Robert Abbott’s European SAS Jeep build
The European SAS Jeep appeared when the Allies invaded Europe, It was different from the desert SAS Jeep, being armoured and carrying two self sealing 30 gallon fuel tanks, it was still heavily armed. There are no original British SAS Jeeps surviving, Robert Abbott has recreated an example and this is how he went about it.
I purchased a basic Willys Jeep, 1942 dated, from Dallas Autos in Newbury in the summer of 2014. I had the idea of the SAS version fixed in my mind at that point so was looking for a basic Rolling chassis and a good tub – the rest was incidental bearing in mind my intention to strip it down and replace with the required Armoured jeep additions.
I had also from 2013 onwards been purchasing the various parts from WW2 fabrications, so once I had the Jeep sourced I was able to quickly get on with the modifications to create the look I was after.
Luckily I had the room to do most of the work inside in my garage – which was particularly useful as I started the work proper whilst I was at home for a two week Christmas break from work.
After that it was generally small increments every weekend for the next 12 months. It seemed fairly straightforward although the most trying part was the test fitting and then having to position, drill and bolt the various elements – only to then have to remove them again to finesse the various small parts. It was also a case of trial and error at times as one of the lessons was that something like this was best approached in the same way as a model kit – in a very specific sequence. A good example being the Bustle rack which can only be fixed in place prior to the auxiliary fuel tanks being added and secured.
I wanted my Jeep to be in an “early” and “standard” configuration so researching various photographs of vehicles on Operations was also an interesting element to the conversion. Based on that research it was apparent that no two jeeps looked the same so to a large extent I had free rein to produce what I liked.
The end product is hopefully a good representation of the Vehicles used – although I probably need a lot more mud and a few more “dings” to make it a bit more “battle worn”
This is a very good example of European SAS Jeep and shows what can be created with a bit of imagination and a good part’s suppler.
All pictures and text copyright (Robert Abbott)