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Air brakes, overdrive or Maybach auxiliary gearboxes and double reduction final drives were optional.The main emphasis was on the diesel engined models which had names beginning with the letter ‘D’ (Diligent, Defiant, Dauntless, Dominant, Durable, Dynamic, though later models were called Active, Effective and Samson), the much rarer petrol versions using ‘P’ as the initial letter (Pioneer, Persistent, Powerful).Although Northampton were well known for their liking of the Daimler/Roe combination, in the 1930s they had purchased several batches of Crossleys, so perhaps it is not surprising that they purchased a batch of ten DD42/3 chassis with Roe bodies in 1946.One of them, fleet number 146, VV 9146, has survived into preservation and is seen here in Great Houghton on an Heritage Weekend service, 9/9/17.During the Great War Armstrong Whitworth concentrated on ships, armaments and aircraft – the aeroplane division was formed in 1912 – and from 1919 adapted its Newcastle Scotswood works for a determined assault into railway locomotive and road roller manufacturing. (Vickers already had its own aircraft manufacturing arm.) Armstrong Whitworth had earlier entered into a licence arrangement with Saurer of Switzerland in 1919 for the manufacture of diesel engines which were first fitted to diesel locomotives and railcars, but, in 1930, the firm decided to re-enter the automotive market with the Armstrong-Saurer range of lorries built at Scotswood.In 1927 Armstrong Whitworth merged several of its engineering interests with Vickers, when the aircraft and motor divisions of the former AW concern were sold off to J. These massive looking, normal or forward control machines were available with four or six cylinder indirect injection engines coupled with four speed gearboxes in four, six or eight wheeled versions.To put it mildly, this was a heap of junk before the present owners (one of whom is a former Crossley employee) started work on it. Greatly enjoyed Peter W’s Youtube link, where the induction noise is more noticeable than on the Reading Crossleys, but the gearbox music is just the same. One of my very favourite bodies on what—despite its engine woes—is also a favourite chassis.
The Crossley DD/SD42 was a very sound chassis design, but quickly revealed deficiencies in the engine department and in its steering, which was very heavy.
Despite official denials, these proved to be well founded, and the entire Armstrong-Saurer range was withdrawn in 1937 when the Admiralty bought the Scotswood works and leased them back to Vickers-Armstrongs in order to concentrate on military work in the rapidly worsening political climate of the period.
I have challenged before, and will challenge again, the widespread notion that Crossley failed because of its engine problems.
I found three old vehicles in there, two complete and one being just a chassis, with Armstrong-Saurer on it. I reported them all to a vehicle preservation organisation and six months later, all were gone, but to where?
So Saurer vehicles were made here on Tyneside for a period, from 1930-1937, according to Grace’s Guide.