The AEC Matador prototype was tested in 1938 and it proved successful, filling the gap between the Morris gun tractor and the Scammell Pioneer, production started soon after. The first Matadors, model 853 had the petrol engine , this was soon replaced by the more powerful AEC 7,580cc six cylinder diesel unit (model 0853). The distinctive flat fronted cab had an ash frame and was clad with steel, the rear bed had wooden sides and bench seats for the gun crew. Most of vehicles were fitted with a 5 or 7 ton winch fitted under the floor, the Matador was a very versatile vehicle being 4×4 it could tackle most terrain carry an almost 4 ton payload, driving one of these magnificent military vehicles gives you the impression that it could pull almost anything, it was however designed to pull the 5.5inch field gun. The Matador was produced mainly for the British Army with some going to the RAF in flatbed form and refuelling tankers.The Dorchester which was a purpose built armoured command vehicle (ACV) based on the Matador chassis. First produced in 1941 just over 400 were built, it was first used in Western Desert campaign and was used up until the end of the war. Two captured Dorchester,s were used by Erwin Rommel and his staff in the desert. In 1944 a larger Dorchester was built using the 6×6 chassis, only 150 were built.Another version based on the AEC Matador chassis to see service in the Desert Campaign was the Deacon which was essentially a self propelled gun. Built in 1942 and armed with a 25 pounder mounted on the rear of the chassis fitted with an armoured shield, the standard cab was replaced with an smaller armoured version which covered the driving position and the engine, some 175 were produced.A 6×6 designated the Marshall by AEC was produced. but it became known as the AEC Matador 6×6, the 6 wheel version was fitted out for the RAF as a refuelling vehicle carrying 2,500 gallons.The Heavy Cockatrice was based on the larger AEC Matador 6×6 chassis, it was a mobile flamethrower. They were built for RAF airfield defence. only 6 were ever produced.An experimental version of the Matador was built using a half-track design. However it never went into production.