1950s Leyland Tanker

1958 Leyland Super Comet Tanker

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $24,412.

Fordson Truck

1926 Fordson Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019

Photo – Mecum

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.

Update: Sold $90,750.

Erskine Panel Delivery

1928 Erskine 51B Panel Truck

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Erskine was introduced by Studebaker in 1927 as a low-priced brand and was named for company president Albert Erskine. It lasted through the 1930 model year when Studebaker dumped the idea and absorbed the line into its own.

What Erskine didn’t really do was commercial vehicles. Yet here we are. This is believed to be the only example of the Erskine Panel Truck produced, and it was built in 1928 as part of the Model 51 line, which was powered by a 43 horsepower 2.6-liter inline-six.

The truck was discovered in a warehouse in 1962 and later restored. It’s now being offered as part of Mecum’s “Antique Trucks” day at their massive tractor auction in Iowa. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $19,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2020, $28,600.

Atterbury Truck

1926 Atterbury 5-Ton Truck

Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 24-26, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Autocar has been a player in the heavy truck industry since 1908, and during some of that time, they were building passenger cars. Meanwhile, the Auto-Car Equipment Company was founded in 1904 in Buffalo, New York. When Autocar (of Pennsylvania) got into the truck business in ’08, Auto-Car, of Buffalo, whose sole business was trucks, changed their name to Buffalo.

And in 1910, they reformed again as the Atterbury Motor Car Company. By 1911 they were offering four different capacities of trucks, with the 5-ton example being the largest. This particular truck features a large pickup-style body and is powered by an inline-four engine.

Atterbury introduced new models in 1931, which they continued to produce through 1935 when they closed down. The company never really got huge, selling just 141 trucks in 1929, many to Canada. This one carries a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $77,000.

1929 Dennis Flatbed

1929 Dennis 30 CWT Flatbed

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 10, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Prior to becoming a major player in the British commercial vehicle industry with vehicles like buses and firetrucks, Dennis was actually a passenger car manufacturer for a few short years between 1898 and 1904.

It was in 1904 they went full-truck and never looked back. They remained independent until the 1970s when they went through a series of ownership changes. As the years wore on, their products became more specialized, but they still made buses. In 2004, after 100 years of truck manufacturing, the brand ceased to exist when it was merged with Alexander to form Alexander Dennis.

This particular truck started life with a dairy company and was later used as a promotional vehicle. It’s powered by a 3.1-liter inline-four and should bring between $12,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Maxim Fire Truck

1926 Maxim Fire Truck

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | Weybridge, U.K. | May 18, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Fire trucks are not an uncommon collector’s item. But even old historical parade-worthy examples like this still only manage prices in the four-digit or low-five-digit range. I think it’s very odd, but I guess they have a relatively low usability factor.

The Maxim Motor Company was founded in Middleboro, Massachusetts in 1914 by Carlton Maxim. He was a firefighter, and his initial goal was to build a fire engine for his department. Well that blossomed into a company that was purchased by Seagrave in 1963. They built their last fire truck in 1989.

This pre-war example appears to be powered by a straight-six engine. It carries a Connecticut livery and was recently used in the filming of the live-action version of Dumbo. It is expected to bring between $12,000-$16,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

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.

1916 Buick Truck

1916 Buick D-4 Express Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Whaaat? That’s right, Buick once built trucks. And not like a Buick Rendezvous pseudo-SUV thing. Like real trucks. Between 1910 and 1918 the company’s passenger car chassis were used for commercial vehicles. It happened again in 1922 and 1923. Oldsmobile had similar offerings.

This is a D-4 Express and it’s powered by a straight-four engine. Apparently, with the exception of a repaint in 1951, the truck is entirely original, which is pretty amazing. Commercial vehicles were meant to be used and used hard. This one somehow survived without being completely worn out.

Trucks like this, even from Buick, were popular during WWI. This one was initially used as a service department truck for a Buick dealership in Indiana. Only one other example is thought to exist and this one should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,800.

Moreland Gas Tanker

1927 Moreland RR6 Gas Tanker Truck

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 27-29, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Moreland Motor Truck Company operated between 1917 and 1940 in Burbank, California. They never built passenger cars and focused on commercial truck production for the duration of their existence.

This truck is powered by a Continental straight-six and a 3-speed manual transmission. Well restored, this truck features some original equipment from 1927, including its spare tire. The wood that makes up part of this truck is solid oak.

Finished in Union Oil livery, this truck has a pretty wide appeal – which is about the only reason it’s in this sale. Commercial trucks aren’t heavily featured in major collector car auctions. But when they have some relation to petroliana, they end up making the cut. This will sell at no reserve and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $35,200.

Dover Mail Truck

1929 Dover Super-Six Mail Truck

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Dover was a short-lived brand of commercial vehicles introduced by Hudson in the summer of 1929. Not great timing. On the plus side, they were based on their Essex line of entry-level cars. So at least they were affordable.

The light-duty trucks were all Essex-based, so they used the same running gear, chassis, and bodywork from the firewall forward. The radiators were different and the commercial bodies were built by Biddle and Smart of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Dover scored a big sales win when the U.S. Postal Service ordered 500 examples for use as mail trucks. They were well-built enough that the USPS was still using some of them into the 1950s.

This example is powered by a 55 horsepower, 2.6-liter straight-six. It was discovered in Wyoming in the 1970s and purchased by the Harrah Collection (and then restored). It has spent time on display at NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana, and since then has been on display in the Hostetler Hudson Museum. Dovers were pulled from the market in late 1930 or early 1931 and they are extraordinarily rare today. Click here for more info and here for more Hudsons.

Update: Sold $55,000.