Ford Commercial Vehicles

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018


1918 Ford Model TT Fuel Tanker Truck

Photo – Bonhams

Ford wasn’t big on commercial vehicles when they were first founded. There was a Model E (a delivery van from around 1905) and there were work vehicles created using Model T chassis. But, their first true commercial vehicle was the Model TT that went on sale in 1917 and lasted through end of T production in 1927. These were sold as chassis only and were bodied by many other companies and even by some individuals.

It was a one-ton chassis that was longer than a traditional T and it also featured lower gearing for hauling heavier loads (and limited top speed to between 15 and 22 mph). It probably still uses the same 2.9-liter straight-four from the T which would’ve made 20 horsepower. The catalog lists this as a “circa 1917” but 1917 TT production was extraordinarily low, so it’s likely this is actually from 1918 or even a little later.

Bodied as a fuel tanker (in Supertest Petroleum livery), this truck has been on longtime museum display but does sport 1925 Canadian plates. It should sell for between $29,000-$41,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $21,432.


1929 Ford Model AA Bus

Photo – Bonhams

The Model AA was Ford’s commercial chassis based on the Model A road car. It was a significant upgrade over the TT and uses a 3.3-liter straight-four good for 40 horsepower, double that of the outgoing model.

Again sold as a bare chassis (though there were some Ford body designs that could be ordered from outside manufacturers), the AA was bodied to be what the owner needed. This one carries a bus body that has doors down the driver’s side for access to the rows of bench seats. In all, it will hold between 7-11 people, including the driver.

It has canvas windows down the sides that can be rolled up and stowed. It also has the luggage rack on the roof, which gives it the appearance of a vehicle used in exotic locales. This example came to the Netherlands in 1995 and has been on museum display for a while. It should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,506.


1930 Ford Model AA Platform Truck

Photo – Bonhams

This is another example of the Model AA. When commercial vehicles are sold as a bare chassis, the possible body combinations are essentially limitless. If you can imagine it, someone probably had it built.

This one wears a platform truck body and is stacked with barrels to compliment its amusing “Capone Distributing” livery. It sits on the medium wheelbase AA chassis but still uses the 40 horsepower, 3.3-liter straight-four engine. The best part about this truck? Those 1930s-era commercial vehicle wheels.

This one should bring between $18,000-$29,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,185.


1934 Ford Model BB 82 Stake Bed Truck

Photo – Bonhams

The Ford Model B replaced the Model A and was sold between 1932 and 1934. When they replaced the A, they replaced the Model AA commercial chassis too, dubbing the new one – wait for it – the Model BB.

The Model B finally gave its customers some options – namely that they could choose a four-cylinder or V8 engine. And the trucks had the same option. This truck carries the 3.3-liter straight-four that, in Model B form, makes 50 horsepower.

This dually is a stake bed truck and it looks like it was used for quite some time (it carries Dutch registration from 1957). With a little love, it can still be a usable piece of history for $7,000-$9,300. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,395.


1937 Ford 950 Autobus

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Ford bus. I don’t have much information about the model, the Type 950. But it’s got swoopy windswept lines and nice paint (and those great 1930s commercial vehicle wheels).

It’s powered by a V8 engine and has an entrance door on the rear passenger side. There’s a ladder out back that goes over the built-in spare tire to reach to luggage rack on the roof. This would’ve been an ideal intercity bus for the 1930s. It was most recently road-registered in 1937 and the interior looks to be in pretty nice shape. It’s an interesting vehicle and should bring between $35,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,976.

Moon Cloverleaf Roadster

1918 Moon 6-45 Cloverleaf Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Moon Motor Car Company was founded in 1905 in St. Louis, Missouri, by Joseph W. Moon. When I think of Moon cars, I always picture their touring cars and sedans from the early 1920s that featured solid rims. This little Roadster was produced during WWI.

The 1918 Moon line consisted of three models, with the 6-45 being in the middle of the range. It’s powered by a 45 horsepower, Continental straight-six engine. It was missing from their 1919 line, but reappeared in 1920 (albeit, with three more horsepower) when it was dubbed their “Victory” model. This “Cloverleaf” Roadster is so named because it seats three and looks like a three-leaf clover when viewed from above.

When new, this car cost $1,575. The current owner had it restored and the auction catalog dubs it “One of the finest Moons in existence” – which likely means it will be one of the more expensive Moons to be sold at auction. It is also one of only a handful of Moon motorcars to ever been displayed at Pebble Beach. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Milburn Electric

1918 Milburn Electric Light Brougham

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | October 13-15, 2016

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Milburn Wagon Company of Toledo, Ohio, got into the car business in 1914 after decades of wagon building (they’d been around since 1848). Their cars closely resembled those built by other major American electric car manufacturers of the day, such as Detroit Electric and Rauch & Lang, among others.

What set the Milburn apart was that their batteries were on rollers – so you could have a spare set at home and just pull into the garage, roll the spent batteries out of your car, roll a fresh set back in, and be off again. In 1918, three bodies were offered and this one could do 30 mph and 100 miles on a charge. It cost $1,885 when new.

Milburn got into the game a little late – by the time they got up and running, the electric car was on the decline. The last Milburn Electrics were built in 1923. There’s no estimate on this car, but there’s no reserve either. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson in Vegas.

Update: Sold $33,000.

National Highway Six

1918 National Highway Six Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Nowadays when companies choose their names they have to think about thinks like “search engine optimization.” Obviously, back in 1900, SEO wasn’t a thing – otherwise the National Automobile & Electric Company may have chosen a different brand name to take to market, as “National” is pretty generic and doesn’t produce great Google results.

But anyway, I am a big fan of cars from about 1916 through the early 1920s. They more or less all look the same: four door tourers with wooden spoke wheels and a nice big radiator cap and MotoMeter out front. National built cars in Indianapolis between 1901 and 1924. The Highway Six was built between 1916 and 1920 and used a 5.0-liter straight-six making 41 horsepower.

This car is mostly original and has been restored “as-needed.” Bonhams sale at the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia has been an awesome source of unrestored old cars for a few years now. This is a nice find. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Sold $28,050.

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

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1918 Crossley Van

1918 Crossley 20/25HP RFC Van

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

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.

Bianchi Roadster

1918 Bianchi Tipo 12 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Hendon, U.K. | April 28, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Edoardo Bianchi founded his bicycle company in 1885. Automobiles came in 1899 and early cars were luxurious. The factory was destroyed during WWII, and post-war, his name (and company) became most famous as part of Autobianchi.

By the second decade of the twentieth century, Bianchi was the second largest Italian automobile manufacturer. The Tipo 12 came about near the end of WWI. It uses a 1.7-liter straight-four making about 25 horsepower. As sporty as this early racer looks, it’s only good for about 50 mph.

This car has been in a private collection for the last decade and is really quite rare. It’s small and has the bodywork of an early competition car. It can be yours for between $66,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Historics at Brooklands, March 2017, $21,347 (and listed as a Tipo 16)

Early Four-Wheel-Drive Truck

1918 FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 22, 2014

FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

In 1908, Otto Zachow and William Besserdich built a four-wheel drive car they called the “Battleship.” This led to the more-or-less immediate founding of their Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company. In 1909 they began producing cars under the FWD (for “Four-Wheel Drive”) marque. They dropped “Badger” from the company name in 1910.

The military loved four-wheel drive trucks so the company, sensing a huge opportunity (and perhaps an oncoming war) switched to just truck manufacture. They introduced two prototypes as war started raging in Europe. The U.S. didn’t place any orders, so FWD demo’d the truck for the U.K. where they did get an order. By 1916 the U.S. had come around and placed huge orders for a company that, up to this point, had only built about two dozen vehicles.

The Model B was one of the workhorses of the Allied powers during WWI. Production was about 3,000 for the U.K., 82 for Russia, and 14,473 for the U.S. They are powered by a 36 horsepower, straight-four engine. On the correct solid rubber tires on which this example rides, the truck could reach speeds of 16 mph.

After the war, many of these trucks were sold as surplus and entered service doing just about everything else in the civilian realm. That’s how awesome examples like this managed to survive. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $23,000.

1918 Cadillac Coupe

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 7, 2013

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Coupe

I think this is a very good-looking car. Cadillac has long touted that they are the “Standard of the World” and it’s early cars like this that make you believe it. Yes, they produced cars with twice as many cylinders, but this was one of the first big-engined road cars you could buy.

Cadillac’s L-Head V-8 engine was introduced in 1914 and became the first mass-produced V-8 engine in Cadillac’s 1915 models. It featured 5.2-liters of capacity and made 70 horsepower. The Type 51 was the first model to carry this motor and it evolved over the years, with the Type 61 ending the model’s run in 1923.

The Type 57 was available in the late Teens and this Victoria Coupe was an attractive, if not restrained design that offered a lot of power for those who wanted luxury without all the flash. I’m estimating that this car sells for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more from Mecum and here for more on this car.

Update: Sold $29,000.

Nagant Berline

1918 Nagant Four-Cylinder Berline

For sale at Retrolegends | Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Tell me “Valkenswaard” isn’t the most fearsome sounding name for a northern European city. It sounds like a battle in Norse mythology involving a giant anthropomorphic bird and a giant invincible sword. Anyway, this 1918 Nagant has been on sale for a while, and I really like it.

Nagant was an arms manufacturer founded in Liége, Belgium in 1859. The name is probably most familiar to firearms types because of the famous Mosin-Nagant rifle that was put into use by the Russian Empire 1891.

Nagant wasn’t the only firearms manufacturer to turn to automobiles (BSA comes immediately to mind). Cars were introduced in 1900 and they were mostly licensed copies from other manufacturers. Later cars of their own design used high-revving (for the time) engines capable of up to 4,000 rpm. I’m unsure as to the power output of this car, but it may have the sidevalve 14/16hp engine introduced by Nagant in 1913.

These were known to be well-made, fast and highly durable cars. The company was acquired by Imperia in 1931 but production had wrapped up in 1928. Price is “available upon request,” which probably means it is too high, as it hasn’t sold in the years it has seemingly been sitting there. Click here for more info (well okay, less info, but it is the site where it is for sale).