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Clark* Armored Observation Automobile


Country of Origin/Used by: United States
First Produced/Service Dates: 1917
Manufactured by: Chassis: Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company?; Construction: The Marino Brothers
Crew: 1-2?
Armament: None
Miscellaneous Info: Oscar Marino and his brothers built the Armored Observation Automobile presumably using a Pierce-Arrow passenger car mounting what is thought to be imitation armor.  The purpose of the car was to be used for field observation and for the mounting of wireless lines. To accomplish those tasks a 25 foot tower was mounted on top of the auto, which could be folded down when moving or not in use. There was even a small platform on top which could theoretically accommodate an "armed" observer; although not very effectively. The car was evaluated by the US Army, however it was not adopted.

*This vehicle is commonly referred to as the "Clark" Armored Observation Vehicle, most likely based upon a sign on the tower stating it was "Built by Peter Clark" of New York City.  However, the information provided with the photos states that the car was actually constructed by Oscar Marino and his brothers.  Based upon logic, the "Clark" sign probably only refers to the tower and not the entire car.  So in effect, the vehicle could more accurately be designated the "Marino Armored Observation Automobile".  
Data Sheet Available:   None Available


Reference Source/Provider
      Clark Armored Observation Automobile Photos U.S. National Archives

References Available


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Reference Author
Encyclopedia of Armoured Cars Duncan Crow and Robert J. Icks
U.S. Armoured Cars - AFV Weapons Profile #40 Robert J. Icks
U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles Fred W. Crismon

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