William A

Monday 6th September 1915

William A. Besserdich was awarded a patent for his Steering Mechanism, a design used on many 4-wheel-drive vehicles. In 1909 in Clintonville, Wisconsin he co-founded the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company with Otto Zachow. Zachow and Besserdich developed and built the first successful four-wheel drive (4×4) car, the “Battleship”, in 1908. Its success led to the founding of the Badger company. A relationship with premier race car constructor Harry Miller resulted in the Four Wheel Drive Miller that competed successfully at Indianapolis in 1931 and later. This car, with lockable centre differential, is arguably the first modern all wheel drive car.

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