Mercedes Kurzhauber: 60 years of the economic miracle truck

60 years of Mercedes short-nosed vehicles
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M Mercedes brings the L right in the upswing of the 1950s 322 initially just put a new truck on the market. At the same time, the era of the long-nosed car with a long nose and free-standing fenders ends: The design of the short-nosed cabin is based on the pontoon car and thus fits perfectly into the post-war era. When the last L 1924 rolled off the assembly line in 1996, the series had long been a classic car and was on the road all over the world.

Quieter, more convenient, easier to maintain

Less than the long-nosed vehicle, more comfortable than the front-wheel drive: drivers like the short-nosed vehicle.

The name is coming of a technical trick: the engine moves a little into the driver's cab, what remains is a short hood. Drivers like that better than the forward control, which was also available at the time, because they feel safer. The short-nosed vehicle is more comfortable and quieter anyway, because the engine does not make any noise or heat directly under the cabin and leaves space for a step-through or a third seat. Because the units are accessible through the open hood, maintenance is easier than with the front-wheel drive; Tilting cabs come later.

Economic miracle: 1 million short-nosed vehicles

In Nigeria, too, the short-nosed truck has to drag it to the trees.

Striking arguments for the short-nosed car, the sold over 60,000 times in the first ten years from 1959 to 1969. In the same period of time, customers did not buy 16,000 forward control vehicles. In total, Mercedes sold almost one million units of the series by 1996. About two thirds of these, a little more than 650,000, are built by Mercedes itself. In addition, around 300,000 sets of parts are sent abroad for on-site assembly. 226,930 of these “completely knocked down” (ckd) sentences are sent to India. This is where Mercedes has delivered the 1210 for 15 years.

How Mercedes got the 911

One year before the start of delivery, the commercial vehicle department changed the model designation: the total weight in tons is followed by two digits for the engine power in hp. The medium-weight L 322 became the 1113, which is an 11-tonner with 130 hp. This logic still applies to all Mercedes trucks from the Atego to the Actros. So from 1964 to 1979, 12-tonne trucks with 100 hp diesel engines went to India. This is how Mercedes came up with its 911: The 9-ton truck with 110 hp was a popular variant of the short-hooded truck. Under the short bonnet of the medium-duty models, the OM 321 with 5.1 liter displacement works. Under the 30 centimeter longer hoods of the heavy class L 337 nails a six-cylinder pre-chamber diesel with a displacement of 10.8 liters and up to 200 hp. The heavy class has up to three axles and initially a gross vehicle weight of 12 tons. On request, all four wheels can be driven on all models - these LA variants toil on the construction site or are used for a long time by the fire brigade and THW.


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