Friday 29 October 2010
Its first appearance from January 20 until 31 at the Brussels Motor Show was a three-fold premiere. For a start, the new plant in Wörth on the River Rhine had taken up production of the preproduction series of this vehicle. The LP 608 had the honor of being the first truck to leave the truck assembly hall in Wörth, officially opened on July 14, 1965.
Secondly, the appearance of the LP 608 meant that Daimler-Benz was now present in a segment that had been neglected up till this point, and in 1965 took an important step toward becoming a full-line manufacturer providing modern cab-over-engine trucks from the light-duty through to the heavy-duty class. Furthermore, with its new four-cylinder OM 314, the LP 608 was one of the first Mercedes-Benz trucks to bid farewell to the pre-chamber combustion principle, opting for direct injection instead.
During its almost 20-year career, the Mercedes-Benz light-duty LP series experienced two major revamps. In 1977, it got off to a good start with a flatter front end as well as headlights relocated from the radiator grille to the bumper, lending it an attractive appearance. It also boasted a whole host of technical improvements – for instance the option of air suspension on the rear axle of the pickup.
The model designation of the basic Mercedes-Benz model now also reflected the slightly improved output of the OM 314 and would now be LP 709. And the family grew larger: new ten- and eleven-ton trucks complemented the range of vehicles for short-radius distribution with low and therefore exceedingly convenient entry. On the medium-duty LP trucks, built in parallel from 1965, the cab was positioned much higher and required a two-step entry (instead of the single step on the light-duty trucks) as they were fitted with an underfloor engine.
Finally in 1979, all the maintenance points on the light-duty LP trucks were relocated to the outside. They could thus continue to hold their own against competitor models despite the fact that tilt cabs were gradually gaining popularity.
- engine: 6 cylinders
- capacity: 4600 cc
- horsepower: 70 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 90 km/h