Trucks from the 1970s that are already legends
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Trucks from the 1970s that are already legends

Working hard in the field? Transporting materials to a construction site? Or maybe an expedition from Poland to Nepal? With these cars everything is possible. Get to know trucks produced in 70’s which became legends.

Trucks from our own backyard

Star 660 produced by “Star” Truck Factory in Starachowice is one of the leading representatives of classic Polish motorization. It has three engine versions S47 with power of 77,3 kW, S530A – 77,2 kW and engine S359 – 100 kW. Despite the fact that the oldest examples were built as early as 1965, they can still be found during forestry work in mountain areas and in local Voluntary Fire Brigades units. The simplicity of construction and low failure rate make that a large part of these vehicles have survived to our times

Jelcz 640 produced by the company of the same name since 1977 is a car common on Polish roads. No wonder, since legends circulate about its reliability. The Jelcz 640 has two rear drive axles and a torsion axle at the front of the vehicle. It was equipped with a Mielec SW 680 turbocharged engine with 242 horsepower. A Steyr 1490/1491 truck was built on the basis of the Jelcz 640 chassis. Both Steyr and Jelcz are mainly used as chassis for building vehicles from the construction industry – dump trucks, tankers and concrete mixers.

Jelcz 315 – Jelcz in the Himalayas

Jelcz 315 and 316 are two vehicles that in the 70s and 80s of the twentieth century transported goods from Poland to Nepal for Polish Himalayan climbers, climbing the highest peaks of the world. Why were these models chosen? The answer is very simple – they were perfect for long and demanding expeditions. It was in them that hydraulic steering gears were introduced to improve comfort for the driver. Compared to previous models, the noise level in the driver’s cabin was significantly reduced. In addition, the heating and ventilation system was upgraded. Two additional passenger seats were also installed

An interesting initiative is the recreation of one of the transport expeditions under the name “Jelcz in the Himalayas” – referring to driving these trucks halfway around the world to deliver equipment to athletes. The Stag is set to set off as soon as the funds needed for this purpose have been raised

Zi£-157 – a neighbor from the East

This Soviet car was produced by the ZIL plant – one of the first car factories in Russia. From 1958 to 1991, almost 800 thousand copies of this truck rolled off the production line. The main customer was the Soviet army. Zi³-157 was powered by a 5.5-liter gasoline engine and had 109 horsepower. The maximum speed it could reach was 65 km/h. It had a 5-speed transmission, as well as a reducer for off-road gears. Zi£ trucks can be found to date in both the Polish and Russian armies.

Peterbilt 359 – the American dream fulfilled

T. A. Peterman’s company at the beginning of the 20th century ran a sawmill in Washington state. In order to improve timber transportation, the owner decided to buy a Fageol truck and customized it. This gave rise to a truck conversion business. In 1939, about 100 of them were rebuilt, and in 1960, the first brand new trucks left the plant. Peterbilt 359 known from many Hollywood movies is a legend of American highways. It was produced from 1967 to 1987 in many versions with different engines such as Caterpillar and Cummins

Standard engine of Peterbilt 359 was 14.6 liters Caterpillar two-stroke diesel. It had as much as 400 horsepower and 15-speed transmission, which allowed to accelerate this almost 12-ton beast to 150 km/h! Interestingly, it was able to burn up to 40 liters for 100 kilometers.

Tatra 813 – the Czech Colossus in many drive versions

The Tatra 813 produced in the Czech Republic existed in several available variants in the 1970s;

  • Tatra T813,
  • T813 civilian tug,
  • T813 KOLOS military tugboat,
  • Chassis version for T813 bodies,
  • T813 NT and NTH.

It is worth mentioning that the Tatras were used not only by the armies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. There were several versions of drive axles – 8 × 8, 6 × 6, 4 × 4. Tatra cars were famous for being almost failure-free, and their price-quality ratio made them strongly popular in the 1970s.


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