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California Panther Restoration
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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elauterbach
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:30 pm
Post subject: California Panther Restoration

Does anyone have any information on the Panther that is being restored in California? In all the pictures that I have seen, it looks like it is progressing very nicely.
Eric
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toadmanstankpictures
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:40 pm
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

I'm up there about once a month visiting. Click this link to my website to see a series of photo updates starting with March of 2004: Littlefield Panther restoration

I'll have a new update next week as I plan on visiting again next Saturday.

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zundappuk
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Location: Behind the Westwall, really!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:37 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

- toadmanstankpictures
I'm up there about once a month visiting. Click this link to my website to see a series of photo updates starting with March of 2004: Littlefield Panther restoration

I'll have a new update next week as I plan on visiting again next Saturday.


Yup, Jacques is coming on nicely.

This is Kevin Wheatcrofts in the UK, I visit Kevin every couple of months or so.
He has three Panthers. This is his early Ausf A. This should roll under its on power in 2007.

DAvid

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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:39 pm
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

After seeing the 'as found' condition of many of these parts, I am utterly amazed at the workmanship of their restoration. Yes, the number of new build parts is not always clear, but man are these guys good! Please express our collective amazement and appreciation.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:50 pm
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

David,

Those tracks are the ones Kevin had cast new aren't they? Do you know if Littlefield had a part in the track batch? I know that the "Panther Collectors" try to team up for manufacture of replacement parts to keep costs down.

I could have sworn that that Panther was a late Ausf. D though ...



Cheers,
Rik
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zundappuk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:51 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

Rik,


I am no Panther expert (Zundapp KS750 and Steyr 1500 I am) So I had assumed that the later cupola indicated one of the main differences between D and A Ausfs ? The three main private Panther restorers have co-operated on certain parts. The main one was in producing new torsion bars. Originally the WTS in Koblenz had some made for their JagPanther, so Mike Gibb, Jacques Littlefield and Kevin Wheatcroft jumped on board too. Kevin showed my some time back the new made track links (now black cad plated) also new made drive sprockets and new made rubber tyres (tires for the US readers).

David





- Rikard_Hufschmied
David,

Those tracks are the ones Kevin had cast new aren't they? Do you know if Littlefield had a part in the track batch? I know that the "Panther Collectors" try to team up for manufacture of replacement parts to keep costs down.

I could have sworn that that Panther was a late Ausf. D though ...



Cheers,
Rik
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:41 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

David,

Could you please ask Kevin what make it really is, because I see some indications that it's not an A but indeed a D (altough late). The main D factor is the slot/flap MG mount in the front glacis, this was replaced by the ball mount on the Ausf.A.

However, there was a substantial production overlap in the shift from D to A and there are some indications that it's an early A, the main factor here being the doubled amount of reinforcing rim-bolts on the roadwheels.

The turret with the new style commanders cupola and pistol ports could go either way, it was fitted both to late D:s and early A:s. On the mid and late A:s the pistol ports were deleted once and for all.

So what do we have here, a late D, an early A or a D/A hybrid?

Mr.Wheatcrofts Panther as it was first presented on the web:

An%20Early%20production%20Ausf.A:


It's a fantastic restoration nevertheless and it will be amazing to see it move under its own power!

Cheers,
Rik
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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:44 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

Rikard,

throw away your old references, as a matter of fact the cupola is the main indicator if it's an A or a D- no As were built with the drum cupola, as indicated by the latest research by Tom Jentz, there was no physical way to mate the drum cupola to the A turret, since the mounting points were of a totally different design.

The glacis MG mount is no indicator, as you've already noted, early As were built with the flap.

Cheers,

Jens O.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:20 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

- Jens_O_Mehner
Rikard,

throw away your old references, as a matter of fact the cupola is the main indicator if it's an A or a D- no As were built with the drum cupola, as indicated by the latest research by Tom Jentz, there was no physical way to mate the drum cupola to the A turret, since the mounting points were of a totally different design.

The glacis MG mount is no indicator, as you've already noted, early As were built with the flap.

Cheers,

Jens O.


Ok, point taken but as there is a hybrid Panther D/A still in existence (Thun) I thought the question merited some consideration. I know there were no A:s built with the drum cupola. And it still doesn't explain why there were D:s built with same turret as on the early A:s (with the periscope commanders cupola) or are my references totally shot on that point as well? I'd love to see if there is an episcope for the loaders position on the Wheatcroft turret cause that would settle it, it would be an A.

I'm the first to admit though that I'm no expert on the Panther ... yet. So any help and insight in correcting or discarding sources are most welcome.

Cheers,
Rik
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Dontos
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Location: Vine Grove, KY
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:40 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

A question which comes to mind about the variant confusion...

Would a 'field maint point' have pieced together the ausf A & ausf D based on getting combat power back in the fight?

From the perspective of a 'tanker', with very basic understanding of the Panther, I would think that an inventive (& resourceful) maintenance crew would canibalize whatever they had on hand.

My perception of German maintenance personnel is that they kept the force going by recovering & recycling a massive amount of combat power.

Would there be merit in this idea?

Can the 'ausf A' hull or turret be matched with the 'ausf D' hull or turret?

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Dubliner
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

nt


Last edited by Dubliner on Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:11 am
Post subject: Re: California Panther Restoration

- Dubliner
Jentz's Panzer Tracts No. 5-2 - Panzerkampfwagen "Panther"Ausf.A clears up the Ausf D / Ausf A differences once and for all. You can not tell them apart just based on the drum cupola. A few As had drum cupola.


I'm a tad embarrassed to say I haven't sampled it yet, it's on my list on "have to get" though.

I've always had the D/A discrepancies down to the rushed nature of the Panthers development and production; with recalls, combat repairs and quick production line shifts producing more or less hybrid veichles.

Thank's for the help!

Cheers,
Rik
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