Swiss Cab-Forward Jeep


Jeep Forward Control cab-over-engine trucks built by Willys and Kaiser Jeep from 1957-65 were the basis for a number of fire apparatus conversions (see Forward Control Fire Trucks on CJ3B.info.) When FC production stopped in 1965, Swiss coachbuilder Zanzi realized there was still a demand for a small cab-over-engine truck, and filed a patent for a truck built on a Jeep CJ-5 chassis.

Switzerland A Zanzi model with significant rear overhang was advertised primarily as a personnel carrier for applications including firefighting. It's seen here carrying a driver and eleven passengers, and pulling a pump trailer.

Personnel transport The Zanzi design was clearly inspired by the Jeep Forward Control trucks, but built entirely with flat body panels on a CJ-5 chassis supplied by Kaiser Jeep.

Rear view A Jeep-Zanzi brochure with text in Italian, French and German refers to this model as the Furgon Combi Wagon. The name Furgon ("van" in Italian and Spanish) may have been adopted from the Furgon one-ton van (100K JPEG) built in Spain on a Jeep Comando chassis from about 1963-83.

The brochure calls the Furgon an "indispensable and irreplaceable multi-purpose vehicle for fire departments, business, construction and agriculture." It says all Jeep-Zanzi models can tow up to 5540 kg. and includes a photo of a Furgon pulling a small Jeep trailer in an industrial setting (320K JPEG).

Hubert Cossard drawing In response to the new, slightly larger CJ-5 introduced by American Motors in 1972, Zanzi updated their design as well as the dimensions of their fleet. They also made use of the CJ-6 chassis for a longer wheelbase model with both a large cab and a utility bed, seen here in drawings by Hubert Cossard. This would have made a good platform for a fire apparatus conversion, but I have not seen any examples.

Hubert Cossard drawing

Pickup The approach angle provided by the bumperless design is displayed in this photo from the brochure.

Hubert Cossard drawing This Cohu drawing shows the early, soft top configuration of the basic Zanzi CJ-5 utility pickup. There are some similarities to the bodywork developed in France in 1961 for the Cournil Jeep Tractor, on a CJ-3B chassis.

As with the Cournil in France, the market for the Jeep-Zanzi in Switzerland dried up in the 1970s, as cheaper Japanese import trucks became available.

Hubert Cossard drawing

Carrozzeria Zanzi Carozzeria Zanzi ("Bodyworks Zanzi") was located in Locarno, an Italian-speaking town at the foot of the Alps in southern Switzerland, in the canton of Ticino.

This picture appears to show that options for the Jeep-Zanzi included a dump bed.

Thanks to Jan Hogendoorn for the brochure, and Hubert Cossard for the drawings. -- Derek Redmond

See more Swiss apparatus in Jeep FC Fire Engines Around the World.

Return to Fire Service Jeeps.

FacebookVisit CJ3B.info on Facebook.

CJ3B Home | Contents | Search | Links | 3A and 3B Community

Last updated 15 April 2021 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond