VEHICLE ENGINEERING C.G.D. Projects (T-55/AMX-13/BTR-50 upgrades and more)

Jason Dykstra (Wyvern)

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A few friends of mine were researching some obscure Italian vehicles, when they came across a company called Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. S.R.L. This company seems to have been active in the 90's, when it proposed some odd vehicle types, as well as upgrades to existing vehicles, most notably the T-55, T-62, AMX-13 and BTR-50.

The only website that has been found that describes this company is Army Guide, describes the website as this:

Vehicle Engineering is a privat society, established in 1993 by Toccaceli Marco. It changed into Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. since 1996.
Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. develops projects for the most important Italian industries in this business area.
History: Marco Toccaceli works since more than 25 years in the field of tracked and wheeled vehicles, for civil and military use.
After the course of studies, he made his experience, working for several firms as mechanical engineer.
From 1973 to 1978 Marco Toccaceli is the Technical Manager of SO.CO.MET S.p.A. of La Spezia, which produces the largest quantity of parts for the armoured vehicles of Oto Melara .
From 1978 to 1985 he is the Production Manager of Tangram S.p.A. which produces a lot of armoured wheeled vehicles of several types.
From 1985 to 1993 he is General Manager of S.I.C.O. (Italian Society Construction), which is a firm established in 1970 and which manufactures special wheeled and tracked vehicles, for civil and military use.
Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. was established in 1993 and thanks to a great development in the course of years it has become one of the major Companies in the defence field, either for design or research activities.
We design special civil and military vehicles with endothermic and electrical traction.
We offer assistance to companies that have a research center and a prototype sector.
We prepare all the documents, sketches, drawings of assemblies and subassemblies for the design of: vehicles, chassis, suspensions, bodies, mechanical components, transmissions, differentials, distributors, power take-off, calculations and structural and dimensional inspection of items, computerized simulation, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic systems, brake and service systems, bill of materials and suppliers.
We realize the prototypes of the projects made, we perform the tests and the set-up of the product and the further industrialization, calculation of the reliability, study of the productive lay-out and design of the systems to assemble and manufacture components of motor-vehicles.

This was another source, where the company was given a passing mention
https://www.weaponews.com/wiki/18722-t-62-tank.html
T55-62-VE M. R. V. — Italian project of modernization of tanks T-55, T-62, the firm's Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S. r.l. based on the components of the Italian tanks.
I am currently trying to help out and I would like to see if anybody here has sources or more information regarding this company.

Below I have attached a couple of photos, the first two are supposedly T-55-62-VE MRV (which looks remarkably like a C1 MEXAS), the third is a diagram, and the last two are of another project, based off of some sort of APC.

Further information and photos will be posted in the upcoming days, once I've sifted through the site. My colleagues have contacted the company, and have attempted to track it down, but so far it seems like the company no longer exists, though it did at some point or another. I will certainly have to enhance the images, as I have done with some of them below, since the overall image quality is quite low.
 

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Yep, we've been looking into it and we managed to also track down a previous website of theirs before they had fully shifted into making civilian things only. In this website, we had people manage to datamine its contents which lead of the discovery of many more interesting vehicles. Such as the one attached here, nothing is known about it but the website calls it the ''Scout 8x8''.
They've also designed many other sadly unamed vehicles which we'll be looking into soon enough. Army Guide has been contacted and we're waiting on a response from them in hopes they will provide a better quality image and perhaps a source from where they originally got the image from. What is also good to note, this company that has made these modernization projects has also allegedly made them for the French AMX-13 and the Russian BTR-50.
Any help in recovering sources would help us greatly.
 

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  • T55-62-VE MRV - Italian project for the modernization of T-55, T-62 tanks by Vehicle Engineering cgd Srl based on Italian tank components
 
Here are some of their other products, with a description from Army Guide. Some images have been enhanced, and put alongside the original, due to bad quality.

1. Kubyai ATV-120

Designation:

KUBYAI A.T.V - 120​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Armoured Vehicles
Name:Tracked armoured personnel carrier
VE developed and produced a amphibious tracked vehicle for military and civil use.

2 and 3. P.V. T-2.5

Designation:

P.V. T 2,5​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Armoured Vehicles
Name:Reconnaissance Vehicle
VE developed and prototype produced a high mobility, Wheeled vehicle for military use.

4. Remote Pilot T.V. 500

Designation:

REMOTE PILOT T.V. 500​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Auxiliary Vehicles
Name:Robot, Unmanned Vehicle
VE has developed and manufactured a wheeled Unmanned Ground Vehicle for military use.
PropertyValue
Specifications:
Number of wheels
8​
Number of drive wheels
8​

5 and 6: V.T. 8x8 VE 600

Designation:

V.T. 8X8 VE 600​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Armoured Vehicles
Name:Reconnaissance Vehicle
VE developed and prototype produced a high mobility, Wheeled vehicle for military use.
PropertyValue
Specifications:
Number of wheels
8​
Number of drive wheels
8​

7 and 8: V.T.150

Designation:

V.T.L. T 150​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Armoured Vehicles
Name:Armoured car
VE developed and prototype produced a high mobility, Wheeled vehicle for military use.
PropertyValue
Specifications:
Number of wheels
4​
Number of drive wheels
4​

9 and 10: V.T.250

Designation:

V.T.L. T 250​

Info
Manufacturer:Vehicle Engineering c.g.d. S.r.l.
Product type:Armoured Vehicles
Name:Armoured car
VE developed and prototype produced a high mobility, Wheeled vehicle for military use.
PropertyValue
Specifications:
Number of drive wheels
4​
Number of wheels
4​
 

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I must also add that the photos provided for the T-55 above were in fact that of a C1 MEXAS, so I would think twice about some of the photos. If there are any vehicles whose photos are incorrect, please inform me. Either Army Guide got hold of the wrong photos (or used them in the wrong way), or the company used them as placeholders of some sort.

It is likely that with the AMX-13 and T-55/T-62 upgrades, the photos provided were of examples of then current upgrades to legacy tanks.
 
These all look suspiciously like scale models to me.
Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. S.R.L. seems to still exist as of today, but they make sheet metal. I tried to use Google street view to locate their location but had no luck. They are either not were they claim to be, or have disappeared.
It is (or was) certainly a real company, but it very much looks like some sort of Italian Stavatti, rather than "one of the major companies in the defence field".
 
These all look suspiciously like scale models to me.
Vehicle Engineering C.G.D. S.R.L. seems to still exist as of today, but they make sheet metal. I tried to use Google street view to locate their location but had no luck. They are either not were they claim to be, or have disappeared.
It is (or was) certainly a real company, but it very much looks like some sort of Italian Stavatti, rather than "one of the major companies in the defence field".
Not all of them are.
The ATV-120 is a modified M113, you can see it in the photo-
The VTL T 250 and VTL T 150 are part of the Tangram Tilos family, which would make sense since according to Army Guide the company was actually related to Tangram S.p.A.

From 1978 to 1985 he (Toccaceli Marco) is the Production Manager of Tangram S.p.A. which produces a lot of armoured wheeled vehicles of several types.
The rest i can somewhat agree, the P.V. T-2.5 is in the photo is a wooden mock-up. If army guide was willing to share the high quality versions of the photos it would be for the best.
 

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If army guide was willing to share the high quality versions of the photos it would be for the best.
If they have them, that would be extremely helpful. The image enhancements I ran did work somewhat, but having the original, high quality pictures would be amazing.

One question I'd like to ask is this: Is the Army Guide website still updated? If yes, hopefully they read their emails :D
 
Not all of them are.
The ATV-120 is a modified M113, you can see it in the photo-
The VTL T 250 and VTL T 150 are part of the Tangram Tilos family, which would make sense since according to Army Guide the company was actually related to Tangram S.p.A.

From 1978 to 1985 he (Toccaceli Marco) is the Production Manager of Tangram S.p.A. which produces a lot of armoured wheeled vehicles of several types.
The rest i can somewhat agree, the P.V. T-2.5 is in the photo is a wooden mock-up. If army guide was willing to share the high quality versions of the photos it would be for the best.
I agree with you that higher quality pictures would be really helpful.
But the angle at which the pictures have been taken doesn't inspire me with trust. The VE-600, PVT-2,5 and ATV-120 pictures in particular appear to have a very shallow field of depth. It seems, to me at least, that the camera they used to take the pictures with was low to the ground and still angled a bit downward, just like what would happen when taking a pic of a scale model.
Also, the vehicles don't look very proportionate to their surroundings, particularly in the PVT-2,5 shot.

The fact that at least two of what they labelled as their products use pictures from other manufacturers (T-55-62-VE MRV / C1 MEXAS and VTL T150 / Tangram Tilos) doesn't bolster any confidence either.
 
Not all of them are.
The ATV-120 is a modified M113, you can see it in the photo-
The VTL T 250 and VTL T 150 are part of the Tangram Tilos family, which would make sense since according to Army Guide the company was actually related to Tangram S.p.A.

From 1978 to 1985 he (Toccaceli Marco) is the Production Manager of Tangram S.p.A. which produces a lot of armoured wheeled vehicles of several types.
The rest i can somewhat agree, the P.V. T-2.5 is in the photo is a wooden mock-up. If army guide was willing to share the high quality versions of the photos it would be for the best.
I agree with you that higher quality pictures would be really helpful.
But the angle at which the pictures have been taken doesn't inspire me with trust. The VE-600, PVT-2,5 and ATV-120 pictures in particular appear to have a very shallow field of depth. It seems, to me at least, that the camera they used to take the pictures with was low to the ground and still angled a bit downward, just like what would happen when taking a pic of a scale model.
Also, the vehicles don't look very proportionate to their surroundings, particularly in the PVT-2,5 shot.

The fact that at least two of what they labelled as their products use pictures from other manufacturers (T-55-62-VE MRV / C1 MEXAS and VTL T150 / Tangram Tilos) doesn't bolster any confidence either.
Bottom line is this, we need more info and better photos.
In the meantime here's an extract our discord group managed to datamine from the companies original (now archived) website;


Progettazione e protitipazione di veicoli e mini veicoli speciali ruotati e cingolati per impiego tattico e logistico, veicoli 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, e veicoli cingolti veloci, anche in versione anfibia.Carrozzerie speciali blindate in acciaio, e in composito adatti alla protezione diproiettili perforanti di vario calibro.Abbiamo realizzato e concesso la licenza a produrre il ns. progetto di punta(secur - Avant®), macchina dalle prestazioni uniche per operare in zone minate nel "peace Kepping".Realizziamo studi di fattibilità e progetti di riconversione e riuso, integrale o di componenti, di grandi flotte di veicoli cingolati e ruotati, altrimenti destinati alla demilitarizzazione. Realizziamo prototipi e piccole serie per clienti privi o con il reparto prototipi saturo di impegni. Progettiamo e assistiamo clienti che intendono dotarsi di unità produttive per produrre veicoli militari o parti di essi.

In the future il post the more interesting stuff we manage to find, but if you want to stay up to date or would like to help feel free to join the discord group or post anything here in this thread, it would be highly appreciated.
 
In the meantime here's an extract our discord group managed to datamine from the companies original (now archived) website;
Did you recover that from the Wayback Machine?

If it is the same one below...
Bruco System 1.jpg

...I went down the rabbit hole following the "Bruco System" moniker (you can see it in the bottom right of the gray interface) and found out there was a "Vehicle Engineering e Bruco System SRL" located in Predosa, same place as the "Vehicle Engineering CGD SRL".
Bruco System 2.jpg

Apparently the company moved from Predosa to Tagliolo Monferrato and now is just called "Bruco System SRL". Here's their site: Bruco System SRL.

And the representative for the company was...
Bruco System 3.jpg

I think the defense sector was probably a great personal interest of mr. Toccaceli as a hobby and maybe he has had some previous work experiences in the field in other companies as well, but I highly doubt that he's ever produced any vehicle with his firm.
 
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Did you recover that from the Wayback Machine?

If it is the same one below...
Yep this one.
Apparently the company moved from Predosa to Tagliolo Monferrato and now is just called "Bruco System SRL". Here's their site: Bruco System SRL.

And the representative for the company was...
Bruco System 3.jpg


I think the defense sector was probably a great personal interest of mr. Toccaceli as a hobby and maybe he has had some previous work experiences in the field in other companies as well, but I highly doubt that he's ever produced any vehicle with his firm.
Oh wow good find! After looking through that website something caught my eye.

1659541748594.png
This picture shows one of the their tracked cargo carriers in the background, on the original website we managed to datamine there was this picture present:
CGD.png
The background wall and floor is the exact same, i think its safe to say that Bruco System SRL was VEHICLE ENGINEERING C.G.D.
With this new information, i shall get in contact with Bruco System SRL and see if i am able to get some information in regards to the military vehicles they designed.
 
sk-300 looks like an M-113 with a floatation kit bolted on. It is based upon alter version of the M-113 with external fuel tanks flanking the rear cargo ramp. Original M-113 were marginally amphibious, so this kit probably makes them practical for calm river crossings.

While atv-120 might look like an M-113 at first glance, there are a bunch of subtle differences in the angle of the rear bulkhead, road wheel spacing, etc. Granted, later versions of M-113 have been stretched and got a sixth set of road wheels, but atv-120 road spacing does not match any M-113 variant.
Those flat-faced road wheels remind us of some French or Swedish (e.g. Pbv 302 APC) light AFVs.

Sorry if I sound like such a nit-picker, but I did learn how to drive in an M113 1/2 Lynx.
 
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A few more things I found out while searching about the Bruco System.

Looking for its name on Google Maps, the address given is 67/D Regione Bessiche 15070, Tagliolo Monferrato (AL), although it's geotagged as being in via Roma 26, Tagliolo Monferrato.
This place looks clearly like a private house rather than the hq of a company and it doesn't match at all with the pictures used on the website of the Bruco System.
Bruco System 5.jpg
On the other hand "Località Bessiche" matches with the industrial area of Tagliolo.

Cross checking the Bruco System's name and the name of Cremaschi Franca (the other person given as a representative of the company together with Toccaceli Marco), I found this news piece from 2009:
Bruco System 4.jpg
It confirms a couple of things:
1 - the company is indeed located in Tagliolo, in the industrial area called "Caraffa";
2 - the company's history, which started in 1993, and their range of products (no mention of anything defence related).
Interestingly, there's no mention of Toccaceli anywhere, only of Cremaschi and her daughter.

Knowing the general area where the Bruco System should be located at and checking the pictures on their site, I then took a virtual walk to see if I could find their warehouse.
751229.jpeg
If you look in the background, you can see the sign for a bar/restaurant so I searched for similar activities in that part of the town.
Bruco System 8.jpg
Bruco System 7.jpg
A few years have clearly passed, so some of the things have changed (like the bar sign not being there anymore, even though the struts for its mounting are still there on the wall), but this is a complete match with the picture from their site.

Bruco System 9.jpg
And it looks like a new company has taken their place, the APS SRL.

I thought this could mean that the Bruco System doesn't exist anymore so I then searched for their VAT number (partita Iva) on the website of the revenue agency.
Bruco System 6.jpg
It appears to be still active, although I think they've stopped production since a few years already (BTW notice their start of businness date is given as 07/10/2002 and not 1993 - so something happened there and that's probably when they changed their name from Vehicle Engineering e Bruco System SRL to just Bruco System SRL).

I don't know if you'll be able to get in contact with anyone, but if you do, please let me know what you find out.
I remain very skeptical of Toccaceli's claims and in my mind it's quite clear what might have happened there, but it would be great to know a bit more.

Cheers!
 

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Thanks for all the amazing work guys.
I wanted to share something else which was found on the website, also part of the datamine which happened over on the discord group.
Here's some sort of amphibious craft, showing off various different configs.
1659628798674.png
Here's an sadly unamed amphibious wheeled vehicle which from the looks of things has some sort of missile launcher mounted at the back, this one is extremely interesting to me, hopefully eventually we'll find out more about what its called. Sorry for the low quality but this was the best i could do.
1659628979010.png
 

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