The Four Wheel Drive Auto Co., FWD,
was formed by Zachow and Besserdich,
initially under the name of Badger,
and selling its first 4X4 car
Besserdich went on to help start another famous 4X4 truck company that came to be known after the town of Oshkosh.
The first world war gave FWD's fortunes a boost with many
of their 4X4 trucks being used by the US and British armies.
The truck pictured (right) is an FWD model B of 1917,
serial number 3002,
held by the Imperial War Museum (UK).
Forward control was required to give the drivers
a better view of the road close to
the front wheels.
Engine: Wisconsin 4-cyl petrol 56bhp,
Note the solid rubber tyres! The ride must be rough beyond description; just give the drivers of past years a moment's thought when you are debating whether to fit Super Swampers or Desert Duellers to your own truck.
The transfer case with propeller shafts
to the front and rear live axles can be
clearly seen on the left hand side of the truck.
The transfer case provided part-time four wheel drive
and high and low ratios.
In 1929 FWD (UK) started building trucks in England in cooperation with AEC.
This FWD truck (right) was spotted in Jerome Arizona USA by Don Incoll.
Jim Allen writes:- The FWD truck [right] is a model CU6 or CU6-A. This truck debuted in about 1931 and was rated for 3-1/2 to 4 ton capacity. It used an FWD model 6-SRS, 6-cylinder engine with 91hp@2300rpm, 260lb-ft of torque and displaced 411cid with a 4-1/8"x5-1/8" bore and stroke.
It used a 5-speed manual trans, full-time 4WD system with a manually locked center diff'. Gear ratios ranged from the standard 7.35-1, through 8.9-1, 5.65-1, 10,15-1 and 12.05-1. Top speed was 58mph with the taller gear option and 19mph with the lowest.
As far as I can tell, this model was built almost unchanged until 1937. I don't think it ever saw military service in any numbers (if at all).
It was a second generation upgrade of the firm's first truck, the
familiar model B of WW1 fame. The B evolved into the BF, the main
differences being had a conventional type cab. The BF mechanicals were
nearly identical to the B. The CU6 looked very similar but had the
upgraded engine, an FWD 6 instead of
the Wisconsin 4cyl.
1932: FWD sponsored the FWD Special four wheel drive racing car by Harry Miller which raced at Indianapolis.
1957 four wheel drive FWD fire engine (right).
would like to find more information on this model
of truck and is also looking for parts for it.
has a 1968 6x6 FWD lime spreader,
a 1969 8x8 dump truck,
and various other FWD trucks, some for spare parts.
He would be interested in hearing from others
with historical information on FWD trucks
and/or spares parts etc.
Any more information on FWD Trucks - please email:4WD@sofcom.com.au
4WD Vehicles A-Z
4WD Toys & Models
History of 4WDs