August 29, 2005

Mercedes-Benz celebrates 50th anniversary of the L 319 van

Stuttgart, Germany – Fifty years ago, Mercedes-Benz launched its L 319, known as the “express truck” and the first van to wear the company’s logo. It celebrated its premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 1955, and was the precursor of numerous Mercedes vans, including the current Sprinter.

After launching an entire generation of new trucks, as well as new buses, the company, then known as Daimler-Benz AG, expanded into the lighter weight categories. With a gross weight of 3.6 tons and compact dimensions, the L 319 was popular with craftsmen and tradesmen. It also used a space-saving cab-over-engine design, which was unusual at a time when most trucks used conventional styling, and a four-cylinder, 43hp, 1.8-litre diesel engine borrowed from the 180 D car model. This was soon joined by the 190’s 1.9-litre, 65hp gasoline engine.

The L 319 was produced for twelve years, ending in 1968; originally produced in Sindelfingen, production moved to D

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