Right through this little trio of my Top 3 Astran liveried trucks of all time, I have stated that the 3 were in no particular order, but as it’s my rules I can change them when I like. In my opinion this is the greatest Astran liveried truck of all time….NVW 484P, Scania 140 V8 6×4. You can’t get a better looking truck than this…….can you??
WARNING I WILL BE GETTING ALL ROMANTIC SHORTLY!! This photo comes to me care of the one and only author of “The Long Haul Pioneers“, Sir Ashley Coghill, but the photo it’s self is taken by Destination Doha assistant director Simon Normanton, what a truly great photo. Would a clear modern day digital photo give quite as much atmosphere as this?? I think not.
Where to start with my reasonings behind this being my 3rd choice in my top 3 Astran trucks of all time. As in Part One and Part Two of my choices, I can’t do much more than to ask you to take a good hard look at the photo, it’s all there. I guess really my choice of NVW 484P is pretty well based on it pulling this trailer in Destination Doha (where did this trailer end up?). Its got every thing that it should have (ready??); it’s dirty, roughed up wheels and mud flaps, roof rack and air con box, leaking fuel cap, TIR and GB on the bumper, dust pouring from the wheels, legendary driver and I know I can’t put it on here but I can just hear Dave Poulton talking away in the cab in DD and being able to hear the V8 just purring away as they head ever East. Being an ex owner of a Scania 141, for all you Scania fans who haven’t driven a 140 or a 141, you just have too. The shear joy of pressing the starter button and getting that first growl of the day, is just amazing! I think what ever the previous day had thrown at me in the depths of the desert, pressing that button the morning after a crap day must be so so reassuring. By the way right now I am wishing I had done the ME in this truck, just purrrrfect! Look out for the first time in blog history I’m going to use the same photo twice!
This photo was taken during the filming of Destination Doha. Ashley Coghill says;
“Dave Poulton at the wheel thundering across Jordan’s infamous H4 desert route to Saudi Arabia. Simon Normanton was assistant director for the BBC film Destination Doha and took many stills during the making of the film. This image has to be THE best and most iconic shot of a Scania 140 in full flight!”
It’s a brave man who will disagree with Ashley. I think of top of it being the best photo of a Scania 140 in full flight I think it also sums up the whole Middle East run. Hard trucks, hard men doing a hard job. We can all get a bit blase these days looking at the great romance of it all, but please please dont forget it wasn’t all glory. As the very proud owner of the late great Dick Snow’s diary (luckily for me he was a relation of mine), as used in Ashley’s book, you get a feel that some of the daily entries were written with great feeling.The endless days sat in a scorching hot desert at a customs post, having run out of food. Driving up a solid ice road, in the pitch dark up a mountain in darkest Turkey. These trucks were made for the job and hopefully to make it that much easier for all those legendary men who did one of the toughest jobs in the world at the time. In all honesty if we were to still use the same roads today, can you honestly say for what ever reason that a modern Scania V8 R730, would be able to cope with the Ice clad mountains and roadless deserts?? Again I think not. The computers wouldn’t keep up and there would be no chance of doing day to day running repairs and as for all the dust getting in every sensor imaginable, need I go on? The old 140’s or 141’s can also push on at 60mph if required and have no didgtach that are going to beep at you left right and centre.
This is photo is credited to the man himself Dave Poulton, but not from Destination Doha! Even in this pic you can see “the look”, the 6×4 always looks more trucky than a 4×2. Seen here pulling a tilt through Turkey. Note the lack of bumper spots and the sand shovel in the cab ladder. Case closed, Best Astran Liveried truck ever!! (In my opinion anyway!)
Speaking of which while I was at it, I asked Ashley Coghill for his top 3. You will need to refer to your copy of his book “The Long Haul Pioneers“. His choices are;
3) JLL 686K – Scania 140 Roadtrain
2) 10 RMY – GUY Warrior
1) NVW 484P – Scania 140 6×4
Again an excellent top 3, glad we agree on one truck at least! It would be great if you all wanted to leave your top 3 as comments on this one, come on if you haven’t before then leave a comment now, you have got this far after all!! If not you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org