Military Vehicle Spotlight: WWII Ford M8 Armored Car

2nd Armored Division in Europe / 14th Armored Re-Creations. Photographed by Jon Shoop

G-136 M8 Greyhound

  • Weight: 16,400 lbs (fully loaded)
  • Engine: Hercules JXD 6-cylinder
  • Displacement: 320 cu. in.
  • Horsepower: 86 @ 2,800 rpm
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Fuel Capacity: 54 gallons
  • Maximum speed: 56 mph
  • Maximum range: 250 miles
  • Armament: M6 37mm main gun; .30-caliber and .50-caliber machine guns

HISTORICAL NOTE

The M8 armored car was designed to combine high-speed reconnaissance with reasonable crew protection. The British dubbed it the “Greyhound” as a testament to its speed. In addition to its main gun and two machine guns, each M8 armored car was equipped with a long-range radio set.

The M8’s firepower was adequate only against similar lightly armored enemy vehicles and infantry. Its armor provided a fair degree of protection against small-arms fire but nothing more. Crews needed to survive by using speed and mobility to avoid hits instead of withstanding them. s a wheeled vehicle, the M8 was generally more reliable than tracked vehicles of similar size, and required far less maintenance and logistics support.

Between March 1943 and May 1945, Ford Motor Company built 8,523 M8 armored cars at its plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. After WWII, M8s were used for occupation duty and saw combat during the Korean War, before being retired from U.S. service.

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