1952 Wisconsin Truck "Babe"
Wisconsin Truck’s “Babe” (named after a mythical northwoods ox) was introduced in 1952 to fill consumer demand for a vehicle that could tow greater payloads. Available in three trims, these trucks used a ladder frame, suspended by locking solid axles with progressive coils at the front and multi-leaves at the rear. Fifteen inch wheels carried 195 section M+S tires, over big heavy duty 11.8 inch drum brakes. A wide ratio four speed equipped with a PTO hooked to a transfer case and powered all four wheels. An engine oil cooler and heavy duty radiator dissipate heat. Power was supplied by a 7.9L ohv inline 6 adapted from WT’s fire truck, equipped with a two barrel carb and twin mufflers for quiet cruising. These trucks feature just two seats, thanks to the large transmission tunnel, and were conservatively rated at 2 tons.
The HD was equipped with towing gears, making it capable of pulling 2.5 tons (5000 lbs) at speeds of up to 46 mph. Slow by today’s standards, it must have seemed a rocket ship to farmers used to towing with a tractor. It was equipped with basic vinyl interior trim and no radio.
The Deluxe carried longer gears, good to 75mph with a tow rating of 1.5 tons. Oriented more to long distance hauling, it had a more comfortable cloth interior and a radio.
Top of the line “Big Blue” series trucks were fitted with value added premium leather seats and a standard AM radio, as well as a 7.0L variant of the Windigo ohv V12. Big Blue could tow 4526lbs, and topped out at 80mph.
An expensive truck, Babe nevertheless provided the payload and towing capacity that its customers couldn’t do without; sales grew over the years along with its reputation as a reliable workhorse.