United States' flag
Toggle Menu

United States' M3A1 Scout Car

Photos

M3A1 Scout Car
United States' M3A1 Scout Car
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3A1 Scout Car, General George S. Patton (standing in vehicle):
United States' M3A1 Scout Car, General George S. Patton (standing in vehicle)
US Army

Design

First created by the White Motor Company in 1938. It was based on a commercial truck chassis.3 Was designed for high speed scouting and called the T7.1

It was standardized in June 1939 as the M3 scout car.1

Had a roller mounted in front of the bumper to help it not bog down in soft ground.3 Armored shutters protected the radiator and could be opened and closed by the passenger as there was a lever by their right foot.

The windshield is made of shatter proof glass and an armor plate of 0.5" could be swung down into place and had slots for vision.

The fenders in the front were made from heavy sheet metal. The hood could be opened on each side. The battery was on the right side and had an armored cover.

On the outsider was placed an ax, a shovel, and a pick. There was storage over each rear fender that carried ammunition, tools, and spare parts. Doors had hinged upper halves that folded down with vision slots that had covers. The rear was a solid armor plate with no door.

A standard military taillight was installed on the left and on the right were blackout lights. Fuel was under driver's seat.

Armament

MGs were on skate rail around interior body and could be removed and placed on tripod mounts.

Radio

There was a SCR506, 508, or 510 radio set with the antenna base in the center of the rear section.

Crew

There were 6 bucket seats behind the driver.

Production

  • M3: 643
    • Manufactured by: White3
    • Production in: 19383
  • M3A1: 20,8563, 20,918
    • Manufactured by: White Motor Co.2
    • Production started in: June 19392, 1939
    • Production ended in: 1944
  • M3A1E1: 3,3403
    • All sent to Russia.3

Variants

  • M3 Scout Car: Did not have a roller in front.2
  • M3A1E1: Buda-Lanova diesel engine (78 HP).3 Longer range.3 Speed of 54 mph / 87 kph.3
  • M3A1E2: Armored roof.1
  • M3A1E3: Pedestal mount for 37 mm.1
  • M3A1 Command Car: Built in 1943 with armored screen, .50 cal MG and more armor on the sides.

Usage

Philippines

A few saw action in the Philippines in 1941-1942. Was used for rear area road patrol work, convoy escort, and rarely to scout roads ahead of advancing units.1

Soviet Union and French

The Russians and Free French received many of them.1

Specifications

  M3 Scout Car
Crew 11
Passengers 7 passengers1
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.58 tons1
5,670 kg1
Length 18' 6"1
5.63 m1
Height 6' 7"1
2 m1
Width 6' 8"1
2.1 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG1
Secondary 7.62 mm (.30 cal) MG1
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Hercules JXD1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Max speed 50 mph1
81 kph1
Cross country speed  
Road radius 250 miles1
403 km1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
Tire size  
Wheel base  
  M3A1 Scout Car
Crew Commander, driver
23, 82
Passengers 63
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12,400 lb, 13,000 lb2
5.53 tons3
5,618 kg3
Length 18' 5"3, 18' 5.25"2
5.62 m3
Height 6' 6"3, 6' 11 1/8"2
2 m3
Width 6' 5.25"2, 6' 8"3
2.03 m3
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 7/8"2, 15.5", 15.75"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 60 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main .50 cal HB M2 MG2
0.5" Browning MG3
12.7 mm Browning MG3
Secondary  
MG 2: 0.3" Browning MG3
2: 7.62 mm Browning MG3
.30 cal M1917A12
OR M1919A4 MG2
Side arms .45 cal submachine gun
Quantity  
Main 6002, 750
Secondary 5,000, 8,0002
MG  
Side arms 540
Armor Thickness (mm) 0.5"3
12.73
Hull Front, Upper 0.5"@0°2
12
Hull Front, Lower 6
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°2, 6
Hull Sides, Lower 6
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°2, 6
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Hercules JXD2
White Hercules JXD3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water2
Cylinders 62,3
Capacity  
Net HP 953, 1102
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Combination sliding and constant mesh
Dual range synchromesh2
4 forward, 1 reverse2
Steering Front wheels, cam and twin lever2
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2, Gasoline3
Octane  
Quantity 30 gallons2
Road consumption 8 mpg2
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Max speed 55 mph2, 60 mph, 65 mph3
105 kph3
Cross country speed  
Road radius 250 miles2,3
400 km3
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 28.5', 30'2
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 4"2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1', 1' 2"2
Climbing ability 30° slope2
Suspension (Type) Leaf springs
Semi elliptic springs2
Wheels each side 4x42
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 65.25"2
Tire size 8.25 x 202
Wheel base 131"2

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  3. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site