Vintage Truck: Home Built 1950 Sterling Truck With 1400 HP Allison V12 – Hot Rod Semi

Update: This was previously identified as a Federal truck, but in reality it was a Sterling. And according to one source, the engine was substantially derated, to some 500 hp.

The 600 hp Hall-Scott V12-powered Kenworth may have been the most powerful factory-built truck of its time (1951), but this home-built job with a WW2 surplus Allison V12 has it beat—by over 100%—with some 1400 hp, depending on the exact version used. And why not? They were dirt cheap at the time, selling for $350 new and $200 rebuilt.

Undoubtedly this was somewhere out in inter mountain West, where the distances were great, the mountains tall, the roads wide open. Time does always equal money in the trucking business. Of course fuel costs money too…

Here’s another view, but it’s not all that clear.

It took me a minute to figure out what the donor truck was: a Federal (Turns out it was a Federal). Looks like they lengthened the frame and hood and opened up the sides some. Those Allisons generate a ferocious amount of heat.

There’s no doubt that a surplus Allison was a lot cheaper than a Hall-Scott V12. But just how long it lasted is another story…


Related reading: 1951 Kenworth With 600 hp 2180 Cubic Inch Hall-Scott V12 – The Most Powerful Factory-Built Road Truck Of Its Time