KEEN BRITISH INFLUEN( t BRUSSELS
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itish Interest in Brussels, Salon is Mainned and Increased Number. of Foreign .hibitors Shows British-Powered Chassis : .Slight Drop in Imports from UK. DESPITE a continued slight drop in the imports of British commercial vehicles into Belgium during • . 1955, there are distinct signs of increased interest in British products to be seen at the 39th Brussels Salon, whith, opened last Saturday and closes next Wednesday. No completely new British chassis are shown, but there are some interesting variations of standard models to cater especially, for the Belgian market. More encouraging, however, is the increased use of British power units and transmissions in foreign manufacturers' chassis, displaying a preference for British engines at least in Belgium and Holland.
Provisional importfigures for last year . reveal that British 'imports fell by 471 units to a total of 3,179. American chassis imports dropped by 943. The French figure remained essentially unchanged, whilst. the Germans sold over 1,000 more chassis. Imports included 695 Swedish vehicles and 48. chassis from Soviet satellite countries.
Although there is less display space this year, because one of the halls is being rebuilt, thereby cutting out the accessory exhibits, an increased number of commercial vehicles is seen. Over 80 makers are represented. Last year over 400,000 visitors attended the Show, and this year the organizers hope that the 500,000 mark will be topped. Thus grows the importance of Brussels as the most cosmopolitan show-ground of the world's motor industry.
Among the more important of the new vehicles shown this year are the D.A.F. chassis with Leyland power units, the Miesse passenger and goods vehicles with Daimler oil engines, the American Studebaker, International Harvester and De Soto chassis fitted with Perkins engines, and the Scania-Vabis Capitol integralconstruction rear-engined bus. A completely new range of G.M.C. and Chevrolet vehicles is displayed, two Tatra 6 X 6 military chassis reveal the latest progress in Czech design, and a new Volvo six-wheeler incorporates a novel type of bogie suspension.
Space is at a premium in the halls devoted to commercial vehicles, and most of the stands appear to be cramped. Some of the American exhibitors have,, however, managed to spread out their vehicles fairly. well. This can be said also of the Rootes Group exhibits, the Commer and Karrier models looking extremely attractive in a standard colour scheme of cream and light blue. Leyland, Albion and Scammell
chassis are grouped together on a central stand, where several deviations from current standard models are to be seen.
A Leyland Comet 41-seat coach, with bodywork by Van Hool, has an 18-ft. 3-in, wheelbase and left-hand forward-control driving position. Both these modifications were carried out by S.A. Leyland-Belgium, and the coach has a five-speed constant-mesh gearbox and Eaton two-speed axle, allowing a high cruising speed to be maintained on long journeys.
None of the three Albion exhibits is standard. A Chieftain six-wheeler, with double rear drive, is shown as a rormat-eontrol bonneted type, this being a modification made specially for Belgium. A Leyland 0.350 Mk. III oil engine and Ate air-hydraulic braking system are fitted. Ate air-servo equipment is used also on the Claymore 4-tonner exhibited, and this has necessitated mounting an air compressor on a crossmember behind the radiator and driving it from the fan drive-shaft by belt. This chassis is normally offered with unassisted hydraulic braking, and this arrangement provides a neat answer for those operators who wish to fit a servo to the system.
The Claymore chassis has an extra-long rear overhang, as has also a Chieftain four-wheeler, in this case BI8 there being 12-ft. of chassis frame behind the rear axle. The Chieftain is shown with a well-styled and comfortable cab by Remi-Desot. All Albion chassis are assembled in Holland.
A spitcial Scammell Scarab 6-ton articulated outfit has been modified to meet the requirements of the Belgian market. Breakaway .braking is legally essential for all trailer units, so the vacuum-servo system normally fitted to the Scarab has been reversed to give an inverted-line effect. By this means a vacuum in the servo motor holds the trailer
brakes off against the tension of a bank of four springs. When the vacuum is reduced, either through the driver's control or because of a break-away, the springs apply the brakes.
Another modification affects the• suspension of the trailer. Lighter main springs are fitted to give a smoother ride over the normally bad Belgian roads, and these are supplemented by helper springs when the trailer is laden.
A new use for the Daimler CD 650 engine is seen on the Miesse stand. Here, in addition to a Daimler Freeline coach chassis with Pneumo-Cyclic gearbox and an Atkinson Alpha chassis, several goods chassis of Miesse manufacture are shown with the Daimler power unit. The largest of these chassis is the normal-cOntrol C613, which was completed just in time for the opening day. The C613 is rated for a 13-tan payload and has an unladen weight of 6 tons, a fact readily appreciated by a glance at the massive proportions of the chassis... The engine is located completely ahead of the front axle, and it drives a ZF six-specd gearbox through a conventional friction clutch.
A Timken 11-300-P double-reduction two-speed axle is used in the C613. This unit is specified also for the Miesse tractor chassis. The .T835 with Gardner 81W engine is not new, but an alternative version, the T635. with the Daimler 150 b.h.p. engine has now been introduced. In all other respects the two tractor chassis are identical and they are rated for a 28-ton trailer payload.
Last year Miesse introduced rtlow-height forward-cngined passenger chassis which Was pariieularly suited to front entrance bodywork. The original Gardner-engincd version has now been sup plemented by a. Daimlerpowered model and both these chassis incorporate the French Westinghouse
double-circuit" safety braking system. The V-D as the Daimler-engined chassis is known, is rated for a gross weight of 161 tons, and the chassis weight is 5; tons. A manually controlled ZF exhaust brake is fitted as an optional extra, the valve unit being mounted in the exhaust system immediately below the engine manifold.
Miesse, who do not have an overseas sales organization and therefore no export market, are well pleased with their home sales over the past year and are confident that their new models will meet with success. A .similar story is told by Brossel, another confirmed .user of British engines. F1rossel, whose most outstanding design so far has been the rear-engined passenger chassis introduced in 1954, report increased sales of all their products.
Latest Brassel Chassis
The Brossel range of rear-engined chassis now includes four models. Three are powered by the Leyland 0.600 engine and the 0.680 unit is offered in the fourth. The chassis vary principally in respect of power ratings and gearboxes. but a change common to all models affects the chassis height. instead of the road springs being below the chassis frame, they are now outrigged from the sides.
Brossel or Leyland four-speed synchromesh gearboxes or the Leyland Pneumo-Cyclic unit are offered in the two lighter chassis, These, the A92 DAR and the A93 DAR, are suitable for gross weights of 144 tons and 15.; tons respectively. The Leyland Pneumo-Cyclic box is also offered in the two other chassis, but as an alternative a Spicer automatic hydraulic unit can be supplied, this being fitted to the chassis exhibited.
The Leyland engines are now mounted vertically, whereas before they were inclined at 36° to the vertical, and in all models the engines are in line with the chassis, the radiator being mounted alongside on the rear cross-member. ZF Gemmer power steering gear is available on these
chassis, and, as on the Miesse models, Westinghouse doublecircuit braking is fitted.
A further change in the Brossel range concerns the C.130 goods chassis, which has now been uprated by a ton to give a payload Capacity of 11 tons on two axles. This chassis employs the Leyland 0.600 engine, rated at 140 b.h.p. at 2,200 r,p.m., and has a six-speed gearbox and single-speed spiral-bevel rear axle.
D.A.F. Well Represented As .there are to be no commercial vehicles at . next month's Amsterdam Show, it is _surprising that Kromhout are not exhibiting at Brussels. The Duteh are well represented by D.A.F., however, a. make that is .becoming increasingly popular in Belgium. and other. countries, including South America. The new D.A.F.' range consists of 34 models. utilizing 10 different chassis frames, three types of engine, gearbox, rear and front axle, and a standard braking system and cab.
The D.A.F. range includes Perkins P.6 and Hercules JXC 102 b.h.p. petrol engines in addition to the Leyland 0.350 unit, which,
as announced in . The Commercial Motor on January 6, is to be manufactured under licence by D.A.F. The principal changes in the new models,. other than the power units, concern the chassis frames.. which are now made of thinner material but have a deeper section. and the cab.
Driving ecimfort• and
engine acCessibility have received .prior attention in the design of the new .cab. The driver's seat, for instance, is supported on a parallel-link hinged framework which incorporates a telescopic damper. This layout not only damps out vertical oscillations, but also avoids horizontal kicks such as are particularly prevalent when running unladen. .Ventilation is comprehensive, a heater can be fitted, numerous racks, cabby holes and hooks are provided for personal effects: and the entrance to the cab has been simplified by careful location of the lower step.
Maintenance of the engine and accessaries has been made easier by a large opening bonnet with separately detachable side panels: The bonnet hinges open to the rear cab panel and can then be completely removed. A novel feature is the use of a bayonet-type fitting in the gear-change lever, which allows the lever to be quickly removed for full opening of the bonnet.
Hogra, another Dutch manufacturer, who showed a Perkins R.6-engined 7-ton chassis at Frankfurt last year. displays three chussis at Brussels. Two of these are powered by Perkins P.6 units, whilst the third has an R.6. Gran air hydraulic brakes and ZF five-speed gearboxes figure in the specifications of these chassis, but production is at the moment thought to be limited.
There are two new models among the Swedish exhibits. Scania Vabis show their Capitol bus, a rear-engined integral-construction vehicle similar to the larger Metropol model. The Capitol, which has 36 seats and a total passenger capacity of 72, employs a Scania Vabis sixcylindered 150 b.h.p. oil engine mounted transversely in unit with a Svenka Rotor Maskiner hydraulic torque converter. A feature of this is the use of hydraulic power for brakes, steering, doors, windscreen wipers and radiatorshutter control. A full-lock angle of 52° on the front wheels ensures excellent manceuvrability of this 35-ft. long. 14-tongross vehicle. The maximum rear-axle loading is 8 tons thereby conforming to general European practice.
A new Volvo six-wheeler with double-drive bogie has an interesting suspension systm. The axles, which incorporate B21"
a two-speed gearbox, are pivoted on the ends of centrally mounted beams sprung to the chassis frame by large rubber blocks.
American Studebaker, International Harvester and De Soto 5-tonncrs are shortly to be imported into Belgium without engines so that Perkins P.6 units may be fitted in them. Three of these chassis are shown, and the installations are neat, little modification to the original equipment being necessary.
In most cases the original rear engine mountings have been used, with a new single sandwich-type unit at the front. In the case of the Studebaker a new radiator is required: this is supplied by the chassis makers. The Perkins engines are to be supplied only as original equipment to begin with, but later may be offered as conversion. sets.
New ranges of Chevrolet and G.M.C. are exhibited. Of particular interest is the Chevrolet 1,300 pick-up truck. The plastics panels of the body are carried on steel framing. Hydra-IVIatie transmission and a V-8, 147 b.h.p. petrol engine figure in the specification. The vehicle is rated for a 10-cwt. payload. A 2-ton chassis is also offered with Hydra-Matic transmission and a new two-speed epicyclic rear axle is available on 5-ton models. ,
A new range of Chevrolet 6-, 7and 9-ton chassis powered by V-8 petrol engines is to be introduced in the spring, and will be immediately available in Belgium.
Diamond T forward-control trucks are shown for the
first time with tip-up cabs, but no details were available on the opening day of the Show. They appear to be 7-tonners and are equipped with steering-column gear change.
American Gregg Trailers are now being manufactured in Belgium by the Societe Gregg d'Europe. These have a novel coil-spring suspension and are mainly light-alloy tank vehicles. The 3,500-gal. tanker shown is a semi-trailer with four wheels in line, the wheels being arranged in pairs and supported on massive A-frames and coil springs.
Two Tatra 6 x 6 vehicles are shown. They have a tubular chassis frame, and independent suspension of all wheels. V-I2 air-cooled oil engines power these vehicles, which look efficient but expensive. The engines develop 180 b.h.p. at 1,800 r.p.m. • Longitudinal semi-elliptic springs are used at the rear wheels and inclined quarter-elliptic units at each front wheel.
A new 4 x 4 10-cwt. vehicle is shown by Minerva, who assemble Land-Rovers under licence in Belgium. They have Continental engines, with Jenbach units as alternatives, and all-steel bodywork. The price is expected to •be the same as that of the Land-Rover.
The "Tout Terrain,' as it is known, is to be built for export only, principally to countries which may be expected to pay for them in Belgian currency. A larger, 15-cwt, version is also to be made and both models have a detachable sub-frame whereby the engine, transmission and front axle may be removed as an assembly.