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    Models built from 1972 to present

M5A1 from Tamiya M5A1 - Tamiya 35097

M5A1 U.S. Light Tank :
The light tank M3 entered production in the Spring of 1940 and in the next three years, many thousands of vehicles of this type were built in several different production forms. The M3 was designed around the continental W-670 seven cylinder gasoline engine, and it became apparent very early on that supply of this engine would be subject M5A1 iamge 12to restrictions because it was adapted aero engine and the expanding aircraft production lines would have priority call on essential components and facilities. One model of the Light Tank M3 was fitted with a diesel engine to help overcome the shortages, but a better idea came from the Cadillac Division of General Motors who were already engaged on war work. Cadillac suggested to the US Ordnance Department that it would be possible to fit two of their existing big V-8 motor car engines, together with the associated Hydramatic transmission systems, into the existing M3 Light Tank. To prove the feasibility of this, one standard M3 vehicle was converted  (under the experimental designation M3E2) for official trials. A 500 mile continuous trial run was made, absolutely free of faults or mechanical trouble. late in 1941. On test the vehicle proved mush easier to drive and handle than the original Continental engined vehicles, and the legendary Cadillac smoothness of operation seemed to lend itself as well to tanks as to luxury motor cars.
The modified design was approved for production straight away, and the new type was standardized as Light Tank M5 (not M4, so as to avoid confusion with the Medium Tank M4).
M5A1 image 9To accommodate the height of the twin Cadillac engines the rear decking of the hull was slapped up, but the hull was otherwise quite similar in shape to that of the original M3. One change, however, was to a sloping glacis plate. Production started in February 1942. Two Cadillac plants was building M5s by the summer of 1942, plus a Massey-Harris Factory, and in October 1943 M3 production ceased and the M3 builder, American Car & Foundry, switched to M5 production as well. In September 1942 a slightly improved model, M5A1 was standardized to bring the vehicle into line with the last production model of the M3 series, M3A3. In early 1943 the M5A1 replaced the M5 in production. A small number of both M5 and M5A1 models were supplied to the British Army who designated both as the Stuart Mk. VI. The M5 had a turret basket and a gyro-stabilizer for the 37mm gun, and its general specification matched that of the M3. The M5A1 had a further improvements including a turret bustle to hold a radio set, a floor escape hatch, larger access hatches, and improved vision devices.
(From Tamiya Manual)

M5A1 image 10 M5A1 light tank
M5A1 iamge 11
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M5A1 iamge 13 M5A1 iamge 14 M5A1 image 15
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