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The AEC Matador

Discussion in 'Allied Military vehicles used during WWII' started by Jim, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The AEC Matador 4x4 tractor first appeared in 1939, and was built to a War Office specification to tow 4.5-in (114-mm), 5.5-m (140-mm) and 6-in (152-mm) howitzers. The requirement was for a four-wheel tractor with seating for the crew and ammunition stowage. The early production vehicles had a cab roof of different shape to that of later production trucks, the latter having a circular hatch for air observation; when not in use this was covered by a small canvas sheet. The basic design of the cab was very simple and robust, being built on a wooden frame with steel sheets. The body was of conventional timber construction with a drop tailboard and a side door for use by the gun crew. Special runners were fitted to the floor to allow shells to be moved to the rear tailgate for unloading. The Matador was powered by a 6-cylinder 7.58-litre AEC engine producing 71 kW (95 bhp), allowing a top speed of 58 km/h (36 mph). For pulling purposes (for example extracting guns from mud) a 7-ton winch was fitted with 76 m (250 ft) of wire rope. The Matador was used in most theatres of the war. In the desert it proved to be extremely popular with the gun crews for its reliability, and photographic evidence shows that some had the tops of the cabs cut down to door level. Matadors were also pressed into service in the desert to tow transporter trailers because of the lack of proper tractors for this purpose. Total production of Matadors was 8,612. The RAF was also a major user of this vehicle, 400 being supplied in various offerings. The
    General Load Carrier had a special all-steel body with drop down sides and tailgate to facilitate easy loading, and the support posts could also be removed, Special flat platform trucks were also supplied to transport heavy equipment such as dumpers and compressors. An armoured command post was also built on this chassis, called the Dorchester, in which accommodation was provided internally for high- or receiving equipment, and an external penthouse could be erected. As these vehicles were considered prime targets they were carefully disguised to look like general-service trucks. Approximately 175 Matadors were built in 1942 as self-propelled gun carriages and comprised a 6-pdr anti-tank gun mounted in an armoured box. The cab and body were also armoured. Other variants included power equipment 20 kVA, power equipment 50 kVA, air-traffic control, and an experimental 25-pdr portée. The last did not progress beyond the prototype stage. The last of the Matadors were auctioned off in the mid-1970s, this late disposal date proving the sound strength and reliability of these trucks.

    This AEC Matador has been fitted with the streamline cab roof. Developed from a Hardy (AEC) design of the 1930s, the Matador was a medium artillery tractor used to move the 5.5-in (140-mm) medium gun.

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    AEC Matador: [​IMG]

    • Powerplant: one 70.8-kW (95-bhp) AEC 6-cylinder diesel engine
    • Dimensions: length 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in); width2.40 m(7 ft 10.5 in); heights. 10 m (10 ft 2 in)
    • Weights: unladen7189 kg(15,848 lb) and laden 11024 kg (24,304 lb)
    • Performance: maximum speed 58 km/ h (36 mph); radius 579 km (360 miles)
     

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