Büssing was an illustrious German manufacturer of high-quality trucks, tractors, buses and engines. The company was founded in 1903 as Heinrich Büssing, Spezialfabrik für Motorlastwagen, Motoromnibusse und Motoren. There you go, the man’s business was all in the name. A specialty of the Büssing-house was the production of vehicles with an Unterflurmotor, this Commodore was one of them.
The truck’s horizontal engine is literally placed under the floor, on the right side of the chassis. It’s an 11 liter 6-cylinder with a maximum power output of 192 DIN-hp. That was not just a coincidental power rating, as the then maximum GVM for a big rig in Germany was 32 metric tons and the legal norm for an engine’s minimum power output was 6 DIN-hp per metric ton vehicle weight; 192 divided by 32 equals 6.
Worth mentioning are the Unterflur’s advantages from a driver’s point of view: no noise, heat and smell from the engine and no big cover between the seats, intruding way into the cab. Over the years, those typical cabover problems have been solved, most certainly in the segment of heavy, long distance trucks and tractors.
This is a Commodore with a day cab, naturally it was also offered with a sleeper cab. The 4×2 straight truck is rated at a maximum GVM of 16 metric tons, hence the number 16 in its model designation.
In the early seventies, Büssing was fully taken over by truck and bus manufacturer MAN. The new owner kept on offering the Unterflurmotor-layout for many years.
The Büssing is towing a matching 1952 Kässbohrer drawbar trailer. The combination’s set-up, a flatbed with dropsides and a canopy, was once highly common throughout the continent. The tarps were secured with cords and straps through numerous small rings, horizontally and vertically. This type of truck beds has been largely replaced by the so called curtainsiders.
Zooming in on another illustrious company name, the Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke GmbH, manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers, buses and coaches.
Well of course Büssing also built massive conventionals, just like the other German truck makers. We’ll have a look at this one and a few other Teutonic Autobahn-brutes soon.
Related (Kässbohrer) reading: