Information and pictures from Wheels and Tracks
In the 1935 WD trials in North Wales, held during early October. Any makers were encouraged to submit prototypes to be tried for possible amry use. In addition to the usual evaluation tests by the MVEE at Farnborough, such vehicles particapated in extensive annual trials in the mountainous districts of North Wales. The Bedford WD and the Guy Ant became successful contenders in those Welsh trials, but also participating in those were products of Austin and Commer. The Commer entry, know as the Beetle, managed to bring in an order for 400 units, but the Austin failed dismally.
Austin 15-cwt 4x2 truck
It was not surprising, of course, that with tha 15cwt project the Austin people endeavoured to land a lucrative War Department order, but having nothing to really base their experimental model on, it was risky. What the Army Wanted ideally, was a compact model that was assembled from the ovesize mechanical components then in production for the 2 and 3-ton trucks which was relatively easy for the leading commmercila vehicle producers of the day. But try Austin did.
In the trials, the Austin 10-cwt prototype manage the Old Horse Sheo Pass (with a maximum gradient of 1 in 4,87) an the 1,5 milelong Bwlch-y-Groes (maximum 1 in 4) fairly well, but the wet and loose surface af Alt-y-Bady (maximum 1 in 3,38) stopped it, whilst all the others went past. The Truck had been hand-buil during the preceding months, borrowing components from the Austin Twenty car, which had a 3,4 litre six-cylinder engine with 23,5HP, straightforward 4x2 chassis on special wheel with Dunlop 9,00-16 cross coutry tyres, two seat open cab, wooden GS body with hinged tail and side boards. The cab ahad a folding canopy extendig over about two-thirds of the width, leaving the passenger uncovered. Aero screen for the driver, passenger had solid shiled in front of. In spite of its failing, the Ministry did actually purchase the Austin prototype. It was acquired und Contract V.2853, dtated 18th Jan 1936 and alocated census No. Z352609.