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My 1st "Non U.S." MV post!

WillWagner

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We were at Kern River, Limestone campground, and went down to McNalleys for a burger when all of a sudden I see this big ol truck pull slowly into the lot. From the distance it was I thought it was an old MB, but as it got closer, it wasn't! It was a Saurer 2DM. The couple didn't stay long, they then continued up the road at a very slow pace.

We went over to the store, grabbed some ice and headed back to our campsite. When we pulled in, there was the truck. They had taken a spot that get full sun in the AM, about an hour of shade mid day and then full sun until late afternoon. We happened to have a bonus spot, so, I went over to the man, told him of the sun issue and offered the spot we had. He told me he wes looking at that spot, but it was taken. Well it was, but by them!

After they got settled, they came over and we had introductions. They were John Franco and his wife Christine. John originally from Italy, just across the Swiss border, and his wife from Switzerland. They live in Switzerland. John and I got to chatting about, what else, his truck! A 1960 Saurer 2DM mobile shop van, 1 of 7 built for the Swiss Army. He has owned it for 25 years. He acquired it on day while riding home on his motorcycle and saw it pass him on the other side of the road and he thought it had a for sale sign in one of the van windows, so, the next chance to turn around, he did and followed the truck home. The truck then followed HIM home!

It did have a self recovery winch set up, but he removed it. He fixed up the box and made a nice camper out of it, fabricated a pass through into the cab, propane cooking, 12vdc cooler, storage, roof rack. A rolling home. John and his wife and 2 kids have been all over Europe and Africa, even tooled around in the Sahara. Their only form of communication was, before cel and satellite, was short wave. Still there and works! Powered by a naturally asperated inline 6, 8l Saurer diesel, and she is slow and smokey! It has a shift on the fly low range do that if things get to be too much for high range, a quick depress of the clutch and a lever put it into low on the fly.

They had the truck shipped from England to Hailfax, Nova Scotia last February and drove it into the U.S. The truck can only stay here for 1 year, John and Christine can stay 10. They made their way west via the center of the U.S. to San Francisco to visit one son and then down to San Diego to visit their other son and are now making the return trip to Halifax to ship the truck home.

The liked the place enough that they stayed a second day. We did some puzzles and more chatting, had some snacks and the grand kids played with their dog, Boss, an Appenzeller Sennenhund, awesome pooch!

They were last seen heading North to a pass called Sherman Pass up to Lone Pine and North from there to the U.S Canada border and then East. They try and stay off main highways due to the speed of the truck.

We exchanged info and I hope to hear from the soon.

Safe travels my friends!

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canadacountry

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I like that sort of front with the partial-wedge alike hood, whether the fenders are slight-curvy or "flat top to easily stand onto for some reason" i don't care about by then tbh heh

and i'm just curious but..a shop truck..so what was the shotgunner(passenger) doing having an entire hatch above his head?
 

WillWagner

The Person You Were Warned About As A Child
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I like that sort of front with the partial-wedge alike hood, whether the fenders are slight-curvy or "flat top to easily stand onto for some reason" i don't care about by then tbh heh

and i'm just curious but..a shop truck..so what was the shotgunner(passenger) doing having an entire hatch above his head?

Fenders are fiberglass, to avoid rust, grill and radiator cover are steel. The hood raises like a regular hood, hinges at the cowl, and the side panels un hook and come completely off for "easy" access. The hatch was used to use whatever flavor bang stick that the SA had at the time. out the top

Funny thing, John grew up in Italy. My wifes family is from a province in Italy called Bergamo, just south of the Swiss border. They, my lovely brides family, are from a village called Bergo San Fermo. John was in the next little town just north, closer to the border, 3 miles or so north of BSF. Small world! He would go across the Swiss border to work, as did my wifes family.

I have been to the village and actually got to meet my wifes family that still live in the house that her grand father and his father built. If anyone knows of San Antonio Winery, this town is where the Riboli family is from. Steve Riboli came to the US back in 1916 IIRC to help out in the winery in Los Angeles. The winery secured a contract with the local Catholic Diocese to produce sacramental wine for the church. Prohibition came around in 1920 and all of the local wineries were shut down, except for San Antonio, they had a contract to fulfil and were granted exemption. That is why they are still around.

That is a story for another time.
 

Guyfang

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I like that sort of front with the partial-wedge alike hood, whether the fenders are slight-curvy or "flat top to easily stand onto for some reason" i don't care about by then tbh heh

and i'm just curious but..a shop truck..so what was the shotgunner(passenger) doing having an entire hatch above his head?


Back in the day, that would have been the place the A-Driver manned a Machine gun against air attacks, and or ground attacks.
 

canadacountry

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@Guyfang right had a bit of long day yesterday i didn't think they simply used the one same cab for all different variations of the build

and @WillWagner interesting because i know quite a few trucks that had solid of a flat fender that didn't care for sitting/standing on it but i guess that like you said its a compromise on longevity in certain climates perhaps
 

Guyfang

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Here is an interesting fact. In 1973 when I got here in Germany, there were still lots of old trucks on the road. It did not take long to notice that almost all the large German trucks, all had rings just like the ring on the Saurer 2DM truck. They also had, on the battery box, the old style NATO Two Prong Slave Cable hookup. While killing time at a Rest Parking lot (broke down again!) on the A3, a German truck parked next to us. The driver got out to check tires and then go eat. So we got into a kinda a pidgin English/ German conversation. And I asked about the ring and plug. He told me that the German government made a deal with trucking companies. In case of war, the German Armed Forces would take over control of their fleets, and the companies had to make a few "modifications" to their trucks. In return, the companies got the Mods paid for, and certain tax breaks.


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