Buick Experimental Cargo Carrier 1918

Many publications give this vehicle numerous descriptions such as tank, tank/crawler, experimental British tank or other descriptions. One Buick publication from 1965 even says Buick built tanks for the British. Here’s the real story. A British manufacturing company built these cargo carriers (called “Newton”) for their army during the “Great War”, later called World War I. The United States declared war on Germany 4-6-1917, but even before that we supplied war material to the French and British, even then we were the arsenal of the world. Buick, being one of these suppliers, was asked to build these cargo carriers. A sample was brought to the United States and Buick, Studebaker and Overland (later Willy’s Overland) were assigned to make copies. The vehicles built were identical right down to the last bolt except each company used their own engines. Buick was the only one to deviate and made some changes to the general structure. Twenty two thousand units were requested but the war ended 11-11-1918 with an unknown number being built. The specifications on this vehicle were to be a three ton capacity with a top speed of ten miles per hour. I have not found the factory where the original Newtons were built yet, but Studebaker built the 4.7 inch mortar called the “Newton-Stokes” during WWI. The Queens own Royal west Kent regiment was the 5th battalion, which had a captain (H. Newton ) in their ranks. The head of the Kent regiment was (Sir Wilfred Stokes) who invented the 4.7 mortar so maybe this could be a link to the Newton carrier. There is also a Newton Abbott and Newton Bewley in England. So it could also be named for a location. Further research is required.  

1921.

Anonymous Centurion said…
Superb photo of the carrier but I’m afraid your mortar info is a tad garbled. In essence:
Wilfred Stokes ( a civilian later knighted) invented a number of mortars but the main ones were the 3 inch mortar (adopted by British, Imperial, Portuguese and American forces) and the 4 inch which was adopted by the US Army to fire chemical rounds and manufactured in the USA. (There was a major Stokes who also invented a rather complex breech loading trench mortar that never passed its trials) Newton was an army officer who developed a whole series of mortars of which the 6 inch was adopted by the British, Imperial and American forces, It was also manufactured in the USA. Newton did make a 4.7 inch mortar but this was well before America entered the war and they were only used by British forces

Robert Robinson

September 23, 2008 7:17 AM
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3 thoughts on “Buick Experimental Cargo Carrier 1918

  1. Superb photo of the carrier but I’m afraid your mortat info is a tad garbled. I essence:Wilfred Stokes ( a civilian later knighted) invented a number of mortars but the main ones were the 3 inch mortar (adopted by British, Imperial, Portugese and American forces) and the 4 inch which was adopted by the US Army to fire chemical rounds and manufactured in the USA. (There was a major Stokes who alsoinvented a rather complex breech loading trench mortar that never passed its trials) Newton was an army officer who developed a whole series of mortars of which the 6 inch was adopted by the British, Imperial and American forces, It was also manufactured in the USA. Newton did make a 4.7 inch mortar but this was well before America entered the war and they were only used by British forcesRobert Robinson

  2. Hi, Gerry. Greetings from the UK. Very interesting photos. If I might try to clear up the Newton question:The info I have on the 6" Mortar is that it was designed by Capt. H. Newton of the Sherwood Foresters (Regiment).The designer of the Cargo Carrier was a different Newton (although they might have been related). He was Fred Newton, of Newton Brothers, an electrical/engineering company in Derby, England. What complicates matters a little is that Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are neighbouring counties, so they could possibly have been from the same family. The name is not connected with Newton Abbot, etc.Fred Newton demonstrated the Cargo Carrier to the British and U.S. Armies, and the U.S. wanted to order 20,000 for 1919. It was too much for Newton's to do, so it was licensed to Buick, Studebaker, and Overland. Here is a link to a most interesting article about Fred and his company. They seem to have made quite a contribution in both World Wars:http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Staff-saved-archive-documents-factory-closed/story-11574816-detail/story.htmlIf you care to visit our website Landships you'll find some more info, including a recently-discovered photo of the tank built on a Newton chassis by Studebaker.Regards,Tankmanc

  3. Corrections to the above:Captain Henry Newton was the brother of Fred, and co-director of the family engineering firm. Henry designed the Newton 6-inch mortar and the Pippin grenade, amongst other things. He established and led the Workshops for the British Second Army and was Deputy Controller of the Trench Warfare Department. He designed the Cargo Carrier, and at least one prototype was built by his brother Fred, at the factory in Derby. The rest is more or less correct. Hope this is of use. Regards.

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