All the trucks in our photos today share one common feature: they all would have been gasoline powered. More fuel efficient diesels might have been finding increased favor amongst common carriers in the nineteen-fifties, but the big car hauling fleet operators would stick with the less expensive gas powerplants for a few years yet.
These all used inline sixes except for the 1956 Ford C800 “Big Job” hauling the Edsels, below, which would have employed a 332 cubic inch, 212 horsepower version of the Lincoln Y-block V-8. The 1954 GMC at the top likely had either a 270 or 302 cubic inch OHV under the driver’s feet. The 270 was introduced in 1941 and a version of it remained in production until 1962.
The 1953 Dodge B-4-HA-128 two-ton in the first thumbnail photo used a DeSoto-derived 251 cubic inch flathead six to deliver its load of 1954 Plymouth sedans. Three car trucks like this were used for local deliveries in Detroit and the suburbs. The International hauling the 1955 Nashes on the right above appears to be an L-180, although it is difficult to pinpoint the precise year and model. Either a Black Diamond 282 or Red Diamond 372 OHV six was probably used in the truck seen here.
Finally, the 1954 Chevrolet below carrying a load of the maker’s 1955 cars would have been running a 261 cubic inch OHV six. While horsepower only ran between 118 and 165 on these low revving engines, it was their torque and the driver’s skill with the clutch and shifter that delivered the goods. You can find the first three parts of this series here. Photos courtesy of Dick Copello.