Buckfastleigh - A Small Military Vehicle Rally

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Every year, my wife and I spend the month of July in Plymouth with groups of Spanish students who are attending English courses. Needless to say, i'm always looking for additional excuses to escape on my own for a few hours - if it involves something painted OD, then so much the better. In that respect, Plymouth is pretty well situated with a pretty impressive private military vehicle collection (at Cobbaton, North Devon), and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton within striking distance. However, my first recreational escape is always to the rally of the Military Vehicle Trust's Devon Branch at Buckfastleigh...

The show

It isn't as big as the War and Peace Show at Beltring (probably the premier show on the 'calendar') but it's certainly accesible. On average, around 100+ vehicles attend - some under their own steam, others on trailers and one or two on low-loaders. The location of the rally is also ideal, situated as it is on land beside the South Devon Railway which is a preserved and privately owned railway which runs its own steam trains during the summer months.

The Vehicles: Every year sees a different group of visiting vehicles. Typically enough, the predominant vehicles are British softskins with a number of Jeeps and quite a large number of Land Rovers. However, this year, there were quite a number of U.S. vehicles as well. At least two 'Jimmies' (GMC 2.5 tonners), several Dodge 3/4 tonners, and (the subject of a recent photo-feature) an M9 (International Harvester) Half-track done as an M3. Motorbikes are represented also - every year sees the amazing Moto-Guzzi 'trike' present along with a variety of BSAs etc.

The Photos: As usual, I try to take as many representative pics as possible. The M9, one of the Dodges, an unusual one in the shape of an M38 jeep, a Willys in Airborne configuration, the diminuitive Austin 'Tilly' and and Austin K2 'Katie' Ambulance all captured my attention. I've also included some 'general' pics' to try and give a 'taste' of the rally.

Getting there

The show is held on the outskirts of the small village of Buckfastleigh. It's almost exactly equidistant between Plymouth and Exeter just off the A38 - see map!

Military Vehicle Trust Website - a great source of images of preserved vehicles along with dates of the MVT's Rallies and events during the year.

Devon Branch of the MVT - the organizers of the Buckfastleigh Show.

M9 HalfTrack Walkround
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About the Author

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...