1943 International Harvester M5 Half-Track

Courtesy of H&H
  • Used during the Allied liberation of Europe, most likely with the Polish forces
  • Subsequently seconded to the French Army, which stationed it in French Guyana, South America, for decades
    Brought back to France during the 1980s and sold to Belgian collector and Supreme Court Judge Mr. Louis Amerijckx, who stored it in the grounds of his chateau
  • Acquired from Mr. Amerijckx by Ivo Rigter in 1987 and treated to a 2,500-hour, chassis-up restoration over the next 27 years
  • Correct-type engine was overhauled by the Bugatti Works during the 1960s (and again as part of the refurbishment). Genuine parts were used wherever possible and sourced from all over the globe
  • Vehicle is liveried in the markings of the Polish 10th Regiment Dragonders and as a tribute to the famous Polish SOE Agent Maria “Krystyna” Janina Skarbek. Surviving World War II, she became a British citizen and took the name Christine Granville.

Conceived as a high-mobility infantry vehicle capable of resisting small-arms fire and shell/mortar splinters while carrying a dozen troops at speeds in excess of 40 mph, the M3 Half-Track was also considerably easier to drive than a full-track machine. Despite the best efforts of the White, Autocar and Diamond T Motor Companies, demand was still outstripping supply by mid-1941.

Approached by the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Department, the International Harvester Company of Chicago, IL, designed its own version. Utilizing 5/16-inch homogenous armored plate (as opposed to 1/4-inch face-hardened steel), the resultant M5 was heavier than the M3 but compensated by featuring a strengthened chassis and hull, tougher “banjo” axles and a more powerful International Harvester RED-450B straight-six OHV engine.


B. Mitchell Carlson

SCM Senior Auction Analyst - %%page%%

Brian wrote his first auction report for Old Cars Weekly in 1990 and has contributed his colorful commentary in Sports Car Market since 1998. His work appears regularly in Kelley Blue Book, and also in a handful of marque-specific publications. Carlson shuns what he calls “single-marque tunnel vision” and takes great pride in his “vehicular diversity.” He attends about two dozen auctions per year, but he broke away to roar around Oregon with Paul Hardiman in SCM’s Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Turbo in the 2015 Northwest Passage.

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