Austin K2

Austin K2

Infobox Weapon
name=Austin K2

type=Military ambulance

manufacturer=Austin Motor Company/Mann Egerton
number= 13,000

service=Second World War
length=18 ft (5.49 m)
width=7 ft 5 in (2.21 m)
height=9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
weight=7.75 tons
suspension=Wheel, 4 × 2
speed=Auto mph|50|0
payload_capacity=4 stretchers or 10 "walking wounded"
engine=Austin 6-cylinder, 3462 cc petrol
engine_power=60 hp at 3,000 rpm

The Austin K2/Y was a British heavy military ambulance built by the Austin Motor Company for use during the Second World War.

The rear body, built by Mann Egerton, could take 10 casualties sitting or 4 stretcher cases.One Veteran stated he carried 27 wounded at one point in the Desert campaign, this involved seating passengers on the wings, bonnet, the rear steps and even using rifles to suspend extra stretchers across the walkway in the back, he was mentioned in dispatches for this feat.

13,000 Austin K2/Y ambulances were built and an estimated 50+ remain today.The Austin Chassis was one of three main designs fitted with Mann Egerton bodies, the others being Morris Commercial and Bedford Vehicles. It is estimated there are 2 remaining Morris Commercials but no Bedford examples are said to survive.

The Austin is widely regarded to having a gearbox that needed to be "understood" but once mastered provided good service. One person who did master it was Queen Elizabeth II who drove one during World War II. The top speed is around Auto mph|50|0 (very good for its age) one veteran said he got Auto mph|70|0 in Korea, how he stopped it is another matter.

This type of ambulance was the "star" of the film Ice-Cold in Alex featuring Sir John Mills.

The design was popular both with British, Commonwealth and also American Troops being one of the few examples of Reverse Lend-Lease.


ee also

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