by Karl Schnelle
In my last post, I talked about the first Tekno car; now I would like to discuss the last Tekno truck! Volvo came out with their 3-axle FB 88 heavy truck in 1965 and Tekno’s version appeared in their 1968-69 catalog as new and with a photo of the real double-truck (3-axle truck + 2-axle trailer). Their 1970-71 and 1971-72 catalogs showed the actual toy in 2 versions: ASG transport-spedition and transport-spedition.
However, in 1972 a larger 12 liter turbodiesel engine was introduced by Volvo, easily distinguished by its wider black radiator – this was called the FB 89. The same year in August, Tekno Denmark was declared bankrupt and sadly out of business, so the FB 89 never made it into a catalog. This version must have been made for only a few months so could be the very last Tekno truck from Denmark!
I have had a #425 Tekno FB 89 for many years and have heard rumors that Nacoral of Spain copied Tekno’s. So I recently acquired a copy to do the face-to-face comparison. Volvo ended the series in 1977 so I assume the two companies made their 1:50 versions around the same time frame. The orange Nacoral is on the left (below) and the blue Tekno on the right.
The front of the cabs show that the Nacoral has slightly smaller windows and an air intake behind the cab. This version of the Tekno has a signboard (other versions did not). The front bumper design is very different as well. Both cabs tip to reveal the big engine.
The doors of the Nacoral have window frames – more delicate and nicer than the Tekno, I think. the canopy is plastic (Tekno’s is tinplate).
The Tekno has the nice paint job and decals of a real Swedish transport company, ASG. This same version as well as plain ones was released by Tekno Holland and shown in their 77/78 catalog. So The Dutch did acquire the Danish molds for this truck and trailer.
Like the front, the rear ends are different. The rear lights on the Nacoral are plastic lenses, not decals. The design details of the entire rear are different as well. Both have a tow hook for the trailer that both also made to go with the truck.
Finally the undersides reveal several similarities and differences. The truck frames are similar but not identical with plastic parts hanging off on different sides. The Tekno has sophisticated steering while the Nacoral is much simplified with a plain front axle. The printing on the cab is in the same location and the rear suspension is the same design.
Everything so far could be accounted for by two companies making a good quality 1:50 scale toy of the same truck – similarities in the toy design are bound to happen when the prototype is the same thing. However, if you look at the mechanism that hold the rear axle up (not needed when the truck has no load), that extra play feature looks identical. The Tekno has the sliding bar engaged; the Nacoral has the axle free and the bar slid to the right.
In conclusion, I think that Nacoral took the Tekno design as inspiration and improved it (window frames, more detailed front and rear bumpers, etc) but liked the sliding axle mechanism and kept that design exactly as-is. Tekno had it on their FB 88 since 1968, while Nacoral probably introduced theirs around 1973 (source: http://nacoral.jimdo.com/inter-cars/). That’s just my opinion; what do you think?
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