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|Headquarters||Dunstable, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom|
AWD Engineering Limited was founded in early 1970 at Dunstable in Bedfordshire and worked closely with former Bedford models. They redesigned and improved Bedford Trucks with modern all wheel driven running gear, and the new new vehicles were usually designated AWD-Bedford and were available in lorries and tractors for the army use and for civilian takers.
This engineering company had NO connection with the other name of AWD Co. Ltd, the famous British vehicle conversion specialists based in Camberley, later moving down to South Marston. This AWD worked in a similar way, too, because AWD Engineering Ltd was a conversion firm, but they never worked with cranes or tractors. Their only known connection they had was the British arm of GMC, also known as GMC-UK their other name who owned the giant IBC Ltd factory at Dunstable where Bedford, Commer, Dodge and Karrier vehicles were manufactured before although Dodge was of American origin and ownership.
AWD was based at Dunstable in Bedfordshire, a well known English county and the home of several other engineering manufacturers past and present. AWD trucks were built at the Bedford GM UK plant, formerly known as the GMC-IBC factory. Following GM´s decision to withdraw from the UK truck market in late 1986, AWD took over the former Bedford commercial vehicle manufacturing operations, but not the Bedford brand name. AWD was bought in 1987 by David J.B. Brown, the founder of Artix Limited, an articulated dump truck company that was subsequently sold to the American Caterpillar company. Brown took over the business and kept manufacturing selected former Bedford truck models. They were sold the AWD brandname.
Although the once famous name Bedford was retained by GM, it was used for the Bedford van range only. Numerous special all wheel driven prototypes were made and were all aimed for the construction industry and for military takers, plus to several export markets. Other existing Bedford trucks models were used as a basis for David J.B. Brown's newly formed firm called Multidrive, who bought the remaining unused Bedford vehicles and rebuilt them into 8x6 and 10x6 machines manufactured by the now renamed AWD-Multidrive Ltd from 1990. But limited and slow sales resulted in financial problems for original AWD Engineering Ltd firm in 1992 but this company that started this whole operation with Bedford GM´s guidance didnt completely vanish yet and kept offroad truck production going anyway.
AWD hoped to win new contracts to supply the British Army with replacements for the existing Bedford Medium trucks then in service but unfortunately this never happened although Foden and Scammell were the offroad truck specialists who were granted new vehicle supplies of several different models all of them in 6X6 and 8X8 configurations.
The recent renamed firm AWD-Multidrive Ltd were then moved to Cambridge by their new owners Marshall SPV who were granted the permission to reinstate the historic Bedford truck name although within a few months AWD Engineering Ltd were no longer active. Marshall SPV manufactures specialist bodies for many of the British Army's vehicles and provides maintenance services to the defense and aerospace industry from their base at Cambridge Airport.
Images of AWD trucks'
References / sourcesEdit
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