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Rolls-Royce Tender (Support Car)


Country of Origin/Used by: Great Britain
First Produced/Service Dates: 1917-1918
Manufactured by: Chassis: Rolls-Royce, Ltd.; Bodywork: British Ordnance Depots
Crew: 1-3?
Armament: (1) Vickers .303 Machine Gun (As Needed)
Engine: 6 Cylinder Gasoline
Miscellaneous Info: During operations in the Middle East by T.E. Lawrence and the Hejaz Armoured Car Battery/Section, non-armored support vehicles ("Tenders") were used to assist them by hauling ammunition, equipment, petrol, rations, supplies, troops and even explosives. These Tenders were initially normal general service supply trucks. However, it was quickly discovered that the supply lorries either broke down quickly and/or could not keep up with the armored cars during operations.  As a solution, the unit had some of the more war weary examples of their Rolls-Royce 1914 Admiralty Turreted Pattern Armored Cars converted into Tenders. These cars had their armor removed and were fitted with wooden bodies in British Ordnance Depots in Alexandria or Cairo, Egypt.  These new vehicles were termed Rolls-Royce Tenders (Support Cars) and numbered about three or four in total.  In fact, the Tenders were so effective in the support role, they were also commonly used for reconnaissance and even in direct action roles, specifically during demolition operations.

the 1914 Pattern armored cars were based on the 40/50 Rolls Royce "Alpine Eagle" (aka "Continental") model chassis, so were most of the Tenders.  The Alpine Eagle was an upgraded version of the normal 40/50 cars, which were commonly known as "Silver Ghosts". Interestingly, the 40/50 cars were not officially known as the Silver Ghost until approximately 1926.  However, there was one exception to the above and it involves the vehicle known as "Blue Mist".
"Blue Mist" is perhaps the most well known of the Tenders as T.E. Lawrence was photographed in it (below).  "Blue Mist" was reportedly the only Tender not converted from a 1914 Pattern Armored Car.  In fact, it started life as an unmodified 1909 40/50 Rolls-Royce Car requisitioned personally by Lawrence himself.  As "Blue Mist" wasn't as robust as the others, it was commonly used as a liaison or command car by the unit.
Data Sheet Available:   None Available


Reference Source/Provider
   Rolls Royce 40/50 Alpine Eagle Roadster Information Sheet J. Stejskal
  "The Rolls-Royce 40/50 Armored Car: Ghosts of the Desert" (November/December Issue of Flying Lady Journal) James Stejskal
   Rolls Royce Tender "Rhino" Information Sheet J. Stejskal
  Rolls-Royce Tender Construction Photo The Len Cox Family
    Rolls-Royce Tender Construction Photos (Hejaz Armoured Car Battery- August 1918) Valerie Gilman & the Gilman Family Collection
    Rolls-Royce Tender Photos The Len Cox Family
  Rolls-Royce Tender Photo (Hejaz Armoured Car Battery- August 1918) Valerie Gilman & the Gilman Family Collection
  Rolls-Royce Tender "Blue Mist" Photo Imperial War Museum
  Rolls-Royce Tender "Blue Mist" Photo (T.E. Lawrence in Passenger Seat) Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Press Club
  Rolls-Royce Tender "Blue Mist" Photo (Hejaz Armoured Car Battery- August 1918) Valerie Gilman & the Gilman Family Collection
Rolls-Royce Tender "Rhino" Information & Photos (Reproduction Vehicle) J. Stejskal - Vehicle Owner
  "Solving the Mystery of Blue Mist: Lawrence's Roll's Royce" J. Stejskal

References Available


Reference Source/Provider
"Historians Discover the Identity of Lawrence of Arabia's Rolls-Royce" PR Web
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tender Line Drawing The BluePrints.com
Rolls-Royce Tender Line Drawing War Drawings


Reference Author
Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz (Casemate Publishers)

Book Review by Patrick Keenan - Editor
James Stejskal
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car Owners' Workshop Manual: 1915-44 (All Models) (Haynes Publishing) David Fletcher

Hobby Modeling

Kits and Accessories

Model Kit Manufacturer Scale Other Information
Aftermarket Item Manufacturer Scale Other Information

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider
Rolls Royce (Model 1914) Armored Car and Rolls-Royce "Tender" (1/35 Roden) Model Photos Major (Retired) Don Allen- Orleans, Ontario Canada