Following our exciting time at Greentrack Events in Bournemouth, Peter kindly took time answering some of our questions on how Greentrack Events came about. Keep reading to find out more!
Q. How was Greentrack Events born?
As a result of chasing rainbows in other commercial directions, when reality came home and I had to put something together that was real and could appeal to the general public.
Q. How did your passion for military vehicles begin?
Back in the sixties, I spent three years with the Guards Brigade, where, in the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, after public duties, we were posted to Germany where for the first time we were issued with Humber APC’s. We used these for quite a long time before the Saracen APC superseded them. After leaving the Guards, one is always hankering to repeat the experience and one of the ways is to buy a reminder of those days, namely something of which you had first-hand knowledge of. I’m my case I was offered a Humber APC, which was not being used, by a local multi-millionaire who is married to Lord Montague’s niece. I then bought an Austin K9 3 3/4 tonne ex Royal Signals radio truck, closely followed by an Austin Champ jeep, now fitted with a Ben gun. This was followed by the Land Rover 101 ex-artillery tractor. Lastly, I acquired a long wheelbase Land Rover in reconnaissance trim.
Q. What would you say is the best thing about driving these military vehicles?
The best thing about driving these older ex-military vehicles is the nostalgia. The bigger military vehicles are really impracticable to own and let out for public driving, as they are inordinately expensive things to keep going and need a lot of backup. Our vehicles are unique and appeal to those people – sometimes with a military past – and generally because they look like ‘big boys toys !’ On top of that is the reasonable cost involved.
Q. Can you tell us a little more about the vehicles you have?
The Humber 1 tonne armoured is a 1954 troop carrier. Weight 5 1/4 tonnes, Rolls Royce 6 cylinder engine. 2 and 4 wheel drive. Designed to take a section of infantry, safely, to a position where they can de-bus and attack the enemy, then retreat. Ours was fitted out later as a Mk2 that went to Northern Ireland, which were up-armoured to stop more modern weapon penetration. They do about 6/8 mpg off road.
The Land Rover 101 forward Control, 1974, an ex-artillery tractor bought from Scotland about 8 years ago. Very able off-road performance and will do 70 mph on a good day! Used to tow a 105mm pack gun with a tonne of ammunition and a crew of 6. Powered by a 3.5 LTR Rover V8 petrol engine, it is a permanent 4-wheel drive vehicle. Not the least trace of power assistance anywhere on the vehicle!
The Austin Champ, 1955 Jeep was in service immediately before the Army bought Land Rovers. It’s a chunky looking vehicle with a R.R 2.9 litre engine. It is a soft top with canvas sides, when fitted, or completely open. Seats 4/5, they were not as reliable as the Land Rover as a lot of people thought that they were over engineered. Great to drive and will go as quickly in reverse as forward!
Austin K9 1954 Radio truck. Ex Royal Signal, weighs 3 3/4 tonnes with a radio shack on the rear, behind the 2 seater cab. Excellent off road performance, 4-litre petrol engine, high driving position and has a ‘crash gearbox. Good looking as well!
Land Rover Long Wheelbase. 1974, kitted out as a reconnaissance vehicle, seats 7 max. Usual Land Rover performance, excellent off road. Great fun to drive.
Q. If you could say one thing to every customer what would it be?
Be prepared to leave us with a large smile on your face!
Q. Do you have any plans for expansion in the future?
I feel that we have enough choice of vehicles at the moment to really please and give prospective clients a super time with us.
Q. Is there anything you would like to add/mention that has not been covered?
Besides the one-off drives, we love to have groups of up to 10 people where we can arrange something different for them, ie. a longer drive with BBQ lunch, an orienteering experience with some ‘sniper’ shooting and a bottle of ‘bubbly’.
We would like to thank Peter for taking the time to answer some of our curious questions and hope you enjoyed finding out a little more about Greentrack Events in Dorset.