Truck Show Classics: Heavy German Conventionals – Autobahn Dinosaurs

The fifties – the golden age of the heavy German conventional truck. Peak Teutonic Autobahn Behemoths, in other words. In Europe, there was nothing else on the road so massive and heavy back then. Stand next to them, study them closely and you can only admire the expertise and craftsmanship of their creators.

An impressive collection of classic trucks and tractors was brought together at a local show, held in October last year. Today, the spotlight is on heavy Mercedes-Benz, Büssing, M.A.N. Diesel and Krupp creatures with a big nose.

Vintage rather than classic, this 1936 Mercedes-Benz L6500K tanker truck with a matching trailer.

A set-back front axle if ever there was one.

1950 Büssing 8000 S, a majestic workhorse, powered by a 13.4 liter inline-6. Diesel fueled, but that speaks for itself.

Quite literally a cool feature on many old trucks.

Büssing was founded in Braunschweig in 1903, the company’s famous logo is a reference to the Lion of Braunschweig.

In 1971, Büssing was taken over by MAN (see further below), so now you know where the lion on the grille of MAN trucks and tractors is coming from.

The Büssing is towing a Wackenhut drawbar trailer.

1954 M.A.N. Diesel 758 L1 tractor, under its nose a 10.6 liter V8. The M.A.N. Diesel name on the grille is classic too, it’s simply MAN now.

The roots of MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg) can be traced back to 1758. Also worth mentioning is that MAN built the world’s first truck diesel with direct injection, that was in 1924, so 95 years ago.

According to the information I found, Blue Band (one of the many Unilever brand names) is called Country Crock in the US and Imperial in Canada.

1955 M.A.N. Diesel 515 L1 tractor with an 8.0 liter inline-6.

The semi-trailer, a DAF schommelas oplegger.

This is a DAF schommelas, just in case you were wondering.

1956 Mercedes-Benz L 326 box truck, powered by a 10.8 liter inline-6, known as the OM 326 engine.

This brute was built by the same company that also created the contemporary 300 SL. Simply amazing.

The side turn signals are neatly integrated in the cab.

There are curtains halfway the cab, right between the seats and the bed.

Beer assistant!!

The mighty Hall drawbar trailer. More specifically, a geschlossen Kastenwagen.

1960 Krupp 801 Mustang truck, built by the Friedrich Krupp Motoren- und Kraftwagenfabriken (also called Krupp Krawa), the truck and bus division of the Friedrich Krupp AG steel empire.

Here we have Krupp’s D 459 diesel engine, a 5.9 liter 2-stroke inline-4.

The driver’s workplace, fabulous.

The company logo refers to an invention of Alfred Krupp: the seamless steel railway tires, circa 1852.

Krupp & Krapf, made for each other.

Ironically, it was Germany’s own legislation (in short, overall length and weight restrictions) that marked the beginning of the end for this breed of big rigs. The days of their dinosaurs were numbered indeed.