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AEC Matador O853, 4 x 4, 12/24 V (Front view, right side)


  Front view, right side

Picture courtesy of Royal Danish Army Material Command

Danish Army Specific: Delivered by the British forces in Germany in 1945 - 47.
Historical: The Matador originated from a 4-ton 4 x 4 truck designed by Charles Cleaver and produced by Hardy Motors and FWD in the early 1930s. Hardy Motors was absorbed by AEC (Associated Equipment Company) in 1932 and the development work continued. By 1937 a prototype was ready and the Matador 853 with a 7.431 cm3 petrol engine appeared in 1938.
In 1938 the War Office placed an order for 200 vehicles bodied for use as medium tractors, and the first prototype was delivered on January 9th 1939. The first production vehicle with diesel engine (O853) was delivered in November 1939.
Intended as a medium artillery tractor (MAT), it was mainly used to tow a 5.5" gun, filling the gap between the Morris Quad Field Artillery Tractor and Scammell Pioneer Heavy Artillery Tractor towing the 25 pdr and 7.2" gun respectively.
Due to it's reputation the Matador was often pressed into service as a recovery tractor. Other variants were carrying generators, and some were adapted to carry a 25 pdr gun. Also an Armoured Command Vehicle, the Dorchester, was produced.
In late 1942 and early 1943 the "Deacon", an armoured 6-pounder anti-tank gun on a Matador chassis, was produced by Royal Park for the North African campaign.
A 6 x 6 variant (O854) was also produced, mainly used as tanker and mobile crane in the RAF.
Some 10.000 of the 4 x 4 version were produced from 1938 to November 1945.
A further requirement for trucks from the army led to 200 Matadors being produced in 2 batches in 1950 and 1951 respectively. It was done as a stopgap measure pending the arrival of the Militant and the Leyland Martian.
The Royal Air Force ordered nearly 1.000 units in 1950, but these were probably drawn from stocks held by AEC and refurbished to "as new" condition..
The RAF used the Matador post-war as drawbar tractor, 5 ton cargo truck with steel body sides and as a generator vehicle supplying power to airfield equipment. The latter was very popular with fairground and circus showmen in civi street.
The Matadors soldiered on until the early 1970s where they were disposed of.
Length: 6.32 m (249 inches).
Width: 2.39 m (94 inches).
Height: 3.10 m (122 inches).
Weight: 7.132 kg (15.850 lb.).
: AEC 6-cylinder, type A173, 7.581 cm3 (462 cubic inches) displacement.
Horsepower: 95 at 1.780 rpm.
Transmission: 4-speed.
Transfer case: 2 speed.
Electrical system: Hybrid 12/24 volt.
Brakes: Hydraulic, air-assisted, (early production), full air (late production).
Tyres: 13.50 - 20.
Fuel type: Diesel.
Fuel capacity: 182 liter (40 gallons).
Range: 575 km (360 miles).
Crew: N/A.
Additional: 5 or 7 ton Turner winch could be mounted. The 1950s batch was equipped with a 105 hp AEC A187 engine.

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