Frituur Zorro Restorations Volume 2 – Review by Mark Barnes

Book cover

I am especially pleased to see this wonderful book from our friends at Narwal in the Netherlands. When I reviewed the first volume I engaged in a strong degree of whimsy looking back at my time with the Historic Military Vehicle Forum and the fun we had adding a bit of nonsense to an otherwise serious hobby. My last MV – an M151A2 called Muttley is in much safer hands than when I had it. I will not own any more military vehicles.

This second volume in the Frituur Zorro restorations series continues where the previous book left off. The authors show that they are part of a wide web of friendships across the historic military vehicle community, bringing in the stories of a range of vehicles that are lovingly cared for by their owners across Europe.

This time round we have chapters covering restorations of an AEC Matador, Austin K2, Austin K6 Gantry, Chevrolet C60, Chevrolet G-7113, Diamond T 969, Diamond T 972, Dodge WC63, Fordson WOT6, FWD SU-COE, GMC CCKW353, Humber FWD ‘Box’, Humber Super Snipe, International M5 High Speed Tractor, International M5 half track, Krupp Protze Kfz.69, Mack NR, Pacific M25/26, Raupenschlepper OST, Renault AHS-3, Schwerer Wehrmachtschlepper, Sd.Kfz.6,
Sd.Kfz.10/5, Sd.Kfz.251/OT 810, a couple of Volkswagen typ 82 Kfz.1 Kubelwagens, Ward LaFrance M1A wrecker, a White 666 and a White scout car. The book ends with an inevitable Willys MB.

This array of vehicles illustrates perfectly the diverse world of the military vehicle family. The German equipment in particular reminds us of the growing importance of the Overloon event where many German vehicles are run. I have yet to attend the show. The half-tracks are a strong favourite of mine and I loved seeing the Sd.Kfz 6 and 10 on view in this book. The Krupp Protze is a lovely looking thing.

The Netherlands is home to a huge HMV movement where many World War II rarities see the light of day. While this is also true of many places, there is something about the Dutch I find so appealing. The book has its stars – those German half-tracks for two and the White 666 immediately spring to mind. I don’t think I have seen a 666 – White or Brockway – on the road. I really love the little Renault AHS-3. This truck ‘Vagabond’ has been retained in an unrestored colour scheme of a well-worn bright red and it just looks fantastic. Once again we see how military motors had second lives after conflict and these are often my favourite vehicles on the scene.

This volume is like a bumper magazine filled with totally authentic contributions from enthusiasts who have put time and money into their labours of love. I wonder how many of these sort of projects are making progress during the pandemic? As usual, the book makes for ideal tea or coffee (or beer!) break reading because each chapter can be seen individually. Some entries are quite substantial and they all leave me wanting more.

Congratulations to Theo Barten and his helpers Lucas Beaujon and Jack Didden for producing yet another gem. There is so much love in these books; the enthusiasm oozes from the pages. Volume three will be well worth waiting for.

Review by Mark Barnes for War History Online

Book cover
Book cover

Restorations volume 2
By Theo Barten
ISBN: 978 90 82834 1 2 3

Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is a longstanding friend of WHO, providing features, photography and reviews. He has contributed to The Times of London and other publications. He is the author of The Liberation of Europe (pub 2016) and If War Should Come due later in 2020.