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Restoration of "Pixie" the 1942 Morris mk2 Light Reconnaissance Car

Updated: Jan 18

Boom

Bren

Other Examples

Pixie @ 2024

Complete Equipment Stowage

External Stowage


From my time re-enacting the Scottish 15th Reconnaissance unit in NE Europe on 1944, there was an urge for the members to have one of every type of vehicle ever issued to the unit. One of the more rare and obscure vehicles is the Morris LRC. Reconnaissance vehicles, like tanks were making leaps and bounds in techniques and technology - unfortunately for the LRC, by the time it had finished development it was underpowered and under armoured for front line use. It was still issued to units and often filled their second line - there are photos of LRCs in columns in France shortly after D-Day. They persisted throughout the war and covered a lot of miles..


One of the more effective uses of this model was as an airfield guard for the RAF. Postwar what was left of them was left in yards and they were sold as surplus or scrapped.



Some (like pixie) survived for a while as an improvised farm vehicle (typically armour is cut away to provide better field of vision for the fields). Unusually this one was rescued from the field (after it finally broke) by the movie Industry - it became a move prop for "The Battle of Britain". For this the original turret was rescued along with it and the cab armour was hastily recreated - there seems to have been a change in plan as there is evidence of hinges being developed for doors and hatches - but then they were just welded into place. Part of its rescue and move to the US also featured laying on its side with smoke billowing out of it at a private location in the UK for WW2 events. Its been in the ArtioZen barn for about 5 years now, most of the equipment to festoon it has been collected - now its time to start restoring bits of it - especially those that are supported by our friends and our own product ventures.


Boom

I first met Boom, the Boys Anti-Tank rifle about 12 years ago as the center piece of the Seneca Arms display in the store near Green Lane - it had been there for years. John graciously offered to sell it to a local British reenacting unit to give it exercise and exposure to the public. I got the call and within a couple of hours I was taking home the largest caliber bolt action rifle that you can legally own and transfer as a PA resident in good standing.

Boom was actually commissioned in .5o BMG by the Finish Army from BSA in the later 1930's and is an excellent example of the type. On the Morris there is a slot in the front left commanders hatch (also the rear) for the Boys to mount and provision for bags of ammunition and cleaning equipment. Fun facts - The Boys was designed by "captain" Boys - he was mad (he wasn't actually a captain). The doctrine for firing is to be kneeling in prepared position / dugout (or seated in a vehicle or similar mount to fire) - and not prone - your torso has to rock back on your pelvis under recoil. The mk2 Boys round has a tungsten penetrator core and will pierce 1..5" or armour under the right conditions (distance / incidence of hit). Carrying a Boys anywhere is very demotivating to the troops - having one firing on the flanks of your unit is very motivating to the troops.


Bren



The turret armament was a Bren LMG which had 100 round magazines - with extra storage positions on the inner hull for more. I have had a gas BREN built (oxy / propane) that sounds like a machine gun on full auto - but only produces noise and a little flash (but not so much for anybody to need ear protection). There are plenty of spaces and places to stow the tanks and gas lines in the turret.


Other Examples

There seems to be 7 examples remaining intact around the world of the 2200 or so built. Pixie is the second example in the US - a running, fully equipped example is privately owned in Florida. 2 more have been restored from salvaged hulks in the UK and are in private hands.

The other 3 are in museums around Europe, IMA, The Tank Museum and possibly one in Cyprus / Malta.


Pixie @ 2024

Pixie is probably at the utmost point of disassembly - engine and gearbox out along with radiator and other engine bay components. The front upper hull plate over the drivers legs were cut off by the farmer. This allows excellent access to rebuild the controls and driver compartment from the outside / top. I hope to replace these plates with bolt on / removable versions (disguised where the wings / fenders mount).


Complete Equipment Schedule



External Stowage

I have collected a good deal of the Complete Equipment Schedule. The pioneer kit (full size pick and spade) has been selected and tested on the remaining hull cleats I have sourced two Pyrene fire extinguishers and brackets (I may switch the internal one for a disguised modern example - I have the paint color and reproduction sticker for this. With the latest partnership development with Mifflinburg Body, the external can rack can have a complement of 2 gallon cans (for petrol) applied and its construction repaired to latch them in.







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