Diamond T Tanker

1929 Diamond T Model T4D 1.5-Ton Tanker

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T built some beautiful trucks in the 1930s and ’40s. But the company was actually founded by C.A. Tilt in 1905, back when things were more… functional. This is the earliest Diamond T we’ve featured.

At the end of the 1920s, trucks were big, heavy, slow, and purposeful. Styling hadn’t entered the arena yet. This tanker truck is powered by a Hercules 4.1-liter inline-four paired with a four-speed transmission. In thinking about why this truck survived scrap drives during WWII, I’d guess it was used as a water truck on a farm or something where it was relied upon.

This truck was part of the Hays Antique Truck Museum, which Mecum liquidated earlier this year. So why is it back at auction (and with the same pics)? Either it didn’t sell, it got pulled from the catalog at the last second, or the winning bidder flaked. In any event, glad it’s back so we could feature it this time around. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Mecum East Moline 2022, $22,000.

C.T. Electric Truck

1916 C.T. Model F 5-Ton Flatbed

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Perhaps the photographer should’ve stepped back 10 feet. C.T. electric trucks were produced by the Commercial Truck Company of America, which was based in Philadelphia. The company built, well, commercial trucks, many of which looked like this, from 1908 through 1928.

Power is from four General Electric electric motors, with one stationed at each wheel. They had a range of 40-50 miles, and this one was one of 20 used by the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post… into the 1960s! I once bid on one of these trucks, but that’s a story for a different day.

There are some of these funky trucks out there (pretty sure NATMUS has one). You can check out more about this one here.

Update: Sold $26,400.

Breeding Steam Truck

1916 Breeding 5-Ton Steam Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

This poorly-photographed truck is too interesting not to feature here, regardless of its 2004-era cell phone photo shoot. Breeding Engineering was based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and they developed a steam-powered commercial chassis leading up to the outbreak of WWI.

WWI killed any hope for the truck, which was backburner-ed and never really completed. The chassis was later found in Sardinia, Ohio, while the engine had been relocated to Kentucky with the original designer’s grandson. The wood cab was built at the time of the restoration.

The steam engine is similar to that of a Stanley, but it’s since been modified to run on compressed air. Check out more about this one-off truck here and dream about what could’ve been in the world of steam-powered heavy commercial vehicles.

Update: Sold $12,100.

Liberty Standard Truck

1917 Liberty Class B 3-Ton Flatbed

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

This is a really fascinating truck, and kind of a weird one categorization-wise. The “Class-B Standardized Military Truck” was actually designed by the U.S. military in a matter of weeks, with the team sitting down for the first time in August 1917 and the first trucks ready in October. Assembly was performed by 15 different companies, with Selden, Graham-Bernstein, Garford, Pierce-Arrow, and Republic being the largest producers.

No marque was assigned to any of the trucks, but “Liberty” was the nickname given to them, thus why it’s labeled as it is here. About 9,400 were built between late 1917 and 1918, and only a few made it into service before the war ended. But that didn’t stop them from being used well after the war ended, with some still in-use by foreign governments up to almost 1940.

The 7.0-liter L-head inline-four was assembled from components from several companies, including Continental, Waukesha, and Hercules. Output was 52 horsepower. Compared to WWI, WWII vehicles seem commonplace. Finding a truck from the Great War, restored to this condition at that, is extremely uncommon. Read more about this one here.

Update: Sold $71,500.

Kelly-Springfield Truck

1914 Kelly-Springfield Model K-40 3-Ton

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company sounds an awful lot like the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. And that’s probably because both were founded in Springfield, Ohio, by Edwin S. Kelly. The trucks were sold under the Kelly marque from 1910 through 1912, when Springfield was appended.

Kelly actually started his truck company in 1910, 15 years after selling his tire company, after having purchased the Frayer Miller Auto Company. The K-40 was their biggest offering, launching alongside the smaller K-31 and K-35 in 1912.

This K-30 is a bare-chassis example powered by a 6.8-liter T-head inline-four of the company’s own design. It’s got chain drive and was a well-regarded truck when new. You can see more about it here.

Update: Withdrawn.

Detroit Motor Wagon

1912 Detroit Motor Wagon

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

I am ashamed of this photo, and I didn’t even take it. But there will never be another chance to feature one of these, so here we are. The Motor Wagon Company of Detroit was founded in 1912, and they initially sold light vans and trucks under the Motor Wagon marque before tacking “Detroit” on to the beginning shortly after getting launched.

Production only lasted through 1913. This one is powered by a 1.7-liter flat-twin rated at 16 horsepower. Four-cylinder trucklets were also offered. This one is bodied as the pre-WWI version of a light pickup truck.

It’s got chain drive and wood pretty much everything else. There can’t be many of these left, if any others. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $13,200.

1917 Kleiber Truck

1917 Kleiber Model C 3.5-Ton Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Here’s another impossible old truck out of the Hays Antique Truck Museum. And, amazingly, it’s another San Francisco-built truck. Kleiber & Company was founded in 1914 and remained in the Bay Area until wrapping up production in 1937. They built very few trucks in the 1930s, as their focus had shifted to being the San Francisco Studebaker franchise.

This Kleiber, which is described as both a 1917 and 1918 in the auction catalog, is a flatbed, stake-bed truck that comes with a trailer from 1924. Power is from a 5.7-liter Continental inline-four. It has a four-speed manual transmission and a top speed of 12 mph. That’s a lot of shifting to go nowhere fast.

This is believed to be the only Kleiber left in existence. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Packet Pickup

1916 Packet Open-Cab Express

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

This is another truck from Mecum’s sale of vehicles from the Hays Antique Truck Museum. But it’s most more “light duty” than other trucks. Had the segment existed, this probably would’ve fallen into the “full-size pickup” category of the WWI era.

Frank Brasie founded the Brasie Motor Truck Company in Minneapolis in 1913. In 1916, he renamed the marque Packet, which produced trucks for another year before everything closed down. It’s powered by a 12-horsepower inline-four with a friction disc transmission and chain drive.

This is said to be the only Packet in existence, and it’s obviously had a decent restoration at some point in the past when compared to its museum siblings. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $9,900.

Selden Truck

1914 Selden Model J Covered Flair

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

George Selden invented the automobile. Or at least that’s what his patent lawyer would have you believe. A businessman, Selden was the first person to patent the automobile (in 1895), and he received royalties on every car sold in America until the whole patent ordeal was thrown out in 1911, thanks in no small part to Henry Ford.

The Selden Motor Vehicle Company was not one of America’s largest at any point. Selden’s major income stream was patent royalties. Passenger cars were sold from 1909-1912, and trucks remained available through the early 1930s.

Not many still exist. This truck is powered by a Continental inline-four that drives the rear axle via dual chains. This is a big, heavy, slow truck typical of the era, including the solid rubber tires. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $38,500.

Winther-Marwin

1920 Winther-Marwin Model 459 1.5-Ton 4WD Stake Bed

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Well, this is some pretty terrible photography, but you get the idea. The Winther Motor Truck Company was founded in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, in 1917. The company was founded by Martin Winther, who used to work at Jeffrey, they of the famous four-wheel-drive truck. Rear-wheel-driver Winther trucks were produced until 1926 (although 1927 trucks were branded as Winther-Kenosha).

Between 1918 and 1921, the company sold a line of trucks under the Winther-Marwin marque, and they had a four-wheel-drive layout. Power is from a Wisconsin inline-four.

Trucks from this era are so hard to find, and so many manufacturers just simply don’t have a single example remaining. This truck is like a needle in a haystack, being a rare offshoot of the much more common (in period) Winther. You can see more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $72,600.