Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord K's Garage - #64. Four Wheel Drive

Year: 1928. Location: Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. Four-wheel drive truck: Four Wheel Drive.

FWD trucks (here "FWD" is for company name) were not something new for the military: during WWI US Army used a large number of these vehicles. Here's 1917 FWD B-type truck:

And another one:

FWD dump trucks in Washington DC, 1927:

Lucky driver:

His car could be washed, polished, simonized and waxed! It had 4-ton capacity and strong chassis:

The machine to be proud of:

I wonder why the other driver wears a such a sour expression on his face:

Probably it's the sun?
One more shot from the proving ground:


Now, a brief overview of FWD history:
The Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company was founded in Clintonville, Wisconsin in 1909. The name was changed to the Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company in 1910, and in 1958 to the FWD Corporation. The company presently (2009) designs, manufactures and markets multi-drive and heavy-duty vehicles, such as fire-fighting trucks, tractor-drawn aerials, and chassis, with offices in Richmond, Virginia, Ontario, Canada, and Clintonville, Wis.

Company founders Otto Zachow and William Besserdich were established owners of a machine shop in Clintonville when Otto developed the first simple and effective design for transferring power to all four wheels of an automobile. Patents were secured and money raised locally to organize the company, but production difficulties and delays nearly ended it. With the help and guidance of Clintonville attorney Walter A. Olen, the company was reorganized, funds raised, and the emphasis switched from manufacturing automobiles to trucks. A 1912 U.S. Army test of trucks as replacements for mules and wagons gave the company its first major publicity, and the outbreak of World War I opened new markets in Europe and the United States.

After the war the company moved into new products including highway building and maintenance equipment, earth-moving machinery, and fire trucks. World War II once more brought increased markets and prosperity to the company. In more recent years the company has changed hands and in 2009 operates as a subsidiary of the Corsta Corporation of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Four Wheel Drive Foundation maintains a museum in Clintonville.
For a dessert, an Atomic Age FWD:

Text (history): Wisconsin Historical Society

Images: Shorpy, US Army, jacksnell & popo.uw23 @ Flickr

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Comment by lord_k on November 22, 2010 at 5:59am
Thank you anyway. I'll try to boost my imagination.
Comment by Pilsner Panther on November 22, 2010 at 5:54am
I'd like to help you find it, but it's an old piece of 16mm film that my uncle had, and he's six feet under, so I can't ask him where it came from (or for that matter, ask him anything else). The verbal description is the best I can do. Maybe someone else has seen it, or some film archive has a copy. Who knows? It was on a reel in a cardboard box labeled "Dam And Irrigation Projects," as I recall. But in 2010 I'm not so good at recalling the 1970's.
Comment by lord_k on November 21, 2010 at 9:29am
To Pilsner Panther:
I have to find this clip, it should be fascinating!
Comment by Pilsner Panther on November 21, 2010 at 9:14am
I've seen a rare film clip of these trucks in action, removing debris from the excavation at the base of Hoover Dam.The builders of the dam must have had a fleet of about a hundred of them, or more (and enough drivers to make the project work). Loaded with a ton or so of rock each, the trucks just keep moving up the steep canyon roads in a continuous line. The drive train that uses multiple sets of differential gears (one for the front wheels, one mounted under the frame, and the other driving the rear wheels) is pretty amazing. Blacksmith and slide-rule technology, it was remarkable!
Comment by lord_k on November 20, 2010 at 5:22am
Early models are spectacular, and the "new memeber of Air Force" is unbelievable (yes, I've seen larger missile carriers, but not so outlandish).
Comment by Larry on November 19, 2010 at 5:22pm
What a cool truck. And that Teracruzer is amazing!

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