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In the 19th century George Scammell was a wheelwright in Spitalfields, London. The firm became G Scammell and Nephew, building and repairing horse-drawn vehicles, moving on to work on steam wagons. They moved on to building motor trucks, the 'articulated six-wheeler' going into production in 1920. In 1926 the world's first frameless tanker was patented. In 1927 the Pioneer 6x4 off-road truck was launched, and in 1929 the hundred-ton heavy haulage Scammell appeared. In 1933 Scammell bought from Napier the patent for a three-wheel tractor, the 'mechanical horse', which sold phenomenally well. The firm had financial problems in the 1930s, however, and Shell-Mex had to inject capital. Rigid sixes and eights became popular, and in wartime the Pioneer became a tank transporter tractor. After the war the Showtrac was produced for showmen, and other models included the 6x6 Explorer, 4x4 Mountaineer and the Constructor. The Rolls-Royce-powered Super Constructor topped the range. When Scammell was acquired by Leyland in 1955, some smaller Leyland-powered trucks were made, including the normal control two-axle Highwayman, forward control four-axle Routeman, and the forward control two-axle Handyman. Two axle Sherpa and three-axle Himalayan dumptrucks were launched. In the 1960s Michelotti designed a GRP cab for the Routeman, Handyman, and the twin-steer Trunker. 1964 saw the new Contractor prime-mover, and in 1969 the Crusader was launched. In 1972 Leyland closed Thornycroft, transferring to Scammell production of Nubian crash tenders and LD55 dumpers. Updated versions of the Routeman, Handyman and Trunker were follwed by the Contractor Mark 2 and the Commander tank transporter. The S24 (Contractor successor) used the same cab as the Leyland landtrain-Roadtrain, which were also developed by Scammell. The S26 was a four-axle version of the Roadtrain. When DAF took over Leyland in 1987, they closed the Scammell Watford plant. In 1988 Unipower bought the rights to the S24, Nubian, Crusader and Commander.
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