"What on Earth does this truck have that so inspires the crowds so that next to it, cars just look unbearably sad?" wondered Auto-Journal on 12 March 1979.
“The Centaur”, based on a Berliet 350 tractor, features innovative aesthetics and outstanding comfort, making for a gleaming high-end long-haul truck, a forerunner of the 21st-century models that most builders have since adopted.
Accentuated with reinforced polyester, featuring a vertical stainless-steel exhaust and grill, vertical air inlets – also in stainless steel – on the roof, its KB2400 cab developed in 1969 is also adorned with a brace of fog lights, four long-range lights, five orange-coloured roof-lights and two high-power headlights, as well as four “marine" type chrome-plated horns and tinted windows and windscreen.
Optionally, the passenger compartment is boldly fitted out with a host of refined features, providing the driver with outstanding comfort and room to relax: kitchenette, refrigerator, cooker, mini-shower and sleeping bunks on a mezzanine level. This elevated cab stayed in production until 1990.
The Centaure’s technical characteristics:
- 14.8 L V8 135 x 130 Berliet direct-injection turbo engine / 356 hp at 2000 rpm / supercharged by an exhaust turbocompressor.
- Berliet B 18 gearbox / 2 x 8 front ratios, including 16 synchronous and 2 extra-slow + 2 rear
- Berliet double reduction rear drive axle with hypoid drive axle and reducers on the hubs.
- Gross train weight: 38,000 kg.