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RAF Fordson Armoured Car
By Bill Hodgson

One 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, Id 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 magazine.

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 bodys 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.

 This 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the more I investigated into what they used them for, the more I admired there courage and commitment in using these outdated cars and also what a good job they did with them.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.

The tools that I used where a 9in angle grinder 4.5in grinder DIY mig wilder drill and an assortment of hand tools . 

I 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.

Using 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 dont 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 weathers.
When 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. Id like to point out that this is not a copy of a Rolls Royce, but a loose copy of a Fordson armoured car.
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