1917 Kleiber Truck

1917 Kleiber Model C 3.5-Ton Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Here’s another impossible old truck out of the Hays Antique Truck Museum. And, amazingly, it’s another San Francisco-built truck. Kleiber & Company was founded in 1914 and remained in the Bay Area until wrapping up production in 1937. They built very few trucks in the 1930s, as their focus had shifted to being the San Francisco Studebaker franchise.

This Kleiber, which is described as both a 1917 and 1918 in the auction catalog, is a flatbed, stake-bed truck that comes with a trailer from 1924. Power is from a 5.7-liter Continental inline-four. It has a four-speed manual transmission and a top speed of 12 mph. That’s a lot of shifting to go nowhere fast.

This is believed to be the only Kleiber left in existence. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Lowbed MacDonald

1920 MacDonald Model A 7.5-Ton Lowbed Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

MacDonald Truck & Tractor Company was founded in San Francisco in 1920. There weren’t a lot of California-based automobile companies way back in the day. But MacDonald’s specialty was low-bed trucks. These were meant for use at docks or in warehouses, of which the West Coast had plenty.

This is a gargantuan machine, and very odd looking today. It has front-wheel drive, hydraulic power steering, and hydraulic brakes. The 6.3-liter Buda inline-four drives the front wheels through a complicated system of chains and driveshafts. It weighs eight tons. Empty!

The design looks so foreign because we don’t have a need for such trucks anymore. It’s got a low bed because fork lifts didn’t exist in 1920. After WWII, MacDonald was acquired by Peterbilt, and the brand disappeared around 1952. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $55,000.

The Pre-GMC

1910 Reliance Model G3 2.5-Ton Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

The Reliance Motor Car Company was founded in Owosso, Michigan, in 1906. The company relocated its headquarters to Detroit in 1908. Why? Well, because it was scooped up by Billy Druant and merged into General Motors. Three years later, GM formed the General Motors Truck Company, and in 1911 Reliance (and Rapid, which they also owned) were phased out in favor the GMC brand.

So this truck was built the year before GM axed the marque. The original engine would’ve been a 5.1-liter inline-three that made 45 horsepower. Now it has an International-sourced 2.2-liter industrial inline-four.

The catalog description notes that the truck was formerly used in parades until the wood-spoke wheel starting cracking. So I guess if you want to drive it you’re gonna have to fix that… At any rate, Reliance trucks are not very common, and this one is proof that being a truck driver around 1910 was not a glamorous affair. You can read more about this one here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $22,000.