Restoration of the Worthington Park Hetzer

See bottom of page for update. Click on thumbnail to view photo

Presently underway at the Canadian Forces Base Borden (Borden, Ontario, Canada), is the restoration of an early production Hetzer which has been on display for years in Worthington Park. A group of volunteers has been given permission, by the Canadian Forces, to restore the vehicle to running condition. One of the volunteers at the Worthington Park Museum, Fred Olsen, has given me permission to use his photos of the vehicle during the restoration process, in order to track the progress and to show images of an original Hetzer that most people would otherwise not get a chance to see. Photos of the same vehicle on display are included elsewhere on my website. The color difference is because of variations in the printing of the photos taken outside and those taken indoors. The paint scheme is not original to the vehicle. The first photo above shows the mount for the Notek blackout driving light at the left front of the vehicle. The second photo shows the bracket where the spare antenna rods were stored on the left side of the hull toward the rear of the vehicle. The next two photos are side views of the early style "Saukopf" gun mantlet. The last photo is a view along the right track, looking forward, and shows the mount used to support the fender.

The next series of photos begin with detail shots of portions of the right and left idler wheels. Several shots of the Praga AC engine then follow. Note that the head of the engine has been removed (you can see one of the pistons sticking up) and rags are placed on top of the exposed area to keep dirt and contamination out. Fred has stated that he will continue to supply photos to me during the restoration process, so that viewers may keep abreast of the developments. To see more of Fred's site, go to: Worthington Park, CFB Camp Borden

Update! April 2002
A member of the team that is restoring the Borden Hetzer, Guy Despatie, has sent me some photos of the work in progress.

The first photo shows the vehicle from the right front quarter. Notice the entire main gun assembly and the roof have been removed. The next photo shows the interior of the hull from the rear, showing the placement of the transmission and final drives. The next photo shows a close-up of the engine compartment (without the engine.) The large tanks on either side of the hull wall are the fuel tanks. The next several photos show views of the Pak 39 main gun with gimbel mount, recoil mechanism, and saukopf mantlet. This is followed by a close-up view of the transmission and final drive assemblies in the front of the hull. The last two photos show two views of the engine block being painted.

Guy has also sent me these three photos of the Hetzer used by his reenactment unit. The first shows the Hetzer used by 2nd Panzer being loaded onto the transport trailer. The second is of the Hetzer moving down the road, ready for battle. The last shows the Hetzer near a SPW having a Pak 40 anti-tank gun being hooked onto the trailer hitch.

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7 April, 2002

Richard Gruetzner