Neil Huband explores the remarkable story of a war hero’s 109-year-old staff car
It would be only natural to assume that one of the most important World War One French Army military vehicles still in existence would be found in the grand surroundings of a national museum somewhere in ‘La Belle France’. After all, the vehicle’s owner was one of the nation’s best-known war heroes. But you’d be wrong! What is thought to be one of the oldest staff cars still on the roads today, a 1913 Berliet AM3, is often to be seen purring along the leafy lanes through the countryside of Surrey and Sussex! This magnificent vehicle, Berliet staff car number 25087, resplendent with its shining brass accessories, sumptuous leather upholstery and its distinctive World War One-era French ‘army beige’ paintwork, is the pride and joy of owner John Bishop. And John believes that such beautiful and historic vehicles should be driven and enjoyed to the full, not just shut away in a museum to gather dust!
A front view of the Berliet