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Staff Cars


New Member
Hi, does anyone know what staff car was used in North Africa during 40-41? Also did the Italians every borrow the German Horsch Staff Cars?


Staff member
I was hoping some of our more knowledgeable members would respond. I believe the Italians used a large number of different types of staff cars, many of which were simply purchased civilian models. I will need to do some checking to see if I can find anything.

Pista! Jeff


New Member
Thanks Jeff, I'm sorting out a couple of Italian Divisions for 6mm wargames. Lots of the armies knicked eney stuff in Africa, Rommel potted about in a British HQ truck, so I'll use the Horsch and some kubelwagen for now.
Lancia Aprilia Colonial
The Aprilia Coloniale is a military torpedo based on the chassis mod. 639 S (special). Traction is rear and the gearbox is 4-speed plus reverse. The engine is the original one, based on the 99.90 cm³ four-cylinder petrol petrol engine, delivering 46 hp at 4,000 rpm.
The bodywork, designed by Viotti, is a four-door torpedo with four seats on the right. It is rustic and square, reminiscent of the Fiat 508CM, from which it is immediately distinguishable by the "V" grille and the single row of air intakes on the sides of the engine bonnet. The spare wheel is placed on the trunk while on the sides, as well as on the front fenders, a total of four fuel and water tanks are fixed.

Fiat 508 CM 1100 - 1939

As for L'Aprilia, the FIAT 508 Torpedo Coloniale also comes from a production car, the 508 C, better known as Balilla. It was used mainly as a car for the Command in North Africa (division Aries, Trieste, Trento, etc). Its sturdiness characteristics made it suitable also for off-road reconnaissance; compared to the civil version it had a greater bridge ratio, the larger tires (6.00x16), a length greater than some mm.
And greater weight: at full load it reaches 1200 Kg. It remained in service until 1960.
Main features and performances
-Motore: 4 cylinder engine 108 C, 4 stroke, 1089 cm3
- Power CV: 30
-Change: 4-speed gearbox + RM
-Maximum speed: 95 Km / h
Production of the Fiat 508 "Balilla" began in the 1930s; it was immediately a car characterized by a remarkable commercial success. Equipped with a rigid roof and enveloping curved fenders, it became the standard car of the fascist hierarchs and of businessmen, as well as of the officers of the R.E. In June 1937 a new version was created, the 508C, called "new Balilla" and equipped with a 4-cylinder engine of 1,100 cc. The car subsequently provided the basis for a series of light transport vehicles suitable for military use, including, precisely, the "colonial" (where the "M" stood for "military") which, with a series of modifications to the roof and to the exteriors, was used in North Africa, becoming a cabriolet car equipped with larger tires and a good mechanical reliability, which also allowed it to move easily even on bumpy roads. Its characteristics made it a precious vehicle also for the British who captured some specimens and reused them immediately, and for the Germans who used it after 8 September.

In fact, the RE used these two types of cars in North Africa
ALl the best

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New Member
Wow, thank you both. I love the footage of what looks like a Recon Co in NA. I can't find any 1/300th or 1/285 scale manufactures who make it, however, Heroics and Ros do make a FIAT 508 600 Kg LIGHT TRUCK, which is I presume a variant of the 508 adapted for towing anti-tank guns. I haven't managed to find any pictures of it yet, but, I did find this page which has some examples of Italian trucks and is worth a look: http://www.dieselpunks.org/m/blogpost?id=3366493:BlogPost:113645&maxDate=2014-05-12T12:21:40.058Z