- Written by webmin
A few months back, Donnelly reviewed Louk Markham’s book on Crown Coach Corporation, and we thought at least one of the images presented there was worth another look. While Crown was best known for its buses, it also pursued some prototype work through the years. One of those prototypes, the Wide-Trac built for Kaiser Industries in 1960, featured an all-aluminum body.
The caption in Markham’s book states that Kaiser had the Wide-Trac built for consideration by the U.S. Army, but we can’t find a mention of it at all in Crismon’s exhaustive book on U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. In addition, the two-tone paint and lettering on the cab suggest that this was built for civilian use; to go a little further, they also suggest Brooks Stevens may have had a hand in the Wide-Trac’s design (though we see no mention of it at all in Adamson’s “Industrial Strength Design”).
We also have to wonder if this might have been built on the Willys XM443 platform. That cab-forward four-wheel-drive design also used an all-aluminum body and was evaluated by the Army in the late 1950s. Perhaps Kaiser had a few of those left over from military testing and commissioned Stevens and Crown to whip up a little utility vehicle for use around Kaiser’s facilities?