Scania-Vabis was a Swedish truck and car manufacturer that existed from 1911 to 1968. The company was formed when Scania merged with Vabis. Car production ended in 1929. Ultimately, the name Vabis was dropped in 1968.
The company's name resulted from the merger of Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania, which started out by manufacturing bicycles, and Vabis (Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertälje), in 1911. Until 1929 the company manufactured cars in Södertälje, as well as trucks and buses in Malmö. Over the succeeding years, the company, based in Södertälje, developed a reputation for the toughness, comfort and reliability of its commercial vehicles. The 1963 forward-control LB76 forged Scania-Vabis's reputation outside Sweden, being one of the first exhaustively crash-tested truck cabs.
Because there were many inexpensive, imported cars in Sweden at the time, Scania-Vabis decided to build high-class, luxury cars, for instance the type III limousine from 1920 that had a top hat holder in the roof. Prince Carl of Sweden owned a 1913 Scania-Vabis 3S, a type which was fitted with in-car buttons so the passenger could communicate with the driver. Scania-Vabis also built two-seat sports cars (or "sportautomobil").
The company was involved in bus production from its earliest days, producing mail buses in the 1920s. In 1946, the company introduced their B-series of bus chassis, with the engine mounted above the front-axle, giving a short front overhand and the door behind the front-axle. The first generation consisted of the B15/B16, the B20/B21/B22 and the B31, primarily divided by weight class, and then by wheelbase. The latter became upgraded in 1948 and renamed 2B20/2B21/2B22 and 3B31. The T31/T32 trolleybus chassis was also available from 1947. In 1950, the next generation was introduced, with the B41/B42, the B61/B62/B63/B64 and later the B83. From then, Scania-Vabis also offered the BF-series chassis, available as BF61/BF62/BF63, which had the engine more conventionally mounted before the front-axle. From 1954 the B-series came as B51 and B71, and the BF as BF71 and later BF73. In 1959, the B55, B65 and B75, plus the BF75 were introduced, and were from 1963 available as B56, B66 and B76, plus the BF56 and BF76.
The company's first complete bus model was the rear-engined commuter bus Metropol (C50), which was built in the workshop in Södertälje on licence from the Mack C50 in 1953-1954 for customer Stockholms Spårvägar. It was followed in 1955 by the slightly shorter city bus version Capitol (C70/C75/C76), which was manufactured until 1964. In 1959, the front-engined CF-series was introduced with the CF65 and CF75 (later CF66 and CF76), and in 1965 the rear-engined CR76 was introduced as a replacement for the Capitol. The CF-series was built until 1966, but was relaunched as a body-on-chassis product under the new Scania name in 1968. In 1967, the coachwork manufacturer Svenska Karosseri Verkstäderna (SKV) in Katrineholm was acquired. All production of complete buses soon moved there.
Scania-Vabis at some point in their history also manufactured trucks in Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, South-Korea, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and the United States.
For some time Daimler-Benz waged a 'logo war' with Scania-Vabis, claiming a possible confusion between the Scania-Vabis 'pedal crank' design featuring on Scania bicycles around 1900 and the Mercedes 'three-pointed star'. In 1968, Daimler-Benz won and the Scania-Vabis logo changed to a simple griffin's head on a white background, and 'Vabis' was dropped from the name.
- Scania-Vabis CLb/CLc (1911–1927)
- Scania-Vabis DLa (1911–1926)
- Scania-Vabis ELa (1912–1926)
- Scania-Vabis FLa (1911–1924)
- Scania-Vabis GLa (1914–1923)
- Scania-Vabis 314/324/325 (1925–1936)
- Scania-Vabis 335/345/355 (1931–1944)
- Scania-Vabis L10/L40/L51 (1944–1959)
- Scania-Vabis L20/L60/L71 (1946–1958)
- Scania-Vabis L75/L76 (1958–1968)
- Scania-Vabis L55/L56/L66 (1959–1968)
- Scania-Vabis L36 (1964–1968)
Many historical Scania-Vabis vehicles (and also Vabis and Scania vehicles) are on display in the Marcus Wallenberg-hallen (the Scania Museum) in Södertälje.
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|Heavy duty trucks||335/345||L66|
chassis (above axle)