During the World War II the AEC company became one of the few manufacturers in the world which produced only all-wheel drive cabover military vehicles. The story of these trucks began in 1938 with adopting in army a 3-ton truck Matador (4×4) model 853. It was equipped with a 4-speed gearbox and 2-speed transfer gearbox, hydraulic brakes with pneumatic booster Lockheed, spring suspension and a winch with a pulling force of 7 ton-force.
Later versions received pneumatic brakes. The model Matador O853 (“O” from the word Oil) was equipped with a 6-cylinder diesel engine A173 (7.6 liter, 95 hp) with the cylinder head Ricardo, and the model Matador 853 was equipped with an overhead 92 hp petrol engine. The vehicles had a weight of 7150 kg, 330 mm ground clearance and maximum speed 60 km/h.
The trucks were mainly used as a tractor for a 5.5″ machine gun. By the end of the War 8500 trucks were produced. Many of the remaining post-war trucks had a timber crane fitted and went to work in the woods. In 1952 the new series Militant came to replace Matador.
Successor: AEC Militant MkI (model O859 / O860)