is what a Fox Mk.I Armoured Car is supposed to look like. Very similar
to the British Humber Mk.IV, the Fox was manufactured by General Motors
of Canada. It was armed with a .50 and .30 cal machine gun in a hand-cranked
the Fox was not received well, suffering from problems in part related
to the complexity of the rear (alternate) steering mechanism. Although
it saw limited duty in the Italian theatre, reconnaissance and escort units
in northern Europe opted for M3A3 Stuarts, as well as Staghound and Daimler
armoured cars. 1506 Foxes were manufactured in total; seven are known to
Parker's Fox chassis being moved into the garage where it was restored
and assembled to the state seen below. It takes a lot of vision to start
from this stage and see a job like this all the way through. Full credit
must go to the gentleman who persevered with this to the point where Bruce
took over. When this is complete, it will be the only fully restored one
of its kind in the world.
Fox hull, forlorn and upside down, awaiting the sand blaster. It has been
stripped as far down as possible, and will be blasted, primed and painted
this coming spring. At that point it will be mounted back on the chassis
and the whole unit towed to a yard for final restoration. The turret will
only be mounted once the interior is complete.
shot of the chassis, restored and waiting for the hull. This work was done
by the Fox's previous owner, who went as far afield as the Netherlands
for parts (apparently many Foxes ended their service lives as range puppies
over there). The flat plate ahead of the steering column is the forward
hull mounting bracket.
Fox axles resemble those of the 60cwt CMP, they are in fact unique - wider
and with gearsets specifically tailored for the backwards, rear engine
U.S. G.M. 270ci engine. These engines were imported from the United
States rather than built here. They are powerful, robust and reliable.
from the right side. Luckily, parts for these powerplants are still easy
to come by.
be documenting the restoration process in some detail throughout this coming
year. Bruce estimates two to three years for complete restoration and final
kitting out; although he has most interior fittings, many will have to
be remanufactured by hand due to advanced corrosion.
of the transmission and transfer case linkages. Most of these were hand-made
by the previous owner - that's sometimes the level of dedication and committment
inspired and required by these 55 year-old beasts!
linkages for the rear steering haven't yet been made or installed; no decision
has been taken as to whether they will be at all, given the inherent design
and engineering shortcomings associated with that mechanism. Apparently
it was a common practice in the field to disconnect the rear steering,
for the same reason.
view of the chassis. Note the radiator has been removed prior to winter
storage. For a series of excellent photographs of a restored British Humber
Mk.IV, which will show a very similar layout to that of this Fox, please
see Chris Shillito's superb ARMOUR
IN FOCUS web site.
13 Feb 00
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