe Garbarino and Helen Sauer, and the #14 of 15 Willys MT-Tug brought by Robert Schoen all the way from Montana. We worked on Dave and Jay Hinton to bring a Ford GP but they brought other things! Photo by John Neuenburg.

A “75th Anniversary of the Jeep” display was coordinated by Dave Aro who provided is very nice slat grill Willys. This featured one of each model and significant variation of U.S. jeep-type vehicles. Well not every one, but it was an excellent and educational line up. Notable and rare jeeps included a Willys MA from Jimmy Strauss, Bantam BRC-40s from Joe Garbarino and Helen Sauer, and the #14 of 15 Willys MT-Tug brought by Robert Schoen all the way from Montana. We worked on Dave and Jay Hinton to bring a Ford GP but they brought other things! Photo by John Neuenburg.

On Saturday night, nearly 300 attended the Awards Banquet and Presentations at the host hotel, the Doubletree Pleasanton. Carole Parma’s Dinner Committee did a great job organizing both events including decorating the tables.

A rare FMC XM800T Armored Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle brought by Doug Boales from the Eagle Field Foundation. This prototype and an XM800W articulated, six-wheeled version built by Lockheed were the result of the Army’s wish in the 1960s-70s for an armored scout vehicle with troop carrying capability that upgraded the M113. The XM800T carried a crew of three and the M139 20mm auto cannon. Top speed for this nine ton vehicle was 54 mph forward, 24 mph in reverse. It was amphibious, which to some soldiers meant it would take you out to your sinking point! Photo by Tim Sammons

A rare FMC XM800T Armored Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle brought by Doug Boales from the Eagle Field Foundation. This prototype and an XM800W articulated, six-wheeled version built by Lockheed were the result of the Army’s wish in the 1960s-70s for an armored scout vehicle with troop carrying capability that upgraded the M113. The XM800T carried a crew of three and the M139 20mm auto cannon. Top speed for this nine ton vehicle was 54 mph forward, 24 mph in reverse. It was amphibious, which to some soldiers meant it would take you out to your sinking point! Photo by Tim Sammons

Will it be another 13 years before the next convention in California? We hope not!

John Neuenburg and Dave Ball were Co-Chairmen of the MVCC Convention Committee composed of over 50 volunteers. Dave is President and Newsletter Editor of the MVCC (the  largest U.S. MVPA affiliate since the 1970s). John is a past Vice President and is the Activities Coordinator for the Camp Delta at Tower Park Resort events. Information about the Military Vehicle Collectors of California is at www.MVCCNews.net.

John Neuenburg had a starting problem with his 1944 Ford M20 Armored Utility Car and missed its Team Ghilotti flatbed ride to the show. As John was the MVCC’s event co-chairman, once he was in Pleasanton he figured he wouldn’t be able to get away to where it is stored to load it aboard something else. Then Glen Ghilotti offered to make a special trip with his 18 wheeler and John ducked out Thursday for a four hour round trip to load it and get to the show after hours. Glen is a real TEAM PLAYER! Pete Woodward’s excellent Command Car is next door representing the turnout of more than 35 military Dodges. In the background and in the background are Damon Viola’s 1/2 ton Dodge dually hybrid and Lee Edwards M5A1 Stuart that won him the Tracked Armor Motor Pool award plus the MVCC of Oregon’ Award of Excellence. Damon was Lee’s chief mechanic during much of this project. Photo by John Neuenburg

John Neuenburg had a starting problem with his 1944 Ford M20 Armored Utility Car and missed its Team Ghilotti flatbed ride to the show. As John was the MVCC’s event co-chairman, once he was in Pleasanton he figured he wouldn’t be able to get away to where it is stored to load it aboard something else. Then Glen Ghilotti offered to make a special trip with his 18 wheeler and John ducked out Thursday for a four hour round trip to load it and get to the show after hours. Glen is a real TEAM PLAYER! Pete Woodward’s excellent Command Car is next door representing the turnout of more than 35 military Dodges. In the background and in the background are Damon Viola’s 1/2 ton Dodge dually hybrid and Lee Edwards M5A1 Stuart that won him the Tracked Armor Motor Pool award plus the MVCC of Oregon’ Award of Excellence. Damon was Lee’s chief mechanic during much of this project. Photo by John Neuenburg

 

2016 MVPA International Convention  Awards and Distinctions

Motor Pool Ready Class

  • 1918 Pool Mfg. Mark XIV Mod 2 Deck Gun,
    Lee Edwards
  • 1944 Willys MBT, Mike Rinehart
  • 1942 Autocar M2A1, Tom Gunther   
  • 1943 Cadillac M5A1, Lee Edwards
  • 1945 Ford GPW, Kris Weber
  • 1941 Dodge WC-40, Mike Rinehart
  • 1942 White M3A1 Scout Car, Peter Fraser
  • 1943 Highland 1-ton Trailer, James Bertao
  • 1972 AM General M151A2, Brad Carrott    
  • 1945 Willys MB, Carole Parma
  • 1944 Dodge WC-51, Lee Hoskins
  • 1944 GMC CCKW, Lee Hoskins
  • 1942 BSA Airborne Bicycle, John Neuenburg
  • 1979 Mercedes-Benz 280 Geländewagen,
    Michael Smith

Restored Class

  • 1944 Trussbilt M3A4 Hand Cart, Lucas Pfuhl
  • 1943 White M2 Half-Track, Tim Sutter
  • 1941 Bantam BRC-40, Helen Sauer
  • 1944 BSA Bicycle, Barry Welsh
  • 1943 Willys MT-Tug, Robert Schoen
  • 1944 Willys MB, Sean Ayers

MASTER AWARD

  • 1978 AM General M151A2, Louis Bircheff
  • 1953 Dodge M37, Robert Meredith
  • 1939 CMP Ford, Don Gordon & Katrinka Simpson

SPECIAL AWARDS

Jacques Littlefield 2016 Award: Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, California. Herman Pfauter received the award behalf of the museum which now houses much of Herman’s collection of WWII trucks.

MVPA Bart Vanderveen
Distinguished Service Award:
David Cadorette   

Affiliate Group Newsletter Editor Award:
Ian Young, editor of Windscreen

INDUCTED INTO VEHICLE HALL OF FAME

  • 1941 WC-6 Dodge Command Car, Joe Hall
  • 1942 GMC CCKW K53D Weather Station,
    Fred LaPerriere

OREGON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

M5A1 Stuart Light Tank, Lee Edwards

Hagerty Youth Judging Program

  • 1st Place: Sean Nichols,
    1942 International FFN-3 Crash Truck
  • 2nd place: Janine McCluskey,
    1964 Dodge M43 Ambulance
  • 3rd Place: John Neuenburg,
    1942 Ford GPW Special Air Service

BEST OVERALL DISPLAY

British WWII Desert Special Forces

JUDGES CHOICE AWARD & BEST VEHICLE AWARD

Troop Train, Don Wadley and Chris Thomas

Honor Roll: Terry Johns, Cary Simpson

Pioneer Award: Phil Nelson, Rene Rovai

Safe Driver Award: Sean Carrigan,
34 points on Harley-Davidson WLA

mvcc-winners

This event was supported by members of many clubs in the West, but obviously the 500+ member Military Vehicle Collectors of California as the hosting organization had the opportunity to take a majority of the awards and they did. Many attended the MVPA Awards Banquet including L-R top: Don Wadley, Janine McCluskey, Lee Hoskins, Lee Edwards, Jack Valenti, John Neuenburg L-R bottom: Chris Thomas, Peter Fraser, Sean Nichols, Mike Rinehart. Photo by John Neuenburg’s assistant

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