Road trips in Europe in our own original 1942 Ford GPW Jeep and in our own classic Mini, a 1974 Mini Authi.
Our own Ford GPW Jeep was produced by the Ford Motor Company in april 1942. When the Allied forces invaded Europe in June 1944 to liberate Nazi-Germany occupied Europe, they used vehicles, such as Jeeps. Our own Jeep was one of them. After landing at Juno Beach just a few weeks after D-Day in 1944, the jeep was used during the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Jeep ended his military journey at Ypenburg Airport in the Netherlands. The Jeep was used for a long time at a Dutch farm. We purchased the Ford Jeep long after WWII. The Jeep was a rusty wreck and many parts were missing. It took a lot of time, patience, persistence and money to restore the Jeep to its former glory. The Jeep is painted in Royal Air Force blue. We don't use this Jeep for reenacting, only for memorial tours, commemoration and celebration ceremonies, such as the celebration of the end of WWII. In our own Jeep, we made several road trips through Europe, our three children on the back seat, and many one day road trips through the Netherlands, we also attended a number of D-Day anniversary ceremonies in Normandy. We restored the Ford GPW Jeep as a tribute to and in memory of the veterans of WWII.
Our own Mini Authi was produced in 1974 in the plant of the British Leyland Motor Corporation in Spain, the Authi Works in Pamplona (Authi: Automoviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses). The Mini Authi had a Spanish owner until 1994. The Valencia tax sticker was on the windscreen until 2018, during our road trip through Portugal, this original 1974 windscreen was hit by a stone and had to be replaced. The Mini Authi was imported from Spain into the Netherlands in November 1994. We purchased this iconic classic Mini in 2009. We completely stripped down the Mini and did a full restoration. The restoration took five years. The Mini Authi is painted lavender blue, an official British Leyland paint colour. Our first major road trip in the Mini was from the Netherlands to Lithuania. Before we purchased the Mini Authi, we made a road trip to England in the Mini Monza of our eldest son. Several months later, this classic Mini Monza was declared a total loss after an irresponsible driver, who ignored a red traffic light, crashed into the Mini. Our son is now the happy owner of another classic Mini.