The Matador was essentially an artillery tractor introduced by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) during WWII. With a length of 20 ft 10 ins, width of 7ft 10 ins and a height of 9 ft 7 ins, the 4 x 4 Matador had an average speed of 30 mph. Shown here as used by the Royal Navy , with RN on the side of the truck.
The ancient regiment of the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, dating back to 1693. It also fought as part of the British Army from 1801 to 1958. The Regiment was nicknamed the Cross Belts because of the regimental dress, which also included the distinctive 'tent' cap. Latterly the regiment was one of three which were amalgamated to become the 7th Armoured Division familiarly known as the 'Desert Rats'.
The model is based on a Dingo Scout Car that would have been part of the British Army convoys pressing on through Germany towards the end of WWII. In drab olive green with white regimental lettering/numbering, note particularly the regimental insignia featuring the little red rat in a white circle on the rear of the vehicle. Added detail includes the brown straps to the fuel cans and the 'rusty' brown exhaust pipes.
Rover chief engineer Maurice Wilks was inspired by his army-surplus Willys-Overland Jeep to create a workhorse vehicle for military and agricultural use - and for export abroad to kick-start both Rover's fortunes and the national economy after World War II. Prototypes were up and running by late 1947, and production of the Series I began at Solihull in summer 1948. It had permanent four-wheel-drive with low-ratio gearing and a locking freewheel mechanism, and a 50bhp, 1.6-litre engine from the Rover P3 saloon. It was fitted with lightweight body panels made from surplus aircraft-grade aluminium - steel was in short supply post-war - and came with army-surplus green paint. The Land Rover price started from just £450. Supply to the British forces started in 1949, the Land Rover replacing the Austin Champ and later, the rust-prone Austin Gipsy. Deliveries to organisations such as the Red Cross soon followed. The 100,000th Land Rover was made in autumn 1954 and by 1958, production ran to around 200,000. The invasion of Egypt in 1956, was an attempt to capture the Suez Canal and was originally codenamed Operation Hamilcar, hence the 'H' on the side of this 88 inch canvas back Land Rover. Although the Anglo-French-Israeli plan was later renamed Operation Musketeer.
It’s the turn of the Army’s Royal Corps of Transport to use our little Land Rover, which is decorated in a military dark green with a beige canvas back. This model also carries the radiator grille of the 80” Land Rover Series I. Deployed with the 6th Training Regiment, the signage on the doors indicates it as being a Training Aid vehicle. Registered 86 BR 99, additional military markings appear on the doors, rear and front wing.
To place your model in the appropriate position in your military timeline, the Royal Corps of Transport was formed in 1965 and operated until 1993 when it became the Royal Logistics Corps as part of an amalgamation of several Army elements.
The set includes the Austin Tilly, David Brown Tractor and Series I Land Rover
The TACR2 (Truck Airfield Crash Rescue) Range Rover was designed in the mid 1970s as a rapid response rescue and first attack fire appliance for use at Royal Air Force and Royal Navy aerodromes in both the United Kingdom and overseas. The original TACR2's were built by Gloster Saro at Hucclecote on 2 door Range Rover chassis converted to 6x4 configuration by Carmichael's in Worcester who were the only company originally approved by Land Rover to carry out the conversion. Gloster Saro had to fabricate the rear crew doors themselves to satisfy the MOD specification. The rear bodywork and roof were GRP mouldings. As soon as the 4 door version of the Range Rover was introduced this was utilized. A Godiva fire pump was located between the rear passenger seats. Over 200 TACR2s were built by three different companies; Gloster Saro, Carmichael Fire and HCB-Angus Ltd. At any one time, two TACR2s, characterised by their unique dark blue liveries were attached to the Queens Flight unit based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. From here the vehicles would travel throughout the United Kingdom for the purpose of providing fire cover and marshalling duties for the unit’s helicopters.
This Oxford Diecast 1:76 scale model, registered 31 AG 22, represents one of the first Royal Air Force Gloster-Saro bodied appliances that served with the Queens Flight in 1977.
The Tilly was the name given to a number of British vehicles produced during WWII based on civilian car designs, adapted for use by each of the armed forces across all areas during the conflict. The key vehicles used were the Austin, Hillman, Morris and Standard. The Austin Tilly is the subject of the latest piece of new tooling in the Oxford Military range. Tilly was the nickname derived from the term Utility and these hybrid vehicles proved especially versatile, fitted with a simple rear loading area. Very few remain today but they can be seen in military museums at home and abroad, including the Yorkshire Air Museum, the Muckleburgh Collection and overseas in the Ta Kali Museum in Malta, the French Regional Air Museum at Angers-Marce and the Czech Republic tank museum just outside Prague. The Tilly Register logs all 'finds', with members cross Europe and Australia. The Oxford model appears in a drab green/black camouflage scheme with a 'canvas' back and distinctive wartime markings on the front, back and sides. The spare wheel and a spade are housed on the roof of the driver's cab and extensive masking operations have picked out details on the wheel hubs, headlights and headlight lenses, door handles, petrol cap, radiator slits and even the shaft of the spade. The Oxford miniature will be of special interest to WWII military enthusiasts, as well as being an unusual addition to a vehicle collection of the period.