In 1935 a new War Office specification was issued for a medium 3 ton 4 x 4 truck to replace the 6 x 4 IGL type and in 1938 an order for a prototype was placed. This vehicle was of an advanced design with independent suspension, bus engine and a 5 speed gearbox. It performed well but in the end because of pressures to get production underway and ease of repair the War Office requested a simpler vehicle.
The final design, known as the FWD or Four Wheel Drive, had an 11 foot wheelbase and used a conventional suspension. They were famously used with a “Queen Mary” trailer by the RAF for aircraft transport and recovery. The FWD was Crossley Motors largest ever production run exceeding even the World War 1 RFC, given the conditions and the cramped factories a remarkable performance.
Engine: Own 4-cylinder, 5.266 cm3 (321 cubic inches) displacement, liquid cooled.
Horsepower: 90 at 2.500 rpm.
Transfer case: 2-speed.
Brakes: Hydraulic with servo assistance.
Tyres: 10.50 – 20.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 123 liters (27 gallons).
Additional: The vehicle carried 1350 liters (300 gallons) of water and 110 liters (25 gallons) of foam-liquid.