We’re used to finding abandoned Mercedes passenger cars, but heavy-duty trucks with the three-pointed star emblem on the hood are a much rarer sight. Mercedes has traditionally built fewer trucks than cars, and a lot of the brand’s behemoths were sent off to retire in sunny North Africa after being worked to the bone on the Old Continent.
Located on the outskirts of a remote village in the French Alps, the 1413 L-Series pictured below was sold new in 1966 in the Savoie department, several hundred miles away from where it is sitting today. There are no traces of how the truck spent the first few years of its life but a metal plaque riveted to the sheetmetal below the driver’s seat indicates a company called Savoie Technique installed a hydraulic crane on March 3rd, 1975.
An electrical fire that started in front of the driver-side wheel appears to have taken the truck out of commission. There are no registration or insurance stickers to tell when it was last driven but it looks like it has been sitting in the same spot for quite a few years.
As the last photo in the gallery below shows, the 1413 is ending its days by itself next to a Renault R2087 that served in the French army. Stay tuned, the R2087 will be the subject of next week’s “Rust in Peace” article.