Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024)
Land Systems / Battlefield

Lanchester Armored Car (6x4)

Six-Wheeled Light Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) [ 1929 ]

Production of Lanchester Armored Cars totaled 39 examples across four primary marks.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/13/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Lanchester Motor Company Limited produced a four-wheeled armored car for service in World War 1 (1914-1918) and this product was only rivaled in British Army service by a Rolls-Royce model. During the interwar years, Lanchester turned its attention to a new design featuring a six-wheeled arrangement at the behest of the British Army. Armored cars proved their worth on World War 1 battlefields and their value was not lost in the ensuing decade for many automobile manufacturers attempted to sell their designs to various military forces around the world. Such vehicles could reconnoiter forward positions, provide light fire support for advancing infantry, and police colonial strongholds. The Lanchester 6x4 Armored Car was born from this interwar period work and went on to serve the British Army across four distinct marks numbering 39 total cars.

British Army authorities saw the need for an all-modern six-wheeled armored car providing improved cross-country performance through four-wheel drive power when compared to the wartime designs then available. Lanchester was awarded funds to develop a new car in 1927 and this begat a pair of pilot vehicles in the D1E1 and the D1E2 in the year following (the latter with front-and-rear driver positions for quick escapes). Trials soon revealed a weak chassis and inadequate cross-country performance which helped to finalize a production form designated as Mk 1. Eighteen of this mark were commissioned in July of 1928 along with four Mk 1A models to serve as Command Vehicles (CVs) fitting increased communications gear while losing their hull-mounted .303 machine gun. The turret featured a dual-machine gun arrangement mounting a 0.50 heavy and 0.303 medium machine gun arrangement (side-by-side).

Unlike many previous wartime armored cars, the chassis of the Lanchester was purpose-built for the role as opposed to using an existing truck chassis. An armored hull superstructure fitting a traversable turret was fitted over the 6x4 wheeled chassis. The engine held a conventional placement at the front of the vehicle with the driver's compartment just aft (the driver seated front-right). The superstructure featured a fighting compartment over the rear of the chassis and carried the turret and primary armament. A typical operating crew was four and included the driver, a vehicle commander, and two machine gunners. The hull-mounted machine gun was installed in a trainable mounting at the front left of the hull, next to the driver's position. The turret roof included an independently-traversing cupola which proved useful in protected observation.

Overall weight was in the seven ton range and the vehicle sported a length of 6 meters, a width of 2 meters, and a height of 2.8 meters. Armor protection reached up to 9mm in thickness and drive power provided from a Lanchester 6-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine developing 90 horsepower. Suspension was of a leaf spring arrangement to the 6x4 wheeled configuration and road speeds reached 72 kmh with operational ranges out to 320 kilometers.©MilitaryFactory.com
In October of 1929, the Army returned with an order for eight more cars - three Mk II models, three Mk IIA CV models, and a D1E3 and D1E4 training vehicle. Four additional Mk II cars followed in July of 1931 while 1932 saw three more Mk IIA CV cars arrive. Mk IIs used single-tired rear axles (as opposed to the Mk 1s double-tired approach) and a redesigned turret cupola with sloped sides (as opposed to vertical sides seen on the Mk 1).

First deliveries of Lanchester cars were in early 1929 though full unit strength (with the 11th Hussars Regiment) was not reached until 1934. Such cars often replaced what were horse-dominated cavalry forces as global militaries geared up for a new kind of land warfare - mechanized. Lanchester cars then saw service across Germany, Egypt , and Libya.

In practice, the design was appreciated for its reliability and good cross-country performance when compared to the competing Rolls-Royce. However, the type suffered what many armored cars influenced by World War 1 suffered - proving top-heavy, oversized, tall and long making for a slower-than-expected, highly visible target whose chassis was stressed by the weight of the armored superstructure and weaponry. With the adoption of the Morris Light Reconnaissance Car (LRC), Lanchester cars continued in service when they were shipped to the Far East for colonial security. The cars soldiered on into the early years of World War 2 (1939-1945) after which they largely fell away to history - only one having survived to become a museum showpiece (this present at the Bovington Tank Museum UK as of 2015).©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom


Lanchester Motor Company - UK
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Belgium National flag of Malaysia National flag of Singapore National flag of the United Kingdom Belgium; Malaysia; Singapore; United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Armored Car
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.

20.0 ft
6.1 m
6.6 ft
2.02 m
9.3 ft
2.82 m
15,432 lb
7,000 kg
7.7 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Lanchester Armored Car (6x4) production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Lanchester 6-cylinder gasoline engine developing 90 horsepower.
44.7 mph
(72.0 kph)
198.8 mi
(320.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Lanchester Armored Car (6x4) production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 0.50 caliber Vickers heavy machine gun (HMG) with 1 x 0.303 caliber Vickers machine gun in turret (side-by-side installation).
1 x .303 caliber Vickers machine gun in forward hull.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
500 x 0.50 caliber ammunition (estimated)
1,200 x 0.303 ammunition (estimated)

Lanchester Mk I - Initial Production Mark; featuring dual rear tires; 18 examples.
Lanchester Mk IA - Battlefield command variant based on the Mk I with communications equipment; 4 examples.
Lanchester Mk II - Revised Lanchester Car with new sloped armor panels at turret cupola; single tires per axle; 7 examples.
Lanchester Mk IIA - Battlefield Command variant based on the Mk II with communications equipment; 6 examples produced.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 2
Image of the Lanchester Armored Car (6x4)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
2 / 2
Image of the Lanchester Armored Car (6x4)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)