Look at these blokes. The Australian Light Car Patrol. They started operating in Egypt and Libya against the Senusi Arabs and took their Model T Fords far further than anyone had ever been into the Sahara. The Long Range Desert Group in WW2 reported finding their tracks from 27 years earlier in places they were struggling to move with their specialist desert vehicles. They then transferred to support the Australian Light Horse in Palestine and Syria doing fabulous work far faster and more efficiently than any horse reconnaissance patrol. Didn't need four wheel drive (though I have no doubt if it was offered they would have taken it)
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.......and not forgetting Lang's cross country adventure in the family Hillman described by him so well so many threads ago.
Exactly, It's amazing how many old two Wheel Drive cars got to drive Places back Then. ...That Everyone Today tries & tell you You Need a Four Wheel Dive & heap of gear. that would have got laughed at back in the 50's 7 60's..(or even earlier)
The reason they need all that extra gear is because they are carrying all that extra gear and they get into trouble because of the extra weight. LOL.
They don't notice that the people who live and work in those remote places don't have giant fat tyres or fancy wheels, just the original ones, and they don't need all the excess crap because they treat their vehicles and terrain as it is meant to be, sensibley.
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The story of the Light Car patrol is told in "The Benzine Lancers" and also in "Pioneers of Australian Armour In the Great War". They started out with lumbering armoured cars and quickly learnt the lesson previously stated - lose weight and get simple so they ended up with stripped down model T's. Can't wait to see Lang in his replica.
Lang's pics are of the second issue, post 1917. The first ones were totally stripped down and looking the true 'desert rat' job. The Lewis machine gun was fixed to a pedestal at the rear of the chassis, with gunner and driver back to back and an ammo box to sit on. The only tin remaining was the fire wall. Radiator overflow went to a condenser to save water.
They are sitting much too high in the yellow one, and the gun might be a bit low as well. In the real thing the gun lined up with the gunners shoulder so he could use the sights and have enough articulation to point down (as when the car is pointing up when cresting a sand hill) as well as to point up to have a go at aircraft.
This is an excellent book written from the notes of somebody who was there. Lots about the early days when the Australian Light Car Patrols were going far into the Libyan Desert far beyond anywhere a vehicle had ever been before.
The Australians were used extensively in Palestine and Syria during the march on Damascus as motorised scouting teams and also to rescue wounded from Light Horse actions. They had many running battles with the Turks. There were other makes apart from Ford but they quickly standardised.
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That yellow Model T (I believe in WA) looks as though he has built the standard Army general purpose body like the bottom photo here and put a gun on it to make it look like a patrol vehicle. They may well have pressed the standard vehicle in to patrol work so he may not be incorrect.
The first photo is not Australian but RFC/RAF vehicles. Apart from bristling with two guns they do appear to be standard vehicles like the yellow one and not the cut down gun buggies.
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