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Ford Model 51

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Alternate timeline
(covers information from an alternate timeline)

The Ford Model 51 was a type of truck manufactured on Earth by the American Ford Motor Company during the mid-20th century for both civilian use as well as for Germany's military. They were powered by an internal combustion engine.

In an alternate timeline, a German military Ford Model 51 truck, carrying the license plate "NA 22475", transported Captain Jonathan Archer of Enterprise NX-01 in 1944 from a field hospital for questioning. The truck was escorted by Volkswagen Kübelwagen belonging to the Wehrmacht (as indicated by its license plate "WH-52552", but driven by an SS soldier nevertheless), as well as a BMW R75 motorcycle. All vehicles were damaged when American Resistance fighters ambushed the small convoy, and killed their German occupants.

A short time thereafter, a second Ford Model 51 truck (with a license plate that partially read "NA 1257") was seen parked in a Brooklyn, New York City street, just outside Alicia Travers' apartment where the escaped Archer was hiding, being loaded with civilians, the SS were indiscriminately rounding up, in response to the ambush. (ENT: "Storm Front")

Background informationEdit

Ford Model 51 prepared for its interior scenes by the film crew

The truck prepared for its interior scenes on the Sable Ranch grounds

The entire ambush scene was filmed on Thursday 29 July 2004 on the Sable Ranch grounds in Canyon Country, north of Los Angeles. The New York City street scene, obviously utilizing the same Ford truck (this time tarped up and endowed with a slightly differing back license plate), was shot later that day on the Paramount Pictures "New York Street" backlot standing set. [1] [X]wbm

That an American 2.5 ton carrying, four-wheel drive truck (produced in the period 1935-1936 as the truck version of the Model 48 civilian car) was being driven by German soldiers, could easily be explained as them operating a captured vehicle. Yet, in what can be considered as one of history's little ironies, the truck was also produced in substantial numbers in Nazi Germany during the period 1937-1939 by Ford's subsidiary, Ford Motor Company AG, Köln-Niehl as the "Ford Modell V8/51". Virtually all of them ended up in the service of the Wehrmacht as the "MLkw 3t Ford V8/51" ("Mittler Lastkraftwagen – medium truck – 3.0 ton Ford V8/51"), so the truck featured in the episode, could as easily have been German-made, as indicated by its mushroom-shaped blackout light on the left front mudguard. [2] The white Balkenkreuz emblem on the side of the truck, is an anomaly though; The entirely white emblem was only used during the September 1939 Polish campaign (the actual start of World War II), and abandoned afterward as it was discovered that Polish gunners used the highly visible emblem as a bullseye, as the resistance fighters in the Star Trek episode undoubtedly also did.

Several Ford Model 51 trucks, both American – not used in its military – and German-made have survived, ending up in museums or private collections, including the rented one featured in the Star Trek episode, as indicated by its nonsensical "NA" license plates. A correct period plate should have read "WH-22475" in the first case, as indication that it belonged to the Wehrmacht.

Incidentally, the two German Ford factories, making extensive use of slave labor, continued to produce heavier truck types for the German armed forces right up-till the end of the war, continuing to rake in profits for its American parent company. [3] Both the Ford Motor Company and its antisemitic founder Henry Ford – notorious for his Nazi sympathies – had some explaining to do after the war.

German military vehicles in the streets of Sainte Claire

German military vehicles in the streets of Sainte Claire

Actually, one of the heavier Ford truck types has possibly made an appearance in another Star Trek production. In the opening scenes of the Star Trek: Voyager season four episode "The Killing Game, Part II", a Hirogen hunter and Ensign Harry Kim are watching overhead bridge monitor station viewscreens, witnessing a World War II holographic simulation gone wrong aboard the USS Voyager in 2374, after the Hirogen had gained control over the ship and utilized its holodeck for the creation of their hunting simulations. Ostentatiously a scene in the French World War II-era village of German occupied Sainte Claire was shown. However, the scene was obviously not filmed on the "Little Europe" standing backlot set of Universal Studios, where the rest of the Sainte Claire simulation took place, but rather on the "New York Street" backlot set of either Universal or Paramount. Yet, it is highly unlikely that the scene was actually shot for the episode, as the costs of renting lot and vehicles for what was essentially a throw-away shot, would constitute a flippant use of the strictly regulated television budget. Considering that the comments of the watching Hirogen and Kim did not correspond with what was actually seen on the screens either, indicated that this clipping stemmed from an as of yet unidentified other movie, or television production.

Shown in the clipping are German military vehicles in a city street, and whereas the Kübelwagen is clearly identifiable, the three trucks are less so, even if a fairly good look is afforded on the one in the foreground. That one is possibly the 3.0 ton carrying "Ford V3000S (G188TS)". Unfortunately, the frame of the viewscreen just cuts off the front of the engine bonnet, making a definitive positive identification unfeasible, as the Ford truck shared a remarkably similar side profile with its far more ubiquitous 3.0 ton carrying rival, the "Opel Blitz". Most ironically, the side profile was not the only thing the Ford truck shared with its rival; like the Ford trucks, Opel trucks were essentially also produced by Americans as the Adam Opel AG company had been a fully owned subsidiary of the American General Motor Company (GM) since 1931, and like the Ford Motor Company, GM had some explaining to do after the war for exactly the same reasons.

An additional irony was that GM was also the manufacturer of the American military counterpart of the Ford V3000S/Opel Blitz, the GMC CCKW, famed as the original "Deuce-and-a-half" with several of these featured in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season four episode "Little Green Men".

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