Xavier Peeters, Belgium

XavierI owns a 1957 Hotchkiss Jeep wich he has transformed into a M201 “Sahara Jeep”. He took his inspiration on a Jeep of the 3e Groupe de Transport in Algeria during the 1960ties.

Hotchkiss M201 Sahara

I own my jeep since 2000. It is a M201 Hotchkiss from 1957. In 2016 I decided to transform it into a M201 SAHARA 24V which is quite unusual (but not on this website!). I want it as close as the original model. The main issue in my restoration is to find original or reproduction parts.
The M201 SAHARA were developed in the late 50ties to adapt the M201 Hotchkiss jeep to the desertic region. In the desert, a vehicle needs a larger autonomy. The soils are various, going from sand (erg) to rocks (reg) and bad road. One of the main problem is the vapor-lock due to the high temperatures. The crew also needs extra water reserve. All those consideration were taken into account when designing the M201 SAHARA.
Here is the list of all the modification:
• Tyres: Michelin XC road profil 6.50 × 16 for driving in the sand
• Additional 40 liter fuel tank under the passenger seat.
• Water jerrycan between the 2 front passenger seats.
• Tecalemit air pre-filter
• Extra Auteroche spotlight on the windshield
• Reinforced back spring (13 leaves instead of 11)
• Adding of an Autopulse fuel pump on a parallel fuel circuit to avoid vapor-lock.
• Adding of several fixing point on the frame and tub
• Adding of 2 sand metallic roll.
• Toolbox on the front bumper
• Possibility to fix a Bavox type S2YD air compressor on the front part of the CHASSIS.
The M201 SAHARA were mainly used in Algeria after the war from 1962 to 1967.
The Jeep I’m reproducing was used by the Lieutenant-Colonel Sichler, chief of the 3e Groupe de Transport in Reggan from 1965 to 1967.
I nearly found all the parts needed: original Michelin tires, Autopulse fuel pump, Auteroche spotlight, prefitler, toolbox,…
I had to build by myself some parts, like the water jerrycan support, the fuel pump carter, the auxiliary fuel tank.

All the restoration work I did plus information on the M201 SAHARA are available on my blog: sahara.jeepbigone.be