Thanks to reader Douglas Gotham we have yet another unusual heavy-duty four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steer truck to share with you. According to American Semi Trucks by Stan Holzman: “It was named the Space Star”, as can be seen on the side of the top of the cab. It was “powered by an 8V71N Detroit Diesel that was backed up by a Fuller transmission”. The license plate is dated 1968, and that appears to be the first year it was put on the road. The Company actually used it for sometime moving its own freight over long distances.
Holzman also reported that it featured: “A Coleman chain drive and power-dividing transfer case with a differential”. Apparently the rear steering axle could be left in the straight ahead mode and turned into a steering axle “by flipping a switch”, and the “cab-over had two sleepers, one was located over the cab, and the other was in the rear of it.” The tractor unit was backed under the trailer “and was locked into position by eight pins” The truck and trailer then became one unit that did not pivot.
The second photo (below) found at JustOldTrucks shows a mid-1950s Coleman front-drive axle used for a FWD conversion that may have been of similar construction to that used in this truck. The earliest reference found to a Coleman Truck was as back in 1911, but it is not known if it was the same company. What is known though is that the Coleman FWD Truck was manufactured as early as the late-1920s.
Take a minute to look back at The Fageol 1950 TC CargoLiner – A Trailer Without A Tractor and a much earlier eight wheel Goodyear experiment.