This is a school bus. That is probably obvious. But it is from 1961. I’m guessing they built a lot of these, but there are probably very few left. And based on the records shared in the auction listing, there are probably even fewer that have had this kind of money lavished upon them.
The Crown Coach Corporation produced buses (and some fire trucks) in Los Angeles between 1904 and 1991. The final few months were under the control of GE before the brand was phased out. The Supercoach was a product they introduced in 1948 and continued to iterate on until the end of the line in 1991.
This one has a replacement drivetrain. The 7.0-liter Detroit Diesel inline-six is located in the middle of the bus (underneath it). It also has a more modern five-speed automatic transmission instead of the old school five-speed manual with a two-speed rear axle. Remember your bus driver constantly shifting gears? Yeah, this one is easier to drive.
I always love an old bus, and this one is pretty great. The seats have been stripped out of the interior, which is a shame, but it’s still a winner. It was in service with a school district from new until 1999, which is insane. It makes me wonder just how old the back-up buses I rode on as a kid actually were. Click here for more info about this bus.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | February 18, 2021
Mercedes-Benz has been in the commercial vehicle business for a long time. Longer than just about anyone, in fact. The L319 was a “light” commercial platform produced by the company between 1955 and 1968. It was their first such vehicle, slotting in between a small delivery van and a run-of-the-mill truck.
They were available in a variety of body styles, including vans, flatbed trucks, and more. A minibus variant called the O319 was also available. This would’ve originally had a small, 55-horsepower diesel engine in it, but now it has a replacement 2.0-liter diesel inline-four.
This tiny bus has apparently been in a private Welsh collection for years, being primarily used as a wedding party bus (though the interior still has very bus-like rows of seating). It is expected to sell for between $41,000-$48,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Bid to $34,192… Brightwells doesn’t make it easy to tell if a car sold or not. This one missed its estimate so I’m not sure.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021
A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.
This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.
It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Online | November 25, 2020
Well, last week we featured a lot of commercial vehicles. I said that we’d pick it up again on Monday. It’s now Tuesday, but here we are. The Tiger is a model of bus produced by Leyland Motors between 1927 and 1968, and again from 1981 through 1992. They looked different over the years, and this front-engined Tiger is of the post-war PS variety.
It is said to be one of two known survivors with coachwork by Barnaby (of four built). It was part of a private bus line for its commercial career, and it is powered by a 7.4-liter diesel inline-six.
This bus was restored in the 2000s, and it was restored to “bus-spec” and not converted into an RV like so many old buses have been. I’m a big fan of classic busses, and despite this one being overseas, I dig it a lot. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $26,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020
Somehow this week became “classic commercial vehicle week.” Not sure how that happened. But I do know that it will continue at least through Monday. This is a pretty interesting one. International Harvester was founded in 1902 when McCormick and Deering merged. Agricultural equipment was first, followed by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.
The International brand is still a leader in the truck business. This was one of their early revolutionary designs. Apparently, the 101 was the first truck that could haul more than its own weight. It’s insane that this took until 1921 to accomplish.
Mecum states that only 27 examples of the 101 were built. They look like Renaults from the front (but many trucks of the era did, and for good reason: it was to protect the radiator by placing it behind the engine so angry Teamsters carriage drivers couldn’t damage the front-mounted radiator). It’s a downright frightening machine. Huge, heavy, and with badass wheels. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-four good for 29 horsepower. Top speed is 14 mph. I imagine this was used to move big loads small distances. What a beast. Find out more here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020
I agree that the title of this post is lame. “Samson Truck.” I could’ve called it “Samson Model 15,” but the likelihood of ever featuring another Samson truck is so low that I don’t think it’s getting confused with a different one. Why so unlikely? Well, Samson was a tractor manufacturer originally based out of Stockton, California…
Founded in 1900, the company eventually caught the eye of one Billy Durant in 1917. He shifted the company’s headquarters to Janesville, Wisconsin. Between 1920 and 1923, the brand turned out trucks in addition to tractors (along with a prototype passenger car). GM shuttered the brand in 1923 and shifted Chevrolet/GMC production to Janesville, which continued to operate until 2008.
Samson trucks were powered by a Chevy-sourced 26-horsepower inline-four. It’s unknown if this is the original body, but the radiator/cowl area certainly looks correct. The rest of the body could’ve been changed over the years. No windshield is present. This is a cool piece of forgotten GM history, and it’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | November 5, 2020
The BK was a heavy truck produced by Bedford for an eternity. It debuted in 1960, and the final versions rolled off the line in 1992, although the last Bedford-branded truck was built in 1986. Bedford was essentially the commercial vehicle arm of Vauxhall, which was a GM subsidiary since 1925. GM shed itself of Bedford‘s heavy-truck division in 1987, and the final BKs were badged “AWD”s until 1992.
What I like about this truck is the fact that, like all classic commercial vehicles, it has defied the odds and survived well past the end of its useful life. It’s a moving truck, and who saves a moving truck? The original owner, that’s who. Whoever was using this in the 1970s eventually placed it into storage and still owns it today.
Power is from a diesel inline-four. It’s probably excruciatingly slow, but speed isn’t the point. If you get it, you get it. And if you want to get it, it’ll probably run you between $7,750 and $10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020
The HE Wilcox Motor Car Company was founded in Minneapolis in 1906, and they started producing passenger cars the next year under the Wolfe brand. They changed the brand name to Wilcox in 1909, and in the following year came commercial vehicles.
It must’ve been a successful endeavor because they stopped producing passenger vehicles in 1910 as well. In 1921, the company name was changed to Wilcox Trux, which strikes me as very forward-thinking looking through the lens of today’s world of slang-influenced company names. Production continued until 1928.
Not much is known about this truck, but the auction catalog states that it may be the only such example extant (though there are other Wilcox trucks in existence). And there are Wolfe automobiles around too. This truck is selling at no reserve, and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020
The Comet was a model of heavy truck produced by Leyland Trucks over a series of generations between 1947 and 2015. That’s quite the nameplate heritage. They were produced in every conceivable truck variant: flatbeds, box trucks, tankers, and more.
The third generation Comet was available between 1958 and 1963. During this run, the Super Comet was introduced, which was of an even heavier-duty variety. This particular truck is finished in a bright yellow National Benzole livery. This very truck was used to produce a toy version, which is kind of cool.
The 6.2-liter diesel inline-six makes 110 horsepower. The truck has been offered by Bonhams before, and it’s now back with an estimate of $13,000-$20,000. That’s a lot of vehicle for the money. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019
Early Ford trucks were based on the Model T. They usually had a dually rear axle and some other changes, but the relation to the T was pretty obvious. They were even called the TT. The vehicle you see here was the first Ford heavy-duty truck. It’s a two-ton chassis, and it was built under the Fordson brand.
Fordson was a brand of tractors marketed by the Ford Motor Company between 1917 and 1964. The name also appeared on some light commercial vehicles in the U.K. The truck is powered by a Fordson tractor engine and transmission. The way it is packaged makes it looks like it completely lacks an engine, with the radiator mounted behind the front axle.
This was the only example of the Fordson two-ton truck that was actually delivered to a customer. It eventually made its way to the Harrah Collection and has been privately owned since 1983. Mecum has been making a big deal of it, which is the star of the show at this sale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.