The evolution of this World War II M8 Reconnaissance Vehicle (also known as the M8 Greyhound) began in July of 1941 when the Ordnance Department authorized the development of a swift tank destroyer. This new model would replace the ¾ ton truck that had been used up until this time.
A full-sized operational WWII M8 Reconnaissance Vehicle is on display at the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL. Once in a lifetime rides are also available at the museum on this authentic WWII armoured vehicle.
Guidelines for the new design were established, and the three prototypes submitted were all similar in their design and their appearance. In April of 1942, Ford’s design – the T22 - was chosen, despite the obvious fact that the M37 mm gun, even with its newly designed coaxial mount, was no longer successful in penetrating the heavy front armor of the German tanks.
Production plans continued for the M8 to assist with meeting the rising demand for service vehicles. Since this vehicle was known for speed and agile response, it was often used by recon groups to assist them in identifying enemy camps, obtaining information regarding their troops and their plans.
Though the vehicle only provided adequate protection against lighter weapons and fire, the speed and agile response of the M8 increased the survival rate of its crew when faced by heavier firepower. Other areas of concern included its vulnerability to the German mines and its inability to travel off road.
Production of this light armored car did not begin until March of 1943. Before the end of its production run in mid-1945, over 8,500 of these WWII vehicles were built.