Introduction: Only a few vehicles designed in the ’30s saw much combat time in WWII.
One which at least did was the M3A1 Scout Car as being designed and built by the White Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1937, after trolling three years for an elusive contract for armoured scout cars, the Army finally accepted White’s 3rd prototype, the M3. White built 64 M3s for operational tests in 1938. Based on field reports finally the improved M3A1 model was developed and launched. High-volume production of M3A1s began in June 1939 and continued until 1944. Scout Cars first saw action in the Pacific in 1941 and later during the invasion of North Africa in 1942.
Numerically, the White Scout Car was a resounding wartime success with nearly 21,000 of its type produced during WW-II! The White Scout Car is basically a straight 4×4 wheeled chassis manufactured by the White Motor Company with an armored superstructure installed by the Diebold Safe and Lock Company (Ohio). During the production years the by White completed chassis were delivered to the Diebold plant having their armor plating installed. After this ‘marriage’ it was delivered back to White Motor Company for finalization and release to the Army.
About half of the total produced vehicles was for foreign service where it filled desperate stocks as a fast, road-friendly armored scout car. The vehicle was highly conventional in its design but utterly useful in the scope of a grand war. Is served all over the world, was active on many battlefields and has seeing many fluid fronts. The M3A1 Scout Car enjoyed an extended service life overseas. Due to their appearance and highly respected road performance their active service existed in foreign armies until the 1990s. Many N.O.S. parts have been installed.
Despite nearly 21,000 units were built only a small quantity have survived. Most of the released units came from the Greece Army in the eighties and nineties however from all these examples the amour was extensively cut due to specific deactivation rules and regulations.
This specific example was one of the many which was, most probably, active in British Service. Therefore the “unditching” roller and skate rail were removed. After WW-II it was deployed by the Belgium Police (Belgische Rijkswacht) were it remain in service till the seventies. In the late eighties / early nineties it was completely restored and rebuilt by a Belgium Collector. Engine was replaced by a ‘fresh’ N.O.S. completely rebuilt example (Hercules JDX 6-cylinder inline gasoline engine of 110 horsepower).
During restoration the entire vehicle has been taken apart until the last bolt and nut. This very nice tidy vehicle comes however with the original WW-II UNCUT armour. The vehicle is great fun to drive and fits in most garages.
Therefor it’s a very popular vehicle for collectors who want to have an armoured car. Cruising speed is around 50 mph which makes it also very appropriate to participate in all kind of rallies and tours and even drive your family on a nice Sunday to the church, beach or pub.
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