Rootes Archive Centre - Rootes at War.

Catalogue of Fighting and Support Vehicles built by Rootes.

What is the Catalogue?

The Rootes Archive Centre contains information about the models of car and commercial vehicles produced by Rootes and their associated companies. This page supplements the main catalogue of civilian vehicles by listing those produced specially for the armed forces. For more information about Rootes commercial vehicles see the main catalogue and http://www.fleetdata.co.uk/rootes.html.

We note that William and Reginald Rootes both received knighthoods for their efforts during the second World War, so this is an important part of the story.

I was prompted to attempt to produce this list by an enquiry from Martin O'Neill who had bought a Humber 1 ton cargo truck otherwise known as an FV1601. FV stands for "Fighting Vehicle". Other recent enquiries have come from Dennis Stevenson, Stephen Flitcroft, Paul White and Graham Barron (Humber "Box").

Humber works

I have a lot more information about Rootes' war time activities. If you are interested in knowing more or contributing to the knowledge base, please contact:

Bob Allan,
Shadewood Farm,
283 Chester Road,
Grappenhall,
Warrington WA4 2QE, UK
Tel: 01925 267084
e-Mail: boballan@rootesarchivecentre.org.uk

Many of the Humber, Commer and Karrier vehicles were supplied as chassis with cab and bespoke bodies were produced by Thrupp and Maberley. These were destined to be ambulances, platforms, pickup or covered trucks, road sweepers, mobile laboratories, etc.

There is good documentation for many of these vehicles as there are thriving groups researching and restoring old military vehicles. Some are mentioned below. A general explanation of British Army vehicle registration numbers is at VRNARMY.DOC.

Aircraft manufacture and other component supply is listed below under Rootes Securities Ltd. This part of the Rootes history and concerns the "shadow factories" that were loaned to major manufacturers from the government for the wartime effort 1939-45.

1 ton Humber CT FV1601

Other Sources of Information

We are working with the following organisations to obtain more information about the Rootes watime story. Coventry Museum: MVT: Military Vehicle Trust RAF Museum: Some war time production figues are available on an Australian Web site http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/production_rootes.htm.