|This is probably the least
known of Australia's armoured cars that went into production.
The Light Armoured Car Rover was built on either of two Ford 3ton CMP
truck chassis. The 1941 F60L chassis of 158.25 inch wheel base, or the
1942 F60S chassis of 134.25 inch wheel base with a Australian designed and
built armoured body. A total of 238 Rover Armoured Cars were eventually
built, of these 198 were of the shorter wheel base. The Commonwealth
registration for these vehicles started at 77501. The difference in wheel
base made for the long wheel base vehicles to be known as Rover Mk 1 and
the short wheel base vehicles as Rover Mk 2.
The Rover was designed as an emergency
measure in 1941. Ruskin Motor Bodies Pty Ltd, of Melbourne built the
experimental body of the first Rover. Series production began during
February 1942 and first production models started in March 1942. In April
1942 the short wheel base Rover was started and shortly after the
production of the long wheel base Rover was terminated.
By 28 February 1943, 217 Rover Light
Armoured Cars were delivered to the Army. These consisted of 40 Mk-1
vehicles and 177 Mk-2 vehicles. The Rover entered service with the
Australian army in April 1942. The 2/2 Brigade reconnaissance squadron of
the 1st Armoured Division was one of the first units to Receive the Rover
in April 1942.
Other units to be equipped with the Rover were:
- 2/11 Armoured Car Regiment
- 6th Armoured Car Regiment
- 12th Armoured Car Regiment
By late 1943 the first of the first
of the Staghound Armoured
Cars started to arrive in
Australia and the Rover was soon after declared obsolete.