Goliath GD 750 – three-wheeler truck with a tiny engine was more useful than you’d think

Goliath GD 750 – three-wheeler truck with a tiny engine was more useful than you’d think

Truck is a very important tool for many businesses around the world. In fact, for many businessmen it is difficult to imagine smooth operations and success in a competitive market without a truck. But in some periods in history trucks were difficult to purchase. That is why Goliath GD 750 could be considered one of the saviours of smaller German businesses after WW2.



Goliath company was established in Bremen in 1928. The company made its name by manufacturing small three-wheeler cars and some of them were quite successful. In 1931 Goliath introduced the Pioneer, which became one of the most successful cars in its class. Several thousands of them were sold without much effort. However, as you may imagine, the war paused the car industry. But even after it ended Germany did not look too good.

There were many different body modifications of the Goliath GD 750, but all of them could carry no more than 750 kg os weight. (Wouter Duijndam, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 2.0)

When WW2 was over, people were lacking many things, including hope and economic resources. As years went by, things began looking better and businesses started needing tools for further development. And that is how in 1949 Goliath introduced the new kind of truck – GD 750. It was an affordable small truck with one wheel in the front and a more conventional driven axle in the rear.

Goliath GD 750 today looks tiny, but it was a useful tool back in the 1950’s. (Lothar Spurzem, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 2.0 de)

GD 750 was essentially a pickup truck, but it was also sold as a van. It was what small businesses and farmers needed – an affordable means of transporting goods. Standard GD 750 had a 398 cc two stroke two cylinder engine, which was driving rear wheels through a 4-speed manual gearbox. This tiny engine (it is a truck, after all) produced 14 hp, which was enough to get to around 50 km/h. Presumably, top speed suffered if you loaded your truck too heavy. However, a little more expensive version had a 465 cc engine, which made 15 hp and allowed the GD 750 to reach 55 km/h.

Less than a hundred of these van version were made. (RudolfSimon, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)

A simple pickup truck version of the GD 750 was the most popular, but there were 26 different body options. Stores opted for vans and farmers chose special trucks for carrying cattle. Limited power meant that the maximum load ingcapacity was just 750 kg, hense the name of the truck.

The interior was very simple – GD 750 was a tool and not a luxury vehicle. (Eckhard Henkel, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 3.0 de)

Goliath GD 750 cost around 3.6-4.4 thousand Deutsche marks. It really did spread through the West Germany – around 30 thousand trucks were made until 1955 when the production ceased. In 1958 the Goliath brand also disappeared from the map.

Today GD 750 is just a cool vintage vehicle people restore and keep in their collections. (AlfvanBeem, Wikimedia)

Interestingly, Goliath GD 750 now is a valuable collection piece. Not many survived until today, because people of the period did not value these old trucks. Those who have driven it say that it was actually quite stable, especially if it had more weight at the back, but very slow – 50 km/h is not really the speed modern pickup trucks max out at.



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