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Thread: Alvis-Saracen FV603

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    Moderator WillWagner's Avatar
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    Default Alvis-Saracen FV603

    Craig has one of these. I believe it is a MK1 because it has the 3 doors on the turret. It has been sitting in the same spot that it was driven into since the early 90's. From what I understand, this came from a guy that had it at someones shop for a fuel system issue. I can tell you that the floor plates are out of it, bit in the carrier, the tank is not secured and the inspection plates are off of the tank. It looks like all the pieces are there, nuts/bolts in bags, a new or rebuilt carb in a box, some sensors and switches in a box too. The paperwork says that when it arrived, a day tank was hooked to it and it was driven off the trailer, the steering was a bit hard and not too good of brakes. I believe the engine is a RR B80 straight 8. Craig wanted to get this running to video it as he plans to let it go, says it is ugly!

    So, yesterday was it's day. Looked the thing over, engine oil OK, hyd fluids low but on the sticks, no coolant in the reservoir but if a hose was squeezed, you could hear fluid. Didn't figure out how to check the trans or bother with the "diffs" if you will, this thing is kinda cool, a driveshaft for every axle! It is 24 volts, but there is no dog bone between the batteries. It has hook ups for two, what would be group 31 size batteries in separate boxes. The 24V connection happens somewhere in one of the boxes in the drivers area. Put a couple of batteries in it and gave the starter a bump. It turned over nicely. Cranked it a bit to get oil circulating. Put a day tank on it but found it wouldn't suck fuel. Don't know if the FP is electric or mechanical. I decided to give the gas a little push with an electric pump. Cranked it over and it lit off!

    Sounds funny, never heard a straight 8 run. It does have an exhaust leak, either at one of the rear cylinders or at the point that the exh is routed thru the hull to the muffler. Accelerated it, pops a bit, feels like there is a carb issue, hence the new/reman carb in a box?

    Here is a question. This is going to leave the Museum, the Littlefield collection had one that ran, drove and stopped, un restored, painted white, that went for I believe 21 or 24k, there are ads for these, still overseas for 6 to 10k Euros but those are across the pond and the importing would add to their cost IF they could be imported.

    What are your opinions on what this would be worth? It is a project, it LOOKS like all the parts are there. The turret looks like it is set up for a 1919. Both the turret and rear gun ring are free, tires are decent, they aren't in too bad of shape and have never been flat.

    Video 1, it is running with the choke on,



    Video 2, without the choke

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    4 Star General B3.3T's Avatar
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    It is a great motor but underpowered considering 14 gearboxes(!), all time 6x6, and the brakes and steering hydraulics are one with three pressurized accumulator bottles. The gearbox and clutch are the weakpoint for sure. Neat vehicle but really complex.

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    So, I know it moved into where it sits now, although YEARS ago, do you think 16.2 is a fair price for a piece of imported armor in the condition it is in?
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    A guy down by me sold one of those a few years back that was in similar condition (side lined for a mech reason, sat for years & claimed it ran). I think he got around the 20k (or higher ) mark for it which I thought was a little on the high side considering. So 16.2 is probably a fair offer. I have no personal experience with those but the REME guys that I've talked with about them all seemed to dislike them. Maintenance hogs I guess.....

    My favorite of the FV603 family would have to be the Saladin.

    Matt

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    Thank you sir!
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