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Military Woodies - Through World War I

1904 Winton 1905 Cadillac

The 1905 Cadillac Model F and ½ ton 1904 Winton (right) were among the earliest motor vehicles in the U.S. War Department's fleet. Both of these wagons were assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The Winton was known as the 'Automobile Telegraph Car' and could obtain 20mph from its two-cylinder engine. All Wintons of that era had wooden bodies and this was one of several versions used by the Army Signal Corp. The Cadillac had 9hp, two forward speeds and reverse.

Source: Military Wheeled Vehicles, a book by Fred Crismon
& Larry Hughes of the Winton World Wide organization


1913 Fiat ambulance

1913 Fiat 15 with a wooden body well suited for use in World War I as an ambulance and for the transport of prisoners.

Source: AUTO D'EPOCA - F.lli CARTOCCI S.r.L. (Italian)


Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Ambulance

World War I era Rolls-Royce ambulance - This 40/50 hp chassis was fitted with an ambulance body built by Rippon Bros in England. The comfort of ride with a very able turn of speed would have made this ideal for the purpose.

Photo and caption: 'Rolls-Royce and Bentley', a book by Malcom Bobbitt


Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost WWI ambulance conversion

Another World War I conversion, this wooden body Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was used by the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Source: 'Early Cars' a book by Michael Sedgewick


WW1 Rolls-Royce pickup truck

World War I era Rolls-Royce military truck - A number of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts and 40/50 hp vehicles were destined for service in the desert, including this particlar vehicle which has been loaded on to a Suez barge. Carrying a wooden body in the form of a pickup truck, note the twin rear wheels which would have provided additional traction and spread of weight over soft ground.

Photo and caption: 'Rolls-Royce and Bentley', a book by Malcom Bobbitt


T.E. Lawrence entring Damascus in a Rolls-Royce

Lawrence of Arabia, otherwise known as Colonel T.E. Lawrence, is seen entering Damascus in an unarmoured wood-body Rolls-Royce 'tender'. During World War I, Lawrence used a fleet of nine Rolls-Royce amoured cars and tenders specially adapted for desert warfare. He claimed "A Rolls in the desert is above rubies".

Source: Rolls-Royce/The Complete Works,
a book by Mike Fox and Steve Smith


1917 Ford artillery tractor

1917 Ford artillery tractor - based on Ford Model T mechanicals. This vehicle was widely mentioned in the press, but it is not likely that it ever saw military service.

Source: Military Wheeled Vehicles, a book by Fred Crismon


WW1 Ford Model T AmbulanceWW1 Ford Model T Ambulance

During World War I, before the arrival of United States Army, some charitable organizations offered ambulances to the Allied forces. The standard Ford Model T was provided - but without bodywork beyond the cowl. The legend says that the first ten ambulances were created with the wood of the transport cases! Later bodies were produced by the grand carrossier Kellner of Boulogne, near Paris. In 1918 this ambulance became the standard of US Army in France until the end of the war.

Information & photographs provided by Thierry Dubois
Originally published in Charge Utile magazine (France)


1919 Dodge ambulance

This 1919 Dodge is typical of U.S. Army ambulances made from 1916 to 1919 by various builders on a variety of chassis. They could carry four patients on stretchers or ten patients seated.

Photo and caption: The Dodge Story, by Thomas A. McPherson


1919 White

1919 White Model TEBO 12-passenger reconnaissance car built on the 1-ton 'Commerce' chassis. An acetylene tamk on the running board provided gas for both the cowl lamp and firewall mounted spotlight.

Source: Military Wheeled Vehicles, a book by Fred Crismon

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