Armoured Cars: History Revisited

During the terror-filled World War I, there was sixteen American Peerless trucks that were modified by the British to serve as armoured cars in the British Army during 1915. But their designs were primitive- they came with open backs, were armed with just a pom-pom and a machine gun. But these armoured cars were also used by the Tsarist Russian Army as well, as self-propelled anti-aircraft guns.


Let’s get familiar with some specifications of an Armoured Car: It weighs about 6.9 tons, is 6.12 m in length, 2.23 m in width, 2.77 m in height, an armour of 10 mm and can seat 4. In terms of armament, it has two Hotchkiss 0.303 (7.7 mm) machine guns, a peerless engine with 40 bhp and can cover a range of 145 km with a speed of 25 km/h.

armored car

Peerless Armoured Car

After the war ended, there was needed for a new design to replace the armoured vehicles which have worn out and so in 1919, the Peerless Armoured Car design was developed. It was based on the Peerless three-ton lorry chassis even though the Peerless lorry was considered to be a heavy and slow vehicle. But it was thought to be tough and it came with a rear wheel chain drive and solid rubber tyres.

Its armoured body was made by Austin Motor Company based on a design created for the use of the Russian Army. But the design turned out to be short than what the Peerless needed and so to reduce the issue, a duplicate set of driving controls were brought in at the rear of the car.

Even though the most common in use was the twin turret design which was fitted with two machine guns but various other variants were designed and it included an automobile pumped up with a 3-inch gun, an anti-aircraft variant which was armed up with a 13 pounder AA gun.

Here are some stats about it:

  • It was used in Ireland even though it performed poorly in off-road terrains.
  • A few of these remained in service with the British AF the beginning of World War 2.
  • Seven of the vehicles also remained in service with the Irish National Army during the Irish Civil war and they continued being used till 1932 by the Irish Defence Forces. But it wasn’t popular there.

Overall, the car was slow, heavy, unstable, unsuitable for poor roads but it was reliable. It also meant that its deployment was only ever done in urban areas.

Leyland Armoured Cararmoured car

In the year 1935, four of the Irish Peerless armored hulls were proper up on a modified Leyland Terrier 6×4 chassis. Next year, the twin turrets were replaced by a singular Landsverk L60 tank turret. This new Leyland Armoured Car remained in Irish service till the early 1980s.

The Ford Mk V Armoured Car

14 old Irish Peerless turrets along with their Hotchkiss machine guns were fitted into 14 Irish built automobiles in 1940 and they were called the Ford Mk V Armoured Car. For more information click here!