Truck Stop Classic: Ca. 1950 Lancia Esatau 864 – Una Bella Sorpresa

In 1947, Lancia Veicoli Industriali (Lancia Commercial Vehicles) introduced the Esatau, a full line of heavy trucks and tractors. The production of the Esatau bus and coach chassis started two years later. The series’ first model, called the Esatau 864, was also Lancia’s last conventional truck and tractor model.

The 864 was a 4×2 chassis, whereas the 964 was a 6×2. These wonderful conventionals were offered till 1957. At that time, the Lancia Esatau A cabovers -introduced in 1955- were already roaming the Italian roads. In 1963, the Esatau was replaced by the Esagamma.

Most of the cabs of the 864/964 were built by the Viberti company. From 1947 to 1956, Lancia also offered a military version of the Esatau 864, the 6Ro, which looked as awesome as the civilian truck.

In Italy, the sign on the cab’s roof meant that the vehicle towed a (semi-) trailer.

It speaks for itself that Italians also pay attention to the design of something utilitarian as a flatbed with dropsides.

I found this picture of the Esatau’s cutting edge power unit, the Lancia tipo 864M diesel. An inline-six OHC 24v engine with an alloy cylinder head, a displacement of 8,245 cc and a maximum power output of 122 hp @ 2,000 rpm. Direct injection, naturally. In 1953, its displacement was increased to 8,867 cc, resulting in 132 horses.

The Esatau’s transmission had eight forward gears (as in 4×2) and two reverse gears.

After studying many images, I’ve come to the conclusion that this probably is a former Lancia 6Ro military truck, now wearing a civilian Esatau 864 outfit. Almost all civilian models I found had a sleeper cab and a radiator grille with a more pointy lower end.

Here’s an original Lancia 6Ro military truck. The front bumper’s center section protected the radiator grille and for obvious reasons there were no shiny parts.

Classic Lancia commercial vehicles? As sophisticated and gracious as the company’s cars of yore. “Ciao Bella”!