The T23E1 Light Armored Car was a Fargo design for a four wheeled armoured car built to the specifications that produced the M8 light armoured car, but that lost out to Ford’s six wheeled T22 and that may never have been built.
Work on a new armoured car began in July 1941. The new vehicle was to be armed with the 37mm Gun M6, which potentially made it useful as both an armoured car and a tank destroyer, and it was also to be adaptable to other uses, such as cargo carrier, multiple gun motor carriage or mortar carrier. The original design also called for a hull mounted machine gun, but in March 1942 this was changed to a coaxial machine gun in the turret.
On 9 October the Ordnance Committee recommended the purchase of two pilots of 6x6 wheeled armoured cars, the Ford 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T22 and the Fargo 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T23.
On 10 December two more pilot vehicles were ordered, this time 4x4s. Once again Ford and Fargo were both given orders, for the Ford 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T22E1 and Fargo 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T23E1. A third company entered the field when Studebaker offered to build a pilot at their own expense, and this became the Light Armoured Car T21.
The Ford T22 was the first of the five pilots to be completed, and it began tests in March 1942. The results were impressive enough for the T22E1, T23 and T23E1 projects to be terminated on 23 April 1942, although the three pilots were to be completed and used for testing.
It isn’t clear if the T23E1 was ever completed. Photographs exist of the T23, including one showing it at a testing ground. Presumably the T23E1 would have been similar to the T23, with a level fuselage, sponsons above the wheels acting as fenders, and the turret mounted just in front of the centre point. However I have yet to find any picture showing the T23E1.