On board, two army crews from French civil security units.
The winning VLRA truck in 1981. Useful load, 2.5 tonnes, maximum speed 90 kph, 6 cylinders, 22 litres/100 km, range of 1600 km. 200-litre drinking water tank.
One of them was forced to pull out while the other, driven by Captain Villette, Adjutant Gabrelle and Adjutant Voillereau, won the race by a good margin although they were constantly stopping to help other competitors in difficulty. Out of the 250 vehicles that began the race, including 162 4-wheel drives, only 44 crossed the finishing line.
The VLRAs performed remarkably well, with only one puncture and one radiator leak. For ACMAT, it was a convincing way to demonstrate the vehicle’s excellent resistance.
For further information...
Video of the first Paris Dakar rally in 1978 : Dakar (2008, 20 decembre), Paris-Dakar acte 1 [on-line video], available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFGuXtZ4QgM
Image source : Site Acmat St Nazaire