Oxford Diecast RASC-Katy Western Desert Austin K2 Ambulance
Product Code: 76K2001
A brand new World War II Ambulance joins Oxford’s 1:76 scale Military series and it has wartime Royal connections. It has also featured in several media roles of the period, notably the film Ice Cold in Alex starring John Mills, where it was called ‘Katy, Our model brings back to life that vehicle as it appeared in the movie. Many images of the then Princess Elizabeth in her wartime ATS uniform show her either under the bonnet or behind the wheel of a K2 Ambulance which she was trained to drive.
The Austin K2/Y Ambulance, affectionately known as KATY, was built between 1939 and 1945 by Austin at their Longbridge plant in conjunction with Mann Egerton - well-known for their bus body manufacturing expertise. It was quite a large vehicle, 18ft in length, 7ft 5 inches wide and just over 9 feet high. To save as much space as possible for the wounded, the crew was limited to 2-3 personnel. Weighing just over 3 tons, the K2 came with a 6-cylinder 3462 Austin D-Series engine with four speed gearbox and had a top speed of around 50 mph. The vehicle featured two petrol tanks, one on each side holding 12 gallons of fuel each. Just over 13,000 K2 Ambulances were built and proved very popular with British and Commonwealth troops as well as US forces. Two large doors across the back opened up to enable the K2 to accommodate ten casualties sitting or four stretchers. The rear body had been designed specially by the Royal Army Medical Corps and built by Mann Egerton. The driver’s cab did not have doors but folding canvas sheets instead. Similar access also meant that the patients could be reached from the driver’s cab through a small internal door with a seat. The exterior of the vehicle comprised mostly painted canvas. A feature which helps date the variations of the K2 was the shape of the roof vents. Early ones were round and later ones square. Our Oxford tooling is based on the early version with round roof ventilators.
And so on to our detailed replica. The physical features of the real thing are there for you to appreciate. Decorated in a sand camouflage colour scheme with darker sand canvas roll up doors and seating, the Red Cross logo appears on every surface. The yellow bridge plate is printed with the number 5 and the leaping red gazelle against the white background on both the front and rear signifies deployment to the Western Desert, home to the gazelle. The white WD Census number of our K2 – A121370 KATY- is printed along the edge of the bonnet and also along the bottom of the offside back door
In addition to its deployment in the West African Campaign, after the War, the K2 Ambulance also served in Germany with the Allies, followed by action in the Korean War in the 1950s. It is estimated that around 50 examples still survive today, which is a heartening thought.
Oxford Diecast RASC-Katy Western Desert Austin K2 Ambulance is a 1:76 Scale (00) model and as well as a collectable, it also makes a great addition to model railway layout or diorama.
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