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Austin K2/Y Ambulance
An original fully restored Austin K2/Y Ambulance.
Type Military ambulance
Place of origin UK
Service history
In service Second World War and after in a number of countries
Production history
Manufacturer Austin Motor Company + Mann Egerton
Produced 1939–1945
Number built 13 102
Weight 3 tons 1½ cwt (3124.3 kg) (dry)
Length 18 ft (5.49 m)
Width 7 ft 5 in (2.21 m)
Height 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
Crew 2–3

Armour None
Engine Austin 6-cylinder, 3462 cc, petrol,
60 hp at 3000 rpm, 153 lbfft (207.4 Nm) at 1200 rpm
Payload capacity 4 stretchers or 10 "walking wounded"
Suspension Wheel, 4 × 2
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)

The Austin K2 was a British vehicle built for the Military & other goverment department during World war II by the Austin Motor Company. After the war many were converted / used for civilian use. Various variants were built to suit different applications.


Std Austin K2

Austin K2/Y Ambulance

The Austin K2/Y was a British heavy military ambulance built by the Austin Motor Company for use during the Second World War.

The rear body, built by Mann Egerton, could take 10 casualties sitting or 4 stretcher cases. One Veteran stated he carried 27 wounded at one point in the Desert campaign, this involved seating passengers on the wings, bonnet, the rear steps and even using rifles to suspend extra stretchers across the walkway in the back, he was mentioned in dispatches for this feat.

13,000 Austin K2/Y ambulances were built and an estimated 50+ remain today. The Austin Chassis was one of three main designs fitted with Mann Egerton bodies, the others being Morris Commercial and Bedford Vehicles. It is estimated there are 2 remaining Morris Commercials but no Bedford examples are said to survive.

The Austin is widely regarded to having a gearbox that needed to be "understood" but once mastered provided good service. One person who did master it was Queen Elizabeth II who drove one during World War II. The top speed is around 50 mph (80 km/h) (very good for its age) one veteran said he got 70 mph (113 km/h) in Korea, how he stopped it is another matter.

This type of ambulance was the "star" of the film Ice-Cold in Alex featuring Sir John Mills.

The design was popular both with British, Commonwealth and also American Troops being one of the few examples of Reverse Lend-Lease.

Austin K2 NFS

A Austin K2 NFS truck complate with wartime blackout headlamp units on show at the Scammell Gathering - Ackworth in 2009

The Austin K2 NFS was built as a Box body fitted with a ladder rack & other basic fire service equipment for the wartime 'National Fire Service'.

Several examples survive and are in fire or military collections and appear at Classic vehicle & military shows.


Add your K2 photos here

See also

Collector and preservation related

References / sources

Wikipedia for base article.

External links

  • CCMV web site - large collection of Austin photos inc Austin K2's
  • Add any suitable (relevant) Links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Austin K2. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia