A Big Truck from 1909

1909 Ariès 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Ariès was a French vehicle manufacturer and we’ve featured a couple of their cars here on the site – but this is the first heavy commercial vehicle from the firm that we’ve seen. Ariès existed from 1902 through 1937 and commercial vehicle production began with the model above (some sources list 1910, which would make this a very early example).

What’s great about this truck is that it is pre-WWI. Sure, it was probably used by the French Army, but it pre-dates required harsh military wartime treatment. It could’ve delivered produce in the early days of the automobile. Plus, it’s a dually.

The engine here is a 5.0-liter straight-four and everything has been restored. It is described as “a joy to drive” and while I’m sure it’s interesting, it’s probably a little terrifying as well. At any rate, it should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,518.

A Pair of Old Heavy Trucks

1917 Saurer Four-Cylinder Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adolph Saurer AG was around from 1903 through 1982. That’s a pretty good run, especially considering they abandoned the passenger car business more or less before the company got going.

What’s great about this truck is that it is WWI-era. So many of these trucks were either 1. destroyed during the war itself or 2. scrapped to make newer, more reliable, quicker, and efficient trucks and other equipment for WWII. So to have one that has survived is amazing. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-four.

While it might be slow as dirt, it’s exceptionally interesting and carries a nice restoration and relatively recent mechanical freshening. It should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,020.


1909 Ariès 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Ariès was a French vehicle manufacturer and we’ve featured a couple of their cars here on the site – but this is the first heavy commercial vehicle from the firm that we’ve seen. Ariès existed from 1902 through 1937 and commercial vehicle production began with the model above (some sources list 1910, which would make this a very early example).

What’s great about this truck is that it is pre-WWI. Sure, it was probably used by the French Army, but it pre-dates required harsh military wartime treatment. It could’ve delivered produce in the early days of the automobile. Plus, it’s a dually.

The engine here is a 5.0-liter straight-four and everything has been restored. It is described as “a joy to drive” and while I’m sure it’s interesting, it’s probably a little terrifying as well. At any rate, it should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,518.

Packard Sightseeing Bus

1912 Packard ATD 3-Ton Sightseeing Bus

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Packard built some of the finest American cars of all time – but they also built commercial vehicles, especially in the pre-WWI era and immediately following the war. They offered chassis in a variety of configurations and tonnage. The ATD was introduced in 1911 and could be had as a fire engine, platform truck, or cab & chassis combo.

This gorgeous sightseeing bus is immaculate – but then again, how would it get dirty? It’s not exactly the easiest thing to cruise around town in and probably doesn’t see the light of day all that often. The engine is a 7.1-liter T-head straight-four making 24 horsepower. Top speed is probably slightly faster than walking pace, considering the sheer size of this vehicle and the lowly power rating.

It seats 42 people and may have been used as a tour bus around Yellowstone National Park (apparently motorized vehicles weren’t actually allowed on park roads 100 years ago). It’s the only surviving example and was once in the Otis Chandler collection (it’s coming from Ron Pratte’s collection this time around). It brought nearly half a million dollars when it left Chandler’s collection in 2006. That seems like a good number this time around. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $291,500.

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.