AEC Armoured Car

AEC Armoured Car is the name of a series of British heavy armoured cars built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) during the Second World War.

AEC Armoured Car
AEC Mk III Armoured Car
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Production history
No. built629
MassMk I: 11 tonnes (12 short tons; 11 long tons)
Mk II, III: 12.7 t (14.0 short tons; 12.5 long tons)
Length5.18 m (17 ft 0 in)
Width2.74 m (9 ft 0 in)
Height2.54 m (8 ft 4 in)
CrewMk I: 3
Mk II, III: 4

Armor16–65 mm (0.63–2.56 in)
Mk I: QF 2 pounder
Mk II: QF 6 pounder
Mk III: QF 75 mm
1 x Besa machine gun, 1 x Bren light machine gun.
EngineMk I: AEC 195 diesel
Mk II, III: AEC 197 diesel
105–158 hp (78–118 kW)
Power/weightMk I: 9.5 hp/tonne
Mk II, III: 12.4 hp/tonne
Suspensionwheel 4x4
400 km (250 mi)
Speed58–65 km/h (36–40 mph)


AEC of Southall, Middlesex, was a manufacturer of truck and bus chassis and its Matador artillery tractor was used for towing medium field and heavy anti-aircraft guns. The armoured car based on the Matador chassis was developed initially as a private venture and shown to officials in 1941 during Horse Guards Parade in London, where it made a favourable impression on Churchill and 629 vehicles were produced from 1942–1943.

AEC tried to build an armoured car with fire power and protection comparable to those of contemporary tanks. The first version carried a Valentine Mk II turret with a 2 pounder gun. Subsequent versions received a 6 pounder or a 75 mm gun. The vehicle also carried two machine guns, a smoke grenade discharger and a No. 19 radio set.

The Mk I was first used in combat in the North African Campaign late in 1942, where a few vehicles were reportedly fitted with a Crusader tank turret mounting a 6 pounder gun. The Mk II and Mk III took part in the fighting in Europe with British and British Indian Army units, often together with the Staghound.

The vehicle remained in service after the end of the war until replaced by the Alvis Saladin. The Lebanese Army used the car at least until 1976.


  • Mk I: original version with turret from a Valentine tank, 129 built.
  • Mk II: heavier turret with a 6 pounder gun, redesigned front hull, 158 hp diesel engine.
  • Mk III: Close Support Armoured Car a Mk II with 6 pounder replaced with the QF 75 mm gun.
  • AA: Crusader AA turret with twin Oerlikon cannon capable of high elevation to engage enemy aircraft. Did not enter production due to Allied air superiority in Northern Europe.



    • George Forty - World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Artillery, Osprey Publishing 1996, ISBN 1-85532-582-9.
    • I. Moschanskiy - Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2, Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02 (И. Мощанский - Бронетанковая техника Великобритании 1939-1945 часть 2, Моделист-Конструктор, Бронеколлекция 1999-02).
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