18 March 2023

Miscellaneous classics #10: Scania 3-Series P113

I realised that it has been a very long time since I wrote about a commercial vehicle. While I am aware that it may not be very 'sexy' or good-looking, this 1995 Scania 3-Series has been on my spotting bucket list for a long while! I always have a weakness for boxy/squarish vehicles, and it was a goal of mine to see one of these Scanias so that I could write about it. Being able to come across this unique registered truck (and one which I could run my checks) was entirely coincidental on that day: the truck was no longer there when I passed by the area again 1 week later.. 

AB Scania-Vabis was formed in 1911 as the result of a merger between Södertälje-based Vabis and Malmö-based Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania. Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertelge (Vabis) was established as a railway car manufacturer in 1891, while Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania was established as a bicycle manufacturer in 1900. Vabis was running into financial difficulties unlike Scania, and the senior management of Scania made the offer for a merger. Development and production of engines and light vehicles were set to Södertälje, while trucks were manufactured in Malmö. The company's logo was redesigned from Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania's original logo with the head of a griffin, the coat of arms of the Swedish region Scania (Skåne), centered on a three-spoke bicycle chainset. Initially the headquarters were located in Malmö, but in 1912 they were moved to Södertälje.

Scania-Vabis had produced cars up till 1919, where it focused completely on trucks and buses, including bus chassis. After WWII, Scania-Vabis expanded its dealer network and country-wide specialist workshop facilities, enabling it to maintain a huge market share. It also turned towards the export market and by 1960, exports were 50% of output. Subsidiaries continued to be established in places such as Brazil and the Netherlands, and in 1968 the company was rebranded as just Scania. Scania is currently wholly owned by the VW Group ever since VW acquired a stake in 2000. 

The Scania 3-Series was introduced in 1987, succeeding the 2-Series and was available in a variety of engines and body types. The most notable changes were a redesigned bumper and front fascia incorporating a lower-drag grille design. This P113 was powered by a 11,021 cc DS11 inline-6 engine, with a power output of 320 hp. The concrete pump is noted to be from Schwing GmbH, and was apparently made in 1996; both components must have been fitted together to be registered in time on Nov 1996. Its maximum weight including the concrete pump topped the scales at 32,000 kg

Production of the 3-Series ended in 1998, where it was replaced by the 4-Series. While there are plenty of Scania trucks and buses here, older vehicles tend not to be kept for long under our rules. This particular unit continues to survive because it is registered as a 'restricted usage' vehicle, identified by the green-red plate. It cannot be driven on public roads at all times, so these have to be towed from place to place. I also understand that one cannot just register any car under this scheme in order to exempt it from scrapping: the ones I have come across so far are usually related to construction or special usage. Although it may not be as eye-catching as a typical classic car on the road, I hope that this has given an insight on this special truck...maybe you could be lucky to spot it some day!