Racing is all about speed, that’s a known fact. However, beyond the imaginary glare of the spotlight, there are also “race workers” who provide a rather thankless job compared to racing specials – we mean, of course, team trucks and tractors. This vintage Gillig Model 590 may be one of them.
A bit of history
The Gillig brothers founded the company as early as 1890, with headquarters in San Francisco, USA. Initially, the company operated purely as a body shop. It was the very beginnings of motoring, so these companies were not doing badly at the time – many car manufacturers even supplied customers with only the rolling chassis itself, so in many cases you couldn’t do without a body shop.
The company eventually began to grow and eventually began building its own buses, especially school buses – eventually, circa the 1930s, the Gillig school buses became so “sloppy” that the company concentrated solely on their production.
They were not idle even during the Second World War, when the company provided the American army with so-called “victory cars”, specially modified buses especially for transporting soldiers between individual bases. After the war, the company already became the leader in North America, until the 70s of the last century, when the market began to shrink.
The reason was the declining demand for school buses, so at the end of the 1980s the company concentrated on the production of regular buses. Which remains with her to this day.
We would very much like to tell you, dear readers, that this is the original logistical helper of the racing teams of the time, but it is not. However, the inspiration is quite evident here, and that’s only good. This particular 1963 Gillig Model 590 has been rebuilt and restored to accurately match the period trucks that transported Porsche race teams in days gone by.
The conversion was surprisingly extensive – the bus received an all-new aluminum alloy body, custom-made Budd aluminum wheels and a 7.0L inline six-cylinder diesel engine.
Retro style with modern technology
It was supplied by Detroit Diesel and provides 231 horsepower and a particularly useful 830 Nm of torque, paired with an Allison automatic transmission.
The aluminum body received a red spray corresponding to the iconic red color of the Porsche Guards Red brand, the lower part of the body was sufficient with transparent paint. Naturally, however, the white Porsche decals on the sides and the brand emblem itself must not be missing.
You pay for quality
Although the car is designed in a great retro style and gives the impression that it corresponds exactly to its period counterparts, some modern technology has made its way here – which in this case is not a bad thing. So there is modern air conditioning, Cummins diesel generators and side and rear parking cameras on board. The interior floor is made of black walnut and the ramps are made of aluminum alloy.
At the time of the advertisement, this retro truck was located in Atlanta, Georgia, and the new owner ended up paying a hard-to-believe $275,000 (approx. 6.6 million crowns) for it. So there is a high probability that it will after all see logistics in the field of motorsport – although probably in private hands.