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.

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.

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.

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.

Wilcox 1.5-Ton Truck

1925 Wilcox 1.5-Ton Delivery

Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020

Photo – The Vault

The HE Wilcox Motor Car Company was founded in Minneapolis in 1906, and they started producing passenger cars the next year under the Wolfe brand. They changed the brand name to Wilcox in 1909, and in the following year came commercial vehicles.

It must’ve been a successful endeavor because they stopped producing passenger vehicles in 1910 as well. In 1921, the company name was changed to Wilcox Trux, which strikes me as very forward-thinking looking through the lens of today’s world of slang-influenced company names. Production continued until 1928.

Not much is known about this truck, but the auction catalog states that it may be the only such example extant (though there are other Wilcox trucks in existence). And there are Wolfe automobiles around too. This truck is selling at no reserve, and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.

Hummer H1

2004 Hummer H1 Wagon

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12-14, 2020

Photo – Mecum

This is, potentially, the manliest passenger vehicle ever made. It helps that it started out as a military vehicle (in 1983!) that AM General started selling to civilians in 1992. Those were called “Am General Hummer”s. In 1999, General Motors purchased the Hummer name and launched the former Hummer model as the Hummer H1.

The original H1 lasted through 2004 (2006’s H1 Alpha was an updated version for one year only). Up until 2004, there were four engine/gearbox combos offered through the years. This wagon is powered by a 6.5-liter diesel V8 that made a wimpy 205 horsepower and a more significant 440 lb-ft of torque.

Different body styles of the civilian Hummer/H1 were sold, and this wagon version is the best-looking for those of you who like to drive through brick walls. These are big. They are spacious. They are slow. And they are just so damned cool. Not inexpensive to own or drive, they will continue to turn heads everywhere they go for as long as those of us are still around who remember what big-boy, big-money SUVs looked like before the year 2000 (yeah, this may be an ’04… but this is a 90s truck). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $90,000.

1950s Leyland Tanker

1958 Leyland Super Comet Tanker

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Comet was a model of heavy truck produced by Leyland Trucks over a series of generations between 1947 and 2015. That’s quite the nameplate heritage. They were produced in every conceivable truck variant: flatbeds, box trucks, tankers, and more.

The third generation Comet was available between 1958 and 1963. During this run, the Super Comet was introduced, which was of an even heavier-duty variety. This particular truck is finished in a bright yellow National Benzole livery. This very truck was used to produce a toy version, which is kind of cool.

The 6.2-liter diesel inline-six makes 110 horsepower. The truck has been offered by Bonhams before, and it’s now back with an estimate of $13,000-$20,000. That’s a lot of vehicle for the money. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,412.