Charlie's Sabre
   (Ver 3)


I have wanted an AFV since I can remember remembering and have always have that fascination with all things military. On a May morning last year (2004), being a bit bored at work I rang around a few dealers just seeing what the prices of a few AFV’s are fetching like Ferrets and Scorpions. All the dealers said near enough the same thing giving the price of a ferret and that Scorpions are far and few between and pricy if a good one comes onto the open market. Not that I was too bothered as I was not seriously considering purchasing one there and then. The last dealer took my number and said he would keep in touch and let me know if anything interesting comes up.

Later that day the phone rings and it’s the dealer I gave my number to saying that there are a load of Sabres on the market. At the time I hadn’t even heard of a CVRT Sabre but asked for pics and prices etc…

At the dealer's.

Bugger!!! After trawling the web (and finding your site) I knew I had started something that was never going to stop. I had found AFV’s. and more to the point realised that they were within realistic reach of the private individual, i.e. me.

However much I tried to put myself off buying the Sabre and telling myself that I should start with a ferret or something It didn’t work and within a month I was the proud owner of CVRT Sabre 02FD93.

After an extensive and costly renovation;

New J60 engine

New track

New Mezze Dampers plus arms

New smoke grenade dischargers

New intercom system and headsets etc

Two new 434 radios, TUAAM’s (Tuner Unit Automatic Antenna Matching),
ARFAT’s (Adaptor R.F. Antenna Tuning) and cables.

New Rarden cannon (not easy to find)

Dummy chain gun

Full re-spray

Four new batteries

Nine new No43 sight

New exhaust elbow and Y piece

New D10 cable reel, water can etc…

New rev counter

New Sprockets

I end up with this…

Very nice vehicle, idealic location, church could do with some work......

Note gent in background. I see Charlie has omitted the "knee killer" driver's periscope.

Commander's eye view of a country lane.

I have had a few engine problems with her since, but at the moment she is running a dream ( funny how big toys are always she’s). I am unable to keep her under cover at the moment which is a shame but she fits perfectly on my front drive with about 1 inch clearance either side. This should change as I’m in the process of buying a farm with loads of room for her and maybe others ( no defiantly others). My poor girlfriend.

Anyway, hope to keep Doug up to date with what goes on and I have to say that although a lot of people tried to persuade me to go for wheeled armour first there is nothing like turning up at the supermarket or local pup in tracked armour.

I have never regretted getting it and love every minute I spend on, in or under her.

Hope this is of interest to your readers Doug and hope to send more pics as I get them.

Kind regards, Charlie

August 2006

Hi Doug, thought your viewers may like to see some picks of a Sabre being repaired.

Lovely summers day, and just right for taking the Sabre for a spin over the fields, except half way through I loose 60% power and she is backfiring every second or so. It doesn’t sound good.

Weeks passed and at last I got a free day to take a look at her. My suspicion is the points / timing so access to the distributor is needed. Easy in a car, but in a CVRT it’s a different matter.

First remove the engine and gearbox covers and then the top armour and thankfully having a farm means that there was suitable lifting equipment available.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


Next disconnect the throttle cable and cold start rod, remove the drivers seat and then remove the bulkhead between the driver and engine.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


At last we can now get to the distributor. As everything is watertight and sealed in it’s own box with armoured cable connecting everything together taking the top of the distributor is not the easiest task in the world, but eventually it came apart.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


The points were cleaned and the engine ran beautifully, so the beast was put back together ready for a test drive. Not having got out the shed for the test drive she lost power and started to backfire again. This sounded like a problem with the condenser, so strip the vehicle down again and replace the condenser inside the distributor. At last success and touch wood she is running as sweet as a nut. Amazing how such a small component failing can put a modern piece of armour out of action.

Also took some pictures of the inside of her that you would not normally be able to take with the armour on.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


Drivers position showing steering tillers, gear change peddle, brake peddle and Throttle peddle (left to right), Hand brake (orange Handle), and the black knob just to the left of the bottom of the orange handle is the forward / reverse selector.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


Instrument panel located to the left of the driver.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


Looking up at the gunners hatch (left) and commanders hatch (right).

Hope this is of interest to your readers.

Regards, Charlie


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