G. N. Sheffield




With reference to R. S. Cooke’s letter, I am not certain as to which model he refers, as in 1925 I believe the undermentioned were in service:

(a) The 1914 model. which had a list-top turret and open box body at the rear.

(b) The 1920 model. fully armoured, with a cupolo turret.

In 1935 the Calcutta and Presidency Battalion AFI (TA in this country) had nine of the 1914 cars, which were transferred from the Royal Tank Corps who had been re-equipped with the 1920 models. Two of these 1914 cars were reputed to have been in service with Lawrence of Arabia, all cars having code names of the “goat” family, i.e. IBEX etc. These cars did not have the internal hand-starting handles, but were fitted dual ignition, i.e. magneto and coil (trembler type). If the engine was warm and had stopped with one cylinder on compression, it was sometimes possible to start by switching onto the coil circuit. A secondary trembler coil circuit was fitted and when switched on with an earthing chain lowered, the body was electrified, this imparting a harmless but effective deterrent to rioters attempting to climb onto the car.

In passing, I ran a 1928 sleeve-valve Willys Knight with a distinctive engine whine, but that is another story!

Sevenoaks. G. N. Sheffield (Colonel).