My wife, who is a French oceanographic researcher, was taking a pottery class one summer not far from Sancerre, in France. I took the opportunity to visit the French firm that was making replacement MB/GPW/Hotchkiss sheet metal near there. These pictures are from my second visit in about 1989 to the company. I was trying to work up some sort of deal to produce CJ-2A sheet metal for my friend Louis Larson at Willys Mpls. They gave me the factory tour…
Lots of hand work…
The fellow on the left was the plant forman, and on the right was the PDG who was appointed by the bank I think to keep the company going…
The front fender tooling.. they had a very large press to stamp them out.
Here is the press, and a pile of front fender top blanks.
Bodies waiting to be painted.
They made 80 some MB transmission cross members for the French army… even at this late date of 1989.
A finished body in the back of the plant….
I remember that they had a set of blue prints for MB/GPW body parts. I saw the blue print room, where there was a stack of 50 or more full size sheets on a table. (I think there must have been more). Someday I would like to go back to Sancerre and see if I can find these prints… (the plant is out of business now). I have a friend with a blueprint scanner you see….. Any of you French MVCG types, feel free to contact me about this if you want to pursue it… As I recall, the PDG was Mr. Andre Allard, and the company was located just up the river from Sancerre. I have their catalogue and his business card someplace.
Here is a PDF of the catalog of the time: