The other day the annual fall auction of surplus state vehicles passed through the DOT Region 3 Headquarters. This time around the auction lots were light on heavy trucks except in one category. Snow Blowers. The three Oshkosh units we’ve seen hanging around the edges of past auctions were now finally up for sale to the highest bidder. Auction paper worked had them listed as 1953, 1984 and 1989 model years. As we learned before thanks to the knowledge of Joe Kelly and Jim Menard these trucks were actually much older but experienced a rebuild program at the hands of Oshkosh and their previous owner, the U.S. Air Force. I was most interested in the 1953 model as, in theory, it was not restored. This turned out not to be the case but still had a secret to share.
Poking around the 1953 it wasn’t hard to find the data plaques from Oshkosh indicating the truck had been rebuilt in 1979 during which it most likely gained the Cat 3406 crammed under the front hood. Out back conventional wisdom suggested another Caterpillar engine could be found in the form of D-343 or larger. Heading back to take a look I received two surprises. The first shock came when the spring loaded engine compartment door that had been so stubborn at first finally sprang open in a shower of rust and yellow paint flecks. After I cleared my eyes I didn’t see the familiar yellow hallmark of Caterpillar but the sea foam green of none other than Detroit Diesel. It was a huge lump of steel. Looking at the exhaust manifold I counted the number six. Yes,
a V12 Detroit 6-71 was the power the front blower.
This was the perfect truck for those who can’t choose between Cat or Detroit. Auction paperwork had the mileage on the truck barely edging 3,000. No title or any other paperwork was available and the truck was sold with the understanding that it held no other value than scrap. Insane! Check out the video below for a walk around of the truck and the others around it. If you’re into modern rigs check out the very end for a sneak peak of the new Internationals that will be hitting the roads this winter.