- Four Wheel Drive
:"This article is about the vehicle manufacturer. See
Four by four/Four-wheel drive (disambiguation)for other uses."
The Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, more often known as Four Wheel Drive or just FWD, was founded in 1909 in
Clintonville, Wisconsinas the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company by Otto Zachowand 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 gaugerailway line merely by changing the wheels.
A British subsidiary was set up at
Sloughin 1921. In 1926, the British FWD, 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 WarMatador (4x4) and Marshall (6x6) vehicles.
* [http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/fwd.htm FWD Truck Pictures (Hank's Truck Pictures)]
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