Monday, October 26, 2009

Merv Brunt Collection Colac - Part 3

On Sunday October 11 2009 we went with other members of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club (H.C.V.C.) to view Merv Brunt’s collection of historic trucks in Colac. In this post, the third and final one looking at Merv Brunt's fantastic collection, we will see some more of the American trucks that were on show.

This is an unrestored Republic

The truck above is a 1915 Republic and the one below is from 1922.

I didn't know about Republic Trucks, until I saw Merv Brunt's trio of Republics. According to the Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles, Republic manufactured trucks in America from 1913 to 1929.They were the largest truck makers in the year 1918-1919, but they had some financial issues in the 1920s and they merged with the commercial vehicle side of the American-La France Company to form La France-Republic Corporation in 1929. American-La France manufactured fire engines successfully, however their commercial truck side was less successful, and the merger with Republic gave them access to the large Republic dealer network. However La France-Republic struggled to find a market share in spite of the introduction of the ‘supertruck’ 6 wheeled Mogul in 1931. This had 240hp, V12 engine, top speed 60 km per hour and a 20 ton payload. In 1932 La France-Republic was taken over by the Sterling Motor Truck Company of Milwaukee., who used the La France-Republic badge on some of the Sterling models until 1942.

A pair of 1915 Internationals, and because they were my favourite trucks in the Collection, there is a close up shot of International 1915, No.2, below

The truck, above, is a 1922 International and the one below is a 1938 International.

International Harvestor was started in 1902 and expanded into trucks in 1907. International was re-formed as Navistar International Transport Company in 1986, who still produce the International truck.

The photograph, above, shows an unrestored International and a FWD (the cab is wrapped in plastic for protection)

The FWD is yet another truck I had never heard of before. They were made by the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. of Clintonville in Wisconsin. I discovered in The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles, that Otto Zachow and his brother-in-law William Besserdich, invented a double Y universal joint encased in a ball and socket joint which allowed power to be applied to the front driving wheels of a car and still be steered. The pair gave away patent rights to the invention in return for shares in the newly formed FWD company, whose initial output in 1912, included a 2 ton truck and seven cars. The First War World saw the Company grow and they produced 15,000 three ton trucks for the US Armed Forces. In 1937 they produced the first four door ‘crew cab’ trucks. Early on, FWDs were developed for specialized purposes such as snow ploughs, road maintenance, fire trucks and the oil fields, and they continued to make trucks for specialized use until the 1990s. William Besserdich left FWD around 1917 and became the first President of the Oshkosh Company.

The two 'Restorers Delights' above are an International on the back of a Dodge.

Dodge Brothers, John and Horace, built their first truck in 1916. The two brothers died in 1920 and the Company was sold to New York Banking firm, who teamed up with Graham Brothers of Evansville, Indiana. Graham Brothers had supplied cabs and bodies for Dodge trucks and their own truck range had used Dodge engines and drivelines. Dodge Brothers was taken over by Chrysler in 1928.

Two more 'Restorers Delights'. The top truck is a White and the truck straight above is badged a General Motors Truck.

Rollin White built his first steam car in 1901, under the Company name of the White Sewing Machine Company in Cleveland, Ohio. This Company was started by his father, Thomas Howard White in 1859. In 1906 the White Company was formed to build cars and trucks, and this was changed to White Motor Company in 1916. White continued to produce trucks until 1981 when it went into liquidation and was taken over by Volvo who used the White name was used on trucks until 1995. Rollin White left White in 1914 and founded the Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac).

The General Motors Truck Company (GMC) started in 1911 in Pontiac Michigan. The Company was a merger between the Reliance Motor Truck Company, which had began in 1906 as the Reliance Motor Car Company in Owosso, Michigan and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, which operated from 1904 until its takeover by General Motors in 1912.

1 comment:

  1. I am looking for information on Republic trucks. We are restoring a 1919 Model 10 at the Motorlife Museum and looking for any information on this truck.