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Among the giant T100 trucks, the carrying capacity of 150 tons has become the top of the creativity of Berliet trucks engineers – the fourth and last of them clearly stands out. The machine created in 1959 had a the cabin located above the engine, so it worked as a test bed for some very interesting solutions. Which ones?
The dimensions of this car are quite comparable to a one-room apartment. Six-powerful engine CUMMINGS VT12BI with two turbochargers allowed this machine to empty weight of 59 tons to travel on roads at speeds up to 60 km/h, but with its width, of course, it is better to forget about regular roads.
This machine, strangely enough, was made not for some customer, but for the exhibition specifically and for experiments, so it did not glorify itself with any kind of work, such as subjugating the Sahara, like the previous cars of this series. It was presented at exhibitions. It was exhibited in the USA and Europe, namely, at the Chicago and New York motor shows, in Geneva. It was used as a test stand.
In particular, in 1962 it was tested with new Turbomeca gas turbine engine with a capacity of 1000 liters. However, this technology was subsequently abandoned.
The width of the car is 4.8 m. In general, by 1964, the fourth T100 came up in an unnecessary and not particularly interesting form. Its working career did not take place, the experimental career ended, so they sent it to scrap, unlike the first car of the series, which was made into the museum exhibit. Three years later, in 1967, Berliet, which business was not very good, was bought by Citroen, in the lineup of models of which, there was no place for the supergiant.
The day of glory
Perhaps the brightest part of the history of the car factory is the car-giant Berliet T100. The brightest day in the history of “Berliet”, apparently, can be considered October 2, 1957.
The French foundation. History of the French company Berliet
As often happens the success of a company depends on the talent and will of its creator. The French firm Berliet was lucky twice – at once two generations of owners were really good engineers.
The first trucks of the brand appeared in Lyon 110 years ago thanks to the unconditional talent of the founder, Marius Maximin Francois Joseph Berliet. At first, they manufactured vans based on cars, and then special – chassis with engines with 24 hp and chain transmission.
The first Berliet trucks, like many others, had cast tires and a chain drive. Already in the first decade of the twentieth century, a wide range of trucks and chassis for buses from 32 models has been assembling on the conveyor belt (for the first time in the truck automotive industry). By the beginning of the First World War, Berliet occupied more than 60% of the truck market in France. Not surprisingly, it was them who received a large state order for the supply of equipment to the army – and collected more than 25,000 pieces of CAD model. The name of the founder, Marius Berliet, is given to a modernized Renault plant in Venice.