Scout Car M3A11-10

M3A1: General
Date of first acceptance 1939 Total acceptances 20,894
Manufacturer White Motor Co. Crew
8 men:
  • Observation commander in hull right front
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 6 passengers in hull rear
M3A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 12,400lbs
Height 78.5"
Length 221.5"
Width 80"
Front tread 63.25"
Rear tread 65.25"
Wheelbase 131"
Ground clearance 15.75"
Ground pressure, zero penetration 60psi
M3A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on skate mount 750 rounds 360°
.30cal M1919A4 MG Flexible on skate mount 8000 rounds 360°
M3A1: Armor
Rolled face-hardened steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Radiator louvres .25"
Windshield cover .50"
Sides .25"
Rear .25"
Hood top .25"
M3A1: Automotive
Engine Hercules JXD; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 87@2400rpm Torque Net: 220 ft-lb@1150rpm Fuel capacity 54gal
Transmission Combination sliding and constant mesh, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
Brakes Hydraulic, internal expanding
M3A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Shock absorbers
Semi-elliptic leaf spring 2/side On each wheel
M3A1: Performance
Max level road speed 50mph
Max trench 18"
Max grade 60% Angle of approach 37°
Angle of departure 35° Max vertical obstacle 12"
Min turning diameter 57'
Max fording depth 28"
Cruising range ~250mi, roads
~400km, roads

The 4x4 scout car M3A1 was the last in the line of descendants of the scout car M2. The M2 had been based on the Corbitt 1.5 ton truck, was powered by Lycoming's Corbitt Eight 94 horsepower V8 engine, weighed 7,900lb (3600kg), and could travel at 50mph (80kph). It was armored with .5" (1.3cm) plates on the front and .25" (.64cm) plates on the sides and rear. Twenty-two M2s, including prototypes, were produced in 1937-8.

The scout car M2A1, developed from the M2, was manufactured by the White Motor Company. It featured tourelle skate mounts for its machine guns instead of the external pintle mounts found on the M2. It was powered by the Hercules JXD engine that made 95 gross horsepower at 3000rpm and 224 gross ft-lb of torque at 1100 rpm, and could be propelled to 60mph (100kph). The M2A1 was 202.50" (514.35cm) long, 80.37" (204.1cm) wide, 81" (206cm) tall, and weighed 9960lb (4520kg). Front and rear tread were the same at 63.75" (161.9cm). It could hold eight men. Its minimum turning circle diameter was 29.25' (8.915m), ground clearance was 9.75" (24.8cm), maximum fording depth was 22.50" (57.15cm), and ground pressure was 57psi (4.0kg/cm²). The windshield armor was .5" (1.3cm) thick, while other surfaces were .25" (.64cm). The designation of M2A1 was changed to M3, and 100 M2A1/M3s were produced from 1937-9.

The M3A1 sported a wider body than the M3 with square corners and an overhung top, and its machine gun skate rail was lowered below the level of the armor. The rear door found on the M3 was deleted, and stowage and seating was changed. An anti-ditching roller was also added. A detachable canvas top was provided for the passenger compartment; it was supported by three bows and the windshield frame. The compression ratio in the JXD engine was raised to 5.88 from the M3's 5.78, yielding more power (110 gross horsepower at 3000 rpm and 241 gross ft-lb of torque at 1100 rpm). The four-wheel drive system in these vehicles was full-time and could not be disengaged.

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Last updated 24 Jan 2020.
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