Blame Kelly

John Carroll reminisces about half a century’s interest in military machines

‘The Willys Jeep is one of the most capable off-roaders ever built’

Where did your enthusiasm for military vehicles start? I’ll bet you can remember, and I know I can. As I tell anyone who will listen, it all started for me in 1970, when my mum and dad took me to see Kelly’s Heroes in a Wallasey cinema. I may have already made a few Airfix models but the opening sequence of the Willys Jeep in the rain hooked me. I’m not exaggerating to say that, with hindsight, I now realise what a pivotal moment on life’s path seeing that film was. It would take a few years before I’d get my name on the V5 of a Jeep though. Around 1989, I got my first full-time magazine job that came with a company car. This meant I could sell the Series III Land Rover that was my daily driver.

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