History of the 1917 Kissel US Army Light Delivery Truck.
The 1917 Kissel US Army Model 6-38 truck, affectionately known as a “Red Arrow” Division vehicle, is a stunning recreation that pays homage to its historical roots. This remarkable truck transports us back to the days of World War I, faithfully capturing the essence of the original Light Support Vehicle.
With meticulous precision, the Hausmann Kissel Collection has re-assembled this vehicle, referencing period photographs to ensure authenticity. Using derelictKissel Model 6-38 chassis and parts acquired thru many decades, this project was started in 2020 during Covid. A custom-shaped oak body, crafted with unwavering attention to detail, faithfully replicates the prevailing army design of the era. Resting upon a sturdy Model 6-38 Chassis, this truck stands as a testament to the engineering prowess of Kissel.
To evoke a true sense of nostalgia, the body has been brush painted in the classic “1917 khaki” color, mirroring the WW1 practice of troopers hand-painting their vehicles during the war. This meticulous recreation not only honors the historical accuracy of the original vehicle but also serves as a visual time capsule, transporting us to a significant era in our past.
A closer examination of the truck reveals its markings, which hold deep significance for Kissel enthusiasts. Prior to 1917, the Wisconsin and Michigan National Guard units operated separately. It is known that these units equipped themselves with local vehicles. However, with the federalization of these units into the US Army “Red Arrow” Division in 1917, the truck’s connection to both states becomes apparent. Manufactured by Kissel in Wisconsin and currently undergoing restoration by Hausmann in Michigan, it proudly bears the Red Arrow designation, symbolizing the unit’s consolidation and transformation during the war.
Additionally, the Kissel US Army truck bears the markings of the 120 Light Artillery Regiment, formerly known as the First Wisconsin Cavalry Unit. This nod to the unit’s reorganization highlights its historical significance and commemorates its vital role during World War I. These markings serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who served in the armed forces during that time.
As of 2023, the restoration of this vehicle is finishing. We invite you to witness the progress of the restoration through a series of captivating images. These pictures capture the meticulous craftsmanship and dedication poured into each stage of the process. They serve as a testament to the unwavering commitment to preserving history and breathing life back into this remarkable WWI-era vehicle.
In conclusion, the ongoing restoration of the 1917 Kissel US Army Model 6-38 truck showcases the profound passion and dedication of the restoration team. By recreating this iconic vehicle, they not only pay homage to its historical significance but also provide a valuable educational resource for future generations. This faithful reproduction transports us back in time, allowing us to appreciate the engineering prowess and enduring spirit of the Kissel company in military guise.
BELOW ARE AUTHOR’S DESIGN SKETCHES AND PERIOD PHOTOS OF SIMILAR US ARMY LIGHT TRUCKS.
BELOW ARE PICTURES OF BUILDING OAK TRUCK BODY
BELOW ARE PICTURES OF CURRENT RESTORATION OF TRUCK BODY
BELOW ARE PICTURES OF COMPONENTS IN VARIOUS STAGES OF RESURRECTION
BELOW ARE PICTURES OF THE KISSEL 6-38 ENGINE RESTORATION