Saturday, December 14, 2013


Yes, another DEDICATED FACEBOOK GROUP for WALTER SNOW FIGHTERS and MOTOR TRUCKS all you need is a FACEBOOK account to join!!! Come on over, this is a COOL group!!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/WalterSnowFighters/ ---

From 1931 ---

 Navy Crash Truck USN 274996 as a 1954 Walter-Maxim

Saturday, November 02, 2013

White Motor Truck Group on Face Book --

If you are a fan of White Motor Trucks pre 1980, and you have a FACEBOOK account, come over to our group about these great trucks --- https://www.facebook.com/groups/WhiteMotorTrucks/ !!! Some great pics and good commentary.

Monday, August 05, 2013


All it takes is a FACEBOOK account and you can join in the fun of belonging to a FACEBOOK GROUP devoted to the love of either THE AUTOCAR ---- Trucks from 1909 - 1980. Or if you are a fan of Brockway trucks, try BROCKWAY TRUCKS.

However, if you can't make up your mind (like me, that's why I started two groups) ----- JOIN BOTH!!!

TWICE THE FUN AND IT'S FREE --- well sort of free, you are expected to contribute pictures!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gilmore Streamliner --- UPDATE

Thanks to someone I only know as "GILMORE", his handle on JUST OLD TRUCKS, the 1935 Gilmore has been POSITIVELY identified as a WHITE ---


Most likely candidate would be this WHITE COE from 1935 --

Also identified is the driver in this picture of the Gilmore/Mobiloil truck --

The man in the photo is A. F. Bach, long time employee of the Gilmore Co. He worked for Gilmore for more than 20 yrs and then for Mobil, after the merger with Gilmore in 1945. In the 1930's, Bach was the assistant to Gilmore engineer E. J. Sanders. Bach appears in many racing related photos from Bonneville to Daytona (Fla), from Ascot to Indy, filling up Gilmore cars with gas/oil.

Until I know your name -- THANK YOU "GILMORE"!!!

Update 06/11/13 -- "GILMORE" is Jeremey Gilmore, amateur (so he says) Gilmore Oil historian and collector. 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

1935 Gilmore Streamliner COE Tank Truck -- Mystery Truck

It was 1935, the height of what was known as the Art Deco Period,  trucks didn't escape that influence. Canada's LaBatt's had their "stream-liner" bear truck, and now Earl Gilmore wanted something special for his Gilmore Oil Company. That is why he approached  Advance Auto Body of Los Angeles where W.E. Miller was employed to design a unique tank truck that would subsequently be used to promote the 1936-39 Gilmore Gas Trials.

The design was given over to Standard Auto Body Works, Inc. where a group of craftsmen created a one of a kind absolutely beautiful creation -- the 1935 Gilmore Streamline COE tank truck. As mentioned, this truck was used in the early Gilmore Economy Runs, and made trips between LA and Yosemite during these events. The following picture shows the truck in Yosemite.

Whatever this truck was based on (we'll get to that latter) it was originally a single axle to which a tag axel was attached by Six Wheels Inc. I believe that since the design didn't allow for the cab to tilt to get to the engine, the designers came up with a solution already being used in two COE's of the time -- White and Mack. Both these truck companies had trucks that utilized a slide out engine tray that slid out the front of the truck -- as in the White and Mack COE's
 shown below.

So, remember I said we'd get back to what the stream-liner was based on? Well, very little was written about this build. W.E. Miller could not save his design notes from Advance Auto Body. The only thing I've found is a partial article from the November 1935 issue of WESTERN TRUCK OWNER that thanks to Alden Jewell and the late Fred Crimson I share below --

I have done some extensive searches for the rest of this article. My first search took me to the publisher of HEAVY DUTY TRUCKING. In 2012, they had done a 90th anniversary series in their magazine that mentioned their ancestral lines as coming through WESTERN TRUCK OWNER, the magazine changed titles through the years becoming HEAVY DUTY TRUCKING. The fellow I spoke to thought they had bound copies of all the issues of WESTERN TRUCK OWNER, however the company had just went through a corporate change and some one threw them all out. 

My second search took me to the Library of Congress, very nice folks, where after three days they notified me that they did not have what I was looking for in their holdings. They were kind enough to check WORLDCAT, a catalog of the holdings of 40,000 libraries wold wide -- they had one hit. That hit led me to Nick Wilkenson of the OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY. Nick found the issue I needed, but initially could not find the article or the pictures I needed. I had however attached the partial article and the photos I was looking for for reference.

Are you sitting down?  After going back through the issue, Nick determined that the article and pictures were removed by someone other than Library staff. Now the library is caught up in the same search as I am, trying to replace this issue.

So, let's take a breather here and get back to Gilmore Oil and the truck. In 1945 Gilmore Oil Co. was bought out by Saucony Oil in LA. Subsequently, they would become Mobiloil and Mobiloil would continue with the Economy Runs started by Gilmore.

What wasn't known, until I found this VERY RARE picture on FLICKR, General Petroleum/Mobiloil acquired the Stream-Liner and it was used into the 1950's.

It is rumored that in the early 50's Mobiloil scrapped this truck. Unfortunately this is probably true as no other pictures exist and there is no record after that time -- it is gone!

Earlier I made mention of the late Fred Crimmson, author of many fine truck related books. Apparently Fred had this picture and according to Alden Jewell that is Fred's handwriting below the picture that is below --

It says, 1935 WHITE built by Standard Auto Body Works, Los Angeles. I think Fred knew something I'm still trying to find. He had the "proof".

It's a White -- one BEAUTIFUL WHITE!!!!

The following photo was sent to me by a friend. It show's Earl Gilmore showing off his tuck circa 1939 --

And I am VERY jealous of whoever has this fine model --

 thanks to ----
 Alden Jewell for photos
 The Fred Crimson Collection
 and the fellows on JUST OLD TRUCKS for their input --

Monday, May 27, 2013

More "OLD SCHOOL" from David Timms --

Dave --- I'll let your work do the talking -- A picture IS worth a thousand words!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Love E-mail!!

Got an email yesterday and thought I would share it --

On 5/23/2013 8:54 AM, David Timms wrote:

Dear George,
Just had to write and voice some praise for your truck blog.
One of those image searches lead me to your door, I was actually looking up images of Kenworth K123's to show my son pictures of one of the AMT models I used to build as a teenager. Some great images of older trucks you've got. The old Mack used as your lead image is a great design, (a great image too) with real character. Nice to see some illustrations contributions too. I noticed your open invite to further contributions. I'd like to send you a few that I did years ago but I'll leave it to you to judge if they're worth displaying on your blog.
Anyhow, the blog is on the favorites list and I'll be in touch soon.

David Timms
Melbourne Australia

On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 11:36 PM, George Murphey <george@emurphey.com> wrote:

Dave --- THIS is the kind of e-mail I like!!! Thanks for taking the time to send it. My problem with my blog is finding time to post as I am also involved withe several truck forums. As said in my blog, I welcome pics -- old builds especially!!! So send on -- jpegs prefered!! Look forward to hearing from you!!

regards -- George

On 5/23/2013 11:22 PM, David Timms wrote:

Hi George,

Had to dig out a few and scan them.
They're only about 32 years old but luckily I was able to laminate the whole lot at one time for protection.
Be kind on judging, I was only 14 at the time these were drawn. Just a selection attached of the whole collection, mainly US vehicles but I 'm sure you can pick the aussie ones.

And here is why I like this kind of e-mail ----- KEEP THEM COMING DAVE !!!

I'd sure like to see what you can do now!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fageol COE -- Well Maybe

I found this picture on the Just Old Trucks forum, and while I believe it may be a late 1930's Fageol COE I have never seen a Fageol COE of this period like this. The picture was taken in July 1938, and shows trucks of the BIGGE DRAYAGE CO. moving a 16 inch gun tube for a battery Townsley near Oakland, California.

Here is the picture enlarged for a better view of the lead truck --

Note that while the main cab screams out FAGEOL, the nose of this truck appears to be more along the lines of an early Peterbilt --- remember though that this picture was taken in 1939, the year Fageol was bought by Peterbilt.

Below are pictures of the "typical" Fageol COE that was being used by Consolidated Freightways around the same time ---

Right away, we can note the similarity of the main cab but certainly there is a difference in the nose. I have read that Freightways did some modifications to some 30 or more Fageols between 1937 -39 -- what were called "Monkey Ward" trucks. Could this be one of those that BIGGE got their hands on? Or could this be an unknown model that Fageol made late in their game?

What is your take on this?  Reply to my e-mail -- george@emurphey.com

UPDATE -- 3/16/13

It is indeed a FAGEOL ----

"The illustration shown on this page originally appeared in the November 1939 number of Diesel Power. Many inquiries were received from readers requesting information in regard to the operations pictured, as well as details of the types of equipment used. 

In response to these inquiries, Diesel Power is pleased to print the interesting story dealing with one of the largest hauling jobs undertaken in this country. 

When the Bigge Drayage Company of Oakland, California, recently hauled the barrels of two 16-in. coast defense guns, weighing 150 ton apiece, across the mountains to Fort Cronkite, two Diesel trucks played an important part in the operation. 

The guns, hauled separately, required six heavy-duty trucks. The important position of lead trucks was assigned to the Diesels, a Fageol chain-drive, cab-over-engine truck, and a Diesel-powered Autocar. Each of the Diesel units is powered with a Model HB-6, 6-cylinder Cummins engine developing 150 hp. at 1800 revolutions per minute. 

The moving of these guns was one of the heaviest truck operations ever performed in the San Francisco Bay area. In fact, there have been few heavier jobs in the entire country. 

Shipped to Waldo, in Marin County, from an Eastern arsenal, the 70-ft. barrels required a special 12-axle flatcar for the trip across the continent. Jacks and winches were used by a 12-man crew to snake the 16-in. barrels off the freight car and on the trucks, and special shoring was needed to strengthen the Sausalito lateral-underpass structure beneath the Golden Gate Bridge Highway over which the guns had to pass, en route to the fort. 

Unloading the barrels from the flatcar and hauling them eight miles up and down six per cent grades, required five days. The actual haul, however, took only six and one-half hours. 

Four trucks pulled the record load on the upgrades, and two pushed. On the downgrades, five trucks were shifted to the rear to act as a drag, and so prevent the possibility of 300,000 lb. of steel getting out of control and running wild. There were 40 wheels immediately beneath the load and a total of 90 wheels in all, for the six-truck-trailer fleet. 

In addition to the barrels, Bigge also hauled the breech and carriage mechanism for the two guns to the fort. These assemblies weigh 400 ton apiece, but are broken up into smaller, component parts. 

Commenting on the Diesel trucks, Henry Bigge said, at the completion of the job; "I am very well satisfied with the performance of the Diesels, and I plan to add several more to my fleet.""

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One more for my friend, Bill Campbell

I knew this Autocar ad done by Bill back in 1943 existed in both the B&W version and color. This morning, I was lucky enough to find the rare color version --- I like it!!