This ‘Priest’ MB71 105 Howitzer Motor Carrier was discovered at a scrapyard in Germany by Ivo Rigter Sr., a co-founder of TracksandTrade, in 2005. After a ground-up restoration started by Dutch restoration specialist BAIV B.V., but finished by the Collection 39-45 from Winkel the Netherlands, the Priest made its first public appearance as a fully recommissioned classic military vehicle during the 70th anniversary commemoration of Operation Market Garden in 2014.
The Ontario Regiment Museum had been an admirer of the Priest for several years, so when it came up for auction through TracksandTrade in 2022, Museum Director Jeremy Neal Blowers immediately showed interest. He and Brad Dunkley of the Dunkley Charitable Foundation, which made a generous donation to fund the purchase, decided that this important part of Canadian World War II history for the artillery regiments needed to be preserved in Canada, in memory of the Canadian troops who used them during the D-Day landings.
The process of getting the Priest to Canada turned out to be more complex than expected. Contrary to initial expectations, an import license was required. Fortunately, with the help of the Dutch Embassy in Ottawa, TracksandTrade succeeded in making all the arrangements to finally get the Priest shipped to Canada.
The museum is delighted with the vehicle, which has been carefully and expertly restored, features some worthwhile modifications, and is in excellent running order. It even starts on the button.
“We cannot praise TracksandTrade enough. They presented the Priest perfectly and made all the arrangements to make the sale and logistics as smooth and problem-free as possible.”
Jeremy Neal Blowers, Executive Director of The Ontario Regiment RCAC MuseumExpired auctions