Red Ball Express Motor Pool

The Red Ball Express Motor Pool is a collection of vintage U.S. military vehicles from 1941 through 1945 assembled by Herman Pfauter, a collector and restorer of these vehicles since his teenage years.

When Germany was liberated in 1945 by the Allies Herman was 9 years old. He first watched with amazement the endless columns of Russian soldiers who  occupied his hometown of Chemnitz. Most of them traveled on foot or with horse-drawn wagons but there were also a number of motor vehicles, mostly of American manufacture, never seen before in Germany such as the Jeep, the Dodge Weapons Carrier and the 2½-Ton Studebaker 6x6 cargo truck.

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Soon after the entire family moved to the British-occupied zone of Germany where there were again new vehicles from the British army. But even the Brits had a large number of American vehicles.

Finally the family moved once again, this time to the American zone in southern Germany.

Here every vehicle of the U.S. Army was represented and Herman was fascinated with the looks, the sounds and everything else that made these vehicles so special. Many hours he spent in and around motor pools and became friendly with the GI’s driving and repairing the various trucks. While still in high school he bought his first Willys Jeep from the local Army Chaplain for $200. It was running and even had an enclosed aluminum cab and a heater.

This collection (and this page) is a work in progress. Most of the vehicles included below are in storage or in transit to Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles. As each vehicle arrives, the appropropriate link below will become active. Thanks for your understanding while we complete the transfer of vehicles.

All of the above vehicles are in operating condition, registered and insured. All have been restored as needed.

Most of the trucks came from Europe where they had been preserved by the Austrian, Norwegian, French and Italian armies who had received these vehicles after World War II from the US government.. Starting in the late seventies they were disposed of in many auctions all over Europe and this is where I purchased most of my vehicles. Most of them had spent quiet years in the various armies of Western Europe, maybe hauled out once or twice a year for some maneuvers but at the same time maintained very well.

Some of the French-owned vehicles undoubtedly saw some combat in Vietnam, Algeria or elsewhere in Africa and other corners of the globe.

But they were not butchered, chopped up or otherwise mutilated as so many stateside surplus military vehicles which did hard labor in quarries, fields, mines and other tough environments. The only vehicles needing a complete frame-up restoration were the ones acquired in the US such as the 1942 Ford GPW and the 1942 Chevrolet G7117 which was resurrected from several “basket cases” by its previous owner.

All specifications noted on the info pages for each vehicle are shown "as known." If you have corrections or input concerning any of the vehicles we would love to hear from you! Please contact us via the "Contact Us" menu item at the top of the page.