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1959 Meili Flextrac (Flex-Trac)

 

(Metrac in USA, Flexmobil at Kässbohrer)

Available on Ebay, search for Siku V167

After many detours, a six-wheeled, all-terrain prototype from 1943 finally evolved via the Metrac into the snow groomer as we know it today. 

Detailed information can be found in the Meili Book.

Meili Flextrac Flexmobil Metrac

Flextrac at Meili and JCB (UK)

Flexmobil at Kässbohrer (GER)

Metrac at Clark and Condec (USA)

Leaflets from 1959

Meili Kässbohrer Flexmobil
Meili Flextrac
Meili JCB Flex-Trac

Prototype shown at the Comptoir Lausanne 1943

Meili Flextrac Metrac Prototype

The mechnism of the Metrac was developed in several stages

Meili Flextrac Metrac Mechanism
Meili Flextrac Metrac
Meili Flextrac Metrac
Meili Flextrac Metrac
Meili Flextrac Metrac

Meili Lizenz: Kässbohrer Flexmobil Generation 1 and 2

Meili Flextrac Kässbohrer Flexmobil
Meili Flextrac Kässbohrer Flexmobil

The Flextrac was called Flexmobil in Germany and Metrac in the USA. The Flextrac was not mass-produced in Europe. The Unimog cost half as much and was sufficient for the army in terms of off-road capability.

Meili Flextrac Kässbohrer Flexmobil
M 561 Gama Goat

The Metrac became the M561 Gama Goat, with a production run of around 15,000 units. The Gama Goat was a simplified version of the Metrac. It had three rigid axles, with the rear and front axles being steerable.

 

The Meili prototype, which was sent to the USA for testing purposes and as the Gama Goat template, still exists. It is part of a vehicle collection in Turkey.

The snow groomer was developed from the Meili Metrac in various steps. On the one hand, Meili itself produced all-terrain tracked vehicles based on the Metrac chassis, and on the other hand, Kässbohrer developed its well-known Pistenbullys.

Meili Snow-Flex Flextrac Metrac
Meili Snow-Flex Flextrac Metrac

Kässbohrer and Meili soon realized that a flexible chassis with caterpillar tracks only caused wear problems, but did not offer any significant advantages. So the rigid tracked chassis, as we know it today as the Pistenbully, became the standard. The names Flexmobil and Snowflex disappeared because of the rigid designs.

Kässbohrer Flexmobil Flextrac Metrac
Meili Multi-Cat Flexmobil
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