The armored car was a critical component of field actions concerning World War 2 (1939-1945) ground-based warfare. The British Army alone fielded a plethora of armored cars to fulfill a variety of roles with the most important being that of forward reconnaissance. This role required speed above all else while crew protection and armament became secondary. One of the collection of armored cars in British Army service during the conflict became the Guy Armored Car which appeared in limited numbers.
Design work on the vehicle began in 1938 during the build-up to World War in Europe. Initially a car based on a design submitted by the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich was used and, from there, a variety of four-wheeled systems emerged. For expediency's sake, a pilot vehicle completed by Guy Motors was selected for adoption - producing the "Guy Armored Car" name.
Serial production of 101 examples began in 1939 as evaluations were also underway and this lasted until 1940. Originally the design called for riveted construction but reasons were given to promote the safer and more effective use of welded sections and assembly lines were accordingly brought up to speed. The switch to welding made the Guy Armored Car the first in British Army service to feature this beneficial technique.
The end product was a useful, compact armored car offering. The front section of the hull featured sloped angles for basic ballistics protection with the glacis plate leading up to the straight frontal wall of the hull superstructure housing the driver (its crew consisted of three and included the driver, commander, and gunner). Radio gear - a "No. 19" set - was standard. The hull superstructure supported a 360-degree traversing turret emplacement on its roof line which was outfitted with a Vickers 0.5" heavy machine gun and Vickers .303 medium machine gun pairing. Armor protection measured up to 15mm - good enough against small arms fire and artillery spray. Dimensions included a length of 13.5 feet, a width of 6.8 feet, and a height of 7.5 feet. Overall weight was 5.2 tons.
The engine, a Meadows 4ELA 4-cylinder gasoline fueled system of 55 horsepower output, was installed in a compartment at the rear of the hull. This was mated to a transmission system featuring four forward and one reverse speed. Road speeds reached 40 miles per hour with ranges out to 210 miles. The wheels were well-spaced and held under large fenders while also providing excellent ground clearance when traveling over uneven terrain.