Ready to roll!
Transport Magazine

Ready to roll!

Lauritz Harms had to wait a long time: but he can now finally take his LPS out onto the roads.

Lauritz Harms shares his passion for classic vehicles with his father. The youngster started working on his own LPS 2232 truck while still at school. On his 21st birthday, he opened up a new chapter in his life.

Lauritz Harms puts all his effort into it. It’s not easy to turn the LPS 2232 when its three-axle semitrailer is coupled up. The semitrailer tractor unit from 1973 does have power steering, but it is still really hard work – and it’s not helped by the exterior mirrors which, by today’s standards, are tiny.

It’s surprising to see a twenty-one-year-old sitting at the wheel of a truck that is almost fifty years old. After all, the LP was already a classic truck when Lauritz Harms was born. But when you know the family, you understand him better. His father Uwe has had a passion for historic trucks for decades, and Lauritz was there right from the beginning. “When it was time to go off on a trip, the child seat was on the co-driver’s seat,” Uwe Harms reminisces.

At the age of sixteen, Harms Junior wanted to restore his own truck; but he didn’t want a truck from his own childhood – which would have been the first-generation Actros. Instead, it had to be a 1970s LP. Even before Lauritz Harms had passed his car driving licence, there was a machine-green LPS 2226 in the family’s garage. As soon as possible, he took his category C driving licence. With this, he was already allowed to drive his father’s reduced-load tractor unit. Then, on his 21st birthday came a sort of independence day for him: Harms was finally allowed to drive with a semitrailer, without any restrictions at all.

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Great minds think alike: Uwe Harms and son Lauritz are united by their love of classic vehicles.
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A new feature at the time: the ability to tilt the cab to carry out service work.
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The LPS 2226 now no longer looks like it used to. While waiting for his “real” driving licence, the trained vehicle mechatronics specialist had been keenly working away on the truck.

Technology.

Year of construction:
1972
Engine:
OM 403
Displacement:
15,950 cm3
Output:
235 kW (320 hp)
Cylinder arrangement:
V10
Transmission:
ZF synchronised transmission S-6-90

First, the paint colour is striking: painted in the grey colour code DB 7178, Lauritz Harms’ LPS now joins the family fleet – his great-grandfather chose that colour for his trucks.

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Grey and red: his grandfather used to drive trucks in the same colours.
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Grey and red: his grandfather used to drive trucks in the same colours.
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Grey and red: his grandfather used to drive trucks in the same colours.

But more than that: Lauritz Harms changed the cab for the long version including a bed for overnight stays. And the classic vehicle fan even worked on the truck’s beating heart: “A gearbox restoration specialist had an OM 403 for sale that had only done 9,000 operating hours. He’d only used it as a stationary engine to test transmissions.” The young Lauritz Harms bought it and transformed the 2226 into a 2232. Getting the correct identification plates on the truck was also a matter of doing honour to the vehicle. Lauritz Harms placed great emphasis on having everything in-tune with the truck’s original state.

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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Back to the 1970s: this is how a modern truck was equipped at the time.
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Change of engine, change of badge.

“In the thick of Hamburg’s traffic with the three-axle semitrailer – that alone is a true experience.”

Lauritz Harms

Now the young hobby trucker has driven his first kilometres, and he has even battled through Hamburg’s city traffic with the three-axle semitrailer. “That was a real experience,” says Lauritz Harms. That goes for manoeuvring the classic truck in general too. The tractor unit is now parked where he wanted it. Then Harms switches off the V10 and climbs down. The lettering on the front doors shows everyone that the next Harms generation is now on the road.

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The LPS 2232.

Launched in 1970, the LPS 2232 saw the cubic model series expanded by the OM 403 V10 engine. The cab was also redesigned and can now be tilted forwards for servicing. A year after the launch of the tipper and platform truck variants, the ten-cylinder truck also became available as three-axle vehicle combinations. For easy off-road operation there was a version with the 6×4 axle configuration, with both rear axles as driven axles. 

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Photos: Christoph Börries
Video: Alexander Tempel