Page 1. SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Summer 2021.
IT’S FUN IN THE MUD.
When Gordon Wilson posted this picture on Facebook I thought that I’d never seen this smart yellow Type NY 4x4 before. But in my extensive archive – thanks to you the members of the SD Enthusiasts’ Club I found a re-print of Truck magazine from March 1977 and there it was – not pristine clean as in the photo above but undoubtedly the same truck. During the development of the all wheel drive range of SPV’s someone at SD thought it would be a good idea to test them out at the military training ground. “Don’t go anywhere near the camel section” was an officer’s warning according to Pat Kennett writing in Truck. “That’s strictly only for tanks.” Unfortunately the SD 4x4 had already conquered that section! Designed as a 16 tonner it was accompanied by the chassis for a much more powerful Crash Tender Type CT with a cab by Carmichael seen below.
According to the magazine the un-named SD Project Engineer initially thought that this muddy experiment was a step too far. The 16 tonner had been exhibited at both the Public Works and Commercial Vehicle Shows in 1976 but had not been subjected to such a test before, but it astonished everyone by its performance in the mud. The Crash Tender had a Detroit 8V.92T two stroke engine which developed 430 bhp and so had little trouble with the difficult conditions.
At that time Managing Director, Stan Quin, was full of optimism that SD’s design team could design the specialised vehicles required by customers and that the works could produce these to the high standards for which Shelvoke & Drewry was known. He wrote: “It’s not as easy as you might think. Specialised parts such as axles, engines, transmission components etc. have to be selected and specially ordered. But our tradition of a two man team building each chassis puts us in a good position to produce specialised vehicles in limited quantities.”
It appears that a good time was had by all mud wallowing in SD’s unsinkable SD duo.