15th Mar, 2023 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 93

1941 David Brown VIG1/100 Tug

Sold for £20,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: Unregistered (Formerly ‘KBJ 870’)
Chassis No: AW/C 29
MOT: Exempt

  • Manufactured for the Air Ministry for use as aircraft supply tugs during WWII
  • 1 of some 650 supplied new to the Air Ministry between October 1941 and December 1942
  • Authentically restored at a cost of more than £20,000 by Ivan Cowlen
  • Offered from a large family private collection including classic cars, commercials, tractors and steam engines

During the Second World War, David Brown was awarded a contract to develop a wheeled Air Ministry tractor for use on concrete runways following the change from grass runways, with the contract worth some £1.5 million. The Air Ministry tractor, designated VIG1/100, was based on the agricultural skid unit with a petrol engine and a four-speed gearbox. The skid unit was mounted on a sub-frame made from a steel channel with the castings supported in three places. The sub-frame also supported the front axle and extended rearwards to provide a rigid mounting for the winch, heavy-duty sprag and standard RAF towing hook.

Trials of the VIG1/100 were carried out at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire during 1941, with some 650 being subsequently supplied to the Air Ministry between October 1941 and December 1942, before being replaced by the VIG1/462 with a Brockhouse torque converter transmission. The Air Ministry tractors were used on the wartime airfields for handling the heavy bombers and hauling fuel bowsers and bomb trailers.

Manufactured in 1941, chassis no. AW/C 29 was supplied new to the Air Ministry, as designated by the AW chassis number, indicating that it was one of the original wartime VIG1/100 tractors. Demobbed for civilian use after the war, the David Brown was provided with the registration number ‘KBJ 870’, although the Tug is currently unregistered. Subject to a comprehensive restoration at an estimated cost of over £20,000 by Ivan Cowlen, this is surely one of the finest examples, having been authentically restored and finished in full RAF colour scheme and insignia. Fitted with full belly weights and wheel weights, the David Brown has recently been shod with two new front tyres. A rare and interesting piece of WWII military history!

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 15th Mar, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe. 

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Cambridgeshire. 

Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 

To enquire about entering your motorcar into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Valuations For Sale button below. 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tuesday 14th March 2023, from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 15th March 2023, from 9am

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All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

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