1943 PACIFIC TRACTOR
ADW 228B - ENTERPRISE
During the Second World War, the Pacific company supplied 1272 armoured gun tractors to the American military forces. Much heavier than our own Matadors, they weighed in at 20.5 tons. At the end of hostilities, many were purchased by haulage companies who valued their robust construction and impressive capabilities.
The Wynn's company had been hauliers from the days of horses, and were looking to increase their fleet at a time when the post-war expansion of the steel industry in South Wales was creating a growing demand for heavy and difficult shipments. Much military hardware was left behind by the forces both in the UK and on the continent, so the sale of two dozen redundant tractors from a Kent quarry was not unusual. A total of ten were purchased by Wynn's at a cost of £400 each, six for use and a further four for spares. The armour plating was removed and disposed of for scrap, and the vehicles rebuilt. Note that in the photo above, the vehicle is operating in armour, but on civilian number plates (GDW 277). The first rebuilt Pacific entered service in 1950.
The last to emerge fourteen years later, resplendent with the name 'ENTERPRISE', was the vehicle we are proud to host upon the Transport Festival field. This magnificent machine now weighs 12.5 tons, and is 9 feet 6 inches wide. It now has the Cummins 320 turbocharged engine from a Euclid dump truck and a self-changing, 8-speed gearbox.
ENTERPRISE was withdrawn from service in 1973 and ended up in a scrap yard in Hampshire, from where it was rescued by the present owner and restorer Mike Lawrence. After many years and innumerable cups of tea the restoration got seriously under way, taking about 18 months and many more cups of tea. It is believed that ENTERPRISE is a unique survivor of its breed.
ENTERPRISE will be displayed alongside Graham Booth's collection of Scammells from the Wynn's fleet. It is also hoped that they will be joined by Mr. John Wynn and some of the company's drivers and crewmen during the three days of the Festival.
Thanks to John Wynn, Nick Larkin and "Classic and Vintage Commercials" magazine for the photographs.