Ford C11ADF Staff Car

The United States did not enter World War II until December 8, 1941. However, sub rosa preparations had begun several years earlier, some efforts taking a circuitous route through Canada. As early as 1935, the British had laid the groundwork for a manufacturing base in their North American dominion. Ford of Canada began work on a military truck designed around a set of government specifications. Very quickly General Motors became involved and the result was the Canadian Military Pattern truck, or CMP, built by both companies. Like the early Jeeps developed for the U.S. Army, a common design was used, but each manufacturer supplied its own engines and drive trains. The vehicles were under test by 1939, and by the time the war in Europe heated up in 1940 full-scale production had begun. More than 400,000 were built through 1945.

For personnel transportation and general staff use, converted station wagons were employed, using a variant of the Ford passenger chassis. Two versions, a five-passenger and a seven-passenger, were constructed, using as a base the 1941 Ford V8, Model 11A. As with the CMP trucks, the construction was carried out by Ford of Canada. Bodies were the standard Iron Mountain station wagon type. The seven passenger car was built on a standard wagon chassis and suspension, but with the larger 95 hp Mercury engine. It had Fabrikoid upholstery, a type of artificial leather, and was equipped with blackout curtains, rifle clips, a map container, first aid kit, POW cans, a fire extinguisher and tools. The ignition was shielded for radio interference suppression.

The five-passenger car was a heavy duty version, also with the Mercury engine but using a full-floating rear axle from the one-ton truck line, suspended on longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs. An open drive shaft was used and the final drive ratio was 4.1 to 1. The front axle had heavy duty king pins and hubs. Off-road tires in the 9.00-13 size were fitted on special wheels to the six-lug hubs. The seven-passenger car was designated C11 AS, the five passenger nomenclatured C11 ADF, the “F” signifying right-hand drive. In addition to the British Army, many were supplied to other Commonwealth forces. They were later built in 1942 style, as the C21 ADF.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

95 bhp, 239.4 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia rear end, solid front axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, full-floating live rear axle with longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Ford C11ADF Staff Car