Building a 40s auto transport Truck

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Dave Harris, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    A while back a friend loaned me a book on trucks thru the years, in browsing in it I ran across a picture of an auto transport truck of the 40's. I was captivated by it , it was an enclosed trailer, I decided I needed one. here is the progress on it, the cab is a modified Athearn Kenworth ( at least I think it was a Kenworth) , it was far too late a model to fit the period. I have attempted to back date it with a different front end & adding a sleeper cab .Please understand it is a bit generic & I was not trying to exactly duplicate any perticular make of truck . The trailer is pretty much a duplicate of the one I saw a picture of. I think I'm going to change the truck frame, this was from some diecast semi & at first I thought it would be better than the Athearn frame & wheels , but the wheels are too toy like & besides the frame is too long. They don't show up that well ( crappy digital cameras-- no real close up ability) but the trailer has a bunch of rivets made with my homemade rivet machine I had posted a while back.

    Attached Files:

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That cab is pretty close for Peterbilt, Kenworth, or a White from the late 1940's into the early 1960's. Truckers refer to the Peterbilt version as a "needle nose Pete". In the 1960's (perhaps even late 1950's) trucks got considerably more powerful, and a/c became a must have for many owner operators and as a way for fleets to attract drivers, so bigger radiators were needed. To be really accurate that nose should probably be narrowed about 25% from what it is now.
  3. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    I wish I had known that before I built the nose----- BUT, considering that the trailer was the most captivating item I wanted to model I probably will leave the nose as is. It was a lot of work , being brass & all. I have some pretty neat stuff ( I think) to use for the grill-- It's part of the "whisker screen " from an electric shaver -- I think it will turn out well.
    Thanks for the tip -- I'll remember it the next time I decide to modify a truck.
    I'm glad that it at least comes to the right era , thanks for that.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One thing I forgot to mention is that 2 things typical of trucks from the late 1940's through the early 1960's is the 2 piece windshield and the sun visor. As a/c became a standard item in the cab and with modern glass technology, plus the various attempts to make trucks a bit more aerodynamic, the sun visor and split windshields have become a thing of the past.
  5. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Having been a truck driver for the past few years (it is not my calling, but it pays the bills when I am healthy enough to do it). I can squarely say that many late model trucks are factory equipped with split glass and visors. Peterbuilt, Some Kenworth models, and Freightliner all have visors. All of the afore mentioned, plus Mack have split windshields on several of their models.
  6. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Funny You should mention that! ( apoligies to Myron Cohen :twisted:) since I read the post about split W/S , I have been looking as I drive around town --- I see a lot of Split glass on latemodel big rigs, did not look too hard for visors but I will now.
  7. A quick fix for the truck might be to use one of the old Ulrich kits. They come up on Ebay from time to time. Or a Sheepscot kit.

    FWIW I think the sleeper may be too big for that era. Not many trucks even had one back then.
  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    The trailer is really nice. Does anyone remember the old Revell auto transporter with the cab-over truck? I think it's a fifties model and it has an open-frame trailer. I also like the older conventional cab trucks, they just seem to look 'right' compared to the cab-overs.
  9. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Charlie. Thanks for the kudos on the model ,, I need to finish it soon. This should get me back on it!
    Actually I modeled this from a picture in a book a friend had about the history of trucks & the one in the book had a sleeper on it, not quite like mine but a sleeper for sure.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I just got back from vacation (2800 miles round trip) and noticed that most trucks continue to have split windshields, very few had external sun visors. The difference between the modern truck's split windshields and the older trucks is the modern trucks have a split windshield with either no post or a barely discernable post between the windshield halves. On the older trucks from the 1940's and 1950's the divider post was much thicker like it is on Dave's model.
  11. Wastrel

    Wastrel BNSF fan

    I just found this post, and while everything looks good I see one big error that firmly places the tractor well into the late 60's and that is the sleeper. In the 40's and 50's most trucks had no sleepers at all, and those very few that did have sleepers had a 30" hanger box. Basically the first gen sleepers were little more than a 30" deep by 60" long cot accessed thru a small cut window in the back of the cab. Most drivers of this era either slept in motels or if sorely pressed used a small piece of wood across the seats as a makeshift bed. The first real sleepers didn't begin to appear on tractors until the late 60's and early 70's, and even they were very basic.

    MOPHEAD New Member

    Dave, that's a real cool truck.
    It reminds me of when I was a kid about 5 years old. My father drove a truck like this for Chevrolet. Everytime they came out with the new cars they would be driven to the dealers all covered up. Well my dad would drive by our house and uncover them for all our neighbors to see. Most of them couldn't afford a new car but it made everybody's day seeing the new cars before the rest of the general public. Plus dad didn't have to buy beer for a week at the corner tavern.


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