March '20

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32 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 32 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 Finney eventually bailed out of the deal and local lawyer Walter A. Olen bought in. He became the first president of the company. In September 1910, the Badger name was replaced by Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. (later shortened to FWD). From 1910-'11, FWD built at least six cars. It was then decided that building trucks was a better idea for the invention. ARMY TRUCKS MADE FWD An important development at this time was a cross-country trial that the U.S. Army was doing to test whether four-wheel drive could become a mechanized force. FWD arranged for Army Capt. A. E. Williams to come to the factory to do a test drive of one of its 4x4 cars. Williams' visit led to the purchase of an FWD chassis for the test. With a body mounted on back, it became a scout car that proved the benefits of all-wheel drive. It outperformed three two-wheel drive trucks in a tortuous 1,500-mile test early in 1912. In the spring of 1912, Williams went to Sparta, Wisconsin for summer maneuvers and further testing of the vehicles. The scout car and two new FWD trucks were tested in wartime conditions. The summer test was favorable, and the Army purchased more trucks. With the outbreak of World War I around the corner, the FWD Model B and the Jeffrey Quad (a 4x4 made by Nash) would prove the value of off-road trucks in battle. When the European Allies entered World War I in the summer of 1914, there was The 1908 Battleship was the first Ameri- can vehicle with four-wheel drive. The 1911 Nancy Hank was a U.S. Army test car turned into FWD's mail car. World War I got the FWD factory humming with orders for thou- sands of trucks. Test driver Luella Bates' skills were highly publicized by FWD in the 1920s. The First Overlanders

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