Brand New Book
For years, the company's proud boast was that 'you see them everywhere' but, in truth, Bedford came to the party late. The first commercial vehicles to bear the Bedford name did not appear until 1931, with the first military vehicles coming less than a year later. Slow starters, yes, but over the following six or more decades, the name Bedford became synonymous with British military vehicles.
During WW2, trucks such as the 15cwt MW, and the versatile 30cwt and 3-ton 0 Series, all of them with the distinctive square nose, as well as the all-wheel drive QL, were all produced in thousands. And, despite having no previous experience, the company also designed and manufactured the Churchill tank, helping to produce more than 5500 examples as part of a 'production group' of nine companies. During the post-war years, thousands of examples of the 4x4 RL were produced, until eventually it was replaced by the MK and then the MJ, and the company also turned its hand to heavier trucks with the 8-tonne TM 4-4 and the 14-tonne TM 6-6.
But, by this time, all was not well at Luton, and, during the down-turn of the 'eighties, General Motors put the heavier trucks business up for sale. AWD and Marshall both struggled to make a success of it, but, sadly, the end came in 1998, when Marshall 'shut up shop for good. All of the Bedford military vehicles are here, from the well-known to the not so well-known. From lightlymilitarised pre-war trucks, through the highs and lows of the war years, the successes of the 'fifties and 'sixties when Bedfords were the backbone of the Army's logistic fleet, to the bold, but ultimately doomed, multi-wheeled experiments of the 'eighties.
The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs