Ford’s Burma Jeep

1943 Ford GTB

Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 25-27, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Every American automobile manufacturer that survived the Great Depression produced vehicles of some kind for the war effort during WWII. Ford produced planes, jeeps, trucks, and more (yeah, okay, so one of those links is for a truck Ford built for the Nazis). This is sort of a hybrid Jeep-Truck. It is often referred to as a “Burma Jeep.”

These were heavily used by the Navy and Marines, primarily in the Pacific Theater of the war. A 90 horsepower straight-six provided power to all four wheels. Five different variants were built, and this looks like a regular base model truck for cargo or troops. They came equipped with a huge winch and dual rear wheels. They were meant to go trouncing through the jungle. And that’s just what they did.

This one shows pretty well – and the odometer has less than one mile on it. So it’s probably pretty fresh (or that gauge isn’t working). This is the first one of these I can remember seeing at auction. It’s a cool piece of American military history and you can read more here and see more from Mecum here.

Moreland Gas Tanker

1927 Moreland RR6 Gas Tanker Truck

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 27-29, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Moreland Motor Truck Company operated between 1917 and 1940 in Burbank, California. They never built passenger cars and focused on commercial truck production for the duration of their existence.

This truck is powered by a Continental straight-six and a 3-speed manual transmission. Well restored, this truck features some original equipment from 1927, including its spare tire. The wood that makes up part of this truck is solid oak.

Finished in Union Oil livery, this truck has a pretty wide appeal – which is about the only reason it’s in this sale. Commercial trucks aren’t heavily featured in major collector car auctions. But when they have some relation to petroliana, they end up making the cut. This will sell at no reserve and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.

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.

Two Shelby Prototypes

Two Shelby Prototypes

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018


1997 Shelby Aurora V-8 Can-Am

Photo – Bonhams

The Shelby Can-Am was a racing series that used purpose-built race cars from Carroll Shelby. All cars were identical and powered by 255 horsepower V-6 engines. The series – which was open to amateurs – ran from 1991 through 1996 in the U.S.

Originally, Shelby wanted to offer a bigger, badder version of the car. He only built one prototype – and this is it. It’s powered by the then-popular 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V-8. It was tuned to make 500 horsepower and was the same engine used in the Series 1 sports car. This is the only example built and it ran some test laps at Willow Springs but otherwise has been sitting in Ol’ Shel’s personal collection since. This would be a fun track day toy for someone and it should cost them between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $100,800.


1983 Dodge Shelby Ram Prototype

Photo – Bonhams

The first generation of the Dodge Ram was produced from 1981 through 1993. The beginning of production coincided time-wise with Chrysler’s relationship with Carroll Shelby. You might think it’s weird to have Shelby’s name on a truck, but hey, he built a Dakota and a Durango.

This one-off Ram was partly a styling exercise (to mimic the styling of the recently introduced Shelby Charger). But because Shelby couldn’t help himself, the motor was spruced up as well: it’s a 300 horsepower, 5.9-liter V-8. It’s a pretty decked out truck all around. This is coming from Carroll’s personal collection where he maintained this 11,000 mile truck since new. It should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $33,040.

Bedford JO Pickup

1961 Bedford JO Pickup

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 19, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Bedford was, from its inception, a division of General Motors. The commercial companion to Vauxhall, Bedford’s light commercial vehicles were available from 1930 through 1991.

The Bedford TJ was a model sold as both a van and pickup truck from 1958 through 1967 (and through 1975 in other markets around the world). It was an updated version of the earlier TD. The JO (or J0), which was the ½-ton model, was the lightest of seven different TJs offered.

Based on the lot description, it appears this truck uses a 2.6-liter straight-six. The styling on this thing is kind of wild, with a lot going on up front and a very plan looking box out back. It’s like the automotive equivalent of the reverse mullet. About 5,000 JOs were manufactured and only 20 are known to exist in the U.K. This one has been restored to what appears to be better-than-new condition. It was the 10th JO built and should bring between $60,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Laforza

1998 Laforza Magnum Edition

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 6, 2018

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Remember these? Back in the 1990s, high-end sport utility vehicles weren’t all that common. Outside of a Range Rover, your choices among Rodeo Drive-cruising super utes were pretty slim. That is unless you went Italian and bought a Laforza.

Introduced in 1985 in Italy, this SUV was sold in Europe as the Rayton-Fissore Magnum. It was based on an Iveco 4×4 that was built for the military. Designer Tom Tjaarda was responsible for prettying it up for road use. The European engines were small four-cylinders and turbo diesels.

When the Magnum was exported to the U.S. for the first time in the late 1980s, they were rebranded as the Laforza. The biggest difference was that the trucks for the U.S. got big V-8s. This example has a supercharged, 6.0-liter GM V-8, which was unique to the “Magnum Edition” which was offered only from 1999. The final trucks were built in 2003.

This Magnum Edition is one of the last five thought to have been built. It’s got 4-wheel drive and a Pininfarina-styled body. Though limited in production, these were able to be found on the lots of used exotic dealers in Florida and California 20 years ago. Now they’re just oddballs and who knows – maybe their collectibility is just starting to hit (RM has another one set for their Auburn Spring sale in May). This should bring between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,125.

White M3 Half-Track

1944 White M3

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

We. Love. Half-tracks. And based on the historical page visits on this website, so do you. This is an M3, produced by White, and it was developed from the M2 Half Track, which was based in principle on the Citroen Kegresse.

M3s were built by White, Autocar, and Diamond T between 1940 and 1945. It’s powered by a 3.7-liter straight-six making 147 horsepower. Even with the tracks, these were capable of 45 mph on the road and were very popular among the Allied forces.

About 41,000 of these were built between the three different manufacturers. It’s very similar to the M5 half-track built by International Harvester, which was built because the three manufacturers of the M3 couldn’t keep pace with demand. This one has been decently restored and should bring between $55,000-$83,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Nash Pickup

1946 Nash P1 Pickup Prototype

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

Nash was one of the lucky few to survive the Depression and the War. Nash had a history of rugged vehicles but they never really got going with light duty trucks, though in 1946 they apparently experimented with just such a vehicle. This was a time when automakers were scrambling to produce cars and trucks America wanted after years of a stagnant auto industry.

As you can tell, styling was certainly an important factor. It kind of reminds me of a Studebaker pickup of the era from the windshield on back. The front of the truck is clearly shares corporate styling cues from the Nash 600 and it’s powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six, which was likely installed during a comprehensive restoration and was probably not the engine it came with.

It’s unclear how many of these Nash actually built (the possibility exists that it was more than one), but the catalog says that this is the only one in existence. It’s curious that it is in the U.K., but Nash may have exported any prototypes to shield themselves from liability issues. At any rate, the P1 never made it to production, making this a rare piece of American auto history. It will sell at no reserve with an expected result of $21,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,216.

The Most Ridiculous Mercedes

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz built a six-wheeled version of their iconic G-Class a few years ago. It was pretty intense and easily one of the most over-the-top cars money could buy. And it sold out quickly. So in 2017, Mercedes, with their bizarre new marque structure where luxury models lose the “Benz” and get appended with the halfway resurrected “Maybach” name, decided to try and one-up themselves in the ridiculousness category: they built an extended-wheelbase Landaulet version of one of the world’s most capable off-roaders.

The current generation of the G-Class dates to 1990, though the exterior has been tweaked over the years to give every buyer that true “Russian Mob” feeling. The G650 Landaulet gets the AMG treatment under the hood (I guess luxuriousness trumps power when it comes to the car’s name). It’s powered by a 621 horsepower, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. That’s almost as much power as a McLaren F1.

That tan part of the roof at the back folds down to give the rear passengers the open-air experience while fording rivers – which it can do because this car is also equipped with portal axles lifted from the super-macho 4×4² version of the G-Class. Oh, and those rear passengers are coddled in the same seats from the near-limo Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. This convertible luxury truck is basically the ultimate Daimler Parts Bin Special.

And it is being sold by Daimler. It’s a zero-owner car whose proceeds will benefit charity. Only 99 of these have been/will be built and they will all sell – mostly, I’d guess, to wealthy Middle Eastern oil barons. No estimate has been published, but the base price for one of these is supposed to be around $550,000. We’ll see what this one brings. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,404,840.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.