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The Otter Light Reconnaissance Car (known officially by the British as Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian GM (R.A.C.)[1] was a light armoured car produced by Canada during the Second World War for British and Commonwealth forces.

Otter Light Reconnaissance Car
An Otter crossing a Bailey bridge over the Volturno river at Grazzanise in October 1943
Mass4.44 t (4.37 long tons; 4.89 short tons)
Length4.50 m (14 ft 9 in)
Width2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)
Height2.44 m (8 ft 0 in)

Armourup to 12 mm
.55 in Boys anti-tank rifle
0.303 in (7.7 mm) Bren light machine gun
EngineGMC 6 cyl. gasoline
106 hp (79 kW)
Power/weight24.1 hp/tonne
Suspension4 x 4 wheel, leaf spring
Speed75 km/h (47 mph)



The Otter Light Reconnaissance Car (LRC) was developed by General Motors Canada to meet the demand for this type of armoured car. The design followed the layout of the British Humber Mark III LRC.


The Otter was based on the Chevrolet C15 Canadian Military Pattern truck chassis and used many standard GM components. It took a crew of three - driver and commander seated in the vehicle front, while the gunner occupied the turret position at the rear. A Wireless Set No. 19 was mounted in the rear with A and B set aerials extending from the rear of the fighting compartment on mounting arms.

The primary armament consisted of a hull-mounted Boys anti-tank rifle and a Bren light machine gun in a small open-topped turret. A smoke discharger is mounted alongside the mounting for the Boys anti-tank rifle.

Although it used a more powerful engine than the Humber, it was larger and heavier (by a ton); overall performance was less than that of the Humber, but still acceptable.


Between 1942 and 1945, 1761 units were produced in Oshawa, Ontario, though fewer than 1,000 were delivered overseas.[2]


The Otter served with Canadian units in the Italian Campaign and Northwest European operations. It was also employed by the South African Army[3] and the British RAF Regiment. Some RAF regiment vehicles used aircraft armament such as 20mm cannon and 0.303 Browning machine guns. After the war the Otter was used by the Jordanian Army and Dutch Army during the Indonesian Revolution.


  • Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian, G.M. Mark 1(R.A.C.) with turret.[4]
  • Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian, G.M. Mark 2 (R.A.C.) without turret.[5]

Surviving vehiclesEdit

  • The Karl Smith Collection in Tooele, Utah.
  • The RAF Regiment Museum, Honington.
  • Hellenic Historical Vehicles Preservation Club, Greece,[6]
  • Fort Nieuw Amsterdam Open Air Museum, Surinam.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Drivers Instructions and Workshop Manual for Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian, G.M. Mark 1 and G.M. Mark 2 (R.A.C.)
  2. ^ article
  3. ^ "Lesakeng". South African Armour Museum. 2012-12-06. Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  4. ^ Drivers Instructions and Workshop Manual for Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian, G.M. Mark 1 and G.M. Mark 2 (R.A.C.)
  5. ^ Drivers Instructions and Workshop Manual for Car, Light Reconnaissance, Canadian, G.M. Mark 1 and G.M. Mark 2 (R.A.C.)
  6. ^ "ΣΔΙΟ". Retrieved 2016-02-13.
  • White, BT AFV Profile No. 30 Armoured Cars - Marmon-Herrington, Alvis-Straussler, Light Reconnaissance (1971) Profile Publishing
  • Roger V.Lucy, ""The Otter Light Reconnaissance Car in Canadian Service", Service Publications,Ottawa, 2012

External linksEdit