Introduction BAIV BV ‘Serving military history’

Many companies, active in the preservation of historical military vehicles, were started by dealers in surplus military equipment or by retired servicemen. BAIV opted for a completely different approach. The team has been developed from motivated young people who have been trained on the job. Currently we have 15 full time employees with an average age of 37, all dedicated to restoring historical World War Two armored vehicles and tanks.

The history of BAIV (British & American Infantry Vehicles) goes back to 1976 when Ivo Rigter Sr. started work in his father’s garage restoring his first World War Two vehicle at the age of just 15! As the years rolled on, work was carried out on several similar projects with a group of like-minded enthusiasts and in 2012, he and his son Ivo Rigter Jr, decided to set up a business. Since then BAIV has increasingly specialized in restoring, rebuilding, supplying and servicing historical WW2 armored vehicles and tanks, backed by a dedicated team of skilled staff. The firm is SCC certified by TüV and is an official training and learning company for professionals certified by the VOC and Innovam. BAIV prides itself in providing a firm focus on the Customer Experience (CEx), which involves its clients receiving regular updates (via photos and video) on the progress of their vehicle’s restoration.

The team approach is unique. Workshop Manager Ruud Caspers is supported by three foremen who are responsible for all the daily activities in the workshop. Ivo Jr. as Project Manager covers (reverse) engineering (3D-CAD), sales support, finance and accounting, documentation and work preparation. Finally Ivo Sr. looks after all the general business and sales.

The ‘BAIV Academy®’ is the internal institute that supports the crew with knowledge and skills training. One of the most exciting things about working on vehicles at BAIV is getting the opportunity to use original military manuals and documentation which were produced by all branches of the services. A phrase that crops up in many is: “published for the information and guidance of all concerned” and this holds as true today as it did when it was written – stripping away the years to explain how things work and should be handled.

This also comes with a major challenge – the trade-off between ‘originality’ and ‘functionality’. In this respect it is important to know what the clients want to do with their vehicles. If they are being restored for display in a museum the need for reliability is completely different to what is required when they are being used for re-enactment purposes, tours or even to drive the family around in at weekends.

BAIV will always remain flexible to meet the demands of the customer. As we like to tell our customers: ‘The answer is yes! Now what’s the question?’