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M3 Scout Car (Ver 5)
Popularly known in Australia as the "White Scout Car".
These vehicles had a JXD Hercules side valve motor and are a rugged, honest sort of vehicle.
Below are a mixture of comments from people who have experienced white's.
On Sunday I got the chance to drive a M3 Scout Car. There were only two things I did not like about driving it, and perhaps the list can help with these. The owner asked me to post this as to possibly correct these problems.
Problem number one: Heat Build-up. After driving the Scout car for about 15 min, the driver's area heats up to "unsafe" levels (it gets D**N hot in there) During WW II they used Absestos to shield the passenger compartment from the engine but what would be a good and safe alternative to use today.
Problem Number Two: Shifting into Third or Fourth. It sometimes simply wont go. Is this common or is there a real problem here. The owner heard that this is just one of the joys of owning a scout car.
I had the pleasure of borrowing Carol Venable's Scout Car for a WWII re-enactment in 1996. I got an army reserve unit to ship them up from St. Louis to Kirksville for free. It was my first MV exprience and probably why I own a GPW and a Chevy 1 1/2 ton today.
For assistance I got my two roomates-who were ROTC cadets and had just as much knowledge as I did about the entire process. Fortunately the arm y reserve NCO's who brought them up knew a lot more than we did.
The first thing that bit me was the foot pedal starter. We sat there like idiots for 5 minutes trying to start it with the key. After we figured that out, we then realized it had no parking brake so it took either four feet to start it--or someone turning their feet sideways to hit the clutch and brake with the left, and gas and starter with the right. We finally got her started and moving. We then began to learn the joys of double clutching.
The real fun of the adventure was to reload on Sunday after the event. I had to drive it back 10 miles back to town. It was a driving rainstor m and the windshield was gone in the Scout Car. I was driving down high way 63 in the scout car getting drenched from head to foot--just to make sure we didn't miss the debarkation time for the reserve guys. I had he r wound up pretty good--40 mph down a US highway when the front end stu tered. After I slowed down and changed my pants, we got her into town without incident--got her loaded and on her merry way back to St Louis.
I called Carol sure that we'd done something wrong with his Scout Car. He said it did that all the time and don't worry about it. GREAT.
Two months after that I bought a jeep--so as screwed up as that all was it definately sparked something in me--for it gave me the OD fever!
I am fortunate in that I get to drive (and maintain) a 1941 White M3A1 Scout Car. As for the heat....yep, it is damn hot. Try driving one around SW Oklahoma where summer temps regularly exceed 100 degrees F.
As for shifting. Well, that just takes practice. First, the range is NARROW. You MUST have the lever in the exact position. Also, double clutching helps, but it can be shifted okay without doing it. I have also found that placing the shift lever in the "notch" with a slight amount of pressure for a couple of seconds before actually sliding it into gear helps. Be careful that you don't push too hard or it will sure grind the gears.
Down shifting is a joy, especially durig a turn where every ounce of the Armstrong power steering is required. To down shift, you MUST double clutch and rev the RPMs up to match engine and tranny speed. If you don't, you will never get it.
If you miss a gear in the Scout car, you will just about have to stop to get it back into second gear (we don't use first).
I love driving the Scout Car. Having suffered injuries to both shoulders over the years, I usually ache after a good drive. But hey, it is a pain I am willing to accept.
I've been going through your site as I get some time to spare and noticed a White Scout Car article that said they were having trouble changing gears. I restored one in 1982. The problem is that the gear indicating plate shows the gate between 3rd and 4th as going straight through. It is not. 3rd gear is slightly to the left of 4th. Doing a gear change from 3rd to 4th go into neutral and slightly right and then into 4th. I found that doing the change down from 4th to 3rd was only a matter of during the in between rev while double clutching, in neutral slide the gear lever across towards the 1st and 2nd gate and back to feel 3rd in. Much easier and smoother. I never had trouble with the Whites crash box and found it pleasurable to drive. If you tried to go from 3rd straight through the gate to top it tended to crash the gears. A little bit of pressure to the right and it never did.
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