During recent conversations with a major international customer regarding WWII military vehicles, the suggestion was made that we should present the story of M.V. Spares from beginning to current times.
While we have always preferred simply manufacturing and marketing of WWII Jeep parts, we agreed that the story of how M.V. Spares came to be might interest the current generation of WWII military vehicle enthusiasts.
The beginnings of what was to become M.V. Spares started as a hobby around 1970, when I began restoring my first Jeep. The restoration was basically a diversion or side interest from the day-to-day running of the engineering company I had started in 1965.
As the restoration progressed, some parts were becoming difficult to find, so my engineering business, which worked with major automotive manufacturers producing special purpose machinery, also became a de-facto small scale Jeep parts manufacturer. The parts made enabled me to complete my first restoration.
Our first international dealer was a friend and restorer in the UK and M.V. Spares, born from a hobby, began to grow almost of its own volition.
As the manufacturing of the parts grew, along with our reputation of quality, a number of international dealers requested access to the parts to sell to their customers. We even helped some young hopefuls to set up their dealerships.
As we continued manufacturing new parts for the WWII Jeep our brand grew into a well known and trusted quality manufacturer using the technologies and expertise gained while working with automotive manufacturers such as the Borg Warner Corporation, Ford, GM and others.
I must admit, we have never wanted to make every part for a WWII Jeep as such a goal is, in my humble opinion, a fool’s errand. We believe it is best to concentrate on specific parts that we can engineer to the highest standard and design tooling that will continue to accurately reproduce those parts for many years.
From a modest beginning, we have enjoyed a reputation for restoring WWII Jeeps and Harley Davidson Motorcycles for over 50 years, while continuing to manufacture parts for these vehicles.
We have restored WWII Jeeps and Motorcyles for individuals and museums worldwide.
When you have been in business for 50 years, you see major changes, sometimes exciting and appreciated, other times less so. The world has certainly changed over the last five decades. Social media now plays a significant positive role in sharing restoration experiences while sometimes doing exactly the opposite with the expectation of instant satisfaction. One thing restoration projects are not is instantly satisfying!
Following are some photos of our prior restoration facilities and even photo of our old friend, Yasuo Ohtsuka in one the Jeeps we restored for him. Yasuo designed the M.V. Spares logo for us many years ago.
As you can see from the photos, we manufactured our own panels when needed. At the time there were no other panel or body manufacturers available on a commercial basis, unlike today, however the quality and accuracy of current productions is often left wanting.
As our engineering business had extensive design capabilities we did, and still do, produce full design drawings of parts that needed to be manufactured. We also produced body panel drawings.
As we no longer manufacture panels we have made a decision which we hope will benefit the restoration of WWII Jeeps worldwide. We recently upgraded the rear panel drawings to the latest version of full 3D CAD and have decided to release these drawings for free. They can be downloaded from the M.V. Spares web site.
This downloadable file can be provided to any sheet metal shop with laser cutting or other computer-controlled facilities and in a matter of moments they can program their computer driven machine to cut out every component of the rear panel.
The drawings will also be available as a full set of 2D drawings for those who are a little old fashioned and like hard copies.
The downloads will be available by mid-July, 2020.
Manufacturing your own composite rear panel is not all that difficult and many businesses that do laser cutting can do the folding for you for a nominal charge.
The vertical straps shown below are the only part requiring detailed fabrication. If you are restoring your own body you could salvage the vertical straps or, as an easy alternative, Midwest Military, our USA master dealer, have these available.
You can purchase them by clicking here: Rear Body Panel, Short
So, if you’re an individual – make your own rear panel. If you are a club – get your members together and make them for your club. If you are a dealer – then please feel free to use these drawings to make any quantity you require.
Maybe one day we will upgrade more drawings and release them for the hobbyist’s benefit.
We hope you enjoy our pictorial romp through history. It’s been a long journey which we have enjoyed. We will continue to release new high quality accurate parts needed for your restorations and hope you will continue to support us which we greatly appreciate.
We are currently completing three museum quality restorations – a Slat-Grille MB, a ’44 MB and a ’45 MB. We will do some Facebook postings on these vehicles at a later date.
Happy and safe restoring,