Search Results for: "1934 mack"
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.
At the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition held at the San Diego fairgrounds, a local Ford dealer opened “Casey’s Master Service Station”. While fair goers were taking in the sights they could also drop off their car at the station-dealership and return later on to pickup their car.
Being an authorized Ford dealer, it was more than likely that they were also able to sell a number of cars from the location. A 1935 Ford sedan is visible in the modern showroom window. It appears that the location was also a parking lot as in the left photo (below) just behind a 1934 Ford three-window coupe is an “Auto Park Here” sign.
Another interesting thing the photos show, is that the the Gilmore Oil Company was also involved and in the (top and bottom) photos we see the neon-decorated Gilmore truck. The station was selling Gilmore Gasoline and in the right hand photo (above) you can see the trademark Gilmore Lion sign. The photo just below and above, are courtesy of The Henry Ford, take a moment to visit with the Henry Ford to learn all about the many things the institution has to offer.
What may very well be the same Gilmore gasoline truck was posted here on The Old Motor during March, of 2011. Dan Stroll at Hemmings Daily reposted the Gilmore Gasoline truck photo and had this to say: It’s rather appropriate that Gilmore chose to light up the truck in neon – after all, the Gilmore Oil Company as most auto enthusiasts recognize it was incorporated in California in 1923, the same year that fellow California Earle C. Anthony displayed the first neon sign in America, in his Packard dealership in Los Angeles. Neon signs, however, long outlasted the Gilmore Oil Company; the latter became a subsidiary of Socony in 1940 and was merged into Socony entirely in 1945.
Two readers there identified it as a 1934 Mack Model BM and a Gilmore enthusiast reported the following details: It was designed by W. C. James, who was the head of the special effects department at Twentieth Century Pictures Studio. The truck was Illuminated with 600 feet of neon tubing. Blue neon was used for the outline and the side lettering. Gold neon was used on the custom grille shell. Red neon was used for the cab lettering and the Gilmore Lion on the back. Power was generated by four generators powered by the trucks engine via the fan belt and a final voltage of fifteen thousand volts was used to light the neon tubes.
The Body was built by Advance Auto Body Works of Los Angeles, CA. the truck was driven by W. G. Mickey and toured the Pacific Coast states (California, Oregon, Washington) visiting Gilmore gas stations all along the way. According to my research, the truck never actually delivered gasoline, and the tank was unused. After its tour, it was stripped of its neon and I believe, the truck was dismantled.
Earl Gilmore on the left and an associate pose with a tanker that may have only been used for promotional needs. It is outlined in neon and I wonder if it may have possibly had an on board generator to power the lighting. Maybe one of our readers knows more about this very unique truck?
Gilmore used racing to promote his oil company and built Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles and is also considered to be the father of midget auto racing. He backed Fred Offenhauser to help develop his famous 97 c.i. midget racing engine. He also sponsored sprint cars in the Los Angeles area and at Indianapolis, including Kelly Petillo’s wining 1934 entry. Photo from 1934.
PS….The truck has been identified by readers over at Hemmings Blog as a 1934 Mack, follow this link to find out all of the details along with another photo.