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interesting article. i will have to find the english version, as i can not find the translate button. 

i also fixed the typo in the title. 

on a side note, i never knew "Marmon Herrington" all wheel drive conversions was part of the Marmon truck company.

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when you are up to your armpits in alligators,

it is hard to remember you only came in to drain the swamp..

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3 hours ago, tjc transport said:

interesting article. i will have to find the english version, as i can not find the translate button. 

i also fixed the typo in the title. 

on a side note, i never knew "Marmon Herrington" all wheel drive conversions was part of the Marmon truck company.


Interesting read on a guy way ahead of his time!

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All trucks were built by hand, on individual orders - the history of Marmon: 


The author of the text: Krystian Pyszczek

In today's world, there is no longer any room for such a thing as handcrafted tractor units for long-distance transport. The largest production plants produce several hundred vehicles a day, and customers looking for highly specialized equipment must use external workshops. However, there was a certain truck brand in history for which the driver-owner was almost sacred. The manufacturer was the American Marmon, which produced its cars by hand and thus referred to as "Rolls-Royce among trucks".

One of Marmon's first commercials:


The history of Marmon is full of extremely interesting episodes from the history of the automotive industry, not only the heavy one. It all started in 1851: it was then that Howard Carpenter Marmon founded a manufactory in Indianapolis (Indiana) dealing with the production of ... flour grinding machines. However, it was quickly decided to change the industry, and in this way in 1902 the automotive company Marmon Motor Car Company was established. Cars of this brand quickly gained the reputation of being very durable and luxurious, which quickly translated into market success. As if that were not enough Marmon has also become known in the world of motorsport. In 1911, driver Ray Harroun, driving the Wasp high-performance model, achieved the first-ever victory in the legendary Indianapolis 500 race. The American covered 805 kilometers in 6 hours 42 minutes, achieving an average speed of 120 km / h. I emphasize, he did it 111 years ago! The exact same vehicle also went down in history as the first car built in a single-seat system and the first car to feature a rear-view mirror. In later years, Marmon also surprised with its innovation. For example, in 1927, the brand's engineers began work on the first-ever 200 hp V16 engine, which was finally launched 4 years later in the ultra-luxurious Sixteen.

Marmon Wasp:


This remarkable streak of success could not last forever, however. Everything changed for the worse in 1929, when the crash on the New York Stock Exchange led to a global crisis. These were extremely difficult times for all car manufacturers and Marmon was no exception in this respect, the more so that the manufacturer mainly produced expensive luxury limousines. Ultimately, in 1933, it was decided to abandon the production of passenger cars, instead establishing cooperation with the former military, Arthur Herrington. This is how the new Marmon-Herrington brand was created, which focused on the construction of specialized trucks, intended mainly for the needs of the military. The tractor units offered by this company were at one time one of the largest vehicles in their class, and the proprietary four-wheel drive and half-track systems were mounted on serial trucks of other brands such as Ford, Dodge or Chevrolet. Truck Marmons have also found application on the civilian market, and the most interesting example of this are the unusual buses operating in the deserts of the Middle East, which I described in more detail in the article entitled 100 km / h on the meter and Bedouin instead of GPS - sets with trailers for transporting people. As was the case with passenger cars, here, too, drivers received very reliable machines that could withstand the worst weather conditions and service neglect.

Pre-war models:



After decades of focusing on specialty vehicles, the 1960s brought a big change. It was then that Marmon-Herrington decided to build tractor units typically intended for civilian long-distance transport. For this purpose, a series of prototypes of under-cab engine trucks (i.e. so-called cabovers) were built and sent for testing to transport companies. Meanwhile, the name of the entire company also changed: in 1963 Arthur Herrington retired, and the new owner of the brand was the extremely wealthy Pritzker family, which renamed the whole company to the Marmon Motor Company. However, as early as 1964, the Marmon brand was taken over by another company, namely Space Corporation, which in turn moved all production from Indianapolis to Garland, Texas. Of course, I shortened the entire history of various acquisitions a bit for you, so as not to bore you, because the whole process was a bit more complicated, and I mention it mainly as a chronicler. So let's focus on what everyone likes the most - the trucks themselves.

Marmon's first tractor, HDT model from 1962-1963:


The first tractor of the brand described in the article was a cabover with the designation HDT (short for Heavy Duty Tractor), which made its debut in 1962 as Marmon-Herrington. Two years later, with the takeover of the company by Space Corporation, this model was slightly modified, with the biggest novelties being the aluminum structure of the cab and a slightly changed front apron. Marmon HDT was initially paired with a 218hp Detroit Diesel engine or a slightly more powerful 220hp Cummins and Caterpillar machines. Of course, these values began to increase, and already in the late 1960s, customers could also buy a 430-horsepower version equipped with both day cabins and spacious bedrooms. Another important date in history was the year 1969, when a new truck was introduced to the offer: CHDT, because that was the name of this model, distinguished by a typically American layout with a forward hood (the so-called conventional). This solution allowed the use of even larger and stronger units that could easily fit under the angular "bow".

HDT after modernization and CHDT model with extended bonnet:




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Translation continued:

At first glance, the Marmony trucks did not stand out with anything special. Alternatively, they could be called uglier than the competition, due to simple, angular cabins. However, if you asked the drivers of the time about these trucks, for many of them the Marmon was a real dream vehicle. To a large extent, this was due to the fact that almost every copy was made to the individual order of the customer, who had almost unlimited freedom in configuring his future tractor. What's more, each piece was made entirely by hand from start to finish, which not only was an art in itself, but also guaranteed excellent quality. And so it was in practice, because in their heyday the Marmons were considered very reliable, and at the same time luxurious vehicles. This character was also retained with the introduction of the second generation HDT and CHDT models which appeared at the beginning of 1974. In addition to the new, slightly more shapely styling and the expansion of the engine range (which eventually included up to 600 HP units!), The focus was even more on customer satisfaction. In this way, each Marmon received air conditioning, CB radio, air suspension of the driver's seat, and chrome accessories. In 1973, such retrofitted tractors made an impression, and remember that in this case we are talking about the basic version! The build quality was also very far ahead of competing trucks: it just so happened that I had the opportunity to talk to the drivers who owned these extraordinary machines and almost all of them mentioned that the materials inside the cabins were as soft as in a luxury Cadillac. It is no wonder then that Marmons have come to be known as "Rolls-Royce trucks". The producer himself described his products as "rare breed", which was reflected in reality: manual production and strict quality controls meant that only about 100 copies of these extremely prestigious tractors were produced annually.

Second-generation CHDT and HDT marmons:


Interior view with soft upholstery:


The year 1980 brought many new products to Marmon. First of all, a new BCHDT-BC tractor designed for the toughest tasks was introduced, and the existing models were modernized, including replacing round headlamps with square ones, adding sleeping cabins with a high roof, and installing a new hood, grill and more rounded doors. Their designation also changed: from then on, the variant with the engine under the cab was called "110", while the tractor with the forward front was given the number "54". It was then that the company began to change its character, also opening up to fleet customers. Specially impoverished tractors were designated as "F" for "Fleet", while luxury variants were given the letter "P" for "Premium". For example: Marmon 110P was a cabover in a luxury configuration, while in the case of 110F we were dealing with a variant intended typically for large companies.

Marmon 54P with a raised sleeping cabin:


110P (left) and 110F (right) brochure:


One thing, however, remained unchanged: Marmons were still valued for their high-quality workmanship, which was appreciated, for example, by the American army: it was these trucks that entered, among others included in nuclear weapons transport sets. And although this brand was intended primarily for transport conservatives, it cannot be said that Marmon did not move with the times. A perfect example of this is the 57F model introduced in 1985, which is a light tractor for work on local routes. This model was distinguished by a new, sloped, and thus also more aerodynamic bonnet. It was around this time that the brand described began to slowly move away from its characteristic angular shapes, building streamlined tractors instead. However, meticulous quality control and, of course, manual production were not abandoned: it is enough to mention that in the 1990s Marmon employed only 175 people and its production capacity was only 3 trucks a day.

Marmon 57 with a trailer for the transport of nuclear weapons:


Lekki Marmon 57F:


90's Aerodynamic Marmon SB103R:


And since we are talking about the 90s, unfortunately they were the beginning of the end of this legendary brand. Why did this happen? Well, unfortunately the main advantages of Marmon, i.e. prestigious character and manual production, turned out to be his greatest curse. Customers simply preferred to buy cheaper and mass-produced tractors from large companies. Additionally, Marmon had a rather weak dealer network, and its export success was limited to literally a few copies assembled in distant Australia. In other words: in this case, quantity won out over quality. Of course, the manufacturer from Texas did not give up without a fight: to get at least some of the resources needed to survive, some production lines were transferred to the International brand, but this also turned out to be insufficient. As a result, in February 1997, the last Marmon tractor left the factory walls. It was an aerodynamic 125 DHR model equipped with a 470hp Detroit Diesel 60 series motor and a raised sleeper cab. Its buyer was an American with a rather familiar-sounding name, namely a certain Ken Matuszak. Moreover, Mr. Matuszak owns this tractor to this day.

The last Marmon in history presented at the rally


One of the few surviving Marmons 110P:

I hope this is accurate, these are the kind of articles that like to go missing and you go mad trying to find them 

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I know from watching old promotional films Autocars were 100% hand build and assembled back when they were an independent company. Every hole in the frame was drilled instead of punched, etc. Then White purchased them and like most corporate mergers and acquisitions it was a race to the bottom in the name of stock price and favorable quarterly reports. By the mid 1970s they were just rebadged Whites then Volvos. 

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17 minutes ago, 67RModel said:

I know from watching old promotional films Autocars were 100% hand build and assembled back when they were an independent company. Every hole in the frame was drilled instead of punched, etc. Then White purchased them and like most corporate mergers and acquisitions it was a race to the bottom in the name of stock price and favorable quarterly reports. By the mid 1970s they were just rebadged Whites then Volvos. 

Yup another company swallowed by the Vilvo Group!  Autocar / gmc  / White /Mack  ! busy boys !

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