Morris CS8

1935 Morris Commercial CS8

Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | April 14, 2021

Photo – H&H Auctioneers

This thing is awesome. Let’s start with Morris Commercial, which was – as you’ve probably guessed – the commercial vehicle arm of British automaker Morris. It was founded in 1924 and was phased out during the British Leyland consolidation of the late 1960s.

The original CS8 was introduced in 1934 and used a 24-horsepower inline-six engine. They were built in every imaginable body style variant that the military could need. The big problem was that they were very heavy and only rear-wheel drive. Production lasted through 1942 when it was replaced by the 4×4 C4, which was in turn replaced by the popular C8 in 1944.

H&H describes this as the “finest example” they’ve ever encountered. I mean, I have never seen another one, but I can’t imagine there is a nicer one around. The pre-sale estimate is $55,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Austin K2/Y

1943 Austin K2/Y Ambulance

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021

Photo – Brightwells

Every major manufacturer got involved in the war in some regard. Consider that right up until the war started, Austin was building this tiny car. Then all of a sudden, they’re manufacturing heavy trucks (though they did build armored cars during WWI).

Between 1939 and 1945, Austin built 13,102 examples of this field ambulance. And that’s all it was… there was no “troop-carrier” variant. Ambulance only. The 3.5-liter inline-six made 60 horsepower when new, enough to propel this three-ton truck to 50 mph. The gruesome record during the war is apparently 27 injured soldiers carried in one load, including on the fenders and hood.

This example was used by the Royal Navy and has been in the same family since it was disposed of by the War Department in 1948. It can now be yours for between $26,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Nelson-LeMoon

1928 Nelson-LeMoon Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021

Photo – Mecum

A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.

This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.

It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $20,350.

Bowler CSP V8

2016 Bowler CSP V8 Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 13, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Bowler Manufacturing was founded by Andrew Bowler in 1985. Their bread and butter were modifying Land Rovers, and they did so to such a degree that the trucks would be badged as their own thing, not just a “modified Defender.”

They offered a few models based on the Land Rover Defender, including the Wildcat and the Bulldog, the latter of which featured two doors in what looks like a four-door setup along with a pickup bed. The truck pictured above was first assembled as a Bulldog. It features Bowler’s Cross Sector Platform (CSP) chassis that does away with the old-school Defender chassis.

It was later re-worked by the factory as a new prototype, replacing the Bulldog’s 3.0-liter V6 with a supercharged Jaguar 5.0-liter V8 rated at 542 horsepower. These are described as “off-road racing vehicles” which pretty much sums it up.

Andrew Bowler died unexpectedly in 2016, and Jaguar Land Rover purchased the company in late 2019. This truck is one of a few offered at this sale from the collection of the former Bowler Motors director. It is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $145,770

Dodge M37

1953 Dodge M37

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

There is no way this truck was this pretty when it was new. I mean, it is clean. Dodge’s M37 was a follow-up to the WC series of trucks and command cars the company built during World War II. The M37 was produced in various forms between 1951 and 1968 and was used by the U.S. during the Korean War and Vietnam. They were also exported and used by other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia and Latin America, the former, presumably, being U.S. military leftovers from Vietnam.

Power is from a 3.8-liter inline-six rated at 78 horsepower. The engine was actually shared with the WC trucks, as well as the civilian Power Wagon. This is a 3/4-ton truck with four-wheel drive, a canvas soft top, and a lot of military-style add-ons.

About 63,000 examples of the M37 and its variants were produced between 1951 and 1954 before other versions took over. You can read more about this well-restored example here. Check out more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Diamond T 201

1941 Diamond T 201

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The Diamond T 201 is probably the most beautiful Art Deco pickup truck ever built and is definitely the best-looking pre-war pickup. But doesn’t it look pretty beefy for a pickup? It looks much more heavy-duty than it’s GM or Ford counterparts.

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C.A. Tilt. They were always a truck company, even though they dabbled in SUVs for a hot second. In 1958, they were acquired by White, who merged them with Reo in 1967 to form Diamond Reo, which stopped manufacturing trucks in 2010.

The 201 went on sale in 1938 and was a 1-ton truck, the equivalent of a Chevrolet 3800. Production continued through 1949, and when it went out of production, Diamond T turned to heavy trucks only (though there were some half-ton models offered through 1951. Power is from a 3.9-liter Hercules inline-six rated at 91 horsepower.

This one has been restored and features a polished oak bed floor. It’s a beautiful truck with a dashboard worthy of the finest luxury cars of the day. Who said luxury pickups were a new thing? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $55,000.

Mini Pickup

1976 Mini Pickup

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The classic Mini has been sold under a variety of marques, including Austin, Morris, Innocenti, Authi, Leyland, Rover, and of course, Mini (to say nothing of its Wolsely and Riley cousins). Mini, as a marque, began in 1969, replacing the Austin and Morris brands.

The pickup truck body style was offered between 1961 and 1983. This one is powered by a 1,275cc inline-four. I like the bed cover – as if there is sufficient cargo beneath that needs protection.

There were 58,179 pickup variants built, and this one has been restored. They aren’t nearly as common as the coupes and are rarely seen at auction. This one carries an estimate of $20,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $22,172.

1921 International

1921 International 101 Stake Bed

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Somehow this week became “classic commercial vehicle week.” Not sure how that happened. But I do know that it will continue at least through Monday. This is a pretty interesting one. International Harvester was founded in 1902 when McCormick and Deering merged. Agricultural equipment was first, followed by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.

The International brand is still a leader in the truck business. This was one of their early revolutionary designs. Apparently, the 101 was the first truck that could haul more than its own weight. It’s insane that this took until 1921 to accomplish.

Mecum states that only 27 examples of the 101 were built. They look like Renaults from the front (but many trucks of the era did, and for good reason: it was to protect the radiator by placing it behind the engine so angry Teamsters carriage drivers couldn’t damage the front-mounted radiator). It’s a downright frightening machine. Huge, heavy, and with badass wheels. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-four good for 29 horsepower. Top speed is 14 mph. I imagine this was used to move big loads small distances. What a beast. Find out more here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $33,000.

Samson Truck

1922 Samson Model 15

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020

Photo – Mecum

I agree that the title of this post is lame. “Samson Truck.” I could’ve called it “Samson Model 15,” but the likelihood of ever featuring another Samson truck is so low that I don’t think it’s getting confused with a different one. Why so unlikely? Well, Samson was a tractor manufacturer originally based out of Stockton, California…

Founded in 1900, the company eventually caught the eye of one Billy Durant in 1917. He shifted the company’s headquarters to Janesville, Wisconsin. Between 1920 and 1923, the brand turned out trucks in addition to tractors (along with a prototype passenger car). GM shuttered the brand in 1923 and shifted Chevrolet/GMC production to Janesville, which continued to operate until 2008.

Samson trucks were powered by a Chevy-sourced 26-horsepower inline-four. It’s unknown if this is the original body, but the radiator/cowl area certainly looks correct. The rest of the body could’ve been changed over the years. No windshield is present. This is a cool piece of forgotten GM history, and it’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,000.

Bedford TK Box Truck

1973 Bedford TK 220D Box Truck

Offered by Brightwells | Online | November 5, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The BK was a heavy truck produced by Bedford for an eternity. It debuted in 1960, and the final versions rolled off the line in 1992, although the last Bedford-branded truck was built in 1986. Bedford was essentially the commercial vehicle arm of Vauxhall, which was a GM subsidiary since 1925. GM shed itself of Bedford‘s heavy-truck division in 1987, and the final BKs were badged “AWD”s until 1992.

What I like about this truck is the fact that, like all classic commercial vehicles, it has defied the odds and survived well past the end of its useful life. It’s a moving truck, and who saves a moving truck? The original owner, that’s who. Whoever was using this in the 1970s eventually placed it into storage and still owns it today.

Power is from a diesel inline-four. It’s probably excruciatingly slow, but speed isn’t the point. If you get it, you get it. And if you want to get it, it’ll probably run you between $7,750 and $10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,761.