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.

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.

1937 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus

1937 White Model 706 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus by Bender

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Cleveland, Ohio’s, White Motor Company was the Chosen One when it came to being the National Park Service’s vehicle of choice for toting tourists through America’s parks in the pre-WWII era. We’ve featured an earlier version of the White Yellowstone Park Bus before, and it too was quite interesting.

Like its predecessor, this Model 706 is also a convertible, with a giant canvas top that can be peeled back. It does not retain its original engine, but instead has been updated with a 4.9-liter Ford straight-six and some other modern running gear. But it does retain one excellent piece of originality: a ridiculous number of doors!

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

White built 500 examples of this bus for the National Park Service. Yellowstone was given 98 of them and eight of those have been restored and are still in service (Glacier National Park still operates 33 of their original 35 White Model 706s).

This one escaped government service and can be yours. As a piece of American history, it will be a talking point wherever it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,000.

Mack AB

1917 Mack AB C-Cab Stake Bed

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

There are few companies more American than Mack Trucks. With their big, recognizable trucks and bulldog mascot, Mack was been producing the commercial vehicles that provide the backbone of American commerce since they were founded on June 11, 1900.

The AB was a model introduced in 1914 and produced through 1937. Over 55,000 were produced in varying configurations over the course of the production run. This one has a fairly lengthy wheelbase and a stake bed for hauling lumber. All that mass is moved by a 30 horsepower four-cylinder engine. Top speed is probably minimal, which is good because this truck features only mechanical rear drum brakes.

This stylish C-Cab truck has been well restored and is coming out of long-term ownership. The engine has been freshly rebuilt, making this the perfectly impractical vehicle for your Home Depot 2×4 runs. It should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Classic commercial vehicles are always interesting, so grab this one while you can. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,800.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Reo Speedwagon

1926 Reo Model F Speedwagon

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 20, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Ransom E. Olds’ second company, REO, went out of business in 1975 after 30 years of producing nothing but trucks. Those trucks were a mainstay of the business since 1910 and have, whether you know it or not, kept the brand famous ever since. The Reo Speedwagon was a series of exceptional trucks that kept the business going for decades.

This Model F is powered by a straight-six that runs the rear wheels through a 3-speed transmission. It rides on 12 spoke wooden wheels with metal rims. There’s brass and chrome spotted throughout and it’s bodied as a transport bus. We love old commercial vehicles because they’ve survived against all odds – this one is no different. If it was used as a bus in the 1920s, it was probably abused and someone took the time to save it.

This is one of just 12 Speedwagons built in 1926. It’s been restored and is stated to be “wonderful for parades,” which is probably true because what else are you going to use it for? Mecum sold this bus in 2015 for $80,000 against an estimate of $75,000-$125,000 prior to any road testing. Now it is apparently running and is estimated to bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $80,000.

Albion Can Carrier

1938 Albion KL126 Can Carrier

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 13, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

What we have here is another Albion truck, this time one from the inter-war period. The Type 126 was introduced at the end of 1935 and lasted up until the Second World War came to the U.K. in 1940.

This truck is powered by a 4.0-liter engine – possibly making 65 horsepower. This chassis was popular because the truck itself wasn’t that heavy, but it could carry a decent load. This example is outfitted to carry cans, which isn’t something you see often. The payload was originally rated between 3.5 and 4.5 tons. In 1936, that was upped to 5 (and later 5.5) tons. Empty, it can do 35 mph. Not a speed demon, this one.

This truck is in pretty nice shape, and the price seems like a bargain. It should bring between $17,500-$20,250. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Two Albion Trucks

1915 Albion A10 Flatbed

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 13, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

Albion was a Scottish automobile marque founded in 1899 that built passenger cars up until 1915. In 1909, the company started building commercial vehicles and that’s what they stuck with after WWI up through 1980. They still exist as an automotive systems supplier.

The A10 commercial chassis was introduced in 1910. It was a 3-ton chassis and this example is now powered by a 5.2-liter engine. Originally, the A10 had a 3.2-liter straight-four rated at 32 horsepower.

It should be noted that this truck, while certainly appearing 100 years old, is listed as a “circa 1915” and the A10 was actually succeeded by the A12 in 1913, with the short-lived A16 built the following year. At any rate it’s an interesting, probably affordable, classic commercial vehicle that should bring between $31,000-$43,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $27,707.


1938 Albion KL126 Can Carrier

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 13, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

What we have here is another Albion truck, this time one from the inter-war period. The Type 126 was introduced at the end of 1935 and lasted up until the Second World War came to the U.K. in 1940.

This truck is powered by a 4.0-liter engine – possibly making 65 horsepower. This chassis was popular because the truck itself wasn’t that heavy, but it could carry a decent load. This example is outfitted to carry cans, which isn’t something you see often. The payload was originally rated between 3.5 and 4.5 tons. In 1936, that was upped to 5 (and later 5.5) tons. Empty, it can do 35 mph. Not a speed demon, this one.

This truck is in pretty nice shape, and the price seems like a bargain. It should bring between $17,500-$20,250. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1915 Albion Flatbed

1915 Albion A10 Flatbed

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 13, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

Albion was a Scottish automobile marque founded in 1899 that built passenger cars up until 1915. In 1909, the company started building commercial vehicles and that’s what they stuck with after WWI up through 1980. They still exist as an automotive systems supplier.

The A10 commercial chassis was introduced in 1910. It was a 3-ton chassis and this example is now powered by a 5.2-liter engine. Originally, the A10 had a 3.2-liter straight-four rated at 32 horsepower.

It should be noted that this truck, while certainly appearing 100 years old, is listed as a “circa 1915” and the A10 was actually succeeded by the A12 in 1913, with the short-lived A16 built the following year. At any rate it’s an interesting, probably affordable, classic commercial vehicle that should bring between $31,000-$43,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $27,707.

A Big Truck from 1909

1909 Ariès 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Ariès was a French vehicle manufacturer and we’ve featured a couple of their cars here on the site – but this is the first heavy commercial vehicle from the firm that we’ve seen. Ariès existed from 1902 through 1937 and commercial vehicle production began with the model above (some sources list 1910, which would make this a very early example).

What’s great about this truck is that it is pre-WWI. Sure, it was probably used by the French Army, but it pre-dates required harsh military wartime treatment. It could’ve delivered produce in the early days of the automobile. Plus, it’s a dually.

The engine here is a 5.0-liter straight-four and everything has been restored. It is described as “a joy to drive” and while I’m sure it’s interesting, it’s probably a little terrifying as well. At any rate, it should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,518.