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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Thu 16 Nov 2023

Big Cat Restoration is a Beauty

Our friend Alex from Canada who runs the Vantagetes YouTube channel paid a visit to the incredible Earthmoving Legacy Center in Elkader, Iowa, USA back in the summer, and during his time there got to check out their fully restored Caterpillar 660 motor scraper.

Big Cat Restoration is a Beauty

The Cat 660 is essentially the single engine version of Catepillar’s legendary 666 twin engine model. Its probably around 45 years since the last examples of these giants rolled off the production line and even more incredible is that a decent number of those machines are still out there earning their keep around the world, such is the durability of these old machines.

This example looks to have a 650 bowl with the 660 tractor unit. Powered by a single Cat D346 V8 diesel engine, the machine had a power output rating of 450hp, and featured a 40 cubic yard struck/54 cubic yard heaped capacity bowl, it was designed for high-speed working over long distances with very few grades, more often than not pushed by tandem DD9G pushers.

From my research 109 examples of this model were produced before an upgrade and in 1969 they launched the 660B which featured an uprated engine, the Cat D346TA which was now putting out 550 flywheel horsepower, and the then recently developed Caterpillar 8-speed semi-automatic powershift transmission.

One has to say, this machine is a superb example and the restoration is simply stunning, the distinctive black smoke plume as she powers up would probably see Greta Thunberg having a meltdown, but classic heavy equipment fans, just love the sight and sounds of these lumbering giants, enjoy the video!

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