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The Marmon Truck Premium

Trucks December 13, 2017

The Marmon Motor Company has ties to several Marmon brands from the span of the late 19th century to the 20th century. Though there is no direct link between them except the name and product, the Marmon Motor Car Company (which produced luxurious cars such as the legendary Marmon 16), Marmon-Herrington (which began by producing military vehicles), Marmon Motor Company, and the current Marmon Group produced premium trucks for over one hundred years. The name was used, repurposed, and passed around from company to company, but always stuck with the commercial vehicle business.

The Marmon Motor Company was around from 1963 to 1997, when it was dissolved. Navistar purchased the construction plant, which is in Garland, Texas, for their Paystar division. While it was around, however, the Marmon Motor Company was known for its handmade, low-production vehicles, which were dubbed “The Rolls-Royces of trucks”. Unfortunately, the quality and unique look of the trucks were not enough to compete with the lack of a national sales network and the more well-known, mass produced truck brands such as Peterbilt, Kenworth, and Freightliner.

The trucks made by Marmon were suited for a variety of tasks — cabovers, as well as trucks with towing and hauling capacities were most common, some of which have been gathered and curated in a collection of photos by enthusiasts such as Wayne Crane and Russ MacNeil. Of course, some owners hired their own mechanics to make parts in order to put the trucks to other uses, such as logging. There are several Marmon vehicles today that are comprised of various other vehicle parts and even specialty parts to suit their owners’ purposes.

Marmon only made around 100 trucks a year, contributing to the hand-made image of their vehicles. Each one was put together using aluminum and fiberglass, materials that made the trucks pretty light on their wheels. Though there are very few Marmon trucks still on the road, there are still so many enthusiasts that a group gets together every year in Texas to show off their finds and swap stories.

The P57 (P as in “Premium”) seems to be a popular model with the fans, some of whom have purchased their own Marmon truck and refurbished, upgraded, or altered the vehicles, which are now considered classic cars. They attend shows throughout North America to meet other fans, see who has which Marmon truck, and get pictures taken of their vehicles, which are then posted online for those not fortunate enough to attend the various festivals and meets.

The Marmon has been used for film (most notably the Transformers franchise), and it has also become popular as a model car kit, including one for the Transformers vehicle, available in pewter. There are several other models available as well, such as the aforementioned 57P, a 110” cabover, and an 86” cabover. There are plenty of fans who may not be able to afford a Marmon or the cost of refurbishing one, but the kits are often less than one hundred dollars, making them a more cost-effective way of showing off a love of all things Marmon.

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