- This article is about the vehicle manufacturer. See Four-wheel drive (disambiguation) for other uses.
|Predecessor||Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company|
|Founder(s)||Otto Zachow and William Besserdich|
|Headquarters||Clintonville, Wisconsin, USA|
|Products||trucks, agriculture machinery tractor|
The Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, more often known as Four Wheel Drive or just FWD, was founded in 1909 in Clintonville, Wisconsin, USA as the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company by Otto Zachow and William Besserdich.
Zachow and Besserdich developed and built the first successful four-wheel drive (4x4) car, the "Battleship", in 1908. Its success led to the founding of the company. "Badger" was dropped from the name in 1910, and the name was changed to FWD Corporation in 1958.
The success of the four-wheel drive in early military tests prompted the company to switch from cars to trucks. In two world wars, U.S. and Allied armies depended on such four-wheel drive vehicles.
FWD vehicles were made with a track width of 4ft 8½in so they could quickly be used on a standard gauge railway line merely by changing the wheels.
A relationship with premier race car constructor Harry Miller resulted in the Four Wheel Drive Miller that competed successfully at Indianapolis in 1931 and later. This car, with lockable center differential, is arguably the first modern all wheel drive car. One example survives and has competed in premier vintage race car meets such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. "The Last Great Miller" by Griffith Borgeson gives a complete history of this landmark car.
UK FWD companyEdit
- Main article: FWD Motors
A British subsidiary was set up at Slough in 1921. In 1926, the British FWD Motor Co., also known as the Quad, was produced with a larger 70bhp engine.
In 1932, AEC took a controlling interest in the British company and began to use more standard AEC components in the Slough-built vehicles. To distinguish these from imported U.S. FWD vehicles, they were marketed under the name Hardy. Production ceased about 1936, but AEC exploited its experience with all-wheel drive in its Second World War Matador (4x4) and Marshall (6x6) vehicles.
A Canadian subsidiary was set up in conjunction with Dominion Truck of Kitchener, Ontario by 1919.
Recent takeover / merger historyEdit
In 1961, FWD purchased the Wagner Tractor Corporation of Portland, Oregon, USA, manufacturers of agricultural tractors and construction machinery. The products were then marketed as FWD Wagner, although some were sold as FWD.
In 1963, FWD acquired Seagrave Fire Apparatus who then moved from their old location in Columbus, Ohio, to their current location at FWD in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Many tower ladders in the 1990s using Seagrave chassis were branded as FWD. They used Baker Aerialscopes for the boom which FWD had also acquired over the years along with Almonte Fire Trucks.
Randolph Lenz, Chair of FWD's parent company, Corsta Corp., became embroiled in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation suit and in 2003 all assets of FWD: FWD Corporation, Seagrave, Baker Aerialscope and Almonte Fire Trucks were sold to an investment group headed by former American LaFrance executive James Hebe. Today, the Seagrave group is a flagship company of ELB Capital Management.[citation (source) needed]
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Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion.
|Model||Year(s) Produced||Horsepower||Engine Type||Misc Notes||Photo|
|FWD WA-14||220 hp (160 kW)||Cummins|
|FWD WA-17||250 hp (190 kW)||Cummins|
- FWD Truck Pictures (Hank's Truck Pictures)
- http://www.eliason-snowmobile.com/ early product.
- http://www.archive.org/details/americasmunitio01deptgoog early vehicles
- http://www.landships.freeservers.com/new_pages/fwd_truck_info.htm liberty truck
- http://www.mace-b.com/38TMW/Missiles/MM-1.htm teracruzer
|This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Four Wheel Drive. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia|