Alvis Stalwart

Alvis Stalwart undergoing tests in 1997

Manufacturer: Alvis Vehicles Ltd., Coventry, England.

The Alvis Stalwart first appeared in 1959, and entered service with the British army seven years later.

The Stalwart’s main talking-point is its extraordinary transmission, which includes a bevel drive in the hub of each of its six wheels. There is no differential gearing between the three wheels on each side, nor from side to side. This means that if the Stalwart is driven on a hard surface (like a road) the transmission will ‘wind up’, eventually destroying the hub bevel drives.

The Rolls Royce petrol engine has a prodigious thirst, satisfied by a colossal fuel tank. The three crew sit side-by-side in the cab, with the driver in the centre position, and climb in and out through the two roof hatches. Water jets at the rear allow the Stalwart to swim at up to five knots, apparently even when fully laden (don’t try this at home). The hull, built along marine lines, has no chassis.

Today, fitted with modern diesel power-packs, Stalwarts are finding work in some unexpected places — such as the Florida everglades, splashing about with a cargo of tourists in the back.

Technical specifications
Length: 6.356m
Width: 2.616m
Height: 2.312m
Kerb weight: 9,000kg
Gross weight: 14,000kg
Fuel capacity & range: 450l / 820km
Engine: Rolls Royce straight eight B81 water cooled petrol
Capacity: 6516cc
Max. power: 220hp @ 4000 rpm
Max. torque: 335 lb.ft @ 2500 rpm
Crew: three