DOUG'S ' HEAVY METAL ' GALLERY

 

T A N K S C A R R I E R S A R M O U R E D   C A R S

 

The McMillan's Champ    (Ver 1)

 

After visiting Beltring 99 my Dad, Brother and I decided that we had to have our own vehicle, this urge was made even stronger by a military vehicle driving experience, so we started looking at which vehicles we could buy. We live in a house with a single garage and not much land, so our choice was limited. A Ferret was the first choice, we had driven these on our driving experience, but a quick run around with a tape measure revealed that it was not going to fit in the garage. We didn’t really want a jeep, there are far to many of these about, and the same with land rovers – so we decided to have a look for a champ. In spring 2000 we started looking around for a champ that didn’t need too much work, so we could drive it straight away, but one that we could finish off ourselves. We looked at a few and finally settled on a white champ that was painted in UN colours. We decided it would need painting sometime soon, and that we would turn it back to it’s original green.

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We packed the champ up and headed for Belting, armed with a camera to take photos of any parts on other champs we might be missing. While we were there we attended the arena events, including the “jeep seesaw”, but didn’t manage to balance the champ. Some other champ owners said they had done it before by reversing the champ on, we might try this next year! The champ was built to go off road, so we decided we’d see if it could still do it. The off road course was great fun, we even ended up pulling the marshals range rover out of the mud, but sadly we didn’t have the camera to take a photo.

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Below is a picture of the Champ in the arena at Beltring.

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Once we got home we set about repainting the champ. The army painted them by hand, so we were told, so we painted ours the same way. It took along time, but we finally got there. It looks much better green! At the moment we are changing all the tyres, fitting new seat covers and getting it ready for the spring.



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History and Technical Details

The champ is one of the standardised range of ‘combat' vehicles introduced in the 1950s and was intended to replace the wartime US built Jeep. The Champs remained in service from the mid 50s to the mid 60s but were always expensive to maintain and were uneconomical in their use of fuel. They were eventually replaced by the cheaper but adequate Land Rover.

Length

3.66 m (12 ft)

Width

1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Height

1.87 m (6 ft 1˝ in) - to top of canopy

Wheelbase

2.13 m (7 ft)

Engine

Rolls Royce B40 Four cylinder petrol

For more information visit www.austinchamp.com



Thanks to Chris McMillan for the article.


 

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