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1939 Opel Blitz restoration project


Björn
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A few years ago, I came across a 1,5 ton 1939 model Opel Blitz, that was standing in a garage in my home town.
I was, trough work, hired to try to repair the roof of the garage, wich was taking in water when it was raining. I immediantly recognized the truck, and realized that this was a Wehrmacht vehicle.
So I asked the old lady that owned the garage about the Blitz, and if I could buy it from her. She told me that it belonged to her brother, but she would give him a call and ask him about it. Her brother had moved out of town about 10 years ago, and the Blitz was just standing there taking up space -and she wanted to get it out of the way.
The brother had bought it himself in 1996 thinking that he would restore it, but he never got around to start the restoration, and a few years later he moved out of town with his family.

Long story short, he called me back and told me that he would let it go, if I gave him 2000 Euros for it.

I transferred the money to him a couple of days later.

The blitz was in rather poor condition, but the engine was running and it could move under it's own power. The wooden structure of the cabin was completely rotten, and it had started to fall apart. The hinges on the drivers door had already fallen off. 

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Notice the yellow wehrmacht paintundernieth the green paint in the rear door opening

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And the Grey WH paint under the green

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More yellow WH paint under on the side of the firewall

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Edited by Björn
Edited out spelling errors.
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WOW......That is an original beauty, may cost a fair price to re-store....but you have a Helluva lovely truck there.....Superb.....Well Done in buying it quick, It will look fantastic when finished.......I, Congratulate You!

Best Wishes and Thanks for showing us on MCN......Ian

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Thanks, Ian. you're quite right.
And it was.
I soon realized, that reconstructing the wooden frame, was a job that I would not be able to do alone. There was not even one single straight angle, and all the outer shapes was curved.
So as a true Viking, I hired a professional boat builder to help me reconstruct the wooden structure..
First the cabin had to be taken carefully apart and all the original remaining wood structures used as blueprints to reconstruct new profiles.

 

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I was there every day, to help and to try to keep the cost down, as the boat builder did his work.
He's a professional man, and I could not belive how fast he was reproducing the cabin profiles. The whole cabin skeleton is now being made in Teak wood. Rather expensive material, but abesolutely worth every penny of it. It was what he had in stock, and way better than the original ash wood. This time it will never rot :)

 

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The original wooden frame around the seats and the petrol tank was in such a good condition, that they could be re- used.

 

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This is the boatbuilder, Ola.

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The only original wooden structure that was found fit to be reused, was the beam above the front windshield. But even this, had to be saved by cutting off a rotted part, and a new piece glued and merged to the original beam.

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Edited by Björn
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But still lots of work to be done.
I bought wehrmacht tires from the Czech republic. I got the wheelrims cleaned in acid.

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The frame has been cleaned and repainted, the brakes and brakelines have been taken apart and overhauled. 

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Thanks Ian :)

 

This is what I am planning to acieve when the restoration job is done:

 

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There are lots of special parts to collect. Some I have found, and some I'm still searching for.

Like the original FFA Suchscheinwerfer - Searchlight.suchscheinwerfer_zps936be5d9.thumb.jpg.4d5ffaee9e84e2042ee4a974e3098864.jpg

 

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This is a very hard to find item today. But lucky me, I did manage to locate and buy one.

 

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I am currently searching for the bracket or the holder for the searchlight.

 

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And I have found a very nice Anhänger Dreieck, the triangular foldable light for warning of a following trailer behind the truck

 

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And I have found one toolbox or snowchain drawer

 

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And I have bought a very nice set, new old stock 6 volt Winker or direction lights

 

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I also found a good original shovelholder

 

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And a original new Wehrmacht-stock rear wiew mirror

 

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When I started to scrape at the post war green color, i found original wehrmacht yellow paint undernieth.
For a moment, I had a hope that I could be able to uncover the original paint all over, but this could not be done.

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Looking forward to the end result.

If the previous headlights were wrong, does that mean they were not German or just the wrong type of German?

Rich

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Thanks for the nice comments guys. I'm glad you like it.
Special thanks to @val for the PDF file, Waffen Arsenal Opel im Krieg. Very nice file, where I also find reference to the other one that I have, the Opel Olympia.

I think that there should be a 12V Bosch socket in the dashboard, but a couple of post war knobs and buttons has replaced it. Another original part to search for.

The previous headlights were post war ones, althou german Bosch lights, not correct for this truck.

 

Original Wehrmacht towing hooks, made for Opel Blitz:

 

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Sandblasted and primed:

 

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Towing hooks and the new headlights mounted. The cab and hood has been sanded and has recived a layer of primer too.

 

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Anyway, before I got this far, I had to change the clutch disk as it was worn out. Actually in stock along with brake parts and such in Germany, at Matz Autoteile.
I dont have pictures of the operation, but quite a complicated job, as you have to dismantle the flywhheel from the "Kurbelwelle" or the Cranckshaft to be able to dismantle the gearbox from the engine.

 

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And I had also put the Blitz to work, as I needed to move some masses for making a fundation to my wife's new Grill Cabin or Lapland house.

Me loading sand onto the Blitz:

 

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And my wife, unloading sand from the Blitz. (She was 5 month pregnant at the time)

 

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And this is me, having a cold one, right after i put up the Lapland house.

 

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This is pretty much how the blitz is looking today.
It needs to be painted in the correct color, windows needs to be installed and the flatbed needs to be rebuilt.

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1 minute ago, Björn said:

This is pretty much how the blitz is looking today.
It needs to be painted in the correct color, windows needs to be installed and the flatbed needs to be rebuilt.

Don't forget the official afterburner :)

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2 minutes ago, Richard Auld said:

Looks like a nice place to live, plenty of space, not confined like in a town!

Rich

Thanks Rich.

Its a very nice place to live indeed. Space is what we need :)

And living in a town is not right for us. We like it in the countryside. And besides this is the area where I grew up :)

 

Haha @val. I don't think that I will be trying to recreate that one, unless I want to start a forest fire or something.

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Looking a superb truck Bjorn,

Bloody jet-propelled???.You are making a brilliant job of re-building it,  can't wait to see it in original color and ready to Rock!!

Best to you....Ian

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