Austin Champ 2328

2328, VSK 177. Was advertised on Milweb in March 2012. (below, photos 1,2 & 3) 16\3\12. "Austin Champ in good condition. With loads of accessories. Lots of new parts, sympathetic restoration few years ago. Includes a copy of a Browning and two rifles. Tax and MoT. £5000.00 North Wales. 01745 342862," Milweb light vehicle adverts
Ed: the Browning .30 calibre machine gun is mounted high up on an extended pole so it looks if the front passenger could fire the gun with the windscreen up. In service, with the standard mount, the machine gun could only be mounted with the windscreen folded down and the front passenger would fire it sitting down. This is not say that individual army units did not extend the mounts, in other words, 'never say never.' The chain (photo 2) between the lashing eyes could be for trailer breakaway security, breakaway security is now a legal requirement, this subject will be covered in more depth under trailers in the future. It's not generally thought that hoods made from canvas (photo 3) were original equipment - (original material was green leatherette), I have never seen a roll-down blind on service photos.

Austin Champ 2328 1

Austin Champ 2328 2

Austin Champ 2328 3

eBay March 2012, (Photo 4. Seller's description, "Its in good condition. Only done around 60 miles since mot last July. Tyres are all very good, it runs well and starts well. It had new batteries, new brake pipes, all cylinders re-rubbered, new rear engine mounts, fuel pump repair kit, distributor, service and new windscreen glasses. Taxed till end of July, MOT 25th July. Includes Snorkel, Pioneer tools, starting handle, aerials. Dummy load of Jerry cans and ammo boxes, searchlight, full set of manuals. Roof is canvas and in good order (think its an original one) with the blind to roll down over the rear window." £3,100, 2 bids, reserve not met, 320860872127.
Austin Champ 2328 4

(below, photo 5 & 6) From CN, March 2002. Gary Smith (photos 5, 6) "This is a Champ I fitted with 1800cc Diesel engine and gearbox, the donor vehicle was a Leyland Sherpa pickup truck. I also rewired the Champ 12 volt and fitted electric wiper motors. I was getting approx. 40 mpg. and the Champ would cruise at 60 mph. I ran it for 3 years with no problems, I sold it to a man from Woverley near Kidderminster in 1993. I met up with this man at the Woverley vintage show in 1999. He told me the Champ was still running well, but the paint work had gone dull and cracked. He asked me to tidy the body work and respray it, which I did. I asked him how it was doing on fuel - he told me he only fills the tank up every 2 years!"
Some Champ enthusiasts may find this a sacrifice to fit a diesel engine but the Champ was going to be broken for spares. This was an experiment on my behalf just to see if it could be done. At least it was a Champ saved from the graveyard.
Ed., Did the Ministry try diesel Champs and were they ever used in service?
John Mastrangelo: Diesel Champ: yes, at least one tried out. No quantity production. Most "Original" diesel Champs are in fact civilian modifications. I have seen many!
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Austin Champ 2328 6