DATA PLATES / PLAQUES

As with war-time MB & GPW jeeps, the Hotchkiss M201 had its vehicle data recorded on the glove box door. In the case of the M201 this took the form of a single plate on both the early 6 volt models and later 24 volt models.

The 6 volt M201s were described on the glove box plate as being 'Willys Overland Model MB 6 volt built under licence by Hotchkiss-Dellahaye'. The type of jeep was described as 'M201'. The engine dataplate also referred to Willys Overland and Hotchkiss-Delahaye which was the correct name for the company in 1956.

According to MAT  the data plates did not change until the 24 volt model replaced the 6 volt model in 1960. By this time the company had existed as Hotchkiss-Brandt for several years and this new name appeared on the data plates which, whilst still referring to the Willys licence, described the jeeps as M201 - 24 volts.

M201 jeeps retained their original data plate until they were rebuilt, mostly by ERGM at la Maltournée. In the case of early rebuilds the original single plate was replaced by a set of plates. I suspect that these were the plates that had already been in use for some time at la Maltournée for use with the ITM jeeps as in the case of the example below taken by  Denis Vanhuysse (M201 No. 14051). His jeep was rebuilt at La Maltournée 11/02/1961. Note that the centre plate has a blank space into which the manufacturer was stamped so one plate could be used for rebuilt Willys, Ford, ITM and Hotchkiss jeeps.

At some point after this date the set of four main plates were replaced by a single data plate on rebuilt jeeps which allowed for more specific additional data to be stamped e.g. 'Willys' 'MB' '6 volt' as in the example below. In both the early and later plate systems a small plate was added above and to the left of the main information giving details of the rebuild location, chassis number and date of rebuild. In both examples rebuilding was carried out by ERGM at la Maltournée.

Not all MB, GPW, ITM & M201 jeeps were rebuilt at La Maltournée and not all jeeps were owned by the army as the data plates on the glovebox of the M201 below illustrates. 6 volt M201 no. 4242 was first issued to the Armée de l'Air in November 1957 and was rebuilt, still in 6 volt form, in December 1969.

Many Armée de l'Air jeeps were rebuilt by E.R.G.M. at La Maltournée but this one was not. It was rebuilt in the Airforce workshops of Base aérienne 204 de Mérignac-Beauséjour shown by the code at the top of the dataplate. ARAA - l'Atelier de révision de l'Armée de l'air (Airforce overhaul workshops) 623 - code for the workshop location: la Base aérienne 204 de Mérignac-Beauséjour .  I guess that the figure 2164 is the serial number i.e. 2164th rebuilt there.

It is worth noting that the air force workshops appear to have referred to all jeeps generically as 'Willys' and 'MB' even though No. 04242 was definitely a Hotchkiss M201 owned by Philippe Saguez in France. The second example refers to the type as 'MB 201'.

 


The vast majority of French army jeeps were rebuilt by ERGM (
Etablissement de Réserve Générale du Matériel Automobile), mainly at La Maltournée, with its factory production line facilities but a significant number were rebuilt by the ERGM workshops at Clermont Ferrand. Jeeps were also rebuilt at other locations and not always in France, some were even rebuilt in Germany. The rebuild plates below are from an ITM jeep rebuilt by M.A.M. (Magasin Atelier du Matériel) at Angouleme and an M201 rebuilt by M.A.M at Castres.
 

 
     
The one on the right above appears to be an ERGM plate from which the ERGM has been removed by abrasive. It was photographed by JLM who also mentioned that the MAM workshops were attached to régiment 8e RPIMA in Castres. Opposite is an example of a German rebuild plate sent in by René  Rovai. Can anyone help with the precise wording for the acronym BRM?  

     

 

These examples are from Tunisian Army M201s which were certainly ex-French Army jeeps. The EGM or ERGM workshop at Kassar-Said (Tunis) would almost certainly also have been established by the French Army.


 
  The original engine block data plates were also replaced when the units were rebuilt at La Maltournée or other army workshops. This also recorded additional information about the rebuild i.e. rebore / regrind information for the cylinders and crankshaft.

On some rebuilt engine blocks a second smaller plate can be found above the main plate. It states: MOTOR EQUIPE AVEC SEGMENT RACLEUR "DOUBLEX". This refers to the fact that the pistons were fitted with a later improved type of oil control ring. From this one must assume that they were not therefore interchangeable with the original type as the pistons were also of a modified type to accept them. Photo: Rens de Koning (M201 No. 18517) in the Netherlands.

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