The full Foden story
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