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Scammell Lorries Ltd. was set up at Tolpits Lane in Watford in 1922. It was an offshoot of the coachbuilding and repair company, G. Scammell & Nephew Ltd. of Spitalfields, a company that dates back to 1837.
The company started experimenting with trucks in 1919, and a six-wheeler was presented in 1922.
A prototype of what became the Pioneer dates back to 1925. It was developed as a logging and oilfield tractor, but although it was promoted as a military vehicle, the British Army didīnt purchase any in quantity.
Deliverance of the R100 artillery-tractor to the British Army took place from 1935.
From 1939 the Pioneer SV2S were produced as
tank transporter and recovery vehicle. Approx. 3.500 had been made when production ended in 1945.
After WW II a series of four-wheeled fairground generator trucks called Showtracs were designed and produced. The Pioneer was replaced by the Explorer, used mainly by the British Army, but also much favoured by the RAF.
The company was absorbed by the
Leyland Group in 1955, and carried on as their Special Vehicle Division.
Several series of trucks were constructed in the 1960īs and 1970īs. Scammellīs trailer division was sold to York Trailers in 1976.
In 1980 the Crusader was launched. Although developed by Scammell it was badged as a Leyland Truck.
During the 1980īs Scammell continued building heavy vehicles but, following the acquisition of Leyland by
DAF Trucks in 1987, the plant closed in 1988.
Scammell was then acquired by Unipower, which, by then, had absorbed what was left of Thornycroft. The Unipower works were situated in the East Moseley/Hampton Court area where they concentrated production of the ex-Thornycroft Nubian and Nubian Major airport fire/crash tenders which became the rear-engined Scammell Nubian.
At some stage Unipower was acquired by Alvis, and their works transferred to Watford, not far from the old Scammell factory in Tolpits Lane, to produce the Unipower S24.

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