HomePick of the DayGilmore Red Lion 1931 Ford Model AA

Gilmore Red Lion 1931 Ford Model AA


Anyone who asked Santa for a shiny toy truck would be glad to find this handsome Gilmore gas tanker under the (very big) tree on Christmas morning.

The Pick of the Day, a 1931 Ford Model AA truck, is a beautifully presented rendition of a period work horse with the iconic Gilmore Gasoline logo and Red Lion graphics, including an angry-looking lion head on the tail end that should scare off any tailgaters.

Gilmore Red Lion 1931 Ford Model AA | ClassicCars.com Journal
The truck was completely hand-painted

Ford’s Model AA was a work truck designed as a heavy-duty version of the Model A automobile, just as the Model TT truck (which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary) was built from the ubiquitous Model T car. With heavier frame and suspension, the TT and AA were built to accept any number of custom bodies for various trades and businesses.

This AA wears the tanker body and colorful regalia of the Gilmore Oil Co., a giant West Coast service-station business that reigned as the region’s largest for much of the first half of the 20th Century. Gilmore gas-pump globes, oil cans, signs and other items bearing the Red Lion insignia are highly desirable collector’s items today.

Gilmore Red Lion 1931 Ford Model AA | ClassicCars.com Journal
The Gilmore Red Lion graphic is a coveted image

The Gilmore tanker could be a familiar sight to residents of the Monterey area in California, where it was part of the Pat Phinny collection in Carmel and often displayed at Pat’s Baja Cantina restaurant, a gearhead haven festooned with all manner of motoring memorabilia, according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com.

While this may or may not be an original Gilmore service truck, it carries an apparently original tanker assembly from the era, and it certainly looks fantastic in the photos accompanying the ad. The Ford has been totally restored and ready to show or drive (albeit slowly with the original Model A four-cylinder engine and short gearing), the seller says.

Gilmore Red Lion 1931 Ford Model AA | ClassicCars.com Journal
The starkly simple interior has been faithfully restored

“While speeding will not be much of a concern, it is no doubt a delightful thing to drive, relying on the easy, low-revving and torquey nature of the engine, and of course turning heads with those stunning looks,” the ad says. “With its high-quality presentation and well-executed restoration in period correct livery, this charming and attractive Ford AA Tanker would be most welcome at casual shows, used in business promotion or simply to cruise to your favorite local.”

The asking price for this attractive piece of motoring history is $39,500, which seems reasonable for a fabulous-looking toy truck that you actually could get in and drive around.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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