In January 1933, Volvo introduced the forward-control 'LV75' truck at the Amsterdam Motor Show. It became quite popular as a basis for buses, but the number of F-type trucks demanded by customers was small in the 1930s.
For this reason, it would take more than 20 years before another Volvo truck of this type would be offered as a standard model (in the intervening time, conventional trucks were sometimes modified into F trucks).
"Snabbe" gets famous
However, in 1956 (actually at the same time as the Amazon car), the L42 'Snabbe' was presented and immediately met with a great deal of success. The reason was not only due to the F model, but due to the special qualities of the new truck series (and its parallel slightly heavier sister model, presented in 1957).
The L42 truck succeeded the L34 truck introduced in 1950. Compared with this model, the forward-control cab model offered a much shorter wheelbase and total length within a given (needed) platform length, offering very good manoeuvrability even in confined city areas, favourable axle loads and perfect vision from the drivers´ seat.
Easy to load, powerful to drive
Thanks to the design of the frame (which was not straight but lowered between the axles to decrease the load height of the truck platform), the L42 'Snabbe' was extremely easy to load, even without help devices like cranes or fork lifts.
Performance was extremely good thanks to the V8 (!) engine designed and produced by Volvo in Gothenburg/Skövde. Fuel efficiency was, on the other hand, very poor, but this was of lesser importance since trucks of this type were normally used only for a limited distance of transport per day.