This truck can bring along its own fuel supply

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You might have to make arrangements in advance with the organizers of car shows to be sure you have room to park if you chose to become the next owner of the Pick of the Day. 

It’s a 1938 Dodge Brothers RE31 truck and tanker trailer being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.

The truck and trailer have been restored in the colors of the Atlantic Refining Company, a Philadelphia-based descendant of Standard Oil after the Sherman Antirust Act broke up that monopoly. Atlantic would eventually merge with Richfield to become known as Arco (and later it would be absorbed by Sunoco, and then British Petroleum, and eventually Marathon).

The Dodge truck line also has a history of mergers and acquisitions. The dealer notes that it was in 1928 that the Dodge Brothers acquired its truck line from Graham, which had been using the Dodges’ engines in its trucks. Like Atlantic, Dodge has gone through a succession of owners — from Chrysler to Daimler to Fiat to the recent merger with Peugeot.

But the subject here is the truck, not the corporate story, and the dealer says the truck was restored in the early 1990s.

“Sprayed in mostly white, we can see strategically placed blue panels on the top of the hood, and rear dual wheel fenders on the tractor, and side panels on the tanker,” the dealer notes, adding, “All paint is very nicely done and covers very straight panels. 

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“With its white rounded front fenders with forward and rear facing turn signals, and bullet style headlights nestled into the fender near the front clip, it has the old school styling which was about to get more art deco in the 1939 models. 

“Bringing up the rear is a 1932 Kingham Quaker City 4 tanker trailer that has also been meticulously restored and can hold approximately 1,250 gallons in its 4 separate tank bays. 

“These are topped with red painted 2 handled screw caps, and a hose and pump setup is in the rear of the trailer. The truck is sporting red steel wheels, and the trailer has silver outside with red inside dual steel wheels.”

The dealer adds that “Extreme utilitarian would best describe the truck’s cab — plain-gray bench seat, rubber-covered floors, 2 shift levers, painted dash, restored original steering wheel, and no heater.

The truck is powered by a 241cid L-head 6-cylinder gasoline engine good for 85 horsepower. The truck has air brakes, “rare for 1938,” the dealer points out, “and these bring you to a halt quickly.”

The dealer reports that, “A glance underneath without the advantage of the lift, one can see just as much attention was paid here as the upside for this restoration. No rust, fully working air braking system, a heavy-duty driveshaft and large geared rear, transfers power to the dual rear tractor wheels. Air brakes have been installed on the trailer as well.”

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The truck and trailer are being offered for $57,900. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Once again, Edsall goofs up again; he has the year of the truck as 1928 in the bold title, yet it is listed as 1938 in the article. Too sad for words. Obviously, he doesn’t care about accuracy. Additionally, any person of knowledge would see that it could not possibly be a 1928 model, given its shape.
    Shape up, Edsall!

  2. No worries on the type error Larry that what makes us human.
    As fare as the harsh remark some people have nothing better then to put down their fellow man to make them fell superior.

    Wolfeman

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