Then aged 28 years, Marius Berliet, buff mechanics, built his first engine in 1894 and its first car in 1895, then it acquired a factory of 5000 m² at Montplaisir and took his industrial expansion. During the First World War, he made 6000 rounds per day and trucks (40 CBA per day in 1916) and 1058 Renault tanks until 1918.  Exclusive manufacturing of heavyweight began in the mid 30s.

The Berliet Company receivership in the Liberation 1944 is returned to the owners in 1949, the year of the death of Marius Berliet. Paul Berliet, his son, who worked in the company, took the reins with the President of the Automobile Marius Berliet, Emile Parfait. 17 trucks per day in 1950, production rose to 140 in 1974.

The range of Berliet trucks, extensive, included road and off-road vehicles, civil and military trucks. All-terrain vehicles were well represented. Four oil exploration trucks T100, the largest in the world at that time, constructed from 1957 to 1959, contributed to the reputation of Berliet, in France and abroad. The GXO 6x6, GPO 6x6 or articulated experimental dumper TX40 4x4, payload 40 t, 4 electric wheels in 1964, constituted an excellent showcase and Berliet became a heavyweight champion.

Key export contracts hands were signed with many countries : Algeria , Morocco , China, Cuba , Poland. An R & D center was established in 1962 and an agreement signed with the Michelin Group in 1967. In 1975, the size of the company, at its peak, was 24 000 people but Berliet was attached to Renault in 1978, Berliet and Saviem became Renault VI. Currently, since 2012, Renault Trucks is a 100% subsidiary of AB Volvo.

 Excellent initiative, Paul Berliet created in 1982 Automobile Foundation Marius Berliet with the aim of preserving and promoting the automotive heritage of the Rhône-Alpes region and the history of the heavyweights in general.

End of 2013, the Foundation had a collection of 300 vehicles including nearly 210 restored on 6000 m² and an archive center of 300,000 documents available by researchers. An open door (which actually lasts half a day) is held every year.

Married and with a numerous progeny, Paul Berliet was decorated with several awards, especially the Legion of Honor which he was an Officer since 1975. France-China Committee, that he created in 1975 and chaired until 1983 earned him until his last moments, admiration and respect that the Chinese authorities have always shown him in his capacity as "old friend of China". He died in August 2012.

Photos, royalty free, were taken by J.M. Maclou on May 17, 2014 at the Conservatory of Vehicles Marius Berliet Foundation, Le Montellier, France.

 1 latil tar 4x4 1915a

 Latil TAR 4x4, 1915                                      

 renault eg 1915a

 Renault EG 1915, FWD and FWS, These vehicles (with Renault FU, Berliet CBA and Latil TAR) were the glory of the "Holy Path" during WWI, established by the General Doumenc to supply the forehead in food and ammunition.

 berliet cba 1915a

 Berliet CBA 1915, payload 5 t, 25 hp. Four iron wheels allowed it to move on the large uneven terrain of the site of construction of the Venissieux plant.

 4 mack ac 1916

 Mack AC 1916

 5 renault tank ft 17 1917a

 Renault Tank FT 17, 1917

 cleveland tractor company cletrac tractor 1917 on a latil type tp 1916a

 Cleveland Tractor Company, Cletrac Tractor, 1917, on a Latil type TP, 1916

 7 berliet diesel cbac 1932a

 Berliet diesel CBAC, 1932, equipped wood skidding. Total mass 6 t, 35 km/h, winch with 4 gears.

 8 laffly s 35 tl 1937a  

Laffly S 35 TL, 6x6, 1937. This Laffly was converted into a forestry vehicle.

 9 laffly s 20 tl 1940  

Laffly S 20 TL, 1940

 laffly w15t 1940a  

Laffly W15T, 1940, low vehicle, built also by Hotchkiss and Citroën. 65 hp, 51 km/h.


11 latil tl 10 for forestry 1948a

Latil TL 10 for forestry built from 1948 to 1955. FWD and FWS, locking differentials front and rear. Total mass 4 t. Force of the winch of 5,000 kg and automatic anchoring spade.

12 tracteur vigneron richard continental 1949a

Tracteur Vigneron Richard Continental, 1949. Type CD 40 built until 1955. 40 hp, 3900 kg, Continental brand was born in 1940 near Lyon, France. Then, Richard Frères Co. produced tracked tractors for agriculture, Industry and Army from 30 to 300 hp. Competition came from Caterpillar, International, Allis Chalmers and many others.

latil type tl 1924 and type h2 ftr 1949a

Middle : Latil type TL, 1924 snowplow : FWD and FWS. Scraper made by Ets De Giorgio of St Claude, Jura. Right :  the classic rear axle of Latil. On left : Latil type H2 FTR, 1949 snowplow : FWD and FWS. Blade made by Ets Durand of Seyssinet, Isère. Latil Company, founded in 1898 and forerunner of driven and steered front axle, became part of RVI, Renault Véhicules Industriels, later Renault Trucks, and now belonging 100% to Volvo AB since 2012.

14 berliet t100 1957a

Berliet T100 N° 1, 1957 for oil work in Sahara. 34 km/h, 700 hp Cummins engine, total mass 103 t. semi-automatic Clark transmission, 3 lockable differentials. It was the biggest truck in the world at that time. From the 4 models built from 1957 to 1959, 2 survive, this one of Foundation M. Berliet and the other at Hassi-Messoud, Algeria.

 berliet type gbc 6x6 gazelle 1958

 Berliet Type GBC 6x6 'Gazelle', 1958. Payload 4 t, Total mass 13500 kg, 125 hp. Conceived for oil work, it was also adopted by French Army and built under license by numerous countries. Missions Tchad and Ténéré in Sahara in 1960 used this truck. Produced at more than 32000 units between 1958 and 1977 at Bourg-en-Bresse, it is considered by some as the most beautiful truck ever built.

 berliet gbu 6x6 1960a

 Berliet GBU 6x6 1960. FlexFuel engine, foredeck double gearing, rear deck triple gearing, 75 km/h. It was built at Monplaisir plant at 796 units whose half is still in service. In 1965, an important license agreement with Popular Republic of China was signed. The GBU/TBU will be produced at Setchouan and GLM at Shangaïwill at 30.000 units each on about 20 years.

 Berliet gbc 8 kt 6x6 1961a  

GBC 8 KT 6x6 is the military version of 'Gazelle'. Produced at Vénissieux from 1961 at 1200 units then at Bourg-en-Bresse from 1965 until 15000 units. Payload 4 t, total mass 12 t, 125 hp.

 berliet gbo 15p 6x6 1962a  

Berliet GBO 15P 6x6, 1962. 45 km/h, payload 45 t, mass 60 t. The back of the bed was inclined to haul the loads thanks to the winch behind the cab. A fifth wheel, choice, could be used  to tow a semi-trailer. The latter could be filed without crutches on the ground to load by this ramp cargo like a bulldozer. The winch was then used to raise the semi and place it on the fifth wheel. 45 units built of GBO 15 6x6 and GBO 15P 6x6 between 1957 and 1960. It was emblematic of oil transport in South Algeria in the region of Hassi-Messaoud.

 19 berliet gbo 15p 6x6 1962 2a  

Berliet GBO 15P 6x6, 1962

 20 berliet t12 8x8 1962a

 Berliet T12, 8x8, 1962. T12 project, early 50s, was moved by a 400 hp oil engine to transport tanks of 50 t on a semi-trailer. It had really off-road capacities. The T12 of 1962 was equipped with the new diesel engine MS1240, a new cab and a Clark hydro-mechanic gear box. Considered too expensive, only one unit was built.


simca unic marmon herrington 4x4 1964

Simca-Unic Marmon-Bocquet SMMB MH 600 BS 4x4. At the end of the 50s, Simca asked to Bocquet Company for the set, Marmon-Herrington for the transmission, and at the bodybuilder Genève to build a prototype. The engine is a V8 Simca Ford, 100 hp, but the consumption (35 l/100) was high. Gear box Simca 8 MHT. Total mass 5300 kg, carrying 12 men. 80 km/h. 6976 units produced from 1964 to 1969 for the Army and to 1973 for civilian units.

22 berliet tco 6x6 1965a

Berliet TCO tow truck, 6x6, 1965, 260 hp, 500 units built for French Army, 1200 for China which, with license, will built 30000 at Tatsu plant, then at Tchianking plant.

23 berliet t45 1967a

Berliet T45 heavy dumper, 1967, 570 hp GM engine, 4x2, total mass 85,5 t, payload 45 t, 96 units built until 1972.

berliet v t e 1969a

Berliet V.T.E., 1968, 8x4, Erector Set Carrier, total mass 72 t, used from 1968 to 1995 on plateau d'Albion for transporting SSBM missiles (ICBM), Program VTE was controlled by Société Aerospatiale, Berliet for the tractor (type TF 8x4) and train wheeler, Latecoère for the box that could be raised at 90°, and Marrel for hydraulics. Built at 3 units, one in 1968 and 2 others in 1972. Lower right picture comes from the Foundation.

berliet gxo 6x6 1970a

Berliet GXO 6x6, born in 1970 was considered as the heir of the four T100 built between 1957 and 1959. GM engine 530 hp, semi-automatic gear box, it reached 60 km/h. Only one unit built whose total mass was 280 t, more than T100. Its semi-trailer was able to transport big oil rigs without disassembly reassembly.

26 sonacome type m210 6x6 proto n 1 1970a

Sonacome type M210, 6x6, proto N° 1, 1970, 210 hp, payload 19 t, total mass 27 t. Created at Rouiba, Algeria, 30 km from Alger, Berliet Algérie became in 1970 Sonacome (Société Nationale de Construction Mécanique) to build 7 types of Berliet trucks. Subsequently renamed SNVI, Mercedes Actros will be soon produced here. Right picture comes from the Foundation.

 27 berliet type vxb 170 4x4 1971a

 Berliet Type VXB 170, 4x4, 1971, armored personal carrier for 12 men, total mass 11,5 t, 170 hp, 80 km/h. 179 units built at Bourg-en-Bresse.

 berliet gbd 4x4 1973  

Berliet GBD, 4x4, 1973. payload 4 t, 185 hp. French Army choose the Saviel SM 8, less powerfull and efficient but cheaper. 20 units built for trial will stay in the Army and Fire men Corp. After Renault Vehicules Industriels (RVI) bought Berliet in 1978, it became TRM 6000.

 30 saviem tp3 mb 39 1975

 Saviem TP3 MB 39, 1975

 renault trm 2000 1983

 Renault TRM 2000 built from 1983 for French Army which required at that time 12 000 of these vehicles but this total probably was not achieved due to defense budget restrictions. 117 hp, carry up to 12 troops, 89 km/h, payload 2,3 t, Total mass 6,3 t.


32 berliet gbc 180 2000a

Berliet GBC 180, 6x6, 2000. payload 5 t, total mass 12,6 t, 175 hp, 87 km/h, range 800 km, consumption 30 l/100. This vehicle is derived from the upgrade of Berliet GBC 8 KT 6x6. 5620 of them were upgraded.

renault trm 700 100 1995

Renault TRM 700-100, 1995. Based on the TRM 10.000, it was conceived to haul Leclerc tank on a semi-trailer. 179 + 121 was ordered for French Army but it did not follow. 700 hp, 50 km/h, range 800 km, 2 winches of 18 t capacity are located behind the cab for loading operations.

 General view 1  

All other pictures are general views of the Conservatory of Véhicles of the Foundation Marius Berliet.

 General view 2  
 General view 3  
 General view 4  
 General view 5  
 General view 6  
 General view 8  
 General view 9  


General view 10                                                                          
General view 11  
General view 12