|5th April 2006, 08:20||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Chevrolet Staghound T-17E2 (AA)
The hulks 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 Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute
Manufactured 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.
Transferred 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 !
It is 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 AAs
And here is a close-up of the marking
The Staghound was designed to be a long-range reconnaissance and convoy escort vehicle. It accomodated a crew of four.
Originally intended 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.
The 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 peered 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.
Both transmissions drove a central differential connected to the front and rear axles through a part-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case.
The 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, as required!
Despite being automatic the staghound could be tow started if the on-board batteries failed.
Its fuel tanks could hold 623 litres of petrol.
Speed and Economy
The Staghound's top speed was 90 km/h with a range of 724 km (112gals of fuel in the tanks).
The 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.
The armored cars at VJTI still wear WW2 14.00-20 COMBAT, run-flat tires manufactured by USRC (United States Rubber Co.)
Note the yellow dot (light static balance point) on the tire, sitting there since WW-2!
Observe the properly placed valve stem for better initial static balance.
Here's a close up of the logo.
The 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.
There 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.
The 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.
It also had (electrically powered - hydraulic pump) power assisted steering
Direct vision was very limited for the driver. Periscopes were used to give sideways vision.
Access 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.
Both seat backs hinged sideways, to facilitate this.
The interiors were pretty rusty. But here are two pictures I took.
The 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.
The armored cars at VJTI are T-17E2 Staghounds. These are rarer. Only 789 were produced and 4 are at VJTI, Mumbai.
The T-17E2 Staghound had a Frazer-Nash powered anti aircraft turret, carrying twin M2HB Browning 0.5 inch calibre heavy machine guns.
A single gunner sat in the turret between the two brownings.
The 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.
All four Staghound AAs at VJTI are missing the Browning machine guns, headlights, taillights and periscopes.
Just think, we have four of these rare T17E2s at VJTI. Aside from the investment in cleaning and tinwork needed, wouldn't they be a military vehicle collector or museum’s dream to buy and restore?
Last edited by Ram : 5th April 2006 at 08:35.
|5th April 2006, 10:04||#2|
Senior - BHPian
Oops! In the interior photo, I forgot to label the Ammeter on the electrics for the left engine. It's the circle on the gauge above the left engine's oil pressure gauge (OL).
|5th April 2006, 10:17||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked: 475 Times
Never seen this,but I think it should be restored.
Atleast 1 out of the 4 should be restored
|5th April 2006, 10:47||#5|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Thanked: 6,085 Times
fanstastic report Ram. in ym days it was also VIctoria Jubilee. Why did they change it? these vehicles would give Hummers a complex.
|5th April 2006, 10:48||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 26,989 Times
You are a walking encyclopedia!! Amazing!
|5th April 2006, 11:57||#8|
Join Date: Aug 2005
Thanked: 9 Times
Its a pity that such a rare piece of classic value is left to rust around only if there was a proper govt authority which would restore them and put it up for display at the right place.
|5th April 2006, 15:26||#9|
Ram it is indeed a great pleasure to have such a knowlegeable person as part of the forum.......
That is a crazy write up.....
The 'Cavalry Tank Muesuem' in Ahmednagar should be contacted......
It has some awesome specimens, including a Rolls-Royce armoured car!!!! Maybe they can save the rare Staghound!!
This will be one crazy restoration project!!!
|5th April 2006, 16:49||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Those of you who are familiar with Google-Earth, can 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.
|5th April 2006, 19:46||#11|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC / BOM
Thanked: 2,628 Times
what an amazing find!
i do remember eyeing those army vehicles on one of my idle strolls during a visit to VJTI but like an ignorant fool, that i was, i didn't pay any attention to them.
the Google Earth placemark shows up beautifully!
there are a lot of such ancient vehicles lying around our country in decrepit condition with no hope of ever being restored to their former glorious condition. unlike certain American, Middle-Eastern & European millionaires, our people have no interest or any inclination of resurrecting history, so to say...
|5th April 2006, 19:59||#12|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Thanked: 0 Times
hey man am from vjti i gotta see it everyday to college by the way its our colleges rememberancd morover it cant be replaced or brought back to life ,its just what our soldiers used when vjti was constructed and after that nobody felt the need of removing these tankers by the way its a government college so understand man!!! u know how government things work , still it adds beauty to our college , coz even our college is in the same condition as the tankers!!!!!!!!lolzzzzzzzz
|27th April 2006, 18:20||#15|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked: 2,949 Times
Well done uncle....wish i could be like u
i must say you do have great knowledge about cars and can surely make an afficionado blush!!!!!
really impressive keep up the good work uncle!
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