Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Yep, thanks to all who showed up to the MURPHEY gathering for the wonderful gift of family!! And while all gifts were CERTAINLY appreciated, this is a blog about trucks.

So, a special thanks to my oldest daughter who got me --- oh heck you already guessed it ---

It came yesterday. Actually she said it was supposed to be delivered UPS on Monday, but that was not the case. I was out in the neighborhood yesterday and spotted the UPS truck making deliveries, and I was next.
I have completed the rear end and rear wheel hubs for paint. This is going to be a patient build, and yes, it will be done as a ROADWAY truck.---

Thanks guys -- GREAT CHRISTMAS all around!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Merry Christmas Trucks

I was talking with my buddy Jerry last night about getting things ready for Christmas this weekend and having all our kids home for the holiday. It WILL BE GREAT!!
He reminded me however that I should have a "special" ornament on my tree -- of course a truck.
My reply was that we already incorporated a neat couple of trucks in our Christmas decoration theme --- I've sort of adopted them as mine.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

AMT/ERTL -- Mack DM-600

This post is about yet another memory now almost long gone, but brought to light once again by a post on HANK'S TRUCK FORUM. Recently there was a discussion on ROADWAY trucks, and the memory came flooding back.

One of my other treasured models, now long gone, was an AMT/ERTL -- 1/25 scale MACK DM-600 done up in ROADWAY colors. I am sad to say that I gave it away, and I don't even have a picture.

However, I AM EXTREMELY PLEASED that this kit has apparently been reproduced and I believe is available through MODEL ROUNDUP.

I am hoping this will be my Christmas present this year!!

Can see it now -- ROADWAY!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rare Ford COE Twin Engine

Persistence has paid off in solving the mystic behind this mid 40's FORD COE TWIN ENGINE---

This is perhaps one of the rarest examples of Ford ingenuity in existence today -- for a fact it is the only one. Here is it's story quoted from another web page.

"As the fires of war engulfed much of the globe in the mid-to-late thirties, the free world that still existed turned to the United States for help. American factories began to reap the profits from that foreign war. As the firestorms of war engulfed more and more of the globe, it became evident to many in the U.S. that we must prepare to defend our way of life. The problem was that all of the possible aircraft plants in the U.S. had contracted all of the production that they could possibly handle to the British and others.

It was at this point that the federal government turned to Henry Ford with the question, "Can you build aircraft (bombers) the same way as you have built cars?" Mr. Ford replied, "I suppose, Let’s take a look," At this point Mr. Ford along with a group of company officials went to San Diego, California to look at Consolidated Aircraft’s B-24 Bomber assembly line and designs. From this visit and others the famous Willow Run plant and its production came into being. The main point with which we are concerned is that Lloyd Lawson of the E &L Transport Company was in the group to look into providing transportation of the components which would be produced at Willow Run Ill. The components of the bombers would be shipped to San Diego Ca., Fort Worth, Texas, and Oklahoma City Okla. where plant space was available.

Lloyd Lawson returned to E&L Transport Company in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designed the twin engine Ford truck tractors, using 2-100 horse powered Ford truck engines driving 4-speed Warner transmissions and Timken differentials. Each engine had it's own, ignition switch, gauges, radiator, Transmission drive shaft and rear end. This was basically two-one and a half ton trucks in one chassis using standard off-the-shelf cabover engine Ford truck parts. Some parts were modified, but all were Ford. The drawing board and blue prints consisted of the plans being drawn on the concrete floor with soap stone. The engineers consisted of the men working in the shop. The total production number of these vehicles was 96 to 98. About one half of these vehicles had the rounded cab as does #50. The other trucks were designed with the more square cab."

"According to the caption for this June 17, 1942, photo, this is simply a “Ford truck to haul bomber parts,” but our friend Fred Crismon, author of “U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles,” has more:

Early in 1943 [which clashes with the date of the above photo -ed.] this highly specialized vehicle was shown to the public, identified as a tractor designed to pull a 60-foot-long “supertrailer” in which 34 complete tail cone assemblies could be carried. The tail cones were for the B-24 bomber of which Ford was one of several builders. The assemblies were carried between several manufacturing plants according to contemporary sources, involveing runs between California and Texas, Willow Run, Michigan, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth, Texas, and between Loudonville, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York. Two Mercury V-8s were used, driving into synchronized transmissions.

Crismon also noted that the tractor was rated at 10 tons and that the trailer was loaded from the top by overhead cranes. About 70 of the trucks were built, and the twin engines were accessed by pulling them as a unit out the front of the tractor. Crismon provides evidence that, although Ford was often mentioned as the builder of the trucks, a company named Thorco Dual Motors built them – Thorco being a trademark for the Thornton Acle Company. However, James Wagner, the author of “Ford Trucks Since 1905,” wrote that about 100 tractors were built by E and L Transport of Dearborn, and the corresponding trailers were built by Mechanical Handling Systems."


Update Photos --- 2/23/12

This is an earlier example of a Ford Twin Engine circa 1938 ---

More pictures of the Ford THORCO twin engines ---

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Rare and Unusual FORD COE

My good friend JERRY over at HANK'S TRUCK FORUM has come up with another stumper. It is this FORD TWIN ENGINE COE.

If you look closely at the grill, you will notice two radiators. Why? This truck had two engines, that's why. Apparently FORD built this truck for military use. It had a 70 foot trailer used for hauling aircraft parts.

What is not known are the specifications, how many were built, what engines were used, what year was this manufactured in? As far as I can find, this picture found by Jerry is the only one on the net. It might have been taken at an ATHS show.

Any further info about this truck would be appreciated -- it certainly deserves more recognition!!

Please note:


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beverage Trucks -- 1920 -1960

While on a recent trip to Buffalo to visit our son, I happened into a flea market and came across this FORD COE beverage truck. When I purchased it for $15 dollars to add to my collection of models and die cast trucks, it did not have the A&W logos -- those are my doing.

Those of you that look at this thread from now and then know that I have been "absent" at periods -- this due to the time I spend on HANK'S TRUCK FORUM. This has NOT been time wasted though, as I have started a thread devoted to the obscure BEVERAGE TRUCK.

This thread contains lots of cool pictures of all kinds of "beverage trucks" and some forgotten brands of soda, beer, and dairy products.

Come take a look ----- The Beverage Truck -- 1920 -1960 -- Hey, you might even want to post a few pictures of your own, comments welcome too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I was pleased when it arrived five days latter. Round 2 was true to the memory of that old AMT kit. The instructions were just like the ones from the old kit. The parts were clean and the chrome did shine. My only complaint was the decals were too thick -- even decal solvent didn't help. The build up was exactly how I remembered the original.

Here are some pictures of "SPIKE"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Case of the WILLY'S

This past summer brought about a pleasant surprise, a vehicle I hadn't seen in a long time and the chance to actually get in one for the first time since the early 60's.

Just up the road from where I live I spotted a Willy's Jeep FC-170. This was a former fire vehicle belonging to the small village of Millport, and it was being sold. Despite the fact that it hadn't run in four years and the brakes were not working it was in very decent shape otherwise. I have always wanted one of these as my dad had one back in the late 50's. It was my favorite of all the trucks my dad had. I should have jumped when I had the chance -- final sale price -- $5900.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alens REO

I recently received the following e-mail along with some GREAT pics of a REO belonging to ALLEN VERMAN ----

hi there
ran across your site with the pic. of the old REO truck and thought that since you like old trucks so much i'd send a couple pictures of my '34.
i have had virtually no luck finding pictures of a truck like mine anywhere, it's a model 1B, without a bed at the moment untill i find a suitable style to use as a model.
we are wondering what this truck did for a living, the thing has lots of miles, but the secondary springs are not worn, other drive train parts show quite a bit of wear.
another truck nut
allen verman
cuba, ohio

Thanks Allen for the e-mail and the great pics --- NICE TRUCK YOU LUCKY MAN!!!

In search of WALTER

No, not the Jeff Dunham character, but great trucks known as WALTERS. My quest was to view and photograph the WALTER SNOW PLOW collection of Jerald Johnson in Lapeer, NY, just west of Marathon.

First, a little history about the WALTER


William Walter was a Swiss immigrant, and came to the U.S.A. in 1883 and established himself as a manufacturer of candy and confectionery machinery. He built himself a passenger car in 1898 and from 1904 to 1909 made high­ quality cars, at first in New York City and later at Trenton, N.J. Truck production began in 1909 a t the New York factory on West 66th Street, and in 1911 the first 4-wheel­ drive trucks appeared, which were to become the staple product of the company. Based on the French Latil and of similar appearance with radiator behind engine, they were made in sizes from 1 ½ to 7 tons. Conventional rear wheel drive and also front wheel drive trucks were also made, all with internal gear drive to the wheels. Engines were Walter's own make up to 1920, then mainly Waukesha during the 1920s. Gradually the rear-wheel-drive models were phased out, although a 15/25-ton rwd tractor with 5­speed gearbox was made as late as 1924. By the mid-1920s Walters had assumed their characteristic appearance with engine projecting ahead of the front axle; in 1929 the first Walter Snow Fighter appeared, and this was a field in which the company later became well-known, as well as for highway maintenance work and carrying cement mixers. During the 1930's Walter supplied a number of fire engines to New York City. Articulated dump trucks were used in open-cast coal mining, and Walters were also seen in the logging industry. By 1940 there were six models, all with 4-wheel-drive, of 3 to 12 tons capacity. Engines were 6-cylinder units by Waukesha, Hercules and Cummins, the latter a diesel.

During World War II Walter supplied 4 X 4 artillery tractors with 672ci 6-cylinder Hercules engines to the U.S. Army, and also snow removal trucks with Waukesha engines to both U.S. and Canadian forces. After the war the 4-wheel-drive trucks were continued, and Walter entered a new field with the building of airfield crash tend­ers. These were developed in conjunction with the Federal Government, the Port of New York Authority and the National Fire Protection Association. Current production includes crash tenders with single and twin engines, refuse collection trucks and the familiar 4-wheel-drive trucks and snowplows.


Our drive from Horseheads took about 1 1/2 hours, and I am sorry to say that upon our arrival Jerald was not present, the house across the road completely empty.
I had found out about this collection through my friends over at HANK'S where we have been discussing these brutes in a forum. Here is a taste of what I found --

This is just a small sampling of what I found. If you want to see more pictures, and read some more stuff about the WALTER, check out the post's on HANKS TRUCK PICTURE FORUM, the
WALTER THREAD --- remember to check out the previous five pages!!!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

2009, 10th Annual National Brockway Truck Show

WOW, even that does not describe my day with over 120 beautiful BROCKWAY trucks. No, you can not have TOO MUCH of a good thing!! I arrived in Cortland via route 13 at 7:30 AM to find this beauty parked along the road ---

I then found a spot to park, no problem. Then it was on to the parade route. The parade started on time and you could hear the trucks before you saw them, blowing those air horns, and jaking their trucks --- I wish I could have captured that in my pictures.

At any rate, you can enjoy my day here in VIRTUALITY by way of YOU-TUBE ---

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mystery of the "IRONSIDE" Paddy Wagon

The popular TV series "IRONSIDE" was produced by Universal Studios and ran from it's premier in 1967 until 1975. The first thirteen pictures in this video show the Paddy Wagon that was used to carry Robert Ironside (played by Raymond Burr) from place to place during the first three seasons. It should be noted that while modifications were made to that vehicle, the overall body remained unchanged -- I like to think of this vehicle as "THE IRONSIDE PADDY WAGON"

The last three pictures show what I call the "Demise Vehicle". This similar looking truck was used early in the third season when the "PADDY WAGON" met its' death.

Note very carefully that this is NOT the original vehicle. The rear fenders are different. The windshield is rounded, the door windows are different, and the box extends to hide the chassis behind the running board. Also, I do not believe that "THE IRONSIDE PADDY WAGON" had an air scoop vent just in front of the windshield.

It is my unproven contention that the vehicle used in the demise was a "parts" vehicle.

If that is the case, what happened to the "REAL THING"?

Give me your thoughts ----

Sunday, July 05, 2009

That Skeleton In Your Closet --

Spent this weekend on a project I have been putting off for way to long -- finding a place in our house for all my truck models and die-casts --- all 44 of them.

It was during that process that I decided the closet in my computer room need to be checked out --
glad I did, because I had forgotten that I had stored the subject of this post in a corner of that closet.

What I found was something I did back in 1972 when we lived in OKC, a jigsaw puzzle of a late 60's Kenworth and Thermo King Reefer. I'm glad I decided to mount it, and even happier that it has survived.

It now holds a place of honor in what will become my "TRUCK ROOM" ---

Monday, June 22, 2009

Those "OLD SCHOOL" Trucks

When it comes to a "favorite era" of trucks for me, I would have to state that anything goes before the 1980's. But if I were to narrow it down even more, then I would have to say the period between 1950 - 1970.

I really like what I call the "old school" look of those trucks, especially the 50's era. Those are the trucks I remember from my "early childhood", and into the 60's. To me, they looked like a truck should look -- simple, beautiful, and tough.

They didn't need to be dressed up - they looked fine just doing what they did. So, I've spent some time these past few weeks, finding some saved photos and doing some reworking to come up with these renditions .

You can also find them over on Hank's ---- but don't tell anyone!!

50's Mack H -- Nigro Freight Line

And who will fault these two fine GMC's?


50's GMC 950 Cannonball with Champion Grain Trailer

And finally --- this Ford --

An early 50's FORD V-8 ---- Nigro Freight Lines

A note about "NIGRO" Freight Line ---

NIGRO, Tom Tom Nigro, 83, of Ashford, husband of Betty Jane Nigro, died peacefully in the presence of his family on Friday, (October, 17, 2008) in Mansfield. Born December 19, 1924 in Hartford, he was the son of first generation Italian Americans, Vito and Mary Nigro. Tom was a well known entrepreneur, a hard working husband with a wide network of friends and extended family. Seeing his family struggle and yet survive the depression years endowed Tom with boundless optimism and an irrepressible spirit that seemed larger than life. His zest for living was a boundless quest for the next opportunity and a joyful appreciation for family, friends and children. They learned to cook his Italian delicacies, grew up in a circle of love and returned again and again. Tom and Betty opened their home to numerous friends and extended family members who became generations of benefactors enriched by their loving care. They experienced deep and meaningful living and were absorbed into their ever expanding blended family. He received a Bronze Star Medal and an honorable discharge from service in the U.S. Army during World War II in Italy where he drove truck convoys through occupied combat zones. Tom founded Nigro Freight Lines, an interstate trucking firm in the 1950's. In the early 1960's he settled in Ashford where he began Hillcrest Farm and Equipment Company. With help from Betty, he launched the Wagon Shed Restaurant, bakery and antique shop. More recently he operated the Summit Farm Welding and Repair Shop and sold tools and machinery at local flea markets.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Old School" Trucks --- A Pete and a GMC

Took some time out today to do a little something I enjoy --- thought you might too!!!

A 1950's Pete from the movie "DUEL"

And this 1950's Cannonball GMC Reefer Unit ---

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today is FLAG DAY - June 14, 2009

I was reminded by my daughter that today is FLAG DAY - she called a week early, thinking it was FATHERS DAY.

So to honor this day, I am posting a picture that my friend Jerry found.

I think it is appropriate ---

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Half Tracks or Half Trucks and other Military Vehicles

It is hard to keep track of time and the fact that it has been a while since I last posted. I have been spending my time at Hank's Truck forum (see side bar), mostly on what is called "Jerry's Nostalgia Page" , specifically on two recent posts concerning HALF TRACK vehicles and the other military vehicles (trucks).

The first thread about HALF TRACKS is called "THE HALF TRACK: trucks with treads", and now contains 16 pages devoted to the HALF TRACK'S of WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Viet Nam.

It was started on a whim, when I asked Jerry if Half tracks were considered to be trucks after looking over my truck collection and doing a "comparison count". I'm glad he replied in the affirmative and the following pictures were added to the numerous posts on the subject ----

WHITE M2A1 -- 50 cal. mount Half Track

WHITE M3A1 - M-16 multi gun carrier

That first model was built by me over twenty years ago, an old Monogram kit. The second is a Tamiya kit that was built completly by my daughter prior to my build. She was about 12 at the time, and would NOT allow me near it until it was done!!

"Our" second thread on Hank's is titled, "GEARS, GUTS and GLORY:Vintage Military Trucks". This thread is now 77 pages long and is devoted to Military Vehicles of all wars from WWI to present, and includes vehicles of all nations. It is still a work in progress that includes vehicle pictures and links to pages covering Vehicle types.

GMC CMKW - 1940's

How about this WWII Russian type based on a FORD --- RUSSIAN GAZ

This is only a taste of what my "comrades", Jerry, Leo, Vern, and Mike have posted. The above threads are worth a visit --- YOU are always welcome to join in the passion for old trucks!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What Is It????

I'll make this simple. This truck is a 1953 COE made by a now defunct company. The picture was sent to me as a "reverse" reward from the last person who ID'ed this truck. I owe a debt of gratitude to Brian. Here it is.

What Make?

Where was it made?

What present day truck manufacturer bought out this company?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Original AMT Peterbilt 359 and Fruhauf Trailer

I think I'm going to cry. I thought I had lost this picture, taken in 1969, of the original AMT issue of the PETERBILT 359 "California Hauler" and AMT FRUHAUF Trailer. This is the first truck I ever built!!!

That's right - the first of AMT's line of truck models. The truck that started my interest in model trucks. MY FAVORITE model of all times!! Note that it doesn't have the sleeper cab yet, the picture was taken shortly after I ordered it from AMT.

The picture was taken on the front porch of my childhood home. Both house and truck are long lost, but not the memory.

It's funny how things come back when you least expect them to.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On The Road With The Birds and Trucks

Every opportunity we get, my wife and I go out for LONG drives trying to get lost on the back roads of New York, and Pennsylvania. I usually watch for birds for her and she watches for trucks for me. It's a time we both enjoy - especially when I end up with ONE truck and she ends up with 15 or more different birds. THAT IS A GOOD DAY - for me!

It was on one of those trips that WE spotted this old Brockway on our way through Dushore, Pa.

Our next weekend trip had us headed to Buffalo to spend Easter with our son Garrett. Of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to head out Sunday morning for a drive near Lake Erie. I made even with my truck score and her bird score.

This was my result - a pristine Peterbuilt 359, with an interesting hood ornament.

Then there was yesterday. A day trip to Ithaca and Dryden. I already knew I had at least one truck on my list. Jan clobbered me with birds!

My find was actually spotted coming back from Cortland during a bus trip. I believe this is a late 70's Brockway 359.

If you look carefully at the interior shot, you will see that the keys are in the ignition. Lucky for Jan, IT DIDN'T start.

The next offering is from a local road trip in Elmira. I was thankful that this was close by as neither of us had brought our cameras. I went back the following day to capture this late 20's Chevrolet.

So, I will have to admit ---- Birds and trucks are a fine mix, and those road trips aren't bad either.