Fordson Armoured Car
By Bill Hodgson
day 3 years ago I pick up my first classic military magazine and on the
cover was a photo of a Rolls Royce Armoured car and to cut a long story
short I knowing that without winning the lottery I would never own a car
like that unless I built one.
Well, off to
town for my hair cut, and to call into WH Smiths for my monthly kit car
book; not knowing this is the day that will take me on a road to
discovery, and building a car that in my wildest dreams, I’d not
dreamt of building. When I got to Smiths, my usual book was sold out, so
looking for something to read, a picture of a car caught my eye. It was
a Rolls Royce armoured car on the front cover of a classic military
For the next few months, I read that article quite a few times and also
spent a lot of time on the internet finding out about the history of the
cars and how they were built. I learned that they were used in the 1st
World War / Ireland, and up to and including the 2nd World War in North
Africa. What I learned was that there was a lot of info about the cars
as Rolls Royce, but not much about when the body’s where transferred
to Fordson trucks. This was done by number 2 armoured car company RAF,
during the Second World War, as the chassis had worn out and armoured
vehicles were in short supply at this time.
I found very interesting, as no cars of this type survive from this
time, and not much is written about number 2 armoured car company RAF. I
then found that the more I investigated into what they used them for,
the more I admired there courage and commitment in using these outdated
cars and also what a good job they did with them. So I then decided to
make a loose copy of the car, and tell the history of number 2 armoured
car company RAF, by taking it to shows with billboards showing the
history of what they were used for, as I think that their story needs to
be told to this generation and the next, so that it is not forgotten and
the price they paid for are freedom.
The next thing
was to find a vehicle to make this car on. After looking at a number of
chassis, including a Rolls Royce which was two expensive, I decided to
use an LDV 3.5 ton tipper. I could just change the body type on the log
book, and use it on the road. This will mean that I can drive it to
shows, and it can be used as a mobile exhibit and not just as a static
display, and as it is coming up to the 100th anniversary of the 1st
world war in 2014, it may will be used at some shows or events to
celebrate this event.
tools that I used where a 9in angle grinder – 4.5in grinder –DIY mig
wilder – drill – and an assortment of hand tools .
started off by taking off the tipper body using the 9 in grinder,
cutting it up into smaller bits, and I then cut the cab off. When this
was done, I extended the frame work for the tipper to the front end.
This will mean that all of the body can be lifted off in one go, as this
is only bolted to the main chassis.
photos, I then laid out the main body parts. This took some doing, as it
had to look something like the photos. About this time, I became ill,
the postman finding me on the floor of my garage. No work was done for
about 6 months, and I am not still 100% fit yet, and I don’t think I
ever will be. This has meant that the build has taking me longer than
planned. The main body is made from 5mm steel plate. The turret is 3mm
plate, which I had rolled by a company in Penistone, and the rest of the
body is wood and alloy. All of the work has been out side in all
I applied for the body change on the log book ( v5 ), I had to supply
lots of photos to register it. It is now classed as a special purpose
body. When it was running, I took it for its MOT, which it failed on
kingpins. It was retested and past. It is now on the road, but it still
needs more work doing to it, and this will be done over a period of
time. I’d like to point out that this is not a copy of a Rolls Royce,
but a loose copy of a Fordson armoured car.