Huge-ass old Kraz truck in Toufen
Here in Taiwan we don’t need no stinkin’ time machines, just head off out into the townships and step back in time.
Initially I thought the “V” on the grill was a Volvo or Volkswagen design (I’m not all that knowledgeable on old trucks and who made them), but after researching bit found that the distinct V grill-design belonged to that of Kraz.
Kraz is a Russian truck company founded in 1945 during the Soviet Union era. Initially a construction company, they began manufacturing trucks in 1959.
Somewhat curious as to the age of the truck I found in Toufen, I tried to date it but wasn’t able to pinpoint the exact model. After spending a crap load of time searching different models and what not, the closest thing I found to the truck was this page of Kraz “Opening” model trucks. The 63xx models seem to be variants of the truck in Toufen (or vice-versa). All the other Kraz trucks I found were non-flat front or much more modern looking than this one.
The common date of the 63xx models (6315, 6316 and 6305) appears to be the late 80s, so I figure that’s around the time this truck was built. It might be a bit older though as it does look a tad more primitive than the models on that Russian page. Maybe late 1970s or early 80s?
In any case I had to marvel at the robustness of the thing… it looked every part the indestructible Russian tank!
Inside things were pretty basic:
Not really sure what that big red thing was, but the silver piping is the same people use for cooking exhausts everywhere here; so I figure that’s the primary exhaust?
Given it’s right in the cabin, that pipe springing a leak must suck!
The truck’s steering and dash were aesthetically ancient:
You’ve got high beam light, oil, amps and engine temp. I’m not sure what the green light was (it’s a sideways “D” (think smiley face) with rays coming out under it), perhaps a fog lights indicator?
Meanwhile I’m not sure if the air-conditioning came factory-fitted or whether it was an aftermarket addition:
And yeah, if you can’t make out – the fan has no blades left :).
Speaking of factory-fitted, ditto on the doors. This truck didn’t have any on either side and the way the seating area came right up to the edge of the chassis, leaves me wondering if that’s how they were made.
If you look back at the first picture in this article there’s some distinct holes under the side-mirror, but that’d mean the doors would be sticking out of the body (?). Seemed a bit of a strange design to me if the truck originally had doors… although it is a Russian built truck so who knows.
Looking at the rear of the truck, it appears it’s for hauling farm machinery around. Dunno how stable those rusted tire guides are though!
And peeking underneath the truck, all I could think was “rumble, rumble, rumble!”
I’ve had one of these old trucks rumble up behind me on a mountain road and the roar damn near knocked me off the bike as it passed. Long after it had crawled along and disappeared, even then my ears were left ringing (it was seriously like having an airplane overtake you from a few meters away).
I don’t even want to think how much noise this beast makes when it’s started up.
I guess back in the 70s and 80s Soviet trucks were what people were using out in Toufen’s farms. I’d have thought they’d gone American but perhaps it was easier to get these Russian vehicles through China (as opposed to shipping them over from the US).
Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about people, it’s really quite amazing the random stuff you run into on Taiwan’s roads.