My first M201, No. 02743 (1957)

Hotchkiss chassis No.   3472   (built in 1957)
Official army chassis No.   02743   (first issued in 1957)
Original registration No.   026 687   (when first issued)
La Maltournée MALT No.   5068   (rebuilt by E.R.G.M)
Final registration No.   605 1883   (after rebuild in 1970)


The jeep was imported into the UK by R&R Services in Kent and the photos below show it as it was when purchased by the first UK owner, Alan Norman, in the late 80s. It had parts like the regulator missing and had been given a quick coat of paint but fortunately RR decided not to spray over the rear bumperette marking. Alan bought it, restored it, keeping it French, used it for a few years, sold it to Bob Thomson who I bought it from 6 months later.

During the few years that I owned it I began to learn a bit more about Hotchkiss jeeps and French army markings and met a few other Hotchkiss owners with French marked jeeps. There weren't many of us at that time, perhaps the most notable were Pat Ware and Paul Walheim. They always impressed me with the authentic bits an bobs they were picking up in France for their 8th Division marked M201s.  As mine was in bad need of a makeover by then I decided that it needed upgrading. As well as repainting it I also added a 'decontaminator' and GRC - 9 radio equipment. The decontaminator was not a real one, I made it from an old plastic dry powder extinguisher cut down to fit the bracket. It pretty much resembles the Mk 1 model used by the French army. The photos below show the jeep after my efforts but the markings weren't complete at that stage as I wasn't sure whether flaming grenade or white circles would be correct for the era. An understanding of French jeep  markings and Hotchkiss chassis numbers on the jeep came later as a result of starting this website and making contact with French enthusiasts.

  The NATO tactical markings on the bumper  CEA/159 (Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui - 159 ème régiment d'infanterie), 27/DA (27 ème Division Alpine) indicated that it had served with the Recon & Support Company of the 159th Infantry Regiment as part of the 27th Alpine Division and would have been based at Briançon in the French Alps.

The registration number (Nº. d'immatriculation), 605 1883, showed that it had been rebuilt in 1970 and therefore white circles with a black zero were in order as the contemporary marking for the sides. The jeep still had the bar grip tyres fitted by Alan and I knew that these would also have to go as soon as they were worn out (a process which would take several more years)

In the years that followed I added a genuine Mk2 decontaminator, fitted the correct Kleber radial tyres, removable magnetic UK number plates and the final photos below were taken earlier this year (2005) at the MVT National Show at Kemble. The 106SR beside it is my new pride and joy, jeep number 3 but that is a story for another page, coming soon!