The Swiss cross-country Metrac - a six-wheeled vehicle that climbs wall, lifts itself over high obstacles and descends steep slopes on an even keel.
Countryside, approach of the two cars.
Approach towards camera, lifting the two front wheels.
Smaller Truck driving over a hill
Close shot of wheels which are being lifted
Drive over two hills
Close shot of hydraulic jacks
Inside the truck
Approach towards two hills
Approach on a stonewall
Slope, downhill driving
Drive over a hill
Slope, downhill driving
In the big truck
Big truck taking two hills
Man sitting in the car
Approach of a stonewall
Climbing over stonewall
climbing from the other side over stonewall
Truck from the back with driver
Fast driving and immediate turning
Both trucks over hill
Drawing room with models
Inventor Ernst Meili with glasses
Free drive on the street, when middle wheels are lifted
Turning in the water
in the water
Trial to climb backwards out of the water
Close shot of wheels
Small car driving into the water
Trial to climb a hill out of the water
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Background: The Swiss cross-country Metrac - a six-wheeled vehicle that climbs wall, lifts itself over high obstacles and descends steep slopes on an even keel. Designed by Ernst Meili, the Metrac has potentialities as a military, expedition or building site vehicle.
All six wheels are powered, by chain, from the front engine. The front and rare wheels are carried on hollow swinging arms pivoted on a central axle. There are four hydraulic jacks, connected to the front and rear wheels, which increase or decrease ground clearance.
When the lorry is confronted by an obstacle the front wheels and cab are hydraulically lifted onto the wall or hill. The rear wheels drive the vehicle forward until the central wheels are on the obstacle, then the hydraulic jacks lift them; the central wheels, gripping the obstacle, then pull the rear wheels onto the wall. While this takes place the front wheels are lowered to the ground on the other side of the obstacle and the lorry drives forward slowly until the rear wheels are clear of the wall or hill and then lowered also.
For deep ditches the procedure is reversed; with a narrow ditch in front the chassis is locked horizontally and the lorry drives across. Descending or ascending steep slopes, one set of wheels is lifted or lowered to keep the Metrac on an even keel.
There are two versions of the Metrac. The larger one, with cab, is powered by a Chevrolet 100 hp engine and has a top speed of about 70mph. The smaller version has a 60 hp Porsche engine and its maximum speed is 40mph.