Crossley badgeThe Crossley "FWD"


The Crossley FWD (Four Wheel Drive) truck was manufactured between 1939 and 1945 and the tractor from 1943 to 1945. The majority were supplied to the Royal Air Force.

The chassis was designed to meet the British War Office's Q-Type specification issued in 1935 for a 5 ton payload truck.  Crossley's original proposal was for an all-independent suspension chassis with the 6.8 litre six cylinder 38/110 bus engine and a new 5 speed gearbox. Because of tight timescales, and at the War Office's request, the production version was simplified and reverted to proven drive components from the IGL range and the 5.2 litre 30/100 type engine. The prototype was made in 1938 with production getting under way in 1939. The tractor units were frequently used to tow the large "Queen Mary" trailers

Total orders were for 7406 trucks and 2836 tractor units. 100 of these units were not completed when orders were stopped in 1945.

The chassis numbers were 51xxx-59xxx for the truck and 71xxx onwards for the tractor unit.


Crossley FWD engine

The FWD 30/100 engine

Crossley FWD chassis

FWD 4x4 tractor chassis

Crossley FWD chassis

FWD 4x4 truck chassis


Crossley FWD crash tender

FWD Airfield crash tender. As well as the RAF, these were used by the Dutch Air Force (painted red) and the Danish Army Air Corps.

Crossley FWD

FWD 4x4 tractor unit.
The cab body in this example is by Mulliner.The cab design was deliberately simple to aid repair in the field.

Crossley FWD

FWD with flatbed body and Crossley cab

Many of the vehicles had Crossley built bodies but others were built by Mulliners, Park Royal and English Electric. The cab was deliberately made with a basic square shape to simplify field repair. Uses included general service, breakdown vehicles, mobile generators, crane trucks and crash tenders.


Type 2 90 bhp engine 4 wheel drive available in high and low ratio
Type 3 96 bhp engine 4 wheel drive only engaged in low ratio
Tractor units
Type 1 96 bhp engine 4 wheel drive only engaged in low ratio
Type 2 96 bhp engine 4 wheel drive only engaged in low ratio
Crash tenders
Type 2 96 bhp engine 4 wheel drive available in high and low ratio

The truck cost between £763 and £1054 and the tractor unit between £972 and £1106


Crossley 30/100
4.3 inches (110mm)
5.5 inches (140 mm)

Dry sump
90 or 96 (later 100) bhp at 2250 rpm
6.5 mpg (43 litres/100km) (truck)
5 mpg (56 litres/100km) (tractor with 10 ton trailer)

4 speed mid mounted gearbox with 2 speed transfer box.
ratios - 1:1, 1.56:1, 2.40:1, 3.8:1

Four wheel drive with differential locks. spiral bevel
ratio 3.3:1

truck - 11 feet 6 inches (3500 mm)
tractor - 8 feet 6 inches (2600 mm)
truck - 20 feet 3 inches (6170 mm)

tractor - 4 tons 3 cwt (4.2 tonnes)
truck - 4 tons 13cwt (4.72 tonnes)

semi-elliptic springs underslung
semi-elliptic springs underslung
Vacuum servo assisted hydraulic with 4 wheel handbrake.
12.00 x 20