Monday, July 7, 2014

Joe 90 and the Alvis Stalwart!

     While searching the web for images of unusual vehicles for my archive, I came across a very interesting find; the Alvis FV 620 Stalwart.  This amphibious behemoth was produced in 1966 by the Alvis Car & Engineering Company Limited  and soon thereafter adopted by the British Army. It proved itself a reliable workhorse and earned the nickname 'Stolly.'  It's a beautiful machine to say the least.  What really struck me was a fictional vehicle that bore a certain resemblance to the Stolly; the explosives transport truck from episode 5 of Gerry Anderson's supermarionation series Joe 90.
      In that episode our protagonist Joe must lead a convoy of these vehicles across difficult terrain and all the while carrying a highly unstable explosive.  The truck in that episode was created by legendary designer and model maker Mike Trim.  Joe 90 was produced in 1968 so it's possible that Mike was inspired by the Stolly which had been around for two years at that point.  While Mike Trim's book, The Future Was Fab:  The Art of Mike Trim does briefly discuss the explosives truck; the Stolly is never mentioned.  The similarities may simply be coincidence.  I've supplied some images below so you can judge for yourself.  Enjoy!

The explosives truck as it appeared in Joe 90
Mike Trim's original concept illustration

Photo of Clifford Toys Stolly Courtesy of Mike Burrows

Photo of  Clifford Toys Stolly Courtesy of Mike Burrows


  1. It's certainly a great looking vehicle.

  2. Not entirely unlike today's various MRAP vehicles. It's really got a husky, stalwart look to it.

  3. Almost certainly a connection, the PR (as it's called today) surrounding defence innovations at the time was amazing, the reason so many toy soldiers have the EM2, is down to the publicity at the time, the SLR, JSR2, Jaguar, Harrier and MRCA Tornado all got it as well, along with Alvis' other 'baby' the scorpion CVR (T) family, but the Stalwart was heavily promoted...the reason there are all the petrol-tanker toys is because Alvis were hoping for civil sales to the oil exploration industry and offered a version/mock-up at trade shows.

    Of course - today, they are using AFV's in Afghanistan, no one even knows we've bought!


  4. Thank very much for the additional insight. Very cool!