UPDATE ON VON ARNIMíS STAFF CAR
On Saturday 19th August, a delegation including the Regimental Secretary, visited the workshop of the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society to see progress on the restoration of Von Arnimís staff car.
We were impressed with progress at our last viewing as they had replaced all of the fuel, hydraulic and electric lines which had been removed by REME (when they installed it at the Redoubt) a huge undertaking, since then, progress has been amazing. Wheels are now on with new tyres, the engine has been cleaned of sand paint, stripped down, completely reconditioned and re-fitted along with the complete front end including wheel arches. All metalwork has been stripped back to bare metal and all dents removed and the whole thing repainted to a wonderful finish.
In spite of being a static display for 30 years in the damp Redoubt, once refitted, the engine started first time and is running beautifully and the vehicle has undertaken a small test run.
As I mentioned in the last update, research has shown that it was never painted in sand colour and is being restored to the standard it was, when the photograph they have of it outside of Von Arnimís HQ in Tunisia in German field grey.
The next stage is to remove it to storage, whilst the body box is rebuilt, when they will marry the two together before fitting the bulkhead and seating. The leather seating will be put back to its original ribbed upholstery with armrests which are still there under the current covering.
The last item to be restored will be the canvas cover which will be replaced altogether as the current one has perished beyond repair. This will be a costly exercise as it will cost over £2,000 to do and they have already spent in excess of £12,000 on the car already.
It is hoped to have the car finished ready for the 2018 season to go on display. We are putting together a mobile display to go with it on its capture and featuring the collection of Maj Cavalier who took the surrender. So there will be a travelling Royal Sussex display, which will raise the profile of the Regiment and the collection. As soon as we have locations and dates of shows where it will be featured, we will publish them so members can not only visit, but hopefully volunteer to help man the stand to give the Regimental history.
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