|A Remarkable Restoration
years after the fact, any restoration can be a challenge of monumental
proportions, depending on how little of the original vehicle has survived.
With Loyd Carrier T240838, Dirk Leegwater had a challenge few of us would
attempt, and even fewer, successfully.
The photographs below tell not just the story of an unusually difficult process, which by itself may encourage others forlornly contemplating their own 'follies', but more importantly, demonstrate a degree of dedication to the preservation of history seldom seen anywhere.
Dirk's fascination with Canadian WW2 vehicles goes back many years now, and he remains one of Europe's more devoted collectors. His Field Artillery Tractor (FAT) and Heavy Utility Personnel (HUP) are classic examples of his expertise, and will, in due course, grace MLU's pages. All of them point to, and define, a man willing to go to just about any lengths to ensure that this vital aspect of our history - and the men it represents - is not forgotten.
BRAVO, DIRK! You have the eternal thanks of Canadians everywhere. Met vriendelijke groeten!
found, this Loyd was literally a 'shell' of its former being. Here, the
rusty, battered remains are slowly winched onto Dirk's vehicle bed. Little
is left, yet just enough...
(Please click on any pic to enlarge...)
|Loaded and awaiting transport back the the shop in the Netherlands, what's left of this unique carrier, while a sorry sight in its own right, includes much which usually can't be found in such a situation. Various of the bows, brackets and other rusty paraphenalia made the ultimate restoration that much easier.
|Once safely off-loaded onto the shop floor, the extent of the devastation wrought by decades of weather and neglect is evident. Little is useful, except as patterns...
|With the engine removed, the damage to the basic structure is starkly evident. THIS is a challenge few would entertain at this point...
|With the decision taken to remanufacture, rather than attempt to restore, the critical elements of the Loyd, the frame was obviously the first choice. Luckily, there was enough left of the original to provide dimensions and layout. Some fittings were salvageable, but many others had to be re-created from scratch.
|Many months later, the carrier begins to take shape. A reconstruction is a long, frustrating job, which once at this stage, can only be endured. Time, patience and money will reap dividends much farther down the line... and there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that once complete, the project will have made you the premier authority in that field...
|Close to completion. Everything is new! Luckily the Loyd is not an overly complicated vehicle, and by now, all look forward to seeing it running!
|Here the tracks are laid out prior to installation. This track is the same type as found on the Universal Carrier, so is fairly easy to handle, but with the same cautions regarding handling on both on- and off-road surfaces.
|Finally complete, the 'new' Loyd Carrier is loaded onto the same truck which collected a pile of rusty scrap some ten months' earlier! This photo will show some of the interior layout.
|Putting the Loyd through its paces at a test area. The restoration crew, which included Dirk's son Steven and his brother Hans, deserves much praise for a job well done! As this whole series of photos will show, this was a major process which paid rich rewards. MLU salutes this degree of dedication without reservation... thank you, Dirk!
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Photographs supplied by Dirk Leegwater