Reference Image WWII British 5-cwt (quarter ton) Light Utility vehicles.

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WWII British 5-cwt (¼ ton) Light Utility Trucks.

Four successful pre-war family saloon cars were used as a basis for the 5-cwt Light Utility Trucks which served all branches of the British Armed Forces. These vehicles were, the Austin 10, Hillman 'Minx', Morris Series 'M' and the Standard 12. The first three were easily recognisable as they retained the car bonnet, wings and windscreen even though the radiator grilles were simplified or modified on later models. The Standard however was fitted with an upright windscreen. Vehicles of this type remained in service for some years post-war.

Austin 10 hp General Specification
Length: 13' 1" Width: 5' 3¼" Height: 6' 5½"
Wheelbase: 7' 10¾" Track (F): 4' 0½" Track (R): 4' 3½"
Clearance: 8½" at rear axle. Turning circle: 36' 0"
austin-10hp-4x2-light-utility-tily.png

1315px-Austin_Tilly.jpg


Hillman 'Minx' chassis' produced by the Rootes Group provided three different vehicles for use by the services; a saloon car widely used by the RAF and Navy, a closed van with ladders (RAF) and the Light Utility used by all services.

Hillman 'Minx' - General Specification
Length: 12' 7" Width: 5' 3" Height: 6' 3"
Wheelbase: 7' 8" Track (F): 3' 11½" Track (R): 4' 2½
Clearance: 7½" at rear axle. Turning Circle: 37' 0"
hillman-10hp-light-utility-tilly-2.png

1363px-Hillman_10hp_light_utility_pic3.JPG


Similar bodies were fitted to the Austin, Hillman and Morris chassis: these had fixed sides with a drop billboard, a detachable canvas tilt was supported on 3 hoops. The tilt had an opening section at the forward end of the roof and on either side. Hoops, when not in use were carried bunched together in sockets at the forward end. There were separate seats for driver and passenger, passenger's folding forward to give access to the rear. Behind were two separate seats which could be folded forward to leave a flat floor except for the combined wheel arches and lockers. The spare wheel was carried on the cab roof, the back of the being open to the main body.
The Morris Series M Light Utility was again similar to the Austin and the Hillman. Later production batches had a simple wire mesh grille instead of the civilian-type and a one-piece canvas tilt without the forward roof opening.

Morris Series M - General Specification
Length: 13' Width: 5' 0" Height: 6' 4"
Wheelbase: 7' 10" Track (both): 4' 3"
Clearance: 7½" Turning Circle: 40' 0

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As can be seen from the picture below, the last of the Light utilities bore far less resemblance to it's saloon car origins than the other three. Based on the famous pre-war Standard Flying Twelve car, but with a rigid front axle, this vehicle was produced in considerable numbers and remained in production after the end of the war. The main points of difference with other light utilities were the canvas top to the cab, upright windscreen and spare wheel mounted on the tailboard.

Standard 12 - General Specifications

Length: 13' 10" Width: 5' 5" Height: 6' 8"
Wheelbase: 9' 0" Track (F): 4' 1" Track (R): 4' 4"
Clearance: 8" to sump. Turning Circle: 40' 0"

standard-12hp-4x2-tilly-light-utility-vehicle.png

The_Women's_Auxiliary_Air_Force_,_1939-1945._CH8331.jpg
 

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