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The Standard Junglebug

Three of the four seats are occupied in this shot of a surviving Junglebug. The front seats were saddles, whist the rear seats looked much like motorbike pillion seats. JLR 127 is one of at least two surviving Junglebugs

This is a story that I have been intending to write for some time:

Standard beat the Japanese by 30 years!

The market for All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's) is commonly credited to the Japanese company Honda who introduced the term and say they invented the whole market in the early 1970's

I am here to dispute this claim, as the Standard Motor Company built such a device before the end of the Second World War. At least 2 prototypes of the Standard Jungle Bug ( Called a J.A.B, by the factory ) still survive What's more, the Standard is much more versatile than any Honda ATV, since it can carry four people. So, much more advanced that a Quad bike then!

Based on the Prewar Standard 8, the Junglebug was bristling with new technology that isn't accepted as even being invented until much later. Four wheel drive was fitted from the outset; the differential for the front wheel drive is in the sump, pre-empting Issigonis's Mini by some 15 years. No Honda ATV could boast 4WD until 1986 !

Standard designed the Junglebug to be an Air Transportable, Parachute-launched troop carrier, principally, it is said, for use in the Jungles of the Far East: hence it's nickname. It came with a trailer that looked much like a small skip. The idea was that the Bug could be loaded into the trailer and then the contraption could be hauled and floated across rivers and streams.

Unfortunately these good intentions came to grief when water-tank testing showed that the combination promptly turned turtle! As a result, the factory dismissed the whole idea as a bit of a joke and it consequently it went no-where. No-one realised then that Standard's engineers had invented the first All Terrain Vehicle, but now you and I all know much better. What a lost opportunity!

It makes a worthy addition to the Military area of the Website

Phil Homer

01727 868405

I would be pleased to hear any more information about the Junglebug

February 2010