U.S Army Ford M8 and M20 Armored Cars



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Specifically designed as a reconnaissance vehicle, the Ford M8 Light Armored Car was intended primarily for use by mechanized cavalry units. A total of 8,523 units were built. Able to move quickly and cover long distances without refuelling, they supported the advance of armored columns by undertaking reconnaissance. Though the thin floor armor made it vulnerable to mines, the M8 served in Europe and the Pacific until the end of the war. Derived from the M8 series, 3,791 M20 Armored Utility cars were built. The M20 was designed without a turret, enabling its use for more specialized purposes such as carrying personnel or artillery spotting. While the project to build the M8 launched in 1941, the first armored cars were only received by the army in March 1943. An Ordnance Department officer, Lt. J. R. Muray, is tasked with being the link between the various components of the army and the industrialists. Throughout the process of creation and production, Muray kept his notes, reports and letters – 1,500 pages of archives have enabled the author to faithfully retrace the process of creating these cars, from the first draft to the end production in June 1945.


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