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So you think you might want to buy a ......? In this section is a collection
of my and other collectors'
comments regarding different vehicles that someone might find for sale. Should anyone reading what
is here wish to supply comment or ammend comments about a particular military vehicle then please
send me an email.
T17E1 Staghound Armoured Car (Version 3)
M6 or T17E1 Staghound Armoured Car which GM America made for the British forces (more than 2000 units built) during WW2. The design was rejected by the U.S. military as they had decided to standardise on the M8 Greyhound.
This vehicle was very advanced for it's time and despite claims to the contrary, the M8 Greyhound Armoured Car which is it's main contempary on the collectors scene cannot even come close to it for features.
There were 2 x GM straight six petrol engines giving about 95 HP each. Control was by way of a single circuit hydraulic throttle which worked a slave connected to both motors. An intercooler device was plumbed into the cooling circuits of each motor (whilst still retaining separation of the 2 circuits) and through 2 small heat exchangers in each circuit served to keep the engine and transmission oil within limits.
It had 2 Hydrovacs (one for front brakes and one for the Rear brakes) powering a twin chamber master cylinder along with twin vacuum tanks. It also had (electrically powered - hydraulic pumped) power assisted steering and 2 engines each driving Hydramatic boxes either engine being selectable from the drivers position and capable of being shut down so that only 1 engine was in use, whilst on the move if required!
Plus a fully basketed closed top turret (unlike my M8!) which had all the power traverse etc from the M3 Grant/Lee medium tank, slip ring electrical connections for 360 degree traverse and radio's in the turret bustle.
It was a considerable improvement on the M3 turret as it had 2 separate hatches, 1 for Commander and 1 for the Gunner unlike the M3 which had a single split hatch position. Both turrets had the same number of crew and in an emergency, a crewmans’ chance of surviving a bailout would have to be better from the Staghound turret: not to mention less claustrophobic.
All the ammo was stored in the basket ready to use, there were no low down awkward bins to get at unlike the M8.
Despite being automatic the Staghound was set up so that it could be tow started if the on-board batteries had failed.
The Staghound was a true armoured car in that it was fully armoured: in comparison, the M8 had an open top turret and a sheet metal belly which made it vulnerable both top and bottom.
They had only 1 major failing that I have been able to identify for the restorer (and this is the reason I sold mine) is that vision is very limited for the driver UNLESS the periscopes are used to give sideways vision. Unfortunately it was designed at a time when a driver was stuffed in his hole and did exactly what he was told, the idea of a pop up seat with an overhead hatch had still to become the norm. I had no confidence that even if I could register a Stag that it would not be struck off on some burocratic whimsy. The only other notable failing of a Stag is the access to the driver/co-driver position which is either by way of the side escape hatches or down through the turret, then via the access hole in the turret basket out into the drivers position.
They did give it some thought as both seat backs hinged sideways.
Each vehicle came with a detachable compressor which could be clipped to the pulley on either of the 2 engines so that the vehicle could inflate it's own tyres. This could be done without opening the engine bays and required no tools.
The run flat tyres I have seen on them have had cracks in the side walls up to 1" deep and you could still not push a knife through to the tube. There was no distance limit on the flat running life of the tyres.
Even the much later English Saladin armoured car does have as many features EXCEPT that it has a nice big gun. Otherwise the Stag held it's own in all probability till the 1960's. It's downfall being the 37mm gun.
People who have driven the Stag in the military tell me that it was well into the 1970's before they drove another vehicle that could compare for quality of ride and ease of control even in the civilian area. They all recall it very fondly including those who had to keep them running 30 years after production ceased.
The Stag is a BIG beast the 14.00 x 20 tyres come up to chest height and the roof would be head height. When I sold my Staghound it still had original run-flats on it. The bloke that bought it off me got an employee on his sheep station to change one of the wheels which only had a normal tractor pattern tyre on it. He slipped and the wheel fell on him and pinned him to the ground, as there was no-one else around he was stuck, but luckily uninjured. In certain parts of this area the soil is a dark red colour and can be quite soft, at times. Lucky for him that he was in an area of this soil that was not too compacted, so he was able to spend the next 1/4 hour digging himself out from under the wheel. How he was not injured is still a mystery to me as regardless of whether the wheel is fitted with a run flat or a relatively light tractor tyre they are still bloody heavy!
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