Twenty four years ago, I was honoured to interview William ‘Billy’ Butt and his son Gerald at their old Spencer Bridge Road Depot in Northampton. The company used to operate some fine old British parques. Above is a fine example of their well decorated note paper, vital in the pre computer age. R.J Cook

Cannonball Tv Series Video Results

  • 25:01Cannonball S01E38 Racket … some classic Canadian
  • 20:01Cannonball TV Series 1958 Full Episode Part
  • 26:25Cannonball “Shock” Original air date Dec 29
  • 20:00Cannonball TV Series 1958 Full Episode Part
  • 26:20Cannonball 50s TV Drama episode 1 of
  • 26:38Cannonball Fall out Original air date Feb 23
  • 25:03Cannonball 50s TV Drama episode 4 of
  • 31:51Cannonball Full Episode Part 2 Small
Allelys working on Bletchley viaduct demolition. Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
  • The 800 series diesel marked a low point in British Leyland and was nothing other than a fatal disaster costing way more than just hard cash. AEC’s public reputation of a once trusted and respected company was destroyed by nothing more than a British Leyland ego trip.

Essay : Not their finest hour – AECLeyland 740/800 series …

  • The Restoration of the Movin’ On Truck April 24, 2019 The well-known 1970’s show Movin’ On holds a special place in many hearts. Running from 1974-76, the show featured two gypsy truckers, Sonny Pruitt and Will Chandler, played by Claude Akins and Frank Converse.

The Restoration of the Movin’ On Truck

Associated Equipment Company (AEC)

MagnifyAec Logo

The Associated Equipment Company was founded in England in 1912 although, it usually traded under the name AEC. Its origins go back to 1855 when the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) was formed. It however, did not start producing buses for its own use until 1909. In 1912 the LGOC was in turn taken over by the Underground Group which was responsible for most of London’s extensive underground tram operations. As part of that process a separate division was set up for bus manufacturing and this was named Associated Equipment Company (AEC). The advent of WWI saw AEC come under direct control of the British Government who used its assembly lines to mass produce army ‘lorries’ for the war effort. AEC produced 10,000 three and four ton Y models and 1300 buses converted to transport carriers for the Armed Forces during the war. From that point on, AEC became known for both truck and bus production and manufacture of both continued aggressively after the war. 

In 1923, the company produced the first of what was considered a civilian goods model. The two ton 201 was powered with a 28 bhp petrol engine. Following this, there was a brief association with Daimler in 1926 which saw the business relocate to a new plant in Southall. London. This dissolved within a couple of years and in 1928 AEC entered into contractual arrangements with both Hardy Rail Motors Ltd and the English version of the Four Wheel Drive Motor Company (FWD) whereby AEC components would be used in all off-road or cross country models produced. Defence contracts and works were still a major part of AECs business in peace time Britain. Many felt a Second World War was imminent and this was the impetus for development of what is Australia’s rarest AEC truck; the 1934 government roadtrain housed at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs. MagnifyAec Southall Logo

Upon relocation to Southall a new Chief Engineer was appointed. Mr. GJ Rackham, who had previously worked for Leyland Motors, took the business in a new direction of productivity particularly for the export market to other countries of the Commonwealth. From 1929, AEC produced many new models; the names of trucks began with “M” (Majestic, Mammoth, Mercury etc), and those of buses began with “R” (Regent, Regal, Renown). In 1933 AEC was floated as a separate business and the company went public before producing several very unusual products including a low loader type 8×4 rigid called the Crocodile and the 8×8 Overseas Tractor unit based on an earlier design by Hardy Motors Ltd. In .These original “M-models” continued in production until the end of the Second World War when a new range of diesel powered models was introduced. AEC’s first diesel engine, released in 1930, was a six cylinder 8.1 litre rated at 95 bhp. At this time, AEC also took a controlling interest in the UK subsidiary of the USA based Four Wheel Drive Company (FWD) introducing the use of AEC components into that range. These were marketed under the name Hardy to prevent confusion with the USA marquee of the same name.

Commercial production ceased in 1941 following the outbreak of WWII and all efforts were once again put to military needs. During this time AEC produced their 10 ton 4×4 Matador Artillery tractor and a 6×6 version (officially called the Marshall but usually referred to as a 6×6 Matador. The Matador was used extensively during WWII as both a gun tractor and an armoured version as a mobile battle headquarters or command posts. MagnifyAec Stock Train Advert 1961

At war’s end AEC acquired Crossley and Maudsay and resumed civilian production with the Mammoth Major, Matador and Monarch ranges. AEC changed its name to Associated Commercial Vehicles (ACV) Ltd., although it kept the initials “AEC” on most of its vehicles. ACV then acquired the bodybuilding company, Park Royal Vehicles, which went on to design a new cab for the AEC Mercury in the mid-1950s; this cab eventually appeared on all models across the range during this period. By 1961 AEC had also acquired Transport Equipment (Thornycroft) and effectively removed that name from the marketplace with the exception of the Nubian airport crash tender and the Mighty Antar roadtrain units best known for their work in Australia on the Snowy River Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. By the end of the 1950s AEC was experiencing rapid expansion introducing the Mk V range and the Mammoth Major 8 many of which were exported to Australia, South Africa, South America and other countries reliant on an efficient road transport industry for their own development. 

A new era for AEC was heralded in 1962 when Leyland Motors acquired ACV in 1962 and Leyland cabs were used on most models. Demand for AEC/ Leyland vehicles from around the world continued well into the mid 1960s by which time European and American trucks were also being imported into Australia. By 1968 production of all double decker buses had ceased but the AEC name continued on some trucks and buses up until 1977.  In 1979, following nationalisation in 1975 in an attempt to save the ailing organisation, the doors closed permanently on British Leyland’s (as it then had become) Southall plant and all production.
Many AEC models were sent to Australia over the years and for a time the big British built trucks were King of the Road in Australia. Many fine examples of early AEC trucks have been restored by enthusiasts around the country and are on display in museums or private collections. Several buses can be found at the Sydney Bus Museum including a 1963 Routemaster double decker and several Regent Omnibuses dated as early as 1947.MagnifyMammothmajor


The Mammoth was a 7/8 ton truck with a110 bhp  six cylinder overhead valve engine. It went on to have three versions: the Mammoth Minor 6×2, the Mammoth Major 6×4 and the Mammoth Major 8 x4 which could carry a 15 ton payload. 


The AEC Mandator dates from the 1930s and post war production saw it available both as a tray and prime-mover units and was available up until the mid 1970s.


The AEC Matador was originally a 5 ton 4×2 commercial truck made famous for its use in WWII as an artillery tractor with the British Forces where it was given the nickname ‘Mat’. AEC had produced 9,620 of these during the war and adapted them afterwards for civilian use where they initially found popularity as recovery vehicles and in the timber industry. The Matador was distinctive with its flat front and curved cabin roof. 


The AEC Mercury was a forward control truck first introduced in 1928. It had a wheelbase of 14ft and carrying capacity of 4 ton. In 1930 it became available with a 4 cylinder 65bhp petrol engine.


The AEC Militant, or “Milly” as it was known, became the replacement for the Matador in 1952 and its production continued in various forms up until the 1970s. The Militant was based on the design of a truck produced by Maudslay in 1930. The Militant was renowned for its good cross-country performance making it ideal for recovery work but because it had no power steering military drivers complained it was difficult to turn the wheel at slow speed and in difficult terrain. Interestingly, this model was also nick-named ‘Knocker’ because of the sound of its slow revving engine. In Australia the Militant was widely used on the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme usually fitted with an 11.3 litre diesel engine and 5 speed gearbox with 2 speed transfer case. 


The AEC Mogul was also based on the design of an earlier Maudslay model. It was available from the 1960s and was called a “normal control tractor unit”. 


AEC Monarch were built from 1931 to 1939 having ceased production at the onset of WWII. Over the years it range varied considerably and it was available well into the 1970s.The Monarch was usually fitted with either a 85bhp four cylinder 5.1 litre diesel engine or a 80bhp four cylinder 5.1 litre petrol engine.

At Work in Australia

Tom Kruses Aec Matador Abandoned At Mungerannie
Aec 1954 Mkiii 6X6 Militant With 113 Litre Diesel Engine Front Wheel Drive Owned By Warren Harris Vc


1934 Aec Roadtrain On Its Maiden Journey To Alice Springs
Bob Dicks Dicks Transport Wudinna Aec On Horrocks Pass Aec
Aec Diamontina Transport Qld
Channel Transport Aec Bonnetted Mammoth Cattle Roadtrain
Brambles Lee Aec With Mining Equipment In Wa
Dieter Reiber Boiling The Billy On Roadside With Two Matesi
Dieter Reiber Roadside Check
Johnston River Transport Had A Fleet Of Aec Mammoths And Mandators At Mourilyan Nth Qld In 1968
John Refueling His Aec In Wa It Must Have Been A Long Trip The Truck Is Registered In Nsw
Hawtin Transports Aec Kyneton
Old And Battered But Still On The Road
Mercury Transport
Stan Mason Changing Tyres On An Aec Stan Had Worked On Aecs In Uk Before Imigrating
Ray Gillelands Aec Matador Was A Regular Sight Across The Nullarbor Plains He Called It The Silver Lady
The Shell Companys Aec Mammoth
Ted Scarfe Drove This Aec Mandator For Rays With An 113 Litre Diesel He Reported Its Top Speed At 43 Mph
Walter Allwright On His Aecon The Road Between Alice And Darwin The Aec Was Purchased New

Trucks Restored in Australia

Aec Govt Roadtrain 1934 Smoko Break During Some Roadside Repairs
The Aec Arrives In Alice Springs With A Load Of Wool From Macdonald Downs This Is Possibly Its Last Load For The Government
It Wasnt Unusual For The Roadtrain To Haul Four Trailers At A Time These Usually Carried Bulls
Aec Govt Roadtrain On Its Way Maiden Journey To Alice Springs In May 1934
The Aec Roadtrain That Went To Russia
The Aec Goverment Roadtrain On Show In The Grounds At The National Road Transport Hall Of Fame In 2010
The Outback Roads The Aec Roadtrain Meant A Bit Of Shovelling Was All In A Days Work
The Aec Roadtrain That Went To The Gold Coast Africa For Trialling
The Reverend John Flynn Inspects The Aec Roadtrain Shortly After Its Arrival Into Alice Springs In 1934

Featured Story – The AEC 8×8 Government Roadtrain

Download The AEC 8X8 Government Roadtrain.pdf Featured Story.

Aec Mandator 6X6 Donated By Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club Darwin This Range Was Available In Australia Up To The Mid 1970S
1978 Aec Swift Bus Powered By An Aec 760 Engine It Closely Resembled The Leyland Panther Donated By Port Pirie Bus Service
This One Of A Kind 8X8 1932 Aec Roadtrain Is On Display In The Museum Having Played A Major Role In Developing The Territory
This Aec Matador From Burbridge Bros In Murray Bridge Was Assembled By Hastings Deering The First Aec Distributor In Australia

The AEC Mammoth was introduced in 1930, being largest truck in the AEC range and the first to be available as a cabover. It was originally a 7/8 ton 4×2 lorry with a six-cylinder overhead valve engine developing 110 bhp (82 kW) on a wheelbase of 16 ft 7 in. A 6×4 variant was the “Mammoth Major”. From 1934 a distinction was made between the lighter Mammoth Minor, and the heavier Mammoth Major 6 (6×4) and Mammoth Major 8 (8×2 or 8×4), which appeared in 1934. The Mammoth Major Mk II was introduced in 1935; the eight-wheeler could carry 15-ton loads. It remained in production until 1948 when it was superseded by the Mk III, which was mechanically similar, but had the Park Royal cab. Subsequent Mammoth Majors featured the Mk V cab, and finally the tilting Ergomatic cab. The original 4×2 Mammoth and lightweight Mammoth Minor were relatively short-lived models, but both names were later re-used.

  • Mammoth, model 667 (1930–34) – 4×2 cabover
  • Mammoth Major 6 Mk.I/II, models 668 (1930–35), 366/O366 (1935–48) – 6×4 cabover (Mk.II from 1934)
  • Mammoth Major 6 Mk.III, models 3671/3672/3673 (1948–60) – 6×4 cabover (‘tin front’ cab from 1955)
  • Mammoth Major 6 Mk.V, models G6 (1959–66) – 6×4 cabover
  • Mammoth Major 6, model TG6R (1965–78) – 6×4 cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab)
  • Mammoth Major 8 Mk.II, models 680 (1934–35), 386/O386 (1935–48) – 8×4 cabover
  • Mammoth Major 8 Mk.III, models 3871/3872/3873/3881/3882 (1948–61)- 8×4 cabover (‘tin front’ cab from 1955)
  • Mammoth Major 8 Mk.V, model G8 (1959–66) – 8×4 cabover,
  • Mammoth Major 8, model TG8R (1966–78) – 8×4 cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab)
  • Mammoth Minor, model 366L (1936–41) – lightweight 6×2 cabover
  • Mammoth Minor, model TG6RF (1965–67) – twin-steer (“Chinese six”) 6×2 cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab)

Normal control variants of the Mammoth family were also available, although much less common that the cabovers:

  • Mammoth Major 6 Mk.I/II, model 266 (1930–36) and 366 (1936–48) – 6×2 normal control
  • Mammoth Major 6 Mk.III, models 2671 (1948–60) and 2621/2631 (1956–62) – 6×4 normal control
  • Mammoth Mk.III, model 2421/2431 (1956–62), 4×2 normal control

AEC Mandator Mandator

The AEC Mandator name was originally used for medium-duty models in the 1930s, but in 1949 the Matador 4×2 was renamed Mandator. The name was used for the heavier AEC 4x2s until the end of production in the 1970s, and was especially popular as a tractor unit.

  • Mandator, model 669 (1931–35) – medium-duty 4×2 cabover
  • Mandator, model 672 (1931–32) – medium-duty 4×2 normal control
  • Mandator Mk.III, models 3472/3474/3475 (1949–55) – 4×2 cabover. Successor to model 3471 Matador.
  • Mandator Mk.III, model 2472 (1949–61) – 4×2 normal-control
  • Mandator Mk.III, models 3481/3482/3483/3484 (1955–61) – 4×2 cabover (‘tin front’ cab)
  • Mandator Mk.V, model G4 (1959–66) – 4×2 cabover
  • Mandator, model TG4 (1965–78) – 4×2 cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab)


The Leyland Marathon (1973–79) was a high powered 4×2 or 6×4 tractor unit with a modified Ergomatic cab, which was built at the AEC factory in Southall. A few were given AEC badges to satisfy individual customer preferences. The Marathon name had formerly been used on a Maudslay bus chassis. Marshal

Pre-war 6×4 3ton military lorry built with various body styles- some were employed by the Royal Air Force as cranes (using the Coles Crane). The name was reintroduced for 6×2 and 6×4 medium-duty lorries from the 1960s-1970s.

  • Marshal, model 644 (1932/35-41) – 6×4 military truck. Prototypes (1932) included both normal-control and cabover versions, but all production vehicles were cabovers.
  • Marshal, model GM6 (1961–66) – 6×2 or 6×4 medium-duty cabover (Mk.V cab)
  • Marshal, model TGM6 (1965–77) – 6×2 or 6×4 medium-duty cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab). Variant with larger (but downrated) engine was known as Marshal Major, model 2TGM6
  • Marshal 8, model TGM8 (1967–68) 8×4 medium duty cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab)

See also: Matador Matador

The original AEC Matador five-ton 4×2 commercial lorry was introduced in 1932, but the name was most famously used for the 4×4 artillery tractor version introduced in 1938. These vehicles exploited AEC’s experience with four-wheel drive that it had gained from its involvement in the British Four Wheel Drive vehicles marketed under the name Hardy. AEC produced 9,620 artillery tractors; 514 6×6 bowsers for the Royal Air Force; 192 6×6 lorries (some of which had Coles Cranes mounted); and 185 similar vehicles, but 6×4, for mobile oxygen plants. They were known by the nickname “Mat”. New civilian Matadors appeared after the war, and many ex-military Matadors were adapted for post-war commercial use, especially as timber lorries and recovery vehicles. There was a final short run of the 0853 4×4 Matador for the Army in the early fifties, due to ongoing issues with the introduction of the replacement Leyland. The last Matador was a 4×4 variant of the Mercury, introduced in 1960.

  • Matador Mk.I, model 645 (1932–35) – 4×2 cabover version of Mercury
  • Matador Mk.II, model 346/O346 (1935–47) – 4×2 cabover. Model 236/O246 (1935–40) was the normal-control version
  • Matador Mk.II/III, model 853/O853 (1938–59) – 4×4 cabover (Mk.III from 1947)
  • Matador Mk.III, model 3471 (1947–49) – 4×2 cabover. Renamed Mandator in 1949
  • Matador, model 4GM4 (1960–65) – 4×4 cabover (Mk.V cab, but marketed as “Matador Mk.II”)

The Matador name is often used for the 10-ton 6×6 military vehicles of Model 854/O854 (built 1940-44), but this model was never given an official name. It was an extended Matador chassis, mated to a Marshal double-drive bogie.

A 1970 AEC Mercury

A 1962-AEC Mercury Mercury

The AEC Mercury (Model 440) was first built in 1928. This was a forward-control lorry with a wheelbase of 14 ft (4.3 m) for 4 ton payloads. The Model 640 was introduced in 1930, with a four-cylinder petrol engine developing 65 bhp.

The name was resurrected for medium-duty 4×2 lorries and tractors built from the 1950s to the 1970s.

  • Mercury, model 640 (1928–37) – 4×2 normal control
  • Mercury, model G4M (1953–65) – 4×2 medium-duty cabover. The Mk.I (1953–55) usually had a Duramin cab, whereas the Mk.II (1955–65) usually had Park Royal cabs (‘tin front’ and later Mk.V cabs). Other cab manufacturers included Bowyers.
  • Mercury, model TGM4 (1964–77) – 4×2 medium duty cabover (Ergomatic tilting cab). In some export markets (notably New Zealand) this model was sold as a Monarch


The AEC Militant – or “Milly” – was the 1952 replacement for the Matador; a 6×4 or 6×6 artillery tractor/military lorry which continued in various forms until the 1970s. The Militant name had earlier been used by Maudslay in the 1930s.

  • Militant Mk.I, models O859 and O860 (1952–66) – 6×4 and 6×6 cabover
  • Militant Mk.II (1962, prototypes only) – 6×6 cabover (Park Royal Mk.V type cab)
  • Militant Mk.III models O870 and O880 (1966–79) – 6×6 cabover. These were the last vehicles to use a variant of the AEC/Park Royal cab.


The AEC Mogul model GM4 (1959–67) was a normal-control 4×2 built primarily for export markets. The Mogul name had originally been used on Maudslay lorries. Monarch

The original AEC Monarch was built from 1931 to 1939 at AEC’s Southall works. The first version had payload of 7 tons (increased to ​7 12 tons from 1933) and was fitted with either an 85 hp (63 kW) four-cylinder 5.1-litre diesel engine or an 80 hp four-cylinder 5.1-litre petrol engine. This was a robust and well-designed lorry, popular with both drivers and operators. The model was discontinued in the 1950s, although the name lived on into the 1970s in some export markets. TL 3513 (1934) KYE 402 (1949)

  • Monarch Mk.I, models 641 (1930–33) and 647/648 (1933–35) – 4×2 cabover
  • Monarch Mk.II, models 344/346/O346 (1935–47) – 4×2 cabover. There was also a normal-control version, model 244 (1935–40)
  • Monarch Mk.III, models O345/3451 (1947–56) – 4×2 cabover
  • Monarch, model TGM4 (see Mercury TGM4)


The AEC Mustang model GM6 (1956–61) was a medium-weight, twin-steer (“Chinese six”) 6×2 cabover, derived from the Mercury Dump Trucks

From 1957 to 1971 AEC built a series of large off-road dump trucks:

  • Model 3673M (1957–63) – 6×4 half-cab derived from Mammoth Major, with 10 cubic yard dump dumper capacity
  • Model HDK4 (1959–65) – 4×4 normal-control with 18 cu/yd capacity
  • Model DK6 (1961–62) – 6×4 or 6×6 semi-cabover derived from Militant, 10 cu/yd capacity.
  • Model BDK6 (1964–71) – normal-control 6-wheeler, 10 cu/yd capacity. Based on Thornycroft design. Also sold as under the Leyland, Aveling Barford and Scammell brands

Railcar engines

Main articles: GWR railcars, British United Traction DMUs, and AEC railmotor