It didn’t take long after the idea of styling heavy trucks took hold in the nineteen-thirties for some really radical designs to emerge. Early on, E.B. Gilmore recognized the value that such a vehicle would have to promote his company. Most likely based on a 1934 White 730-731, its smooth coachwork was the product of the prolific Los Angeles-based designer, Wellington Everett Miller. Miller began his long career at the age of sixteen as an apprentice at the Walter M. Murphy Company, worked for Packard and later freelanced at Bohman & Schwartz and many other well known firms over the years.
Above left: A news item dated November, 24, 1935 – Above right: An article from “Western Truck Owner”, November, 1935
Best known for his work on major classics, Miller’s talent was not restricted to automobiles. He is credited with more than one thousand projects in his lifetime that ranged from fire apparatus to road rollers, wheeled toys, garden tractors, vending machines, hydraulic presses, model kits and much more. The Arrowhead teardrop car was one of his more unusual designs. He was also responsible for the cab and front sheet metal restyle of another of Gilmore’s promotional vehicles, this 1934 Mack BM.
The windshield for the White was the largest piece of curved safety glass ever formed up to that time. Power would have come from the White 730 505 cubic inch, 143 horsepower “pancake” flat-opposed twelve cylinder gasoline engine. Primarily used in transit buses, it incorporated twin downdraft carburetors, twin starter motors and dry sump lubrication.
Ownership of this unique vehicle transferred to Mobil when Socony-Vacuum bought out Gilmore in 1945. While reliable sources state that Miller did this job for the Advance Auto Body Works, the above items credit the Standard Auto Body Works with it’s construction. Any information you might have about this inconsistency would be welcome. Photos and information courtesy of George Dennis @ I’m liking Trucks, Jeremy Gilmore, Steve Given.