Bernard

(AWD Truck Manufacturers, history, logo, PADRES DEL AUTO)

Bernard The first Bernard was 11/2 to 2 tonner and was shown at the 1923 Paris Salon it had a 2.6 litre 4 cylinder side valve petrol engine. In 1926 a 21/2 tonner was added to the range and this was quickly followed by a bonnetted drop frame high speed coach built along American lines. By 1929 when the company was re registered as Camions Bernard it was assembling its own 3.6 and 5.2 litre engines and a series of bonnetted goods models was announced developed from the passenger model using a straight frame version of the passenger chassis and obtaining its low loading qualities from the use of extremely deep and low slung chassis frame side members. In 1932 Bernard launched the 61/2 ton F8 model with a 6.8 litre petrol engine, 5 speed overdrive box and hydraulic brakes. A licence was acquired to manufacture the British Gardner diesel engine in 70 bhp 4 cylinder and 100bhp 6 cylinder forms and by 1934 a 3 cylinder version had been developed for use in medium weight chassis.
In 1935 Bernard stopped supplying petrol engines and production went over to only diesel and a 12 - 15 ton 6 wheeler model was announced which was also their first model to have servo brakes fitted. After World War 2 Bernard discontmued production of the passenger models and concentrated solely on goods vehicles with 4 and 6 wheel configurations and by 1950 new options included full air brake systems and a 12.1 litre engines. A 200bhp V8 diesel engine was introduced in 1958 as was the Elephant a weird off road tractor with track type steering. In 1960 a bellows type air suspension system was tried and the goods vehicle range now covered capacities of 19 to 35 tons. Wrap around windscreens on bonnetted models and a futuristic dual headlamp forward control cab by Philippe Charbonneaux were brought in to make Bernards more competitive. To improve performance engine capacity was increased and 10 speed transmissions were introduced. In 1963 the company was bought out by Mack Trucks of America and renamed Automobiles Bernard in 1964. Whilst the existing Bernard range continued some interesting hybrids were developed and sold under the Mack-Bernard name but the association was not a success and the company was closed down in 1966.

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