Two Trucks

1910 Autocar Stake-Bed Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Autocar remains the oldest surviving vehicle brand in the United States, but they haven’t built a passenger car in over 100 years. It’s been heavy trucks for most of that time. Well, since 1907 to be exact.

This stake-bed truck is powered by a two-cylinder engine and has solid 35″ rubber tires, no weather protection, and a giant ship-like headlight. It’s basic. But that’s exactly what trucks were in 1910. They served a purpose – and it’s amazing that this one is still around. Look for a price between $20,000-$25,000 next week. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,000.


1912 International Model AW Auto Wagon

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s hard to really draw a line in the sand as to when International switched from cars to trucks, as all of their high-wheeled cars were sort of truck-like from the start. In a way, 1911 was the last official year for passenger cars, as their 1912 announcement centered on delivery wagons (though you could get car-like appointments by request on their smallest commercial chassis for years afterward).

These “Auto Wagons” were available in two models for a few years: the AW and the MW. They evolved through 1915, but in 1916 IHC moved to a more modern style and things just kept going from there. With the rear bench seats, I like to think of this as an early SUV, a territory that IHC would dabble in all the way through the early 1980s.

The difference between the AW and MW was their cooling systems. This is where it gets weird. The AW was the air-cooled car, and the MW was water-cooled. The red car above is listed as an AW in RM’s catalog and is clearly water-cooled. The blue car below is listed as a 1913 Model MW. But it is air-cooled. Something is wrong here, or these cars got their running gear swapped at some point.

Both engines were 3.2-liter flat-twins, but the air-cooled version was good for 18 horsepower, three more than its water-cooled sibling.

Regardless, both cars are expected to fetch between $20,000-$30,000 each. So pick one and then rename it. More info on the red car is available here, and you can see the blue one here. Check out more from this sale here.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Update: Sold (red one): $33,000. (Blue one): $28,600.

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.

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.

Studebaker Stake Bed

1947 Studebaker M15A Stake Bed

Offered by Mecum | Anaheim, California | November 17, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

You’ll never see another truck like this in this shape. The odds are simply too low. First of all, it was built by Studebaker, so production numbers were much lower than its GM or Ford counterparts. As such, people who collect Studebakers as opposed to Fords or Chevys are a much rarer breed. Add to it that stake bed trucks were used and abused on farms across the country and you end up with a very small survival rate.

This one has been immaculately restored. The M Series line of trucks was introduced for the ill-fated 1941 model year and would resume, post war, in 1946 and run through 1948 (they were built in 1942 as well before the company switched to military production). The M15A was only available from the factory with a pickup bed and was the largest such model offered before you got into heavier truck territory. This was converted to its current look later on.

Power comes from an 80 horsepower 2.8-liter straight-six. The transmission is classified as a very old-truck-like “crashbox” four-speed. In 1947, Studebaker built 6,738 of these trucks and over 67,000 commercial vehicles in general that year alone. That number is larger than Studebaker’s entire pre-war commercial vehicle production total combined! We think this truck is awesome. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,000.