Volvo truck, L4751 and F85 - 1960

L4751 and F85

After the success of the light-duty and medium-duty L42/L43 forward-control trucks, Volvo wanted to go ahead and design F trucks in the heavier segment. This created serious discussions within the management and the design department of the company.

Initially, a traditional European design was discussed (the L382/L3851 F version of the Viking truck had been around for some time), but they embarked on more ambitious plans probably on account of experience gained in the USA (where Volvo was the only European manufacturer with a presence there at that time).

Towards cab-over-engine trucks
In contrast to the preferences in the USA nowadays, there was a trend away from conventional (N) truck and in favour of cab-over-engine (F) trucks in the late 1950s and the early 1960s in North America. This was a trend which had been forced through by legislation that restricted the total length of truck combinations.

The F trucks of America were, however, very advanced vehicles. Low weight of chassis was one feature, the tilting cab facilitating the work of the driver or the mechanic when performing service was another. The decision was taken that the new generation of Volvo heavy-duty trucks should include F trucks in all weight segments.

Introducing the modern tilt-cab
The first Volvo truck to receive a modern tilt-cab was also the first European truck of this type ever to be made in significant numbers. The cab was designed by the Volvo truck design department in Gothenburg under supervision of Sigvard Forssell, in close cooperation with the Nyström Cab factory in Umeå in the north of Sweden (which would before long become the main Volvo cab factory).

To stress the fact that the new cab was tilting for easy access to the engine a name was allocated to the new trucks featuring this cab; the 'TIPTOP' (always written with capital letters).

Only top-of-the-range components
The first truck to feature the new tilting cab was introduced in 1962, and was based on the proven mechanical components of the L475 Raske. The resulting name of the new truck became 'Volvo L4751 Raske TIPTOP'. To optimise the performance and economy/efficiency of the new Raske TIPTOP truck it was decided to equip it with the top-of-the-range components of the L475 Raske. The new Raske TIPTOP was therefore the first truck ever to be equipped as standard with a Turbocharged engine (no naturally-aspirated engine was available to the customers). Power steering was another standard feature not commonly found on distribution trucks of the era.

Reintroductions and new versions
The L4751 became very popular, and was re-introduced in 1965 (as part of the 'System 8' family) as the F85, with a slightly bigger engine but in other respects mainly without major changes. A slightly down-rated version was introduced in 1968 as the 'F84', while the final version of the Raske TIPTOP/F85 was presented in 1976 as the 'F85S', with an even more powerful engine with slightly increased capacity.

This family of trucks was followed by the F6S and is the ancestor of today's extremely efficient FL family of trucks.