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Homepage. This page: Students are taught the basics of motor car construction & technology, in WW2?

Lessons in vehicle technology.

There are no notes with these photographs, but they appear to date to the 1940s. Evidently, the assembled gents - all serving in a branch of the military - are receiving tuition in the delights of motor vehicle technology and repair, 1940s style. Given their hot-weather attire, the location could well be overseas somewhere - does anyone recognise the workshop setting?
The stripped-down car is fitted with "Easiclean" wheels. To my eyes it looks very much like a late-1930s or 1940s Austin 8 or 10 saloon chassis, a type used by the military during WW2 as staff cars. The 8 and the 10 were very similar in specification, the 8 having a 900cc sidevalve four-cylinder engine, while the 10 was slightly larger at 1125cc.
Military operators of the 8AP Tourer included the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC), the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Royal Artillery (RA) and the Home Guard also used them, during the later years of WW2. The Portuguese Army also operated a number of Austin 8 staff cars, based on the tourer variant - a photo of one may be found on this page. The militarised 8AP Tourer was fitted as standard with plain disc wheels, not "Easicleans", so perhaps a civilian chassis had been commandeered for use at this training establishment. Examples of the basic civilian 8 saloon, fitted with roadwheels that are shared with the car shown below, may be seen here.
Click to view:
Tuition in 1940s vehicle technology
Photograph number two features the same scene, albeit from a different angle. The rear-mounted fuel tank and filler neck, exiting just behind the nearside rear wheel, are a match with the Austin 8/10, although it's difficult to be certain as the majority of the bodywork - by now semi-unitary with the floors and sills attached to the chassis - has been removed to aid instruction. While various tools can be seen in the background of the first photograph, in this view there is a dismantled V-twin motorcycle perched on a workbench.
View of the training workshop from another angle
Can anyone confirm that this is indeed an Austin?
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index of images here.

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