Readers write: It’s not just a Blitz!
Writing can be a lonely job. Sure, we see tens of thousands of views every day, but only a fraction of those anonymous readers become real to us. Such as this gentleman:
Dear Sirs, I am forwarding this E-mail to voice my discontent over Mr Pepper’s review of the above Event. During his comments on the Event he expressed his displeasure at the lack of 4WD Vehicles on display. He finished his comments about this state of events by exclaiming that the 4WD fraternity were represented by “just a Blitz.” As the proud owner of that particular vehicle, which I may add, served with the New Zealand Armed Forces in the Solomon Islands during WWII, I take umbrage at this throw away reference to a vehicle that helped the Allies win the War. Sir, Blitzes were never JUST Blitzes but possibly one of the greatest trucks ever produced by Canada. Hopefully in future your Mr Pepper will grant vehicles of the particular gender the respect they truly deserve.
Respectfully yours Len Schutt
Robert Pepper replies:
Thank you for forwarding your E-Mail, which was a pleasant surprise as we are unaccustomed to receiving correspondence from classic car owners by the modern electronic means. Nevertheless, we do appreciate any and all comment from readers, whether it be euphoric praise or discontent.
However, I rather fear you have misunderstood my meaning. When I wrote in the review:
It’s all nicely well laid out too, with muscle cars in one area, vintage in another and so on. There is however a distinct lack of 4X4s…not happy about that! Just a Blitz.
I meant that there was a single 4X4, or in others words, just the one. I certainly did not mean that the Blitz was in any way inadequate as a 4X4 or as a vehicle, or undeserving of its place in history, or unfit for inclusion in the display. I don’t know if you noticed, but I included a photo of the Blitz in the montage accompanying the article – that in itself was some praise as only a limited number of vehicles could be so featured.
To some extent the decision of the organisers not to include 4WDs is understandable as there are many 4WD related shows and expos. Nevertheless, 4WDs are an important part of Australia’s automotive history so I think there is a case for including specific classics to illustrate the point. Whilst I’m being critical (I am a journalist, after all) I might mention the test track wasn’t much of a test and barely used except for the inestimable Tomcar team. A point for the next year’s venture, one suggests.
When reading your missive a second time I gained the distinct impression you are something of an admirer of the Blitz, and know from experience such passion for a vehicle often clouds one’s judgement over a vehicle’s proper place in the automotive world.
I note that while the Blitz may have helped win the Second World War that claim could be made of any equipment used in the War, from a can opener to a Spitfire. With respect to vehicles only, I don’t think even the most ardent supporters of the Blitz could make a case that its contribution is up there with some of the other machines which were more widely used, such as of course the Willys Jeep. Furthermore, to claim the truck is the greatest ever produced by Canada puts it at the head of a comparatively short list, rather like claiming it is the best spin bowler from the same country.
You make reference to gender of the Blitz and here I must confess I do not follow your intent. I do not know if that is an typographical mistake, or are Blitzes sexed?
I hope this reply explains why I wrote what I did. The Practical Motoring team wishes you all the very best tidings, and we dearly hope to see the Blitz at displays in the future for many years to come.
The Chevrolet Blitz in Australia
For Australians the Blitz is perhaps most famous as one of the vehicles used by the great Tom Kruse, the mailman of the Birdsville Track. I commend tales of Mr Kruse’s efforts to any readers of this blog. The Blitz was also used elsewhere in Australia, for example in Simpson Desert exploration, and around as recently as 2005 a Blitz re-crossed the Simpson.