IN SIGHT - Henri Ponsteen
In our In Sight section, army equipment enthusiasts talk about their military projects and vehicles. What are the most beautiful cars they have driven? Where does their passion for military equipment come from? And which items do they currently own? Today Henri Ponsteen (59), member of Keep them Rolling, takes us along in his most beautiful projects!
Where does your passion for military equipment come from?
“I find the history behind the vehicles very interesting. Where have these vehicles been during the war? How have they been used? Have there been any modifications? In addition, I like to be able to go to all kinds of events related to this: memorial events where cool vehicles are used, fanclub events or a nice weekend with friends. I also like to share my passion with others, for example by providing information at schools in the area or by sometimes granting a (private) request. Depicting living history is also a lot of fun to do. It is mainly a hobby that you can pursue and share with others, such as in a club with people with the same "green" hobby. "
What military vehicles do you currently own?
“I own a White Scout Car M3A1 from 1943 with an M10 ammunition trailer. The restoration of this vehicle is my most special project to date. I’m not really a craftsman, so I get a lot of (professional) help with this! The lovers know this machine; an American armored car that was used before and during the Second World War. This car has armor over 6.4 mm thickness, it has all-wheel drive and can carry about eight people. I bought it from a private person in Waalwijk (The Netherlands) Furthermore, I have a Dodge WC56 and I also have a Willys jeep with a Bantam trailer.”
What kind of equipment have you been searching for in this project?
“There are still many (repro) parts for the Willys. The Scout Car is a bit more difficult. It was fairly complete when I bought it. The car has been completely disassembled and restored in 2019. I searched for accessories and spare parts via various websites: I now also use ARMYSHARK as well as G503, Milweb and Generaaltjes, but also Facebook pages and usually all kind of fairs.”
Which vehicles have you owned in the past?
“I started with post-war vehicles that I encountered in my service: a Nekaf Jeep, Daf 126, Daf 314, Moto Guzzi V50 and a field kitchen on a trailer. Later I also bought some World War II vehicles. At some point you realize that you have to decide what you want to continue with. So I have focused mainly on WWII vehicles. After that switch I ended up with many beautiful vehicles: Dodge WC51, Dodge WC56, Dodge WC62 and a Harley Davidson WLA.”
What trends do you think are currently playing in the field of military gear / equipment and its refurbishment?
“Phew, that's a tough question. It is very different: one person turns a rusted junker into something beautiful, while someone else sees nothing in it. However, the internet has made it easier to contact other enthusiasts, for example with questions about repairs and/or when you are looking for parts. ”
Which army vehicle would you really like to own?
“The Dragon Wagon (an M26 Tank transporter) with a 40 ton M15 trailer! It was built by the Pacific Car and Foundry Company (Paccar). It's a really gigantic thing with beveled corners. Magnificent!"
Are you also working on a cool project and do you want to share it with the ARMYSHARK community? Please contact our editorial staff via firstname.lastname@example.org.