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.

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.

Five Final Cars from RM in Hershey

1911 National Model 40 Speedway Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1911 National was offered as a single model – the Model 40. The Speedway Roadster was the smallest and most affordable style. Its name is a reference to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a nearby motoring landmark, as National was based in Indianapolis. In fact, Arthur Newby, who founded National, also co-founded the Speedway – and 1911 was the inaugural year of the Indy 500.

This car is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.3-liter straight-four. National won the 1912 Indy 500 with a car closely resembling this one. Discovered in Atlanta in the 1950s, this car has been restored twice, the most recent of which was in the last 10 years. It should bring between $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: $385,000.


1914 Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Case automobile was produced by the same company that made agricultural equipment in Racine, Wisconsin, between 1911 and 1927. The 1914 Case Model 35 was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. This is obviously not one of those. John Dorton was an inventor and salesman from Kansas. He invented the Human Eye Auto Lamp, a kind of headlight that steers with the car. This was his demonstrator vehicle.

It’s fitted with a bunch of other one-off features including a steam organ that could be operated from the driver’s seat. It’s a really interesting one-of-a-kind truck and is powered by a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info. It’s really worth checking out.

Update: Sold $47,000.


1912 Mitchell Model 5-6 Baby Six Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Case, Mitchell was also from Racine, Wisconsin. The company was founded as a wagon maker by Henry Mitchell and his son-in-law (William Lewis) would help steer the company toward automobile production in 1903. Mitchell would produce cars for the next 20 years.

The 1912 catalog offered five modes, with the Model 5-6 Baby Six as the second most powerful. The engine is a 6.0-liter straight-four making almost 34 horsepower. The Roadster was one of two body styles offered and this one is mostly original (although it had been repainted). It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1916 Republic Beer Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Microbreweries are everywhere these days. If one of them were looking for an absolutely great promotional vehicle, this would be that. This is an all-original truck from the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. They built trucks from about 1913 through 1929 (at which point they merged with American-LaFrance).

The engine in this beast is a 3.6-liter Continental straight-four. The truck has not run in a long time so it would require a pretty hefty mechanical overhaul to be usable. And those solid rubber tries are probably older than just about anybody reading this. Which is pretty amazing. This is one of two known 1916 Republics to survive and this one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,800.


1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

1914 Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Case automobile was produced by the same company that made agricultural equipment in Racine, Wisconsin, between 1911 and 1927. The 1914 Case Model 35 was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. This is obviously not one of those. John Dorton was an inventor and salesman from Kansas. He invented the Human Eye Auto Lamp, a kind of headlight that steers with the car. This was his demonstrator vehicle.

It’s fitted with a bunch of other one-off features including a steam organ that could be operated from the driver’s seat. It’s a really interesting one-of-a-kind truck and is powered by a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info. It’s really worth checking out.

Update: Sold $47,000.

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.

A Pair of Old Heavy Trucks

1917 Saurer Four-Cylinder Truck

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adolph Saurer AG was around from 1903 through 1982. That’s a pretty good run, especially considering they abandoned the passenger car business more or less before the company got going.

What’s great about this truck is that it is WWI-era. So many of these trucks were either 1. destroyed during the war itself or 2. scrapped to make newer, more reliable, quicker, and efficient trucks and other equipment for WWII. So to have one that has survived is amazing. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-four.

While it might be slow as dirt, it’s exceptionally interesting and carries a nice restoration and relatively recent mechanical freshening. It should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,020.


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.

1917 Saurer Truck

1917 Saurer Four-Cylinder Truck

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adolph Saurer AG was around from 1903 through 1982. That’s a pretty good run, especially considering they abandoned the passenger car business more or less before the company got going.

What’s great about this truck is that it is WWI-era. So many of these trucks were either 1. destroyed during the war itself or 2. scrapped to make newer, more reliable, quicker, and efficient trucks and other equipment for WWII. So to have one that has survived is amazing. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-four.

While it might be slow as dirt, it’s exceptionally interesting and carries a nice restoration and relatively recent mechanical freshening. It should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,020.

Packard Grocery Truck

1920 Packard Model E Truck

For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo - Hyman Ltd.

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

Packard, which stands as one of America’s greatest automobile manufacturers of all time, was also quite the commercial vehicle manufacturer in their day. This behemoth was one of many such trucks built by the company between 1905 and 1923.

It’s powered by a four-cylinder engine and has a 3-ton capacity. The truck is fabulously restored and has been painted with the name of a grocer in Pennsylvania who found the truck and had it restored. The grocer had their own fleet of similar trucks in the 1920s.

Commercial vehicles tend to cease to exist after 30 years or so, so to find one that is almost 100 years old is incredible. It was restored to perfection about 25 years ago but it still looks amazing. If you own a grocery store, this is the vehicle for you. It is for sale in St. Louis for between $70,000 and $80,000. Click here for more info.