Foden Trucks

Foden Trucks date back to 1856.

Edwin Foden began his career at Plant & Hancock.  He left them for an apprenticeship at Crew Railway works but later returned at the age of 19 and became a partner in the company.

In 1887, the company was renamed Edwin Foden, Sons & Co Ltd.

They first produced experimental steam lorries after the turn of the 20th century, and it was Edwin’s son, Edwin Richard, that saw the future in diesel power, and in 1932, he resigned from the board of directors, and subsequently retired at the age of 62.  His son Dennis, could not afford to resign, but was not prepared to let things carry on as they were and with some financial input from the immediate family, a new company was set up to design and produce diesel lorries.

In 1932, Foden changed their production almost immediately and concentrated on diesel, although some steam vehicle production still took place up to 1934.

In 1964, Foden designed a new model which was to compete in the 32 ton market and things continued to go well until the 1970s, when the company suffered and was bailed out by the Government.  Then in 1980, PACCAR acquired the company, but following other acquisitions and changes within the company, the last Foden truck was produced in July 2006 which put an end to the 150 year history of Foden Trucks.

Commer Trucks

At the end of the 19th century, the transition from horse drawn to horseless transport was beginning.  The earliest mechanically propelled trucks and buses were steam driven which were used from about 1831 until the red flag act around 1850.  With the repeal of the act in 1896, new encouragement was given to the pioneer vehicle builders.

One engineer who attempted to address several of the problems faced was Charles Linley, who designed a new gearbox.  It was simple and uncomplicated and allowed much easier gear changes than other gear boxes of the time.

In 1905, on 22nd September, a company was registered and although Linley was not a director, he became a shareholder in 1906 and the name for the new venture was Commercial Cars Ltd and Commer was born.


History of Moto Guzzi

Established in 1921 in Madello Del Lari, Moto Guzzi has led Italy’s motorcycling manufacture, and enjoyed prominence in worldwide bike racing and led in innovation for the majority of its history.

The company was conceived by two aircraft pilots and their mechanic serving in the Corpo Aeronautico Militare during World War 1.

The trio, Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgi Parodi had envisaged creating a motorcycle company after the war.   Unfortunately, Ravelli died just days after the war had ended in an aircraft crash, and Guzzi and Parodi formed Moto Guzzi in 1921 and commemorated Ravelli by the eagles wings that form the logo.

In the 50s, the company along with other Italian factories led the world of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing.  With durable & lightweight bikes, the firm dominated the middleweight classes and they won 5 consecutive 350cc championships between 1953 and 1957.

In realising that low weight alone might not continue to win races, the V8 500cc GP race bike was designed.  This engine was to become one of the most complex engines of its time and despite the bike having led many races and frequently posted the fastest lap time, it often failed to complete races due to mechanical problems.  Ultimately, the V8 was not further developed.  By the time Moto Guzzi pullied out of racing following the 1957 season, it had won 3329 official races, 8 world championships, 6 constructors championships and 11 Isle of Man TT victories.

 In 1967, SEIMM a state controlled receiver, took control of the company and saw the adaptation towards cars.  The company focused on popular mopeds including the Dingo and Trotter.  They also developed the 90° V twin engine which would become iconic of Moto Guzzi.

 After experiencing financial difficulties in the late 1960s, De Tomaso Industries Inc. manufacturer of the De Tomaso sports and luxury cars, owned by Argentinian industrialist Alejandro de Tomaso, purchased SEIMM (and thereby Moto Guzzi) along with Benelli and Maserati in 1973.

 Still under the De Tomaso umbrella, in 1988, Benelli and SEIMM merged to create Guzzi Benelli Moto (G.B.M. S.p.A. ). During this period, Moto Guzzi existed as an entity within the De Tomaso owned G.B.M., but in 1996 celebrated its 75th birthday and the return of its name to Moto Guzzi S.p.A. In 1996, De Tomaso became Trident Rowan Group , also known as TRG.

Under the helm of Ivano Beggio, Aprilia S.p.A acquired Moto Guzzi S.p. A in 2000 for $65 million.

On 30 December 2004, Piaggio & Co. S.p.A acquired Aprilia and thereby Moto Guzzi, forming Europe’s largest motorycle manufacturer.  Moto Guzzi S.p. A officially became a Unico Azionista of Piaggio, part of Immsi S.p.A.