Tata 407 can be termed as a Tata Ace of 80’s. Similar to Tata Ace, it was a new segment creator. If Tata Ace had taken credit to obsolete three wheeler trucks, 407 almost killed the imported LCV range – Eicher Mitsubishi Canter, DCM Toyota Dyna. If Tata Ace driver’s had a better social status of driving mini truck in comparison to Auto rickshaw’s, 407 drivers had the privilege to drive a bigger, safer truck – as the semi forward cab design was promoted as a safety design. In both cases, more than 50% of the purchases were from Owner cum drivers.
407 which was manufactured from Pune facility, was priced comparatively cheaper and had a nation wide service. 407 was powered by 497 Natural aspirated engine, developed in reference from 6 cylinder, 697 engine (again 697 was based on Mercedes Benz OM 352).
Tata 407 was a run away success and sold over 8500 trucks in just 20 months of launch. Semi-forward design was promoted as a safety to driver and it had instant reception too. During the launch, 407 had a GVW of 4800 Kgs and subsequently increased to 5300 Kgs. The earlier models didn’t even had I section front axle beams instead had a simple, round section. This advertisement was released during 1987, which claims the choice of Aluminium load body as an option. Tata had a network of 146 dealers/service centres across India at that time. Another big USP was 407 was offered with Unlimited Kms warranty for 12 months. Tata 407 is one of the icons of Indian CV Industry and the King has now crossed more than 25 years of existence.
Further there were variants based on the same platform like 608, 709. Those were with 6 cylinder, 697 engines and these trucks were promoted for fire engines, with PTO option was also sold in tipper variants. The axles were new and wide with twin tyre rear axle.
All Pic credits to respective owners.