Armoured Car, Crossley Chevrolet (Indian Pattern) (E1951.4)
Vickers Ltd., United Kingdom
The body design, which was very similar to the Rolls-Royce version and built by Vickers at Crayford, had a number of interesting features. These included a dome-shaped turret, with four machine-gun mounts, which was designed to deflect rifle shots from snipers in ambush positions in the high passes. A clamshell cupola surmounted the turret for the commander, while side doors opened opposite ways on either side so that a crew member could dismount safely under fire. The crew area was lined with asbestos to keep the temperature down and the entire body could be electrified to keep large crowds at bay.
Since pneumatic tyres did not survive for long in the Indian climate these cars were originally fitted with narrow, solid tyres which made them rather unstable. By 1939, when the Royal Tank Corps in India had handed most of its equipment over to the Indian Army, the Crossleys were worn out. The bodies were then transferred to imported Canadian Chevrolet chassis (1938 2.5 ton Maple Leaf 16 series), with pneumatic tyres, and in this form served with Indian forces in the Middle East in the early years of the war. Our exhibit was presented to the Tank Museum by the Government of Pakistan in 1951.
Precise Name: Armoured Car (Crossley) Chevrolet (Indian Pattern)
In 1939 the Crossley cars were handed over to the Indian Army. By this time they were in poor mechanical condition so the armoured bodies were transferred to imported Chevrolet four-wheeled lorry chassis to produce a ‘new’ armoured car, the Chevrolet (Indian Pattern). The Chevrolets had pneumatic tyres, twin on the rear wheels. They served with the Indian Army in Iraq, Syria and Persia (Iran) in 1941-42. Eventually the survivors were handed over to the Persian Army in 1942.
A number of Crossley armoured cars, fitted with pneumatic tyres and bodies similar to the Indian pattern were sold to the Japanese Army in the late 1920s. These were used in Manchuria and China from 1931 and were still in service when Japan entered World War 2 in 1941.
The Tank Museum’s Chevrolet (IP) was presented by the Government of Pakistan in 1951.
White B. T.; British Tanks and Fighting Vehicles 1914-1945; SBN 7110 0123 5; Ian Allan, London, 1970.
Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0