Driving the Beaverette: off road!

 The Beaverette in it's natural habitat

The Beaverette in it's natural habitat

Background

Early 2016 Historic Engineering finished the restoration of the rare Standard Beaverette, belonging to the Nationaal Militair Museum.

One of the main reasons for restoring this vehicle to running condition, was the role it was meant to play in a major event at the NMM.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the tank. For this occasion the NMM organised the first "Tank Event" of its kind at Soest, in August this year.

 The line up at the NMM "Tank Event" august 28 2016

The line up at the NMM "Tank Event" august 28 2016

Off road experince!

As described in the article in Classic Military Vehicle (November 2016 issue), the vehicle had been tried and tested on normal roads without any problem.

The challenge now was to see if it actually handle rough terrain as well! The Beaverette was to take the director of the museum, Hedwig Saam, in to the arena for the official opening of the event. No pressure there then...

Luckily, after a "dry run" some weeks before, the Beaverette performed remarkably well. Even though the 2,5 ton vehicle is only two-wheel drive, and the engine capacity of the Standard 14 engine is only 1,8 ltr., the combination of low gearing and fat low-pressure sand tires did the trick.

 Drivers seat view upon entering the arena!

Drivers seat view upon entering the arena!

In Beaverette we trust.....

On "D-day" however the circumstances were somewhat different....

While the track was flat and solid during the test drive, on the actual day of the first show the other participants, being all sorts of tanks, had already had a go at the track!

It was therefore that I had to drive off, in to the great unknown, and hope that we, the director in the turret and me, didn't get stuck in deep sand in front of 5,000 spectators!

 Nationaal Militair Museum director Hedwig Saam, speeching from the gun turret of the Beaverette.

Nationaal Militair Museum director Hedwig Saam, speeching from the gun turret of the Beaverette.

Thankfully (to my personal amazement) the Beaverette came through without too much struggle. First gear, high revs and hope got us across the worst of the tank tracks, and as far as i know the crowds never noticed a thing...