Sunday, September 28, 2008

One more Zaffo - American LaFrance Fire Engine

If anyone should read this, and they have been following my posts on George J. Zaffo's "BIG BOOK of REAL TRUCKS", and they are fortunate enough to know this book, you know that this is not the last illustration. There is one more - a Greyhound Scenic-Cruiser from the late 1950's. I actually road in one of these.

But, sorry to say, this is about trucks. So this post is about an American LaFrance Fire Engine. And since I live right next door to Elmira, this is a fitting post. Elmira was long time home of American LaFrance - a real good piece of fire apparatus!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"They Drive by Night"

Sterling Truck from "They Drive by Night"

If you are a true fan of "Bogie" films, you might still have missed this classic truck film about the depression era. The story evolves around two brothers played by Humphrey Bogart and George Raft and also stars Anne Sheridan and Ida LaPino.

But of course, my favorite stars are the trucks, especially the truck pictured here in the opening scene. I'll have to admit that when I found this picture on the net, I had no idea as to the truck type. I suspected it was a Sterling from the late 1930's.

I had to rent the movie, and after several pauses, I did identify the marque from the radiator. It was indeed a Sterling.

This movie also has some great shots of other old trucks, including General Motors and an early cab over I still need to ID.

Another shot of the Sterling - taken by camera from my computer.

1930's Sterling Truck

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Post on George J. Zaffo

I have just finished copying another picture from "The Big Book of Real Trucks". It will be the subject of this post.

I am by no means an authority when it comes to identifying old trucks. I will admit, that I was stumped by a few I found in this old book. The following is one of them. It took a lot of searching on the net to find a clue - it came as another picture, the ONLY one I could find that would help identify the truck type.

First is the Zaffo illustration -

The only thing stated about this truck in the book was, it's called a Flushing Machine.

Second is the picture from the Internet - thanks Hank's Trucks and Ken Goudy.

Note the "suicide doors".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mack Snowplow - George J. Zaffo

This is how it looked while restoring

I have spent the better part of today trying to restore this illustration by George J. Zaffo. It is the last picture of my childhood book mentioned in a previous post - THE BIG BOOK OF REAL TRUCKS.
This was a challenge, as I had tried to repair the page some time ago using masking tape. Sometimes I must admit to not thinking about future consequences - this must have been one of those times. So, my apology to the memory of Mr. Zaffo. I tried my best to bring this picture back.
It can't, however, begin to compare it to the original.

The finished restoration - an early 40's MACK Snow Plow

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mack R-685-ST - AMT Kit Re-Issue

Posted about this kit a while back. Must say it was an enjoyable build that went together just as I remembered an AMT should. This was a re-issue of the AMT Mack by Stephens Hobby. The only thing I found wrong were the decals were WAY out of scale, the kit is 1/25 and I estimate the decals were over 1/16.

All in all not bad - had to find more room in my model museum though.

The end.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fond Memory - The Big Book of Real Trucks, by: George J. Zaffo

Sterling Dump Truck by George J Zaffo

My wife has been cleaning house and she brought out a book that has been mine for as long as I can remember. I think I must have been five at the time it was given to me. The cover shows wear on the edges, the binding is gone, pages torn, and yes I scribbled on some of those pages. It was one of my favorite books way back when, and no wonder, because it was about trucks.

The book can still be found, though it is getting harder and more expensive to find a "good" copy. So, for the time being I have tried to "restore" the art of George J. Zaffo.

This post is dedicated to his memory, and for giving me and other truck lovers our fond memories of childhood past.

The pictures here, some restored, are all by George Zaffo.

Mack EHU - circa 1947

1940's Mack LR Heavy Duty Dump Truck

International Cattle Truck

Mack with Lowboy

Mack Concrete Truck

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


If you look back at my early post, you could say and probably be correct that I have a bias towards Peterbilts. I just think that the Petes from the 50's into the 70's represent what a "tough" truck should look like. With that in mind, should it be any wonder that one of my favorite "cult" movies
is "Duel"?

This was a movie from the 70's, one of Stephen Kings first attempts at "prime time TV". It stared Dennis Weaver as a driver caught up in a nightmare duel with a 1960 Peterbilt Tanker Truck. I haven't seen this movie in a long time, but was reminded of it when I found these pictures on the net. There is actually a site dedicated to the "Duel Truck".