Awesome Classic Commercial Vehicles

The Michael Banfield Collection

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014


 1915 Peerless TC4 4-Ton Open Back

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This sale from Bonhams includes quite a number of really awesome commercial vehicles. I don’t have enough time to feature them individually, but because they’re so cool (and you so rarely see them at auction), I thought I’d do two posts that cover the coolest among them (which is pretty much all of them).

This truck is from one of America’s premier luxury car manufacturers. They started building trucks in 1911 and the U.S. Army loved them. The British government bought 12,000 of them between 1915 and 1918, during the First World War. This thing uses a 6.8-liter four-cylinder and was in service with the British government until 1956. It’s beautiful. And it should sell for between $34,000-$42,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $72,173.


1922 Tilling-Stevens TS3A Open Top Double Deck Bus

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Thomas Tilling operated a very large horse-drawn omnibus service in London beginning in 1847. They built their first motor buses in 1911. W.A. Stevens invented a hybrid gas-electric bus and joined Tilling during the 1910s. That’s right, this thing is a hybrid.

This 1922 TS3A was a new model, replacing the original Tilling buses. The gas engine is a 5.7-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower (click here for some crazy technical details). The bus will seat 48 (22 inside and 26 outside).

Banfield rescued this thing from a scrapyard and began the restoration in 1972. It wasn’t finished until 2007. It is the last surviving example of a TS3A. If you’ve always wanted a red, London double-decker, here’s one of the first. It should sell for between $150,000-$190,000.

Update: Sold $367,295.


 1914 Leyland S-Type 30CWT Dropside

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This is a World War One truck. It is thought that this one served with the Irish Army. Leyland started commercial vehicle production in 1896 (steam-powered), moving to gasoline in 1904. The S-Type was new for 1912 and was available in two versions.

This is the “Subsidy B” version – which essentially means it has a smaller engine. In this case, it’s a 30 horsepower four-cylinder. About 6,000 of these were built during the war alone. Leyland bought many of them back after the war, recommissioned them, and sold that at a loss (it was a smarter strategy than it sounds). This this is 100 years old, and that means so is WWI. That is crazy.

This truck should bring between $25,000-$34,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $46,815.


1919 Garford Model 25 Open Back

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

White tires on a commercial truck!? Are you crazy? I love it. Garford was an American truck company based in Elyria, Ohio (near Cleveland), that began production in 1909. In 1925, the company changed their name.

This was a truck that Garford sent to Europe during the War. It uses a 3.4-liter straight-four. The Model 25 was new for 1919 and this one is a driver. It should sell for between $37,000-$51,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $41,913.


1918 Crossley 20/25HP RFC Van

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This pretty delivery van is from U.K.-based Crossley Motors, which was in business from 1906 through 1958. When WWI started, Crossley turned almost all of their production solely toward the war effort. The van you see here is an RFC Van – it was used by the Royal Flying Corps – although its build date of 1918 suggests that it could have been surplus from the get-go.

The engine is a 4.5-liter straight-four making 20/25 horsepower. The 20/25 model was the longest-lived Crossley model, being produced from 1909 through 1925. This example is very nice. It can be yours for between $47,000-$54,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $89,729.


1913 Merryweather Fire Engine

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Merryweather & Sons is the world’s oldest fire-fighting equipment manufacturer, tracing its origin all the way back to 1692. Their first self-propelled fire engine came in 1899 (it was steam-powered).

The truck you see here is powered by an Aster engine – a monstrous 8.6-liter straight-four to be exact. It also has some serious pumping equipment on it and the restoration still holds up magnificently. Looking at it, you can see differences between old American and old British fire engines. It’s kind of a weird thing to notice. This should sell for between $76,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $126,027.


1913 Wolseley CR-Type

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Wolseley was part of Vickers in 1913 and the mechanicals of this truck carry the Vickers name. The CR-Type was introduced in 1913 and competed directly against the Leyland “Subsidy B” truck we featured above.

It uses an 8.5-liter straight-four making 35 horsepower. This is believed to be the only surviving Wolseley commercial chassis, which makes it kind of a big deal. It has been “authentically” restored and presents a great opportunity for a new owner, who will have to pay between $47,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,012.


1915 Fiat Tipo 2B Station Bus by J&H Ricketts

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

A station bus is exactly what it sounds like: a bus used at train stations. This is essentially a larger, more luxurious version of the fairly common Ford Model T Depot Hack. They moved people and some luggage around the train station or took people to and from.

The Tipo 2 was new for 1910 with the 2B introduced in 1912. It uses a 2.8-liter straight-four and was in production through 1921. The 2B could be had as a road car or a light commercial – as you see here. This example was bodied in London and can carry 10 people. It’s very nice. It should sell for between $51,000-$67,000. Click here for more and here for the rest of the Banfield Collection.

Update: Sold $46,815.


1929 Bean 14HP 14-Seat 30CWT Omnibus by Birch Brothers

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | June 7, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s a bonus! It’s not from the Banfield Collection but from that collection of Bean automobiles we talked about in another recent post. The 14HP model was introduced in 1924. They were generally passenger cars.

But this is a commercial vehicle. It uses the 2.7-liter, 14 horsepower straight-four from the range, but the body was actually commissioned by an independent bus operator. The bus can seat 14 people and was displayed for a while at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. It does run and drive and should sell for between $51,000-$59,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $42,574.

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