Movie Friday: Corvair-powered AGL-4 boogies above almost everything: Articulated truck from the 1960s can drop its bed, drive on as a goofy cab

Articulated truck from the 1960s can drop its bed, drive on as a goofy cab



Meet the Articulated Standard-Goal Logistical Truck, or AGL-4, a solution proudly presented by GM Defense Analysis Laboratories. When you turn the steering wheel, its 44-inch tires move with the cab, as an alternative of independently. Its front cab articulates left, appropriate and sideways more than rough terrain. It can climb moguls and uneven actions with a shimmy of its bed, sustaining “consistent ground loading at all instances.” It can carry 10 brave souls in excess of hill and dale, across 5-foot ditches and about a 30-degree banking without a single man rag-dolling out the side or dropping his lunch.

Ah, the 1960s: when you could carry some dudes in the bed of your truck and not look like you happen to be en route to a civil war! Consider it to Brooklands with a Weedwacking crew: It truly is time to perform some banking upkeep. Get it to your banana republic of decision, or head to your nearest Banana Republic–military coups have never looked so retrofuturistic.

The AGL-4’;s greatest characteristic is a literal parting trick: Undo a handful of bolts amongst the cab and the bed, disconnect the 4×4 driveshaft, fold down some coaching wheels, and the cab can toddle away on its personal at a goofy angle, its operator aimed skyward, blinded by the glare of the sun. He might get a nosebleed. The sight of the AGL-4 cab monster trucking all around town, like a a single-guy freak parade, might prove to be also scandalous even for the hippies who lined the streets of Santa Barbara, Calif.–before they have been all driven out by the very same square meanies who axed the AGL-4!

In actuality, GM constructed the AGL-4 as a examine for future agricultural gear or, inevitably, as a supremely versatile military runabout. (Never call it a Gama Goat that was developed by Ling-Temco-Vought of A-6 Corsair II fame, which “bears an uncanny resemblance to a drainage pipe with wings.” Hey, that’;s mean.) The farmer of tomorrow could buy an AGL-4 and multiple beds and hook up distinct payloads without having getting to unload something (if unhooking didn’;t turn into its own kind of problem, that is).

As demonstrated by the video, its versatility can make a GMC of the same vintage seem like a stick in the mud. Its air-cooled Corvair pancake engine would be effortless to fix when you’;re surrounded by guerilla fighters or mud. And, ultimately, viewing it sashay close to with its rear end bouncing up and down like a Carnivale dancer is equal elements mesmerizing and hilarious. That is so silly, you think. Then you truly believe about how efficient it is.

There is no word on the AGL-4’;s greatest fate. It may possibly have been crushed, as standard of most proof-of-ideas no sense in retaining close to what amounts to a bizarre science experiment. But I hope there is an automotive heaven someplace (or a secret Woodward Avenue basement) the place the AGL-4 will boogie on down the road.

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