Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022
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.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022
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.
1920 Winther-Marwin Model 459 1.5-Ton 4WD Stake Bed
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022
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.
The OB was a single-door bus manufactured between 1939 and 1951. Most of them carried between 26 and 29 passengers, and this one is fitted with a Plaxton body. It’s got a great side profile and is powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six rated at 72 horsepower.
This one was restored between 2006 and 2008. In all, 12,766 examples of the OB were produced, with just 73 of those coming before the war. The pre-sale estimate is $51,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | November 11, 2021
This is a pretty awesome-looking semi. And it’s from 70 years ago, yet it doesn’t look that much different from today’s semis. It’s pretty crazy actually, not to mention the fact that it survived this long, although the restoration certainly helped.
Kirkland, Washington’s Kenworth traces its roots back to a dealership owned by the Gerlinger brothers. They started producing their own truck called the Gersix in 1914. Bankruptcy followed in 1917, and the company’s assets were acquired by E.K. Worthington and Frederick Kent. They combined their last names to form “Kenworth” in 1923.
This truck is powered by a 262-horsepower Cummins diesel. The auction catalog is light on info, but the truck looks pretty sharp and is probably still fairly usable. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2021
The Mountain Wagon is a popular Stanley body style. We’ve featured one before – a real one. This one is a re-creation, as most of these were essentially commercial vehicles. And as we often lament here, commercial vehicles have terrible survival rates.
It was built by a well-known steam car restorer in 1987. The story is that he would build Stanleys using remnants of existing chassis. The 30-horsepower Model Z was only built in 1909. And only as a mountain wagon. So if this is a re-creation mountain wagon, it’s also not a real Model Z. But, apparently, there are some real Stanley bits in there somewhere.
It’s pretty convincing, and unless you knew the story, you’d probably never be able to tell. This nine-passenger mountain wagon is expected to sell for between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2021
Packard was one of America’s grandest automobiles around the start of WWI. But they were also producing some pretty heavy-duty commercial vehicles at that time as well. We’ve actually featured a 3-ton variant of the Model E in the past, but this earlier 2.5-ton variant features a C-cab design.
Power is from an 8.6-liter inline-six good for about 60 horsepower. This truck was built in 1916 – the first year for shaft drive after Packard ditched its drive chains. This thing is pretty massive and sports a cool period-style corn starch livery.
Old commercial vehicles are always a treat as their survival rates are dismal at best. This one is coming out of a Packard-focused museum and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We’ve featured a few Albion commercial vehicles in the past, including a truck from about this era. This delivery van carries a livery for a producer of Swiss Rolls and was apparently delivered new to this company. It was restored between 2005 and 2008 and has been fitted with overdrive, allowing it to hit about 55 mph. This makes it somewhat usable, especially if you’re a business owner looking to advertise (though it would be a shame to lose this livery). Power is from an inline-four of unknown displacement or output.
Bonhams sold this truck in 2013 for $26,000, and it now carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
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.