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The Gilmore – Mobil Streamliner

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  • A.F. Bach, an employee of both Gilmore and Mobil, poses with the White

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.

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  • 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.

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  • An ad from “Western Truck Owner”, November, 1935

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.

8 responses to “The Gilmore – Mobil Streamliner

  1. Can’t get enough of these great Art Deco designed trucks . Really like this one a lot. Wish I could find one somewhere to have some fun with.

  2. Miller was employed by Advance Auto body as a designer and designed this vehicle. Standard Auto Body did the actual building / fabrication of the truck. What I would like to know is what happened to it in the early 50’s after Mobil used it?

  3. I would like to thank Gene Herman and The Old Motor for this wonderful article! I enjoyed the hunt for the information to once and for all identify the basis for this amazing truck. Sadly, I have heard that it was scrapped by Mobil in the early 50’s — I don’t want to believe that, but fear it’s true. Again, thank you for taking the time to compile and make sense of all this info — GREAT JOB!!!

  4. Hi I am Wellington E. Miller’s grandson. Is there magazine copies I can purchase like this article on the Gilmore and the November 1935 Motor magazine that has the Teardrop car.

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