Chevrolet Staghound T-17E2 (AA)
of four 1942 Chevrolet T17E2 Staghound armored cars have been
deteriorating outside VJTI Matunga for over three and a half decades.
When I was a student in the
early 1970s, VJTI stood for Victoria
Jubilee Technical Institute. Since 1997, it’s
by Chevrolet USA for British use, the Chevrolet Staghound first entered
combat in Italy in 1943.
The Indian Army (under the English)
had 4 armored divisions that saw action in Burma in World-War-2.
to Pakistan after the partition, some of these Staghounds were probably
recaptured during the 1971 war.
A total of 2,844
T-17E1s were built, however only 789 T-17E2s were built of
which four are at VJTI !
rumored that, Pakistani armor captured during the 1971 Indo-Pak war,
were distributed across the country. It may just well have been around
that time, that these four Staghound anti-aircraft armored
cars found their way to VJTI. If anyone knows any more please corroborate or refute my findings.
My untrained eye, picked out what I thought were US Army markings on the vehicles.
Here is the left front of one of the T-17E2 AA's
And here is a close-up of the marking
The Staghound was designed to be a long-range reconnaissance and convoy
It accomodated a crew of four.
for desert use, the 14-ton Staghound was large and heavy. People who have driven
the Stags in combat found that there was no comparable vehicle well into the 1970s to match the Stag's quality of
ride and ease of control.
Staghound was propelled by two naturally-aspirated,
inline 6-cylinder, 4,425 cc
GMC-270 carbureted water-cooled OHV engines,
each of which
developed 97 bhp @ 3000 rpm.
I looked into the engine bay under one Staghound's engine covers. The twin engines were rusty but still there!
Each engine drove its
own four-speed GM Hydramatic automatic transmission.
transmissions drove a central differential connected to the front and
rear axles through a part-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case.
driver could start or shut down any of the two engines, "on-the-fly"
and drive the vehicle on any one or both the engines,
Despite being automatic the
staghound could be tow started if the on-board
Its fuel tanks could hold
623 litres of petrol.
The Staghound's top speed was 90 km/h
with a range of 724 km (112gals of fuel in the tanks).
Staghound's 14.00-20 tires come up to chest height and the roof is as
tall as my head. It could be driven through water 3-feet deep.
armored cars at VJTI still wear WW2 14.00-20 COMBAT, run-flat tires
manufactured by USRC (United States Rubber Co.)
the yellow dot (light static balance point) on the tire, sitting there
since WW-2.! Observe the well placed valve stem for better initial
Here's a close up of the logo.
run flat tires were so heavily made that despite 1-inch deep sidewall
cracks, you could still not push a knife through to the tube.
was no distance limit on the flat running life of the run-flat tires.
The Staghound came with
a detachable compressor which could be hooked-up to either of the two
engines, so that the vehicle could inflate its own tires.
This could be done without tools and without opening the engine bays.
Staghound armored car was very advanced for its time. It
had two separate Bendix HydroVacs (fore and aft) powering a twin chamber master
cylinder along with twin vacuum tanks.
also had (electrically powered - hydraulic pump) power assisted
Direct vision was very limited for the driver. Periscopes were used to give sideways vision.
to the driver/co-driver position was through one of the side escape
hatches or down through the turret and out through its access hole.
seat backs hinged sideways, to facilitate this.
The interiors were pretty rusty. But here are two pictures I tool.
turret of the most common version T-17E1 had a gyro-stabilized 37 mm
cannon and a 0.30 calibre machine gun.
Some Staghounds had
an additional 0.30 calibre machine gun in the bow. It could cancel out
the up and down pitching of the nose due to rough terrain,
automatically maintaining the gun pointed at the target.
armored cars at VJTI are T-17E2 Staghounds. These are rarer.
Only 789 were produced and 4 are at VJTI, Mumbai.
T-17E2 Staghound had
a Frazer-Nash powered
anti aircraft turret, carrying twin M2HB Browning 0.5 inch
calibre heavy machine guns.
gunner sat in the turret between the two brownings.
T-17E2 was intended to be a convoy escort and ack-ack vehicle. The
Browning heavy machine gun (still a current weapon) has a
muzzle velocity of 890 m/s and fires ball ammunition at 450-500
rounds-per-minute fed by a belt system.
If you're familiar with Google-Earth, check out
this Google Earth Community post.
In that post, click on where it says
If you have Google Earth installed on your computer, it will take you to the spot where the four Staghounds are located.
All four Staghound AAs at VJTI are missing the Browning machine guns, headlights, taillights and periscopes.
Aside from the investment in
tinwork needed, these four rare T17E2s at VJTI would be a military vehicle collector’s
dream to buy and