Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | July 17, 2021
Bean Cars traced its roots back to a foundry that Absolom Harper started in 1822. The Bean name entered the fold in 1907, and the company made car parts prior to WWI. During the war, they produced artillery shells, and by the war’s end, they needed a replacement product. So Bean Cars was born in 1919.
They sold passenger cars for 10 years and light commercial vehicles from 1924 through 1931. This pickup falls in the latter category. The Bean 14 was launched in October 1923. This particular example left the factory as a five-seat Tourer model. It was re-bodied in 1927 as a pickup, and the factory 14-horsepower, 2.3-liter inline-four has been replaced with a much newer 1.6-liter Ford inline-four.
The truck was restored by a historic railway company in the U.K. in the late 1990s. It was purchased by its current owner at a Bonhams auction in 2017, and it’s now expected to bring between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We’ve featured a few Albion commercial vehicles in the past, including a truck from about this era. This delivery van carries a livery for a producer of Swiss Rolls and was apparently delivered new to this company. It was restored between 2005 and 2008 and has been fitted with overdrive, allowing it to hit about 55 mph. This makes it somewhat usable, especially if you’re a business owner looking to advertise (though it would be a shame to lose this livery). Power is from an inline-four of unknown displacement or output.
Bonhams sold this truck in 2013 for $26,000, and it now carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | April 14, 2021
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.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021
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.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
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.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
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.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020
Well here’s a new class of vehicle we haven’t featured before. The Showman’s Road Locomotive. It’s basically a steam traction engine that is made to go down the road, helping transport a circus or carnival. And then once it gets to where it’s going, it’s the powerplant for the show. They are very large and very ornate.
This one was manufactured by John Fowler & Co. of Leeds. The company built four B6 “Super Lion” road locomotives. These were the last such machines built, as steam’s popularity was on the wane. The last road locomotive ceased operation in 1958, and most of them ended up scrapped. This example is the first of the four Super Lions, two others of which also survive.
When new, it was used to power carnival rides until it was retired in 1946. It had two owners between 1950 and 2018, and it was restored over a two-year period in the mid-1990s. Like many other showman’s locomotives, it features a full canopy, a front dynamo, and a lot of brass.
Steam traction engines are impressive beasts in the own right, but once you add this sort of over-the-top glamour to them, they really just become awe-inspiring. This one is expected to sell for between $1,000,000-$1,600,000. Why not? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020
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.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020
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.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
The D-Series Dodge pickup was built in three generations from 1960 through 1980 before being replaced by the Ram (although some Rams still used the “D” nomenclature through the early 1990s). The Lil Red Express was an option package on the D150 Adventurer pickup that was available in 1978 and 1979.
Each Lil Red Express came equipped with dual vertical stack exhaust pipes, wood bed trim, and an 8-track cassette of C.W. McCall’s #1 hit “Convoy.” Okay, I made that last part up, but you can obviously tell this was a pickup for serious over-the-road trucker cosplayers. “Lil Red Express” also doubles as a great name for a ginger rapper (you’re welcome).
This truck is powered by a 360ci/5.9-liter V8 that made 180 horsepower new. Dodge offered a number of special option package (or “lifestyle”) pickups during this era, but this is the most famous. Those exhaust stacks were illegal in some states, so you couldn’t get this truck everywhere. Only 2,188 were built in 1978, and 1979 saw 5,118 takers. Check out more about this truck here, and see more from this sale here.