1952 Austin Champ
From a deceased estate; ex-military; decommissioned for civvy street in 1968; only 23,100 miles indicated; original Rolls-Royce UNF engine; full set of weather equipment; current owner since 1979; for restoration following a period in storage
The Austin Champ came about in the late 1940s in response to an order from the British Army to develop an all-terrain vehicle comparable to the American Jeep. The first prototypes were tested in 1947 and production commenced in 1951.
Officially known as the ‘FV1801A Truck, ¼ ton, 4x4, CT, Austin MkI’, it featured an open four-seater tub made of pressed steel with fully independent suspension all round using torsion bars and double wishbones. Power came from a Rolls-Royce designed 2.8-litre four-cylinder engine mated to an all-synchromesh gearbox with five forward and five reverse gears – so it could theoretically achieve its maximum speed of 50mph going both forwards and backwards!
Both engine and ‘box were designed with absolute reliability as the prime target and were waterproofed so that the vehicle could operate in up to 6’ 6" of water when the snorkel attached to the air cleaner was deployed. A 20-gallon fuel tank gave it a range of 300 miles.
Although it proved to have outstanding cross-country abilities, at £1,200 the Champ was far too expensive, and in the end only around 12,000 of the 15,000 vehicles ordered were made. Its role was largely taken over by the Land-Rover which could perform 80% of its tasks at half the price with much simpler maintenance.
Dating from 1952, this Champ has had just three civilian owners since it was demobbed from duty in 1968, the current owner acquiring it way back in 1979. Retaining its original Rolls-Royce UNF engine, it is showing 23,116 miles on the clock which is more than likely correct. It also retains what looks to be a full set of weather gear.
On offer here as a restoration project from a deceased estate, it is being sold here strictly ‘as seen’ and at No Reserve so the best bid takes it home.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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