Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Volvo GM?

Long before Volvo GM was ever thought of Volvo needed a truck in Halifax. Volvo had an automobile assembly plant here from 1963 to 1997. During that time it built from 7,000 to 13,000 cars a year using PKD (partly knocked down) components shipped from Sweden and North American material.
Volvo's first two factories were located on the waterfront and ships could deliver the PKD chassis and body kits directly into the factory.
With the advent of containerization that changed. Atlantic Container Line (at that time a Swedish/Dutch/French/British consortium) brought the CKD kits to pier 36. After they were unloaded from the ship, they had to be transported overland to the Volvo factory.
Enter the Sima lift. This complex device worked like a ship's lifeboat davits and loaded and unloaded the crates to and from the truck.
And what pulled the Sima lift trailer - why the first Volvo Chev!

1 Check out the load

2 Tuck in loose corners

3 Lift off
4 secured on the trailer.

Photos taken in April 1970.
For those who know the Halifax waterfront, a lot has changed! The National Harbours Board freezer building is long gone. These photos were taken at pier 35.
That's an Irving Oil International Harvester, with Fort Wayne tilt cab in the background.
Incidentally the truck was painted a bright blue and said "Halifax Plant" on the doors.

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