Jump to content

Buick High Level Staff Cars WWII


Recommended Posts

Photo 3 of the 1942 Buick is in New Zealand. The Officer in the car is the British General Montgomery.

The US Marines arrived here in big numbers in 1942 and brought both cars and big numbers of trucks with them .

I have seen two surviving 1942 Buick convertibles in NZ, both right hand drive.One is in Southwards museum in Wellington.There were no private car sales here in 1942 due to the war.

Edited by stephen48
typo (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All:

Thanks for the comments.

David, yes one of those Buicks. Sadly due to major infections in two computers several months ago and several botched attempts to salvage my photo files they are still in a mess. I have somewhere a better photo of the Buick and am trying to find it. I do have several photos of the Chev vehicles and will post them later in the General Discussion sub forum.

Stephen, quite correct and I should add the comments that the first photo shows Generalissimo Franco with his Buick that is set up with a gas generator trailer. Also the 4 door convertible shows General Smuts, head I think of the South African armed forces. Don't know where the photo was taken.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

This picture shows Mao Tse-Tung in a RHD 1941 Buick Roadmaster convertible sedan model 71C. There were 12 export 71Cs produced, but not all were RHD. A close examination of the image confirms that the image is not reversed.

Grandpa

post-52807-143138845583_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The licence plate on the 42 Buick (photo 3) is 1946 to 1951 series so the photo must be post war.Plates were replaced annually until 1941 then 5 yearly until 1964 when permanent plates were issued.You can tell from the symbol inthe middle what year it is.

Montgomery apparently visited in 1947 as indicated by this poor photo attached from a newspaper. Also attached is a photo from the same tour of him in a post war Chrysler. The NZ Government owned a number of these.

post-76051-143138845713_thumb.jpg

post-76051-143138845715_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Stephen for the additional information.

Totally aside from old Buicks, you mentioned earlier the US presence in New Zealand early in WWII.

My father, MajGen Raymond L. Murray USMC (Ret) was one of those who was privileged to have been sent to New Zealand for rest and retraining.

His memories of those days, passed on to my brothers and sisters over the years, were that they were some of the happiest of his 33 year career in the Marine Corps. He even spoke of moving there in the late 1960's when he retired, but it did not come to pass.

If you are familiar with the book "Battle Cry" by Leon Uris, my father was his Commanding Officer and 'High Pockets Huxley" is modelled after my father.

When the book was first published, they came into contact again after those many years and remained fast friends until they passed away.

Small world isn't it.

Cheers

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave:

Thanks for the kind words.

As mentioned to other Buick enthusiasts, my WWII vehicle history buff friends are not quite so interested in civvy vehicles. My parallel interests in US vehicles of any type used overseas and my interest in military applications of US vehicles overseas has meant I have collected a lot of civvy stuff that sort of sits in my hard drives.

I have thousands of images of cars and trucks from Auburn to Willys in the files.

If there is sufficient interest, it would be a lot of fun for me to pass them on in forums such as this one to folks who would probably not otherwise run across this type of historical info. Certainly more fun than just staring at the images myself:)

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill. Thank you for you interesting comments regarding your father's service in New Zealand with the marines. I have now read material on the internet regarding his excellent military career.

I recall when I was growing up here in the 1950"s and 60's my parents and grandparents talking about the relief and grattitude they felt when the US Forces arrived in NZ as there was a real fear of invasion before this.

The contribution of these servicemen has not been forgotten.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely off track but I'm claiming '39 Buick privileges as a follow on to the above messages.

Robert Marvin McElvane, of 239 New Orleans Drive, Dallas, Texas was in Paekakariki, Wellington, New Zealand, with the US Marines in the 1940s. Can't find Robert Marvin McElvane nor the address he gave.

A befriended family in New Zealand would like to know what became of him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bill.

Yes, my friend Dave Mears ('34 Chrysler) is the person who would like to find McElvane or his family.

I dabble in family history so I offered to help him. No luck so far - Dallas genealogists have been on the hunt for me too.

A real mystery. He was a real person who made a real impact and the Mears family have an affectionate memory of him but the name and address just don't add up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Terry:

Genealogy is not something I know much about, but Google is always your friend.

I found the following link which I assume was a query generated by yourself.

Nothing new there.

I tried the street address several different ways and also came up empty.

I tried several spellings of the last name and also mixed the name ie, Marvin Robert, Robert Marvin etc. and came up empty.

I am going to try to go through the USMC archives, of which there are many, to see if I can come up with something else.

People, families, addresses just do not disappear. Have faith.

As to doing this on a Buick history forum, not to worry, history is history and who knows, maybe the McElvane family owned a Buick or other American vehicle in the day.

Cheers

Bill

A Dallas-New Zealand WWII Connection | Dallas Genealogical Society

Link to post
Share on other sites

BILL AND GRAMPA, I may be imagining this but the cars that are following Monty in the first and third batch of photos may be the same car. They seem to both have those absurdly big Lucas P100 headlights used by many high-end English carmakers.

Pretty sure the first one's a Daimler. Might the second photo be from the same parade, meaning that the esteemed field marshall was riding in a five year-old Buick? Nothing wrong with that, mind you.

Thanks so much for sharing these. I enjoy seeing big classic cars in their original context.

PS. i'm curious - why was Goring wearing white, while all the others are dressed in dark uniforms?

Edited by Rob McDonald
fashion tip (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Grandpa and Terry:

Thanks for the additional photos, all new to me:)

Rob:

I believe the car you are asking about is possibly a Lanchester, one of Daimler's competitors.

As to Goerings uniforms, from what I understand, the following is the background.

A. He was a six star general, perhaps the only one in WWII and he could do any bloody thing he wanted.

B. He was a very vain clothes horse and had literally dozens if not more uniforms each, a little different for different occasions.

C. The colour is said to be a shade of Pearl, not actually White.

D. As the Luftwaffe was King of the Skies in Europe up until about 1944, Hitler indulged him and pretty much let him do what he wanted. This also had to do with allocation of war funds which left the other arms quite a bit short.

E. I believe that starting in 1943/1944 he reverted to the Luftwaffe Grey uniform colour as it was causing friction with the general populace that he could dress like a Prince and they had no soap to clean the rags they were wearing.

I have no idea why I looked into this a few years ago. Must have been in a trivia mood.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1941 Buick convertible sedan shown in the first group of pictures (marked "... British Pathe ....") is a RHD Super model 51Cx export model, one of 41 produced.

The 1941 Buick convertible coupe in the first group of pictures appears to be a Special model 44C, one of 4,282 produced.

Grandpa

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rob & Grandpa

Lanchester was a very modest car brand owned by Daimler. A friend had one for a while and it had been converted to a little ute / pick up / truck (not sure what language to use here)!

I haven't got sources to back me up, but I reckon the Daimler following the Buick will be the Governor General car. As the Crown (the Governor General is the personal representative of the King/Queen) does not pay taxes to itself, the car of the Governor General does not have registration plates, but it has the Crown coat of arms at the top of the car above the windscreen.

If you look at the Daimler following Montgomery, and use a little imagination, you won't see a registration plate, but you will see a shape (I say it is the coat of arms) on top of the car.

In this case it looks like hero Freyberg ceded precedence to the guest hero, Montgomery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

I'm sure the Buick Pre War group won't get too upset with me for posting this off topic photo ( no Buick ) but it is probably of interest to you.

Subject is Montgomery again, this time a visit to Perth Western Australia in July 1947. The vehicle he is in looks like a Plymouth.

I have the photo because of my interest in Harley Davidson motorcycles and a friends father was the escort Patrolman at the front left.

The US Navy had a large presence in Fremantle Western Australia during WW2 ( Submarine base ) and a Catalina Flying Boat base located on the Swan River near Perth. The Catalinas conducted long range submarine patrols and maintained our link with the rest of the world via Ceylon.

post-31244-143138862464_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Stuart:

Well, automotive history is automotive history so I think no-one will mind the odd non-Buick query. Uhhh, maybe the Harleys are a bit off track:):)

Trying to ID American cars assembled/manufactured in OZ can be very challenging as they mixed things up quite a bit.

After an hour of looking at photos, I offer the possibility that your photo may be a 1936 Dodge 1 ton truck possibly with a sort of Ute body, maybe a police or fire personnel carrier.

I say this because of the design of the grille and what appears to my eyes to be a lot more ground clearance than one would normally see with a passenger car chassis. As well, look at the height of the top of the door compared to the chap walking with the car. It is about equal to his shoulder.

Here is a poor shot of a 1936 resident in the UK to sort of represent the grillework I am talking about.

Bill

post-75348-143138863241_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

PASSING NOTE,,I have a 1941 71C, I recall seeing a Film News short of a parade where President F. D. Roosevelt was sitting in the back seat of such a car. There was a Cowl windshield in place with wind wing attached . I have searched for years for any further reference to such an event, Maybe a W. P. A. project or something. I would welcome any update.

Thanks Russ Aves

deucedeluxe@comcast.net

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Russ:

Well, I have not yet found a pic of the 'Roosevelt" Buick but while trolling Google, I found a photo of your Buick. Nice to see that it is being well used and displayed instead of sitting on a display somewhere.

Cheers

Bill

post-75348-143138940001_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
BILL AND GRAMPA, I may be imagining this but the cars that are following Monty in the first and third batch of photos may be the same car. They seem to both have those absurdly big Lucas P100 headlights used by many high-end English carmakers.

Pretty sure the first one's a Daimler. Might the second photo be from the same parade, meaning that the esteemed field marshall was riding in a five year-old Buick? Nothing wrong with that, mind you.

Thanks so much for sharing these. I enjoy seeing big classic cars in their original context.

PS. i'm curious - why was Goring wearing white, while all the others are dressed in dark uniforms?

Does anyone know why the Germans blacked out (covered up) most of their car headlights during the Nazi era?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure looks like him. The haircut seems right. Notice the clenched left hand. Consistent with Parkinson's disease. Hitler often did this to cover up his tremor. Goering appears to be saluting him.

I have also seen a photo of Goering using a 1939 Cadillac. He must have liked American cars. I hate to think of what happened to the prior owners.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know why the Germans blacked out (covered up) most of their car headlights during the Nazi era?

Because of wartime blackouts John.

Cheers

Grant

PS I reckon Monty is in a 1936 Plymouth, going by the grille badge and headlights on the fender catwalks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...