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The Early Years of Mack in Europe: The Mysterious 30 – Those Motor Panels Cabbed Mack F-models

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In 1968, Mack Trucks built thirty hybrid F-715Ts for the European market utilizing Mark IV cabs produced by UK cab producer Motor Panels*, paired with F-700 chassis and 276hp END864 V-8s.......and then stopped.

Was the strategy to use a popular European cabmaker?

Or to use a “local” cab in an effort to reduce importation costs from the U.S.? (as Ford did, using a modified Berliet TR-series cab atop a Louisville chassis)

Note the Mack, F-700 and V-8 nameplates on the front of the truck.

Mack then began importing F-models into Europe thru importing distributors (In France for example, Mack worked with The Pamax Co. and MABO, both in Paris).

After seeing the Motor Panels cab and noting that one-time Mack importer FTF* used Motor Panel cabs for their own trucks, its easy to mistakenly assume that Mack and FTF assembled these trucks. But I have no information to support that.

I don’t know whether these 30 trucks were assembled in the former Bernard plant or if they were assembled in Allentown. The Mark IV cabs originated at Motor Panels in Coventry, England.

* FTF (Floor Truck Fabriek) produced trucks in The Netherlands from 1966 to 1995. The company became known for its heavy hauling tractors. FTF began as a trailer manufacturer and still produces trailers today.

Prior to 1966, FTF had imported into Europe and assembled Mack KD (knocked down) truck kits from 1952. But the two companies parted ways when Mack Trucks purchased French truckmaker Bernard (that is another story).

Although the Mack/FTF relationship began winding down at the point, FTF new truck range initially used a great deal of Mack components. FTF purchased Motor Panels cab for their trucks, which at that time was widely used by British truckmakers including Foden, Guy, Scammell, Seddon, Dennis and ERF.

*Coventry-based cab manufacturer Motor Panels introduced its Mark III Standard Cab System in 1964, and its 2.5 meter wide Mark IV cab in 1966. The Mark IV cab was available in multiple variations to meet the demands of different truckmakers.

In addition to being used during the 60s and 70s by British truckmakers Seddon and Guy, Motor Panels also enabled other manufacturers including AEC, Atkinson, ERF, Foden, and Scammell to offer a steel alternative to their fibreglass cabs. Mack Trucks also purchased the Mark IV cab for the hybrid F-715Ts produced in France.








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I added two topics re European built Macks, maybe the url to the uk truck forum in the first topic can lead to your answer about Motor Panels cabs, IIRC there were two experts there discussing this matter... you need to register to see photos but text is available (good site for older european research)



BC Mack

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I also surprized when I saw those ugly monsters for the first time.

On my mind they came into existance due to cooperation of different companies for the reason of saving import and shipping costs.

I saw in the book the picture of a B model supplied to Europe with just no cab. Only the chassis with an engine, hood and cowl. Like AC bulldog in its standart complectation. But with the driver by the steering wheel!

Никогда не бывает слишком много грузовиков! leversole 11.2012

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  • 3 years later...

Motor Panels is linked to North America.

Connecting the dots of Mack conventional cab supplier history, Sheller-Globe purchased Motor Panels of the UK and then put the Norwalk Mack cab plant under its new Motor Panels division.

Then that division was sold in 1989 to UK-based CH Industrials, which was sold in 1991 to UK-based Mayflower Vehicle Systems, which was sold in 2005 to Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG).

CVG had no prior history of assembling cabs, was willing to do so. Likewise Bendix, who had never produced cabs, has assembled White Xpeditor cabs for Autocar in Huntington, Indiana since 2008.

Currently, CVG stamps and assembles the cabs under contract in a run-down plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (originally located there to supply Mack Trucks' Winnsboro, South Carolina plant 70 miles away), from which they are trucked up 470 miles to Macungie.

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