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Streamline Style Is International – A Pair of Shell Tankers in Vancouver B.C., c.1939

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This handsome pair of D-50 Internationals posed at an oil refinery on April 9, 1939 represent the high point of “modern” styling for International-Harvester in the years preceding the Second World War. Only produced between 1937 and 1940, the new “D” models were  a radical departure from the earlier, more conventional “C” type that dated back to 1934 and were much more stylish than the simplified “K” and “KB” models that followed them. As with automobiles, the principles of Streamline Moderne design were applied to trucks in the 1930’s and the change during that decade was nothing short of revolutionary.

At the time, the idea that commercial vehicles could be more than simply utilitarian was a new one, as pioneered by prolific designer Count Alexis de Sahknoffsky for the White Motor Company in 1935. The resultant forms provided a pleasing appearance while maintaining the capacity to haul the freight. You’ll find almost 100 pages of posts of unusual trucks, buses and heavy equipment on The Old Motor. Our photo by Stuart Thomson is used courtesy of the City of Vancouver.

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