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Guy Armored Car

4-Wheeled Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle

United Kingdom | 1939

"The Guy Armored Car was produced for the British Army during the early part of World War 2 - though only 101 vehicles were taken on."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/13/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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When war was declared by Britain and France against Germany in September of 1939, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) formed the British ground commitment to maintaining a free Western Europe. About six of the Guy Armored Cars were shipped to the European mainland for service. With Poland finally conquered, the Low Countries and Norway followed and this led to the Battle of France in May of 1940. However, this campaign met with similar results for the Allies as French nation capitulated and the six cars were lost in the fighting. The remaining stock of Guy Armored Cars remained on British soil fulfilling a variety of roles and were in use until 1943 when replaced by more effective, modern car types having emerged after the start of the fighting.

The limited nature of the vehicle's production was tied directly to Guy Motors' inability to produce the car on a grander scale as the company was already committed to production of other much-needed systems (including artillery tractors) which left the Guy Armored Car to suffer. However, not all was lost for some of the car's design and construction methodology was passed on to the design of the "Humber Armored Car" (detailed elsewhere on this site) which followed in 1941. Production of this useful car numbered around 5,400.

The original production run was the Mk I with 50 units completed (Vickers machine gun armament). The Mk 1A featured a BESA 15mm paired with a BESA 7.92mm machine gun in the turret. 51 of this variant were built.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Guy Armored Car Mk 1 4-Wheeled Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.
1 x Meadows 4ELA 4-cylinder gasoline engine developing 55 horsepower.
Installed Power
40 mph
65 kph
Road Speed
211 miles
340 km
The physical qualities of the Guy Armored Car Mk 1 4-Wheeled Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.
13.5 ft
4.12 meters
O/A Length
6.7 ft
2.05 meters
O/A Width
7.5 ft
2.3 meters
O/A Height
11,684 lb
5,300 kg | 5.8 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Guy Armored Car 4-Wheeled Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.
1 x 12.7mm Vickers machine gun
1 x 7.7mm Vickers machine gun

Mk IA:
1 x 15mm BESA machine gun
1 x 7.92mm BESA machine gun

500 x 0.5" ammunition (estimated)
1,000 x 0.303 ammunition (estimated)
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Guy Armored Car family line.
Guy Armored Car - Base Series Name
Mk I - Original production model of 1939; 2 x Machine Gun armament in turret; 50 units completed.
Mk IA - Second production model; turret featuring 15mm BESA HMG along with coaxial 7.92mm BESA MMG; 51 units completed.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Guy Armored Car. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 101 Units

Contractor(s): Guy Motors - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
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Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Guy Armored Car 4-Wheeled Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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