Sunday, December 16, 2012

What am I? or WAI -- A Place for Truck Nuts

If you are a Truck Nut like myself you will love the Truck Forum I just joined - a very informal joint called, JUST OLD TRUCKS. But if you really want to have some fun, and you think you know old trucks, consider Jeff Lakascyk's  WHAT AM I? or WAI? in case you didn't catch that first link.

So, how do you join in the fun? REGISTER!!! Become a member of this forum!!! How does the WAI? work? Well every day Jeff posts a different picture of an old or rare make truck for you to identify. He's pretty good at removing identifying marks.

Kind of like this ---

Todays truck is an oldie, can you name it? Bonus points for the tractor pulling it out of the ditch!

Now, Isn't this fun -- see you there!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

William H. Campbell -- "The Autocar Truck Man" -- 1915-2012 --R.I.P.

I received a call from my friend Bruce Bentzman that our mutual friend Bill Campbell passed away during the evening of October 30th, 2012. I wonder if Bill would have appreciated the title I gave him, "THE AUTOCAR TRUCK MAN"? 

I first came to know of Bill because of the art work he did for what was then one of the biggest ad firms in the U.S., Grey & Rodgers of Philadelphia. It was while there that between 1943 -48 he produced  fifty-two ads depicting AUTOCAR TRUCKS and some of the old carriers. He also did the art work for twenty-seven "spots" that also appeared in those ads in TIME and LIFE magazines. This was all done the old fashioned way -- by the artist hand while trying to meet a deadline. I think Bill's work epitomized all of the truck ads of the 1940's.

I don't remember which one of these ads I first saw with the signature of "Campbell" or W. Campbell -- but I was hooked and knew I had to find more. And so it was that I would come to put together a video collage of those works that I had collected that also included some that I thought were his, but done by some of his contemporaries -- Chuck Allen, Frank Waltrich, and Otto Bauman. Billl's depictions of the trucks were done so well, that these latter ad artists tried to emulate his work. That was how I got to know Bill, finding out which ads were actually his and finally finding and cataloging all his works.

I was just getting to know Bill through our few conversations. I will miss his bright mind and our talks about his ads. It makes me wish that I had known him back in the day, and I could have looked over his shoulder and watched the master as he worked to finish one of his pieces.

Good bye my friend, thank you for your kindness and for those wonderful AUTOCAR ads---

If you haven't, please take a moment to view his works --

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kenny's Kollection

Has anyone noticed that I haven't posted about any truck shows this year? Nada, zilch!!! That's because the truck shows I usually attend were preempted by a 40th wedding anniversary and my 60th birthday.

That does not mean however that there were no truck showings -- this post is about one of those.

We were on our way to Cayuga Lake State Park for my 60th, and had just come into Watkins Glen when I spotted this GORGEOUS Mack LFT dump truck parked in a lot preparing to pick up a flatbed trailer. Of course this prompted an immediate stop by me and a camera.

As I approached the fella that owns this truck I asked if he would mind if I took some pictures.  He was most kind and I handed him my "I'm Liking Trucks" card. That was when I found out he was on his way to the Endless Mountain Truck show the following day (one I would miss) and that he lived near-by. I got a location and his name -- Kenny Bubacz. I promised I would look him up.

And so on the following Tuesday while out learning my bus route before school started, I found Kenny's abode and his collection. But more importantly I found a guy who loves trucks -- a kindred spirit. The Mack was parked in the driveway and Kenny was proud to share the details. He thinks he's had it for almost 20 years and he found it at The Endless Mountain Truck Show. It was an LFT that had once pulled trailers up and down from NY - Florida, and was then converted to a dump truck. It's original engine was a 510A which Ken said gave it a top speed of about 45. He swapped it out for a 707 with dual ignition -- now the truck will pull 70 all day long.

But what I like about this truck, as beautiful as it is, IT'S A WORKING TRUCK!!!! Ken still hauls gravel and dirt. You can't kill a Mack.

Oh, you remember I told you Kenny was picking up a flat bed trailer back in Watkins. That was so he could trailer this behind his 49 Mack --

Yep, that's a 49 Dodge Power Wagon!  But wait it gets better ---

What's that in the back of the Power Wagon -- no less than a 38 all original Harley Hog -- but this is a truck blog!!!



Now I'm faced with a dilemma --- sometime before next years Endless Mountain Truck Show, I have to decide which one of these I want to ride in to the show?  Hey Kenny, any chance I could drive???

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 14th --- Happy Birthday William H. Campbell

I just received a note from Bill's friend Bruce that yesterday was Bill's 97th Birthday. So what better way to celebrate this mans life and contribution to the "world of trucks" than to take a look at what I believe represents the most complete collection of his Autocar Truck ads anywhere. Taken from LIFE, TIME, and BUSINESS WEEK, these ads appeared from 1943 - 48.

Here for you to enjoy --


Sunday, July 29, 2012

William H. Campbell's LIFE MAGAZINE Autocar Ads

As you read in a previous post about the AUTOCAR illustrations of William H. Campbell, the first ad using his art work appeared in 1942, it was still rendered in B&W, and appeared in the August 23 issue of Life Magazine --

UPDATE: 10/6/2012 -- the statement above was based on what I then knew and that was not enough. Actually, Bills' first ads appeared in 1942. Below is a link to the COMLPETE work of Bill Campbell --


The first color ad by Bill appeared in the Oct 23, 1943 issue of Life and was also a war related illustration.

The last of three ads using Bill's art in 1943 appeared in the Dec. 20, 1943 LIFE issue --

1944 was the best year as far as Bill's Autocar ads were concerned, the first showing up amongst the pages of LIFE in the January 4, 1944 issue --

The next ad is from Feb. 28, 1944 --

This comes from March 20, 1944 ---

This ad is one of my favorites from the May 15, 1944 issue --

The next ad from 1944 is from the June 12 issue --

Then July 3, 1944, this was the ad for Autocar --

Followed by the ad for the week of August 14, 1944 --

LIFE would not carry any more of Bill's ads in 1944, using other artists, until 1945. The first of Bill's works to show up in 1945 was in the Jan. 22, 1945 issue --

The first ad not to use a war theme appeared in the Feb. 12, 1944 weekly --

Then came this Autocar ad for 1945 in the March 5, 1945 LIFE --

The next ad would come in the LIFE of May 14, 1945 --

The last ad of 1945 was this one from the June 4, 1945 LIFE -- Autocar continue to run other ads, but did not use Bill's works.

Bill's final piece that I could find in the pages of LIFE MAGAZINE was this from the week of March 4, 1946. Although LIFE did not carry more of his works, such magazines as TIME, COLLIERS and LOOK Magazine did --- that will be the subject of another post as I try to document the works of William H. Campbell.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

THE TRIPPER'S Already Mix for Mixerologist

During the 1960's my dad formed a construction company called EYbuilders Construction Co. It's purpose was to build concrete pools, basements, foundations and other concrete based things. He utilized a forming system called the Gates System which was a system of wire ties, 3/4" x 4' x 8' plywood, and various sizes of steel 1/2" round steel rod that ran through the ties to hold the plywood forms.

So what does this have to do with trucks you ask? EVERYTHING!! Some call them Concrete Trucks, some call them Cement Mixers, my friend Ryan Pedone refers to them as Ready-Mix trucks. These trucks were the beasts that hauled the concrete, cement, or ready-mix that my dad needed. His preferred company was out of Ithaca, NY and was known as RUMSEY ITHACA -- and how I loved those old Brockways and Macks!!!


Well I got an email from my friend Ryan Pedone aka Plowchaser stating that he was helping with a web site about "READY-MIX" Trucks. It's a great site if you are a "MIXEROLOGIST" and love "READY-MIX" trucks.
Here you will find all kinds of trucks from Autocar to White.

Check them out, here's the link ---- THE TRIPPERS Already Mix for Mixeroligist --

You got to love those trucks --if not, maybe you can cement yourself to a new relationship!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

William H. Campbell, Artist, Illustrator --- Autocar Truck Ads of the 1940's

Normally when I write about trucks, it is to highlight the truck. However, this post will be a little different in that it highlights an artist who promotes the truck through his art. During the mid 1940's and into the early 1950's no artist did this better in my humble opinion than William H. Campbell.

A few weeks ago I received an email from a friend of Bill's named Bruce Bentzman. He informed me that he had seen a video collage that I had made of William Campbell's illustrations done for the AUTOCAR TRUCK company. He also stated that Bill was alive and well at 96. But what blew my mind is that he wanted to show Bill the video I had done.

What came about from this showing is that I had made some errors in that first video, by including some illustrations that I had thought were Bill's but that were actually done by some of the colleagues and friends he introduced to AUTOCAR such as Frank Waltrich, Oto Bauman, and Chuck Allen. They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, thus is was with Bill's works that many tried to emulate his style.




One can certainly see the influence that Campbell had on his fellow Autocar artists.

William H. Campbell was born in 1915 in Philadelphia, Pa. and has lived his life there. He received his art education between 1933 and 1937 attending many fine art schools in and near Philadelphia. While he is best known in art circles for his wonderful abstracts, during the 1940's he worked as a freelance artist for Gray & Rogers of Philadelphia, an advertising agency that did work for AUTOCAR. One of Bill's complaints about this arrangement was that AUTOCAR would send him photographs to work with. He often found these photos to be ordinary and inexpressive -- not capturing the essence of the truck. Many times Bill would travel at his own expense to sketch the truck Autocar had in mind. In his illustrations and artwork, Bill made sure the trucks were in context, always telling a story. He would pay attention to small details like bolts, suspensions, and AUTOCAR'S radiator grill to give the truck it's "manhood". And his art sold trucks!!!

From 1943 - 1950 Bill states he produced eighty different illustrations for AUTOCAR ( I have found about 27). His works were the first color illustrations used by AUTOCAR in their ad campaigns and were done by Bill on a tissue layout and then in opaque watercolors -- similar to today's acrylics. Sadly, those pieces of work became the property of AUTOCAR or the ad agency. One of the few mementos Bill has of this period is a photo AUTOCAR sent him of a truck with him in it, that is what he did the picture of himself from. He is standing next to an orange AUTOCAR in a suit and fedora. That picture is shown at the beginning of this piece.

Artist's Statement:
Bill Campbell is both a realistic and abstract painter, experimenting with dimension, texture, and color, evolving to non-objective painting.

Selected Collections:
- National Museum of American Art, Washington DC
- The American College, Bryn Mawr PA
- Bryn Athyn College, Bryn Athyn PA
- University of Delaware, Newark DE
- Harcum College, Bryn Mawr PA
- Duke University Museum of Art, Durham NC
- Ursinus College, Collegeville PA
- Fellowship of The Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia
- Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia
- Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia
- The Plastic Club, Philadelphia
- The Philadelphia Sketch Club
- McCann School of Art, Petersburg, PA
- Jefferson University and Hospital, Philadelphia

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
- 60 Years of Abstract Art, Raab Gallery, Philadelphia PA
- The Plastic Club
- The Philadelphia Sketch Club
- Woodmere Art Museum
- Philadelphia Art Alliance
- "Bill Campbell at 90," Hand Impressions Gallery, Philadelphia, 2005

Selected Group Exhibitions:
- Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA
- Berman Museum., Ursinus College, Collegeville PA
- American College, Bryn Mawr PA
- National Academy of Design, New York NY
- National Arts Club, New York NY
- Philadelphia Watercolor Annual, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia PA

- The Plastic Club - Gold Medal - Philadelphia PA
- The Philadelphia Sketch Club - Mackenzie Medal - Philadelphia PA
- Acrylic Society, New York, NY - 1984 and 1985
- Charles Frith Award of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy, 2008

Professional Activity:
- Pennsylvania Railroad, Philadelphia: Art Director
- Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975
- 400 Years of Artists in America
- Who's Who in American Art
- A founder of the Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1963-1970
- Curated 9 exhibitions, 1982 to 1997

Selected Teaching Experience:
- The University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA: 1972-90
- Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia PA
- Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts), Philadelphia PA
- Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia PA

- La France Art Institute, Philadelphia PA
- Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia PA
- Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts), Philadelphia PA
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
- Earl Horter's Summer School, Rockport MA

But sadly, his AUTOCAR pieces are harder to find as the old magazines from the 40's become more scarce.

My thanks to Bruce Bentzman and William Campbell for providing the information in this post!!!

And here for your enjoyment -- The AUTOCAR TRUCKS of WILLIAM H. CAMPBELL --

Also want to add these sent to me 6/2/12 by the artist himself --

1943 Color Poster -- RARE -- Tankers Aweigh

Also from 1943 ---

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Brockways --- The trucks of Barney & Dickenson, Vestal, New York

     I found out about this amazing collection of old Brockways through a post on THE BROCKWAY TRUCKS MESSAGE BOARD, and could not resist the opportunity to go down the road to Vestal, New York to photograph the collection myself.  And so after a call to BARNEY & DICKENSON to gain access to where these great old Husky's a resting, I set our date for 4/13/12 -- Friday the 13th.

     It was to be the best Friday the 13th ever -- more about that in a latter post. So here for your viewing pleasure are not only the photos I took, but also some photos found on the net showing those Brockways in their hay day ----

    What a great day!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Chief Lines Trucking Company

      I received another of those wonderful emails in response, well sort of, to one of my posts. Here it is --

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A LOST MOMENT IN TRUCKING HISTORY -- NAVAJO Freigh...":

Hi...Great pics...somehow I got here looking for information on a large sign I acquired. It says "THE CHIEF LINES" just copy no logo. Can't tell if this was a trucking or bus line operator...the type or graphics are very early...30's 40's.
Appreciate any info if possible, thanks, Don Sayrizi."

      Of course, this email had sparked my interest --- What is this "THE CHIEF LINES" all about? A quick search on the internet returned very little information. Did this sign have something to do with rail service, was is connected somehow to the Santa Fe "CHIEF"?  Was it some sort of bus service, also possibly connected to the Sana Fe? Or, was it some unknown trucking company ( I liked this option )?

      I sent Don a request for a picture of his "sign" and got back the following --

     Hmmm, I thought, this looks  like it came from the side of a truck. So how come I can't find any info. on this company? Well actually this company is fully known as THE CHIEF FREIGHT LINES COMPANY, but even with that information I could find very little information about the company. The following is quoted from Fred Gruin's site on HANK'S ----- 

" Chief purchased Morrison Motor Freight sometime in the very late 1970s in order to expand the system eastward. At that time Chief began using "Teams" to span the system because historically, they had only operated as far North & East as KCY. In 1980, Chief was a victim of deregulation, as were so many carriers at that time. Later, the owner, Lloyd Stith (sp?), resurrected the name as C.H.I.E.F. and purchased some of the trailers from the bankruptcy court and inserted the periods on the signs. The company was technically named, Custom Highway Interstate Express Freight and was TL only. The company was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went bankrupt in 1980. "

    Further investigation lead to my finding a company map, part of a Christmas greeting card, showing the area covered by "THE CHIEF" ---

  Also found was the badge worn by their drivers ---

    I am sorry to say that I could only find a few pictures of their trucks, and one of them is actually a die-cast from FIRST GEAR --

   The other picture is from Fred Gruin's collection on HANK'S TRUCK PICTURES   ----

    Anyone having further information and pictures of this line, PLEASE contact me via my e-mail!!! 

UPDATE 2/7/16 -- Just found the following pic that show terminal locations --- 

Friday, April 06, 2012

Truck Spotting --- European Trucks

A new link has been added to my site thanks to it's blog master, Cristian Cristenel. If you like European trucks then this is a site worth checking out. You can get there by clicking this link ----http://truck-spotting.blogspot.com/ or by finding the link at the side of my page --- TRUCK SPOTTING.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Revell Peterbilt 352 COE -- 1/32 scale

Happened by the local Hobby-Lobby just at the right time, they were having a 50% off sale on models. I picked this new offering from Revell up just before Christmas. This is actually a fairly decent snap-tight kit that requires very little effort to make it look good. Some care must be taken to file out the wheels before attaching to the axles, and you may have to melt the axle ends to hold the wheels on. Of course there is some painting required to make your rig special -- I chose to build up and paint the chassis flat black. The interior tub and dash recieved the same treatment. I liked the sky blue cab color, but did not like the decals enclosed so I borrowed some decals from an AMT kit. So here it is ----

Now, if only Revell would make a nice 1/32 Fruehauf or Great Dane trailer to hook up to this kit --

Friday, February 17, 2012

Waiting For The Snow --- AMT Ford LNT 8000 Snow Plow

This past November my wife and I visited our daughter in Queens, NY for Thanksgiving. The rest of our family was there too. We had a truly magnificent time, visiting and seeing the sites of NYC. On one of those visits I made a stop at one of my favorite "old time" hobby stores -- a place called Rudy's Hobby Shop in Astoria.

It was there that I found another of those kits built long ago but now lost, and thanks to my son I got it. It was his early Christmas present to me, and he saw that I really wanted it.

This kit was the latest re-release of this model by Stevens International. Unfortunately it was discontinued, but maybe Round 2 will bring it back.

This was an okay build that I started in January. I took my time, building up the frame and painting it as a unit in flat black.

The picture above shows the completed frame, wheels attached and the main body components primed in Testor's gray primer. Note that I built the plow up as a unit, modified the hinge point by drilling it out and pinning it so it would work, and priming as a unit.

Test fitting is important with this model -- note that I chose to use a front bumper from an old AMT Mack R kit. I liked the look and after some slight modifications to the bumper it was a better fit.

It should be noted at this point that my wife has become more trusting of me, allowing me to do this build on our dining room table. This shows the body components being test fitted after painting with Testor's Competition Orange. Note that the interior tub is in place but NOT glued.

This is the completed model. The gas tanks were stripped of their chrome and steps attached. They were painted with Testor's Diamond Dust. The interior tub was done in flat black, dash and seats are done in Testor's Gray Primer. The FORD marques were done using a Sharpie silver pen as were the door handles and touch up on the mirrors. The reflective decals came from the AMT Log Trailer kit.

The mud-flaps were painted in flat black, and the raised FORD carefully scraped back to the white plastic. The sander unit was built as a unit and painted with the gray primer. The auger is flat black and was inserted after building the unit. I also added outside controls to the sander unit -- I like the way it looks.

Finished model, with dump body raised and plow in lifted position. Note the windshield frame was done using a Sharpie black pen. I wish the kit included an option for plow lights -- the headlights just won't work when the plow is lowered and it's blowing snow!!!