VW Hormiga

1978 Volkswagen EA489 Hormiga

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | December 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Functional. That’s what the design of this screams. Volkswagen developed the EA489 Basistransporter for “developing markets,” which I think is code for “third-world countries.” It was produced as a knock-down kit in West Germany and sold under a few names. Versions produced in Mexico between 1977 and 1979 were called the Hormiga.

The engine is a 1.6-liter flat-four located under the cabin. The air intake sprouts out of the roof like a bathroom vent, and the thing is front-wheel drive. Power for Mexican-market models was rated at 50 horsepower, and it was rated to carry about 2,200 pounds.

Never seen one of these? Hardly surprising, just 3,600 were built in Mexico, and even the limited number of examples produced for other markets were all used up and thrown away. This one has obviously been redone. You can read more about it here.

Thames Trader

1961 Thames Trader Flatbed

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 19, 2022

Photo – H&H Classics

Beginning in 1933, Ford of Britain sold commercial vehicles under the Fordson brand. In 1939, they changed the name to Fordson Thames, perhaps because their first factory was located on the River Thames in Dagenham. After 1957, they dropped the Fordson, making the brand just Thames until they reverted to Ford in 1965.

The Trader was the largest truck built by Thames, and it was in production the marque’s entire existence. The Trader has a pretty distinctive cab and front-end design. This one is powered by a gasoline inline-six.

This Mk I example features a rear flat bed after having previously been configured as a box van. Thames was a short-lived marque that produced vehicles meant to be used and discarded. It’s pretty great that one still exists in this condition. The estimate is $12,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

OAF Fire Truck

1930 OAF AFN Fire Truck

Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 15, 2022

Photo – Dorotheum

So it’s not pronounced “oaf”… it’s actually ÖAF, for Österreichische Automobil-Fabrik. The company was founded in 1907 as the Austrian Fiat truck plant. The trucks were called “Austro-Fiats”, and they started developing their own stuff during WWI. In 1925, Fiat lost control of it, and the name shifted to OAF.

MAN took over OAF (what a sentence) in 1938. After WWII, the company was split off, eventually going private in 1970, merging with Graf & Stift. The following year, MAN acquired them again. The last OAF-branded trucks left the assembly line in 2008.

The AFN express truck debuted in 1924 powered by a 2.9-liter Fiat inline-four that made 42 horsepower. This fire truck dates from 1930 and remained with it’s local Austrian fire department until 2009 (though not in use, I hope). It was then sold into private ownership and restored. The estimate here is $24,000-$34,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Twin Coach Delivery Truck

1933 Twin Coach Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for this site to feature one of these little trucks. They are a lot smaller in person than you’d think, even though the door makes it pretty obvious that they aren’t that large. Twin Coach existed from 1927 through 1955 in Kent, Ohio.

The company was actually formed by Frank and William Fageol after they left their eponymous company. In addition to their delivery vans, Twin Coach also made buses. Flxible acquired them in 1955 and continued marketing vehicles under the Twin Coach name through 1963.

The delivery trucks are most famous in the Helms Bakery livery, but they were used by other companies as well. It’s powered by a Hercules inline-four, and the driver can operate the vehicle either standing or sitting. This one is selling without reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $49,500.

Indiana Fire Truck

1936 Indiana Model 86 Fire Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | November 17, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Guess where this company was based. Indiana? Yes… well, for part of the run anyway. By the time this truck was built, the Indiana Motors Corporation was actually based in Cleveland, Ohio, as a subsidiary of White, who phased it out around 1940.

Indiana trucks were produced initially by the Harwood-Barley Manufacturing Company of Marion, Indiana. They built trucks and buses and were eventually acquired by Brockway before becoming part of White.

The Model 86 featured a Hercules inline-six engine. And that’s about all of the technical details I have. This is said to have been originally built as a fire truck for use in Delaware. Now it’s offered at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $29,700.

Diamond T Tanker

1929 Diamond T Model T4D 1.5-Ton Tanker

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T built some beautiful trucks in the 1930s and ’40s. But the company was actually founded by C.A. Tilt in 1905, back when things were more… functional. This is the earliest Diamond T we’ve featured.

At the end of the 1920s, trucks were big, heavy, slow, and purposeful. Styling hadn’t entered the arena yet. This tanker truck is powered by a Hercules 4.1-liter inline-four paired with a four-speed transmission. In thinking about why this truck survived scrap drives during WWII, I’d guess it was used as a water truck on a farm or something where it was relied upon.

This truck was part of the Hays Antique Truck Museum, which Mecum liquidated earlier this year. So why is it back at auction (and with the same pics)? Either it didn’t sell, it got pulled from the catalog at the last second, or the winning bidder flaked. In any event, glad it’s back so we could feature it this time around. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Mecum East Moline 2022, $22,000.

C.T. Electric Truck

1916 C.T. Model F 5-Ton Flatbed

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Perhaps the photographer should’ve stepped back 10 feet. C.T. electric trucks were produced by the Commercial Truck Company of America, which was based in Philadelphia. The company built, well, commercial trucks, many of which looked like this, from 1908 through 1928.

Power is from four General Electric electric motors, with one stationed at each wheel. They had a range of 40-50 miles, and this one was one of 20 used by the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post… into the 1960s! I once bid on one of these trucks, but that’s a story for a different day.

There are some of these funky trucks out there (pretty sure NATMUS has one). You can check out more about this one here.

Update: Sold $26,400.

Breeding Steam Truck

1916 Breeding 5-Ton Steam Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

This poorly-photographed truck is too interesting not to feature here, regardless of its 2004-era cell phone photo shoot. Breeding Engineering was based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and they developed a steam-powered commercial chassis leading up to the outbreak of WWI.

WWI killed any hope for the truck, which was backburner-ed and never really completed. The chassis was later found in Sardinia, Ohio, while the engine had been relocated to Kentucky with the original designer’s grandson. The wood cab was built at the time of the restoration.

The steam engine is similar to that of a Stanley, but it’s since been modified to run on compressed air. Check out more about this one-off truck here and dream about what could’ve been in the world of steam-powered heavy commercial vehicles.

Update: Sold $12,100.

Liberty Standard Truck

1917 Liberty Class B 3-Ton Flatbed

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

This is a really fascinating truck, and kind of a weird one categorization-wise. The “Class-B Standardized Military Truck” was actually designed by the U.S. military in a matter of weeks, with the team sitting down for the first time in August 1917 and the first trucks ready in October. Assembly was performed by 15 different companies, with Selden, Graham-Bernstein, Garford, Pierce-Arrow, and Republic being the largest producers.

No marque was assigned to any of the trucks, but “Liberty” was the nickname given to them, thus why it’s labeled as it is here. About 9,400 were built between late 1917 and 1918, and only a few made it into service before the war ended. But that didn’t stop them from being used well after the war ended, with some still in-use by foreign governments up to almost 1940.

The 7.0-liter L-head inline-four was assembled from components from several companies, including Continental, Waukesha, and Hercules. Output was 52 horsepower. Compared to WWI, WWII vehicles seem commonplace. Finding a truck from the Great War, restored to this condition at that, is extremely uncommon. Read more about this one here.

Update: Sold $71,500.

Kelly-Springfield Truck

1914 Kelly-Springfield Model K-40 3-Ton

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company sounds an awful lot like the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. And that’s probably because both were founded in Springfield, Ohio, by Edwin S. Kelly. The trucks were sold under the Kelly marque from 1910 through 1912, when Springfield was appended.

Kelly actually started his truck company in 1910, 15 years after selling his tire company, after having purchased the Frayer Miller Auto Company. The K-40 was their biggest offering, launching alongside the smaller K-31 and K-35 in 1912.

This K-30 is a bare-chassis example powered by a 6.8-liter T-head inline-four of the company’s own design. It’s got chain drive and was a well-regarded truck when new. You can see more about it here.

Update: Withdrawn.