Little Giant Bus

1912 Little Giant Model D Bus

For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

This might be the most exciting classic commercial vehicle to be offered for public sale in years. You will never see another one. Especially not in this condition. Little Giant was the name under which a line of commercial vehicles from the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company were sold.

They were only actually offered between 1911 and 1917 – a very short time and were sold on a 1-ton chassis powered by a flat-twin engine and 2-speed gearbox. A few “factory” body styles were offered, including this bus (which appears to function more like a paddywagon).

Only 10 examples from this marque are thought to still exist, and as I said, you won’t find another in this condition. This one was found in 2009 and restored to “better than new condition” – which is a serious understatement. Even calling it a Concours restoration seems like you’re slighting the work put in. It really is amazing, and you can go buy it in St. Louis today. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Click here for more info.

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.

21 Window Samba Bus

1966 Volkswagen Type 2 21-Window Sunroof Deluxe

Offered by Mecum | Denver, Colorado | June 8-9, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Volkswagen Type 2 is known by many names: Bus, Microbus, Van, Kombi, Samba. The first generation was built from 1950 through 1967 (and on through 1975 in Brazil). It’s the classic 1960s van, with that giant chrome VW logo on the front and two-tone paint. VW buses are often referred to by the number of windows they have.

The standard bus had 11 windows and the Deluxe version had 15 windows. The Samba (or Sunroof Deluxe) was introduced in 1951 and it had 23 windows. In 1964, there was a slight redesign and the 15 and 23-window versions each lost a pair. As this is a 1966 model, it is a 21-window Samba. Eight of the windows on this vehicle are in the roof, thus the Sunroof designation.

This Microbus is powered by a 1.8-liter flat-four, which is likely not the original engine as first gen Type 2s never had engines that large. This is a well restored car and it is also well equipped. VW buses have shot up in value over the past seven or eight years and perfect condition 23 window Sambas now command about $125,000. We’ll see what this slightly upgraded 21-window version brings next week. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $118,250.

GM Futurliner

1950 General Motors Futurliner

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

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

This is another one of the stars of the annual Barrett-Jackson show in Scottsdale. And it’s been there before. It sold for $4 million back in 2006. It also comes from the Ron Pratte collection. And it is cool.

The Futurliners were originally built in 1940 and used until the outbreak of the war. But in the early 1950s, they were restyled and made a comeback: the stars of GM’s Parade of Progress. They transported GM’s jet age concept cars around the country to show them off to millions of people. Both sides of it actually open up and can hold a car. It’s the perfect place to park your 1950s-era GM concept car.

There are some really cool pictures out there of these things – especially when they’re all lined up. In total only 12 were built and nine are still known to exist (one was destroyed, two are “missing”). Originally, they were powered by a 4.9-liter straight-six, but this one was upgraded during restoration and uses a 6.6-liter six.

The remaining Futurliners exist in various states. This is one of the more correct examples out there (minus the engine). It’s one of the coolest buses ever built (if that’s what you want to consider it). It brought $4 million last time, what’s your guess this time around? You can read more here and see more from Barrett-Jackson here.

Update: Sold $4,000,000.

More Awesome Classic Commercial Vehicles

The Michael Banfield Collection

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


 1922 AEC S-Type Open Top Double Deck Bus

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

AEC is known as the double-decker bus company. Their Routemaster double-decker is one of the most famous of the type. But their double-deckers go back to before WWI. The S-Type was built between 1920 and 1927, with 849 (double-deckers) built for the London General Omnibus Company – for which this example was built.

The engine is a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four and it is said that this was as good as public transport got in London back in the day. It can transport up to 54 people – 26 inside and 28 up top in the weather.

This is thought to be one of only two S-Type double-deckers in existence. And it had a really cool story, which you can read more of here. The price? $130,000-$150,000.

Update: Sold $477,481.


1914 Hallford WD

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

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AEC Double-Decker

 1922 AEC S-Type Open Top Double Deck Bus

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

AEC is known as the double-decker bus company. Their Routemaster double-decker is one of the most famous of the type. But their double-deckers go back to before WWI. The S-Type was built between 1920 and 1927, with 849 (double-deckers) built for the London General Omnibus Company – for which this example was built.

The engine is a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four and it is said that this was as good as public transport got in London back in the day. It can transport up to 54 people – 26 inside and 28 up top in the weather.

This is thought to be one of only two S-Type double-deckers in existence. And it had a really cool story, which you can read more of here. The price? $130,000-$150,000.

Update: Sold $477,481.

Leyland Titan

1932 Leyland Titan TD2 Double Deck Bus

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s a newer, more traditional-looking double deck bus, this one from Leyland. The Titan model was new for 1927 and would be produced until 1969 in various styles (although they took a break for the War). This was one of the last two gasoline-powered buses to operate in the U.K., exiting service in 1960. It actually operated on the Channel Island of Jersey.

The TD2 version was new for ’32 and would last through mid-1933. The engine was a 7.6-liter straight-six – although this one has an 8.8-liter engine from a Leyland truck. About 1,000 were built. it was restored over 50 years ago but still looks great. It should sell for between $47,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $58,518.

Fiat Station Bus

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

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

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 Omnibus

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.

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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