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Century Center hosts military vehicle convention

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The wheeled warriors of the past have rolled into South Bend.

Historic military vehicles will occupy the Century Center—inside and out—through Saturday.

There are more than 100 vintage military vehicles on display including tanks, rocket launchers, ambulances, and motorcycles.

In the middle of the day, in the middle of the street, military vehicles rolled through downtown South Bend today with a police escort—convoy style.

“We’ll have tanks, we’ll have jeeps, we’ll have bicycles and everything in between. Everything is collectable for these guys,” said Kevin Hess with the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

Hess brought a vehicle that was actually made in South Bend. “This is a 1944 Studebaker Weasel, M-20, 9C. It was built here in South Bend, Indiana. It’s fully tracked and amphibious vehicle.”

The weasel is one of many mechanical World War II vets still alive and kicking. “This is a 1941 Willy’s MB slack grill. It’s out of the first production run of 5,000 Jeeps for the Army. This one was made December f4th, 1941,” said Mark Ingram from Tennessee. “Every piece of this Jeep, Mark, and I do mean every piece has been carefully rebuilt to try to get a Jeep that’s very representative of the beginning of over 600,000 that were produced in World War II.”

Even a Jeep ambulance owed its saved life to a preservationist.

“I rescued this one, yup,” said Gregory Horvath of South Bend. “This one was at the plant, when they shut the plant down. They scrapped a bunch of them out of there and this is the last one I had.”

The public can view the vehicles on Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Saturday hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

There is an admission charge—$10 per person or $20 for families.

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