Lessons From Europe
After the victories by the Germans in Europe in the summer of 1940 it was seen that the Wehrmacht used wheeled armored cars for reconnaissance. In the United States the Army was in the process of acquiring the M3A1 scout car which offered little protection for the crew nor carried large armament.
In July 1941, after British experience in North Africa, the Ordnance Committee gave design specifications for medium and heavy armored cars. On October 15, 1942, a committee was formed of Armored Force, Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, and Ordnance personnel to consider the armored cars in design or production. The T17 was considered too large and production was reduced to 250.
The British insisted that the turret contain two of the crewman and that a radio be near the commander. There was an extension at the rear of the turret that was used for the installation of a radio.
T17 Not Wanted by United States Army
On October 14, 1942, the Palmer Board was formed under the leadership of Brigadier General W. B. Palmer. The Palmer Board felt that there were too many armored car designs and in December 1942 recommended that all except for the M8 Greyhound armored car program be terminated.
British Still Needed the T17
The British Army on the other hand still wanted one of the T17 armored car designs. In February 1943 the T17 and T17E1 were pitted against each other. The T17E1 was the winner as it had better reliability.
T17E1 by Chevrolet
The T17E1 project was lead by Earl S. MacPherson who was a British born engineer. After World War II he designed the automotive MacPherson strut.
The T17E1 had two General Motors truck engines (97 HP).
It was decided that the engine for the T17 models was to be the Hercules JXD engine (110 HP), which was the same as used in the M3A1 scout car and the 2 1/2 ton trucks.
Had the turret from the M3 Medium. The 37 mm M6 gun was in a M24A1 mount.
The Staghound Mk I had who engines that were located side by side in the rear of the vehicle. The transmission was fully automatic hydraulic.