Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

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Gordon_M
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Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by Gordon_M »

That question isn't quite as silly as it sounds.

I have a Ben Hur style trailer here, and from the drilling in the bed floor I can see that it has been a Signal Corps generator trailer - the sort that came behind the Chevrolet 1.5 ton signals truck and usually had the spare wheel underneath.

Mine doesn't have a manufacturers plate on it, so I was wondering which one of the seven or so manufacturers that made these trailers made the Signal Corps ones.

Ben Hur ( obviously ) Checker, Century, Gerstenlager, or one of the others?

If it was Ben Hur or Checker I might buy a repro serial plate for it.

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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

Gordon, there were some 26 manufacturers of the 1-ton. Without the data plate it is almost impossible to determine which one made yours. The major manufacturers provided major parts to the smaller ones leading to the confusion. Many of the manufacturers made only wooden trailers which would reduce the options. I take it yours is a metal one?
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by Robbo »

I seem to recall from somewhere that if you have the original USA number you may be able to ID the maker - any sign of that number remaining?
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

Robbo, you are correct. I have a listing of the numbers assigned to the manufacturers. Gordon, if the number is still visible, let us know.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by Gordon_M »

Number is long gone chaps, and don't see any stamping of serials or whatever. It is a steel body, which would make sense if you are running an engine in it.

Other forums have provided;

Nash, Queen City, and Checker, with Checker being mentioned repeatedly, so I'll probably go for a Checker plate...

Were the generator trailers numbered differently to the ordianry cargo ones? Could you post the range of Checker serials please?
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

Gordon, Checker Cab had several contracts for cargo trailers as well as water trailers. The USA numbers for cargo trailers are as follows

0123362 - 0128361

0128862 - 0129361

0295583 - 0310358

0361124 - 0377047

0613765 - 0615527

This information was provided me several years ago by Lloyd White.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by Gordon_M »

Thanks.

I found all this info on the CCKW.ORG site too.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

Yes, I provided a lot of the information I had including plans for the cargo racks and spare tire carriers.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by rgus »

Your data was a life saver for me. I lucked on a nice Ben Hur at a price I couldn't pass up and I didn't know squat about the one ton trailers. Thanks to your information I was able to determin what I had and buy it. I sent the plans to my local mill and had a complete set of racks made. The origional were on the trailer so I had the metal but the wood was in such bad condition I couldn't use it for acurate measutments.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

Thank you RGUS. I appreciate that you found them useful. The plans were drawn up by Roy Hamilton, a good friend who gave permission for them to be published.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by rgus »

Is that the Roy Hamilton that lives in California, been doing select restorations forever, That bought surplus parts in the 60's and 70's for scrap value and had the smarts to know what they would be worth down the road? If it is I spent 2 years begging a NOS set of top bows from him for my WC-56. How the hell is he?
42 CCKW 129,XXX, 43 GPW 146954, 43 WC-54 81635383, 45 WC-52 818682 "MO', 43 WC-63 82009972 "BIG MO",43 M3A1 Scout Car, 44 GTBA NAVY CARGO 218299, 43 PE-95, 44 Checker K-52 Trailer, 42 MBT-T 375, 45 K-38 Lineman's Trailer
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by GTBGUY »

That's him! He no longer lives in California but is located near Sparks, Nevada. He is currently selling some of his parts stash on eBay.
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by RANGER »

I too bought tons of NOS WWII parts at low prices when they were plentiful. Doing so is considered by many as an investment and has allowed a hobby to pay its own way and also have parts to sell to those that are too young to have done the same. :thumbup:
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1943 WC63 82009972 "BIG MO"
1944 CHECKER 1 TON TRAILER
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by rgus »

I thank God for you guys that had the smarts and the cash to save all those NOS parts from the scrap yard. I cannot begin to wonder what we would do now If you guys wern't around then.
42 CCKW 129,XXX, 43 GPW 146954, 43 WC-54 81635383, 45 WC-52 818682 "MO', 43 WC-63 82009972 "BIG MO",43 M3A1 Scout Car, 44 GTBA NAVY CARGO 218299, 43 PE-95, 44 Checker K-52 Trailer, 42 MBT-T 375, 45 K-38 Lineman's Trailer
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Re: Signal Corps Ben Hur - who made them?

Post by Ken J »

Gordon:

I swear I found a series of numbers stamped into the top or outside of the passenger-side tongue frame on mine, nearer the body than the front. I remember this from last year as I had already gotten a new serial number issued from the state Motor Vehicles Department and wondered how intricate the incantations and rites would be to change the registered number??

I have just perused my pictures from the preservation paint job I did in summer 2009 and for some inexplicable reason (literally!) I did not take a picture of the "serial" number. My trailer's data plate had been cut out before I found it, so I have no other info.

My trailer lives about 30 miles away in storage, so if you like I can take a picture at some later date and email it to you.

-Ken J