Design work on what became the Matador was carried out by Charles Cleaver of the Four Wheeled Drive Motor Company. AEC bought out FWD and Cleaver finished the design at the Southall Factory. The initial contract was for 200 trucks; by the end of the war 10,500 Matadors had been produced.
AEC also produced the six wheel drive model 850 which it developed from the FWD R6T. Only 57 of these beasts were produced by were used by the RAOC on occasions as temporary tank transporters.