Autocar Mondays – The First Cat?

At first glance this old Autocar may not seem like much but under the hood there is the potential to discover plenty of history. When we first saw this truck during an Autocar Mondays post from last year it was mentioned that possibly, just possibly, this was one of the first Autocars to use a Caterpillar engine, a 1673B, direct form the factory. This DC103T once belonged to Southworth Caterpillar and when paired with a lowboy trailer moved an untold number of machines for decades upon decades. It would make sense that a Cat dealer would want a truck with a Cat engine right?


Currently the 1673B is seized up tight and before any restoration process begins a choice needs to be made regarding the engine. If indeed the Cat is original to this truck and one of the first to be shoved under an Autocar hood then current owner Larry Marmet might just go through the trouble of bringing it back to life. If not, well, there is a Cummins NTC290 just waiting in the wings.

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From what I understand Caterpillar first started producing diesel truck engines in the mid 50’s that were less than successful. Production ceased for a period of time before starting again in 1961 with two or three different engines of which one was the 1673B. Larry’s DC103 is believed to be a ’64 model year which puts the two close enough in history to make a connection. Are there any Caterpillar or Autocar experts out there that can weigh in with a definitive answer?

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4 Responses to Autocar Mondays – The First Cat?

  1. carl Dorrance says:

    Carl Dorrance the plate says yes cat

    • Tj Donahoe says:

      270 hp, would run with 335 cummalong , did a good job, could stand on it all day, loved to drive the 1693TA, nothing would touch it in the early 1970 ‘s

  2. ROSS M BRYAN says:

    Personally I have only Seen 1 A-CAR
    with a CAT! How ever I am restoring a
    1973 with a repower with a 3408 B DI!
    We’re there any production A-CARS
    with a 3408 off the line?

  3. George Murphey says:

    J.A. Riggs Co. of Alabama also has a CAT powered Autocar — my color of a B&W photo from 1962 courtesy of Riggs Co. —–

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