The Austin Champ

This vehicle was the British Army’s attempt at an answer to the American Jeep. A car of elegant design but over-complication, it was replaced in service by the Series 1 Land Rover.

As part of its development, the Wheeled Vehicles Experimental Establisment considered what sort of equipment can fit onto the vehicle and how well it works. At the time, machine gun units were using the Universal Carrier for machine gun mobility. However, they tried it with the Champ and it seems to have worked well enough to create not one, but two, official designations for it on the factory designations list.

  • FV1801A(iv). Truck, ¼ ton, 4×4, CT, machine gun, Austin Mk. 1
  • FV1802A(iv). Truck, ¼ ton, 4×4, CT, machine gun, Austin Mk. 1, (Champ).

The ‘CT’ part of the nomenclature stands for ‘Combat,’ although with the Vickers fitted like it is below, it is questionable as to how effective it would be in combat.


From the looks of the photo, it seems that the mounting for the Vickers is very similar to that used for the Universal Carrier in the MMG variant. This would make sense as machine gunners would already know how to use the mounting from the carrier. You can just see the shoulder brace in between the traversing handles and the belt box bracket to the right side of the gun. One thing that is for sure, it definitely isn’t the tripod crosshead being used. Sadly, because of the shields on the body, it cannot show the condenser attachments for the gun or where they lead to.