Ford T8 Gun Carriage

Ford is well known for the production of military vehicles especially the Ford GPW Jeep. The company was also busy looking at other ideas to help the war effort. In 1940 the American 37mm anti tank gun had just gone into production, designated the M3 using the M4 carriage. This gun was very light weight making it ideal to be towed behind the Jeep which at that time was being developed by Harold Crist and his team at the Bantam Company in Butler, Pennsylvania.Ford T8 Gun Motor CarriageFord looked at making a vehicle that could carry the 37mm anti tank M3 gun that would be fast, manoeuvrable and good off road. What they came up with was the Ford T8 Gun Motor Carriage It was powered by the new Ford G-series straight six Flathead motor that produced 90 horsepower, the same power as the V8 engine Ford had in production at the time, linked to a four-speed transmission. The engine was fitted in the rear of the vehicle on the right hand side. It was built using a ¾ ton chassis with a short wheelbase of just 86 inches just 6 inches longer than the Jeep. Using 20 inches wheels with 9.00 x 20 tyres it had a very good off road ability and could reach nearly 60 mph on the tarmac roads. The crew consisted of three men, the Driver, a gunner and a crewman. The idea was sound as the Ford Gun Motor Carriage had the M3 anti tank gun facing forward, had a low profile, was fast and very good off road.Ford T8 Gun Motor CarriageFord is said to have built fifteen of the T8 Gun Motor Carriage,s in 1941, It was tested by the US Army in the summer of 1941 at the Aberdeen proving grounds and was considered a good vehicle for both its off road and on road capability. Ford also produced an unarmed version called the “swamp buggy” the idea was that this could be used as a reconnaissance vehicle for the Army. It is unclear how many prototype swamp buggy’s were built. Unfortunately for Ford neither vehicle was given a contract for production. Of the fifteen prototype Ford T8 Gun Motor Carriage,s two were said to have been sent to the UK.