The Ford T17 Deerhound lost out to the Chevrolet T17E1 Staghound for combat service during World War 2.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
The T17 "Deerhound" from Ford Motor Company competed unsuccessfully against the Chevrolet designed-and-developed T17E1 "Staghound". Both were medium-class armored cars intended for service with United States Army forces of World War 2 (1939-1945) and mounted the same Rock Island Arsenal turret fitting the 37mm M6 series main gun as primary armament. The Ford design utilized a 6x6 wheeled approach while the Chevrolet submission made use of a 4x4 wheeled arrangement. In the end, the T17E1 was selected for service but it was in British hands that it made its impact during the war. The U.S. Army ended up moving on the classic M8 "Greyhound" series while thousands of T17E1 Staghounds were shipped overseas and even found renewed service lives during the post-war years.
As for the Ford T17 Deerhound, about 250 examples were completed before production was halted and these went on to serve Army military police units stateside.
The T17 featured its 6x6 wheeled arrangement as two rear-mounted axles and a single frontal axle. The armor scheme incorporated a well-sloped glacis plate at front with a relatively flattened hull roof line. The turret sat at center with the twin Hercules JXD gasoline engines fitted to the rear of the hull. A coaxial 0.30 caliber machine gun was fitted in the turret and a 0.30 caliber bow-mounted machine gun rounded out the armament fit. It is assumed that the intended operating crew would number five as this was standard practice amongst armored vehicles of the period.
The British Army initially secured production of theT17 and this began in October of 1942 while the U.S. Army went ahead and commissioned for its own stock of T17 cars as insurance against the M8 series being delayed during production in any way. The Army's own evaluation of the T17 vehicle eventually showcased the types limitations when compared to the competing Chevrolet product and thus the Army production contract was cancelled. The British followed suit and ended with selection of the competing T17E1 instead which more or less marked the end of the T17 beyond the aforementioned 250 examples completed.
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