The full Fo­den story

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

In CCW 15 Fe­bru­ary, there’s a reader’s let­ter en­ti­tled ‘Don’t for­get the Fo­dens’. In this let­ter, Gra­ham Si­nagola men­tions Ed­win Richard Fo­den, and also ERF.

The true ac­count of the com­pany ERF is that it was a sep­a­rate com­pany to Ed­win Fo­den, Sons & Com­pany Ltd. Ed­win Fo­den Ju­nior re­signed from the Fo­den board of di­rec­tors in late 1932 be­cause he saw the po­ten­tial of in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines and Fo­den stuck to steam power. Then, aged 62, he retired.

Ed­win’s son Dennis, along with two oth­ers, con­structed a truck us­ing a Jen­nings cab and a Gard­ner en­gine. Ed­win was per­suaded to come out of retirement and head the new com­pany that then bore his name. The chas­sis num­ber of the first truck was 63, which was Ed­win’s age at the time. They orig­i­nally traded as ER Fo­den. Due to pres­sure from Fo­den, the name was changed to ERF. In 1996, ERF was bought by the Cana­dian com­pany Western Star, which in turn sold it to MAN AG in 2000. The last ERF-badged truck was sold in July 2007.

Fo­den ceased pro­duc­tion of steam­pow­ered ve­hi­cles in 1934. Fo­den con­tin­ued with diesel-en­gined trucks in­clud­ing a two-stroke diesel en­gine in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1980, Fo­den was sold to the Amer­i­can com­pany PACCAR. In later years, PACCAR ac­quired DAF Trucks, which had ear­lier ac­quired the Ley­land Truck busi­ness, the bus di­vi­sion of Ley­land hav­ing been ac­quired by Volvo. In July 2006, the last Fo­den was pro­duced, thus end­ing an era. Steve Paine, Carlisle, Cum­bria

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