Caterpillar DW21, serial no 69C1977 was one of six DW21’s that Chris Blackwell bought on the strength of winning one of the contracts to build the M1 motorway. The new machines were purchased from the then Caterpillar dealership, H.Leverton & Co, who at the time were based in Windsor.
The DW21’s were delivered to the M1 site on April 26th 1958 and soon joined Blackwell’s existing three motor scrapers in the fleet. These machines were backed up by various tractor and box combinations which were already on site.
Towards the end of the 1960’s the DW21’s had become rather dated and as newer machines were purchased they became redundant. However, a second life was in store for the ageing scrapers when they were converted to become dead weight rollers, a job which they continued to perform for many years after.
Some years ago now the decision was taken to rebuild this scraper and for it to be preserved for generations to come. The restoration was expertly carried out by a highly experienced team of engineers at CA Blackwell’s Earls Colne depot. It has been described as one of the finest restorations of this type ever to have taken place in the UK.
I first saw the machine at one of its first public UK outings when it appeared on the Lighthouse Club stand at SED 2004 as seen here.
If you would like a chance to see this machine in the flesh, its next appearance will be at the Long Melford Vintage Rally in Suffolk on the 2nd & 3rd July 2011.