With regard to the armament and armour, it is noticeable that again the lack of attention paid to detail design considerably reduces the potency of the car as a fighting vehicle. The one man turret does not conform to the latest British requirement for a three man turret. The exposed traverse gears, the awkward position of the 2 cm. cocking handle and the limited observation in the turret are in our opinion decidedly undesirable features. There is no electrical equipment in the turret and consequently no rotary base junction. The commander is therefore faced with the problem of what to do with his headphone and microphone leads when traversing the turret.
It is impossible to sight the rear hull gun when it is fully depressed and extremely difficult to do so at any angle under zero. The gunners seat is not in line with the gun and he must lean awkwardly in order to sight when the gun is traversed left. His back is fouled by the turret gunners seat when the turret is straight ahead or traversed left. These points and the improvised appearance of the gun mounting suggest the possibility that the rear hull gun was added as an afterthought. The wooden ammunition racks are very roughly constructed. In general, splash protection is noticeable by its absence. A desirable feature on the other hand is the clean belly of the car and for this reason it is thought that its ability to cross wire obstacles may be good.
As the result of a brief cross country and road run the following points were noted with regard to the handling and performance. Owing to the defective steering which caused very severe "shimmying" at speeds over about 20 m.p.h. it was not possible to drive above this speed.
The engine pulled fairly well at slow speeds and from the front driving position was mechanically quiet especially in view off the fact that no bulkhead is fitted. Engine fumes were barely noticeable in the fighting compartment when driving forward, but were decidedly objectionable when in rear control. There did not appear to be any tendency for the engine to overheat in rear control although very little running was done in this direction.
The first four gears are noisy and the change is extremely slow. The absence of a clutch stop makes upward changes on rising ground difficult. The direct and overdrive gears, fifth and sixth, being of constant mesh, are much quieter and the change is, of course, is much quicker. The change from front to rear control is simple to effect from the front driving position and if the normal gear lever is in neutral, the clutch need not be used. From the rear driving position, however, the directional control lever is so situated that it is almost impossible to operate it.
At low speeds the steering was reasonably light by virtue of the fact that it is extremely low geared. As there is absolutely no self-centring action when driving in either direction, it is assumed that there is no castor angle. At about 15 mph there was a tendency to "shimmying" which increased in violence unit at about 20 m.p.h. the car was almost uncontrollable. It is considered that, although this defect is obviously an abnormal state of affairs, the apparent lack of castor angle may aggravate this tendency.
The hydraulic brakes were quite light to operate, but not very positive.
The independent suspension was excellent over both road and cross country and although extremely soft it did not appear to cause any undue degree of rolling or pitching at the fairly slow speeds which were attained.
The front driving position is quite comfortable, but the rear driving position is impossibly cramped for a tall man. The lack of any side vision is a decided disadvantage.
The car was driven into a small muddy depression of clay and became completely bogged even though the differential was locked. There was no question of clutch slip or of insufficient engine power as all four wheels were turning. It is not considered that most other four wheel drive vehicles would have become bogged under similar conditions, and the fact that the car was shod with comparatively smooth "Libia" tyres may have been partly responsible for this rather surprising failure.
In conclusion it may be said that the general impression is that the basic design has been well thought out with a view to producing a manoeuvrable high speed fighting vehicle, but that certain detail design features particularly with regard to the fighting arrangements have received such scant attention that the potential possibilities have not been fully realised.