After WW1, the american Liberty truck was available in numbers as new unmounted vehicles in boxes from the french military authorities. Mr Louis Willème get specialised in assembling them, and the design of the truck being free of rights (the design plans were owned by the US army), he began to product them on his own, also rafining more and more the robust original design through the years. It is that true, that some parts highly recognisable on the Liberty truck can still be seen on the last Willème trucks from 1970, as the rounded front axle or rear axle "chap"!

Willème S10-L10-R15. (1945-1953)
After WW2, inside the UFA ban (with Somua and Panhard), Willème is allowed to built only the bigger trucks of 10 and 15tons. It corresponds well to Willème which had specialised in the larger trucks. Already depending on Deutz diesel engine design for the war, Willème received some new engines from Deutz as part of war damage. This gives a commanding position to Willème in the market, as his competitors, Berliet and Bernard, had some difficulties to get raw materials. Therefore the products (S10 (4cyl) & L10 (6cyl) as 19t, R15 as 26t) were quite up-to-date with air-brakes, powerful engines (100hp as 4cyl, 150hp as 6cyl, 200hp as 8cyl), and very solid chassis.

Willème 610-615 (1953-1963)
The 610 name indicates a big 6 cylinder 13,6l Deutz-based engine on a 19t 2-axles chassis. This design was presented in 1953 with the striking "Nez de Requin" cab and known as LC610. This chassis consists a doubled skin frame, 175hp, 6-gearbox from ZF design, all this made it a very robust option. The design evolved through the years (1955: 190hp; 1958: 255hp with turbo, 2x6 gearbox) with more cabs options (1954: "carrière" cab for tipper and saharian applications, 1955: forward control "round", 1959: fashion forward "Horizon")

Willème série TL-LD (1963-1966)
The powerful 255hp turbo option on the 6cyl engine gave stuning performance but also reliability problems. As customers still wanted to have more power, Willème turns his regard to the english builder AEC. The TL chassis was created to create a new modern tractor: 6x2 gearbox, choice of normal and forward control cabs based on Horizon design, and choice of engines:
  • type 201, AEC AV690, 200hp
  • type 101, Willème 518T6, 190hp
  • type 102, Willème 518T6c, 255hp (turbo)
    For the rigids, the heavier "LD" chassis remains, as the "R" (6x2), "RD" (6x4), and the special heavier applications (W635, 645,...).

  • Willème-PRP (1970-1983)
    In about 1967, willème developped a new and modern 8x4 prime mover, the W650. Complete with a very solid chassis, a big Pelpel cab, Willème axles and cummins engine, this fine 200 tons tractor stayed sadly unique under Willème independant days. Bankrupt was pronounced in 1970. But, feeling the potential of the Willème designs, Perez & Raimond, responsible of GM engines for France, bought the patent rights from Willème. Until about 1973, a large panel of the Willème products were still offered (from long-haul tractor to dumper), just modified to accept the GM-Detroit engine and Fuller gearbox.
    Then PRP (Perez & Raimond) concentrates only on the prime mover product. The TG200 inherits very much from the W655 from 1967, adapted with a large choice of engines (Detroit, Cummins, Mercedes), axles (Willème, SOMA, ...) and gearbox (mostly Fuller). The lighter TG100, TG150 then TG180 (6x4s) were offered and as well adapted to customer wishes. The TG250 (8x4), and the massive TG300 (8x8; 1000tons) completed the range through the years.
    At the beginning of the 80', despite some sales success over the world, the cost of such engineering put an end to the Willème era. The Willème-PRP rights were bought by the belgian firm Mol, which built a few more trucks on a similar design.

    oldfrenchtrucks: camions Willème
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