Tag Archives: Model T Ford

The Station Garage – Christchurch, New Zealand


Signage listing “Aeroplane Construction and High Class Motor Cars Repairs,” is the kind of statement that does tend to get your attention. The Station Garage, was located in Christchurch, New Zealand, and if the shop was capable of building airplanes, as they stated, there was a good chance their repair work was also above average.

There are some interesting automobiles parked out in front of the establishment: on the far left is a Model “T” Ford wearing a very sporty roadster body that was likely to have been built there on the island by a coachbuilder, in the center is a circa 1911 Delage Roadster, and on the right, a teens’ Harley-Davidson and the back of a Model “T” Roadster can be seen.

NZ2      NZ3      NZ4

Inside the garage, two more cars are visible: On the left a Buick can be viewed through the doorway behind the Model “T”, and on the right in the middle of the photo is a mid-teens’ American Briscoe. This unusual-looking auto was built in Jackson, Michigan, and is easily identifiable by its cyclops headlamp. A number of them were exported around the world.

The signage on the windows also promoted services and goods that were offered: “Guaranteed Economy Overhauls”, “Star Tires”, “Used Car Exchange”, and H.G. Jones a “Motor Car Trimmer” offered his services. If you can tell us more about the facility, or identify the unknown roadster, please send us a comment. Photo courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , |

Coca-Cola Delivery Trucks Through the Years

  • Coke2
  • A Ford Model AA 1-1/2-ton panel truck in Denver, Colorado

In 1886, an Atlanta Georgia pharmacist, Dr. John S. Pemberton created a new soft drink using a flavored syrup, which when mixed with carbonated water proved to be a very refreshing and popular. The Doctors partner, Frank M. Robinson, has been credited with coming up with the “Coca‑Cola” name along with designing the distinctive logo.

Pemberton sold his interest in the company during 1888 to Asa G. Candler, a local businessman who then moved to widen the market area of the beverage beyond the Atlanta area. Later in 1894, Joseph Biedenharn started bottling Coke in a room behind his Mississippi soda fountain, this marked the first time it was able to be distributed and sold outside of a soda fountain.

Three businessmen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then took the next step in 1899, when they purchased the bottling rights from Asa Candler and built a large-scale bottling plant. From that point on the partners moved to wide-spread distribution that ended up with local deliveries handled with a horse and wagon.

  •  Coke3      Coke4      Coke5
  • A modified Ford – A Ford with a 24-case body – A Chevrolet Panel Truck 

Soon automobiles modified to carry goods came into use by the various distributors. Ford and Coca-Cola have had a long association and the photos they have supplied begin with the use of the Model “T” Ford: On the left above can be seen a 1912 Ford Torpedo Roadster on a lengthened wheelbase, with heavy-duty demountable rim wheels and a special rear section built for carrying the product. In the middle above can be seen an early twenties Ford fitted with a twenty-four case delivery body in France.

As soon as purpose-built light and medium duty trucks came on the market, bottlers and distributors turned to them to deliver the product: At the top of the post can be seen a late Ford Model AA 1-1/2-ton panel truck in downtown Denver, Colorado. The Chevrolet Panel Truck above right was used in El Paso, Texas.

The Ford Model AA truck pictured below left was used in Birmingham, Alabama. A 1935 Ford truck below center makes a delivery during a flood in Richmond, Virginia. It appears that post-war, distributors changed to the same basic type of truck body minus the tambour doors, as are still seen in use today; a 1953 Ford cab-over-engine Model P500 Coca-Cola delivery truck of this style can be seen below right. All photos courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company.

Coke8      Coke 6      Coke9

Posted in Trucks, Buses and Equipment | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Early American Cars in New Zealand


The sign on Mudford & Sons Motor Garage, tells us a bit about the enterprise and reads as follows: “Overhauling & Vulcanizing A Specialty”. The garage was located in Stratford, New Zealand, a fairly small town on the western side of North Island.

The circa 1914 photograph was taken by James McAllister and shows the following vehicles left to right: a circa 1914 Model “T” Ford, what appears to be a Triumph motorcycle and a circa 1912 touring car by an unknown maker that appears to be American-made. View the two enlargements below to see more details, and let us know if you can date the Ford and identify the others. You can learn about tire vulcanizing and repairing in the period here.

  •                   Mudford2                     Mudford3

The Model “T” Ford truck below was used by Thomas, Olliver & Thomas of Kaponga, which is also located on the western side on North Island and just southwest of Stratford. This photograph was also taken by James McAllister and shows a circa 1914 Model “T” Ford converted to a truck with a double chain-drive conversion. Note the ornate pinstriping and signage on the truck body. Photos courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand, via Isabelle Bracquemond.


Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Motorcycle photos, Trucks, Buses and Equipment | Tagged , , , , , , , , |