The RLC Museum is delighted to announce that it has just received £4,500 from the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT). This generous grant will go towards the continuing restoration of the extremely rare 1927 Crossley-Kegresse halftrack, which is being undertaken by our dedicated group of volunteers.
The Crossley-Kegresse halftrack was an experimental vehicle, which the British Army tested in the late 1920s. It combined the tracks produced by the French Kegresse company with a truck produced by the British firm Crossley, producing this hybrid vehicle.
Halftrack technology, where the front half of a truck is combined with tracks fitted to the rear, was well-understood by this point and was designed to give a vehicle greater mobility over difficult terrain than a conventional all-wheeled truck. Kegresse produced a large number of halftrack vehicles, using their distinctive system of leather and canvas tracks, which were extensively-used by the French Army.
However, after extensive testing, the British Army decided not to make use of these halftracks and the various test vehicles ended up being distributed across the country. This particular example was rediscovered by Ian Simpson in the 1980s; by then being little more than an engine and chassis. Since arriving at The RLC Museum in 2011, the vehicle has been painstakingly rebuilt, using the original plans and even now has the engine in running condition.
There are only a handful of Crossely-Kegresse halftracks in existence, making the vehicle that we hold in The RLC Museum collection both extremely unusual and of considerable historical importance. This grant from the MVT allows us to complete the reconstruction of the body of the vehicle, producing a brand new bonnet and pair of front wings. After this, the focus will move to getting new tracks manufactured for the vehicle.
The Crossley-Kegresse and the other vehicles of the Museum’s collection are currently not on permanent display. However, this will change when the new Museum of The Royal Logistic Corps opens in 2020 at Worthy Down, near Winchester. This larger museum will have a vehicle store built into it, allowing members of the public to see all of this fascinating collection.
The RLC Museum Trust extends its sincere thanks to the Military Vehicle Trust for their generosity. For more information about them and their work, visit http://www.mvt.org.uk/.