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ZC1 - Radio Truck - Original Body

ZC1 HF Radio
ZC1 Mk-1
ZC1 Mk-2
General Motors Canada
Assembled by
General Motors NZ
Radio Bodies Made By
NZ Railway Workshops
Internal views
Replica body
Original body
Original truck


This ZC1 Radio Body may be the last original one still surviving.

  Photographed at the "Armistice in Cambridge 2010" display by club member Brent Bevan, the vehicle belongs to Ross Hopkins.  Based in the Hamilton area Ross is a major collector of military vehicles.  
  Ross advises that he purchased the radio cab in 1980 from a farmer who had removed it years earlier from a truck he had purchased for use on his farm.  After being removed from the truck the radio cab had seen service as a play house for the farmers children then when they had finished with it as a storage shed.

When recovered to Ross's premises the cab was in urgent need of restoration.  Ross employed a local "Chippy" to go over the cab and replace all damaged and rotting wood.  This radio cab had  been upgraded at some point by the army as it had a steel roof over the wooden planking and also a line of metal ventilator louvers just below the roof line.

As the original truck  was still being used by the farmer  Ross had to find a replacement and eventually found a suitable general purpose bodied one.  The GP tray was removed and replaced by the renovated radio cab resulting in the vehicle shown in the photographs on this page.

As can be seen by comparison with the photo below Ross's vehicle lacks the spare wheel carrier mounted on the front bumper.  Ross's vehicle is also fitted with a towing pintle showing it's GP heritage, Radio Trucks were not fitted with these useful items.




A view of the Drivers side of Ross's Radio Truck

  As far as can be ascertained less than twenty of these radio trucks were built.  Based on the Canadian manufactured Chevrolet C8AX cab and chassis units purchased by NZ in CKD form, these trucks were assembled by General Motors in their assembly plant at Petone near Wellington.   Purpose built "Radio Cabins"  were constructed in the nearby Railway Workshops and fitted to the trucks.  It is believed that the last of them were sold out of the Army around 1967.  GT Gillies Ltd a vehicle disposals specialist had four or five low mileage ones on display in their Seaview yard in mid 1967.  

top                                                                                         December 2010