Liberty truck

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Standard B "Liberty" Truck
Liberty B Truck.jpg
Manufacturer Various
Production 17,093
Body and chassis
Class B 3 to 5 short tons (2.7 to 4.5 long tons; 2.7 to 4.5 t)
Body style open cab, Cargo truck
Engine Gasoline, 425 cu in (6,960 cc; 6.96 L) L-head, 4-cycle,
52 hp (39 kW),
Transmission 4 speed, 4X2,
Wheelbase 160.5 in (4,077 mm)
Length 261 in (6,629 mm)
Width 84 in (2,134 mm)
Height 75 in (1,905 mm)
Curb weight 3–5 short tons (2.7–4.5 long tons; 2.7–4.5 t)

The Standard B "Liberty" Truck was a United States Army vehicle used in World War I.


The Liberty Truck was designed by the Motor Transport section of the Quartermaster Corps in cooperation with the members of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Production of the 3–5 ton truck began in 1917, and the first models appeared ten weeks after the design was standardized. Of the almost 9,500 produced by 15 manufacturers, more than 7,500 were sent overseas. The Liberty's four-speed transmission coupled with its 52-hp engine gave the truck a top speed of about 15 miles per hour (24 km/h).[1]

A "Liberty truck", the first standardized US army truck


  • Series I
    • Battery, generator and distributor with electrical lighting system, in addition to the independent magneto ignition
    • Distributor and magneto systems with independent sparkplugs and wires (two per cylinder)
    • Ball and coil spring device to hold starter crank up in front
    • Primarily wooden spoke wheels vs. more robust steel wheels but Steel wheels were issued on 1st variant in later production (reference photo of Indiana manufacturing plant storage lot)
    • Single clamp hold-down radiator cap threaded in the center into the radiator
    • Electric side lights
    • Electric Guide lights up front on the frame horn members inside wheel area
    • Electric tail lamp
    • Electrical troubleshooting lamp plug in dash
    • Dual ignition switch on dash for battery or magneto ignition
    • Ammeter in dash switch cluster (lights/battery/mag, the gauge and a plug socket for a trouble light)
    • Single dash-mounted fuel tank which gravity fed the carburetor
  • Series II
    • Magneto only, (distributor, battery, generator and electrical light systems removed)
    • Pressed steel spring clip to hold starting crank, vs. ball under spring clamp
    • Acetylene Gas illuminated spot/driving light in the center of the dashboard
    • Acetylene Gas illuminated side lights (possible transition from electric as they dropped the battery system)
    • Oil wick rear taillamp
    • Spring-mounted oil fill caps raised to vertical level for easier filling on suspension
    • Oil filler for engine moved to rear of block
    • Radiator uses flip-type cap with hinge to rear and lock bolts on the sides
    • Second fuel tank under passenger seat
    • Fuel tank hand pump on extreme right of cab for transferring fuel from the underseat mounted rear tank to primary dash mounted tank (co-driver job)


The Standard B "Liberty" Truck's powertrain utilized a gasoline powered 425 cubic-inch flat-head inline four cylinder that put out 52 horsepower, a 4 speed transmission, and a 4 X 2 drive setup.

Liberty engine 1.jpgLiberty engine 2.jpgLiberty engine 3 drawing.jpg

Surviving examples[edit]

Liberty Truck at Fort Bliss Museum

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WWI STANDARD B "LIBERTY" TRUCK, National Museum of the US Air Force, archived from the original on 2010-07-29, retrieved 2009-11-24 
  • Army Motors number 100 (2002)

External links[edit]