Volvo Truck, L29C and V - 1940

L29C and V

By the mid 1940s, there was a clear trend for heavy-duty trucks to have diesel engines. This was something fairly new to Volvo, which had been concentrating on Hesselman engines due to the lower development costs needed for the Hesselman engine compared with the diesel engine.

The first heavy-duty diesel truck - on demand
Today, it is perhaps necessary to stress the fact that the number of heavy-duty Volvo trucks made up to and including 1945 was rather small, the majority of Volvo trucks being light-duty and medium-duty trucks, which were made at a good profit (which helped to finance the future-oriented car production of Volvo, which was unprofitable until the early 1950s).

The L29 range of trucks was extremely rugged and powerful, but was made in rather small numbers. It was natural to take this range as a base when the first powerful heavy-duty diesel truck was introduced in 1946, initially very much in response to demands from the National Swedish Road Administration, which needed a very powerful vehicle that could carry out snow-ploughing in the heavy Swedish winter as well as being a basic vehicle for construction of roads (the post-war era was a period when there was a great deal of renewal of the road network in Sweden).

Built on simplicity and efficiency
The design of the L29C/V vehicles (C=Civilian, V=' Road Administration vehicle', i.e. truck for use by the Road Administration) was simple and efficient. The existing L29 heavy-duty trucks were improved, reinforced and acquired an even longer bonnet to house the big powerful Volvo diesel engine, which was initially of the pre-combustion type (but in the later part of the production period of this series of trucks, it was replaced by the modern 'VDF' direct-injection engine).

The LV29 C/V, which was really a successful compromise, was superseded by the modern-looking L39 Titan in 1951, and was to a great extent based on the L29 C/V components - at least during the first years.

In the absence of power steering, driving a L29 C/V was tough work, and in those days a truck driver really had to possess brutal physical strength.