Austin Champ



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The Austin Champ was designed to meet a British army specification of the late 1940s, FV1800, and is based in the Morris Gutty prototype. The Champ is powered by a 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine by Rolls-Royce. The engine is fully enclosed for wading and working on it is "difficult". The ignition leads are waterproof and the distributor is enclosed and vented to the air intake system. The generator is also enclosed.

The gearbox has five forward and five reverse speeds. Drive to the front differential is by a shaft from the rear differential rather than through a conventional transfer-case. Suspension is independent all round. (This particular Champ belongs to the Royal Australian Transport Corps museum.)


The enormous snorkel can fold flat to lie along the front wing. It guarantees clean air in water up to about two metres deep although the driver must either hold his or her breath or stand on the seat if it gets that deep.

This British military four wheel drive turned out to be a dead-end, being overtaken by the simpler, cheaper and more versatile Land-Rover - L. A11ison

Morris Gutty

At the end of World War II the success of the Jeep MB had many armed forces wanting similar vehicles of their own. The British requirement was known as FV1800 and the Morris Gutty was built by Nuffield as a prototype to meet this specification.


The Gutty features a two-litre flat-four engine as initially proposed by Alec Issigonis for the Morris Minor. The engine drives through a 5-speed gearbox and a conventional 2-speed transfer case; the Champ subsequently took quite a different course. Suspension is independent, like the Champ. The body is of monocoque construction and the electrical system uses 12-volts.

The only Gutty is now (c1996) held by the Museum of Army Transport at Beverley.

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