Images of trucks and commercial vehicles have a fairly good survival rate because most of them were taken by professional photographers for use in advertisements and then filed away. This set of photos gives you a view of a wide variety of these vehicles outfitted with the equipment necessary for deliveries or tradesman. In the pre-war years, it was common to convert older luxury cars into low-priced trucks and an example of one is included here. The images were all taken in the Lexington, Kentucky area.
The lead photo shows a very distinctive aerodynamically shaped late-1930s International cab-over-engine chassis equipped with a beverage delivery body. Unlike the present day closed-in bodies of this type, this Epping’s truck is fitted with sign boards on the cab and the center of the body for advertising. A 1936 Ford three-window coupe that might have been a company salesman’s car is on the far-right.
Let us know if you can date any of these vehicles or add more details about them. The photos are courtesy of the KY Virtual Library.
- This Chevrolet roadster pickup plumbers truck belonging to Jess Harp should get an award for clever advertising slogans. The wooden supplies box in the bed of the truck has a carefully arranged sink trap display on the inside of an open door.
- This pair of Reo “Speedwagon” panel trucks is outfitted with an interesting form early 1930s-style bodies built by a truck body maker. The three-toned side panels and the distinctively shaped roof gave the “Nucoa” brand plenty of room to get its massage out to the public during routine deliveries.
- This Mineral Water Co. truck is a converted late-1920s Cadillac sedan this is ironically from the town of Dry Ridge, KY. The imitation load in the truck and trailer adds a bit of charm to the photo.
- Lexington Utilities Company outfitted this late Model “A” Ford panel service truck with all the necessities to help both service residential and farm customers.
- The A&P Company ran a nationwide chain of grocery stores for over 150 years. J.C. Fisel used this Indiana truck and trailer for restocking stores in the area.
- This General Motors Truck beer truck is quite stylish looking in part due to a pair large headlight visors. Note that the box on the back is skinned with a very simple sheet metal covering.