You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘truckster’ tag.

Unless I get more Christmas tree/decorations photos, you might consider me remiss.  It’s the season when I get decoration photos, no tree itself.  

Here are previous iterations.  Got any unique ones like signs of the season, like this one  . .  or this from Morgan City?

That photo, WVD, who’s currently out looking for more unique signs of Christmas.

You gotta know the history of colored lights in the US?  Click here and no it’s not an ad. In 1997 and 2003, the Rockefeller center tree came to the boro by water.

Today I hope to return to the sixth boro safely.  I’ve not yet tallied my miles driven, but if you want to guess, I’ll let you know.  I saw a lot of trucks in those miles, some of them on pedestals, like this Diamond heavy wrecker along I-80 in western Iowa. I’m not sure if this is a Diamond T or a Diamond Reo.

This very backlit photo shows two trucks, one you likely don’t immediately notice lower right.  In the foreground, a Chevrolet–based on the cutout in the rear window–with a tow rig.

I managed to squeeze a bit of river and a towboat into this post . . . .  This Freightliner has backed down a ramp to transfer 7000 gallons of diesel to the tanks of the boat.

Here’s one I’ve not seen in a long time:  GM’s answer to the increasingly popular imports from Volkswagen, an early 1960s Corvair Greenbrier van.

In an eastern Nebraska town called Plattmouth, birthplace of Raymond Chandler, I spotted this pair–a 1920s tanker and a flatbed truck of the same vintage–as well as 

this Dodge Brothers tractor, again on a pedestal.

More recently, in a cornfield in central New York, these two pickups were part of the racing action.  I’ve many more photos from that event, should you be interested and should I need another distraction. I know some of you don’t do FB, but here’s a John Kucko Digital original that really captures racing on a drag strip in a corn field in Savannah NY.

All photos, WVD, who meets a big milestone soon. 

If you’re reading this, then tugster has again left the Tower for another gallivant, maybe a coddiwomple, this one off wifi for a while, at least a week.

This post will be placeholder until I’m back, so I’ve got to come up with a memorable narrative, although obviously, I took the photos down south.

Imagine a modern day Rip van Winkle, kind of modern . . . say one who left for the mountains in . . . 1970 aboard his private plane and had it wait for him at the Old Car City International Airport.   When he woke after having the wrong drink with the wrong crowd, here’s what he saw of his aircraft.

This circa 1965 VW bus was where what had once been his state-of-the-art and stylish transporter, complete with beads inside.

Once at the airport, the crowd had taken him to what was then a thriving city whose spacious parking lots had this 1960 Ford pickup and other other vehicles.

Some oldies like this 1945 Chevy lurked, along with

a 1952 Ford,

a 1955 Ford,

a 1950 Dodge,

and a 1957 Chevy.  Of course, when he woke up, Rip was befuddled.  All these vehicles had been new and shiny and parked on clearings when he took his last sip.

Now they were like a princess who poked her finger with the witch’s needle . . . trapped in a thicket, undone!

All around were these quiet machines, les belles au bois dormantes, expressionless and motionless as sphinxes.



twins doing the do-si-do,

facing him . . . as if in a showdown.

Poor Rip.

In truth, Tugster needs a break, but I’ll be back  . . . in weeks or less when this coddiwomple, not a shutdown, has accomplished its purpose.

Until then, feel free to put on the respirator and peruse the moldy archives in the public places of Tugster Tower and search by the search window, the tags or categories (right below the title and in blue).  Or, here are the previous installments of trickster and variations.  Or, “pace straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Content [yourself] but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice.”  With that rough paraphrase, go out and watch traffic of the harbor, the waterboro…

If you want, you can guess the vintage of the unidentify the vehicles in the second half of this post, above.


Two massive but indistinct enterprises loom offshore while a ketch motors in.  I understand that if I were near to one of those “loomers” . . . they’d be moving faster than I could swim, row, paddle, or walk . . . .

I couldn’t identify the ketch, with the ever-ready bike on deck.

What time is it?

Time to watch the colossal screen?  I’m trying to imagine some applications . . .  circle the boats at the float-in cinema? harbor church service?  a candidate’s debate? a floating classroom?

Only today did I understand that Harvey‘s paint treatment was part of a World War 1 memorial called 14-18 Now.

Click here for 14-18 Now background, leading up to the November 11, 2018 centennial remembrance of the end of the war that was supposed to end all wars . . . .  Even Richard Thompson, one of my favorite singer-songwriters, put out related music.

I NEED to now the story here, this 1930s wrecker on a pier in Red Hook . . . Will that be loaded onto a ship and sent away?  I hope not.  Related . . . I’ve got fodder for another truckster post soon.

Over in Sunset Park (or is this already Bay Ridge??), are these the legs for the Staten Island Wheel that will never stand?

All photos and questions by Will Van Dorp.

Pollsters say you want more, so here we go.   As evidence of some effort to connect this out to tugster’s water focus, I’ll go back to a photo I took in mid-August 2014 in Wolcott NY. If I did the Great Race, I’d want a floating module, like the one of this 1930 Ford woody station wagon/bus.

Now back to Norwich NY and the lunch stop at the Northeast Classic “Car” Museum:  I put ” ” on car because today is all trucks.  And let’s do this as I did in yesterday’s post:  you guess.

#1  You probably noticed yesterday that all the photos were taken in one place;  I chose this angle–crossing railroad tracks–because that perspective allowed me framing that kept all (or most) people out of the shots.

#2  I remember milk being delivered in wonderful trucks like this one.

#3  I know hood ornaments and such reveal the manufacturer, but you still might have to struggle for the year.

This 1949 Diamond T was in the museum, and had such an informative sign, that I just had to

include that here.

#4   Yes, this is a pickup.

Again, this is a freebie. Somewhere lost in my past I remember my father driving a Diamond T and speaking reverentially about it. If you click on this photo, you might be able to read the sign. Notice the 10-gallon stainless milk cans loaded on the body.

#5  When was in Iraq almost 30 years ago, I saw this year truck cab fitted with a wooden coach body and used in Basra public transportation.  I’d really like to buy one of these and replicate what I saw on the streets there.


#7  It’s not really a truck, but it’s not a car either.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that if you live in New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia, you can still catch them.


  1. 1939 Ford pickup
  2. 1950 Ford milk delivery van
  3. 1946 GMC 1/2 ton
  4. 1932 Ford
  5. 1957 Chevrolet
  6. 1946 Dodge WD-20
  7. 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse

By the way, the 2019 Great Race will run from southern California to Washington state.   I guess it’s time to start saving up for/building an Iraq Chevy woody bus.

Let’s close out with one more from the museum, a Brockway from a central NYS company that ran from 1912 until 1977.


Here’s where this series started . . .  And given the “road fotos” posts, you can guess that I saw trucks on those roads, lots of them.

The vehicle below–seen in a field along a narrow two-lane road–might be a truck.  Note the wooden visor bracing the top of the windshield supports.  Any guess on make and age?  I have no clue, bt I’d guess a Model T.

This 1947 (?) Ford has seen some body modification.  The sign on the window said it has a 454 and is for sale for $12k or BO.  It might be compared to this modification of a 1947 Diamond T. 

The trucks here are not that unusual, but their location–the Mackinac Bridge–certainly is.

Michigan has unique rules about truck weights and axles.

This 1946 (?) GMC pickup, stuck between trees on an island in Lake Superior, will likely never catch the ferry off the island.

I’d say a 1952 (?) GMC in very fine condition.

Canada once branded Ford trucks as Mercury, like this 1957 or ’58 Mercury panel truck.

I live right next to Jamaica NY, so for a newcomer, a plain truck like this would be an enigma.

This truck passed me on the Belt Parkway a few weeks back.  My impression was that it might belong to a member of the FBC, although I’m not sure. Here’s a related article from my favorite NYTimes writer from over 10 years ago.  Sometimes bulls escape in the city and then you want a cowboy.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s just back from a 3000-mile + road trip, but wouldn’t be if he stopped to photograph every old truck along the way.  All previous truckster posts can be seen here.


I’m still stuck on that cypher 12, imagining hypothetical calendars.  So why not some trucks, other transport-for-hire “highway ships” which the blog has also strayed into due to family connections.  If I misidentify any dates here, I’m sure I’ll be corrected, but I hope you enjoy the photos.

This 1952 (?) Chevy light truck is configured like a parcel tanker plying the seas, a different vintage in each cask.

Boats can’t carry ships, but many ships carry boats, and in this case Badger carries trucks, fleets of them.

This ’49 Ford does what little it does very well:  it has a billboard mounted where a flatbed once lay.  What it advertises doesn’t matter:  it was the truck that caught me attention.

This Volvo (2014?) looked to be the way to negotiate the roads of Queens this snowy day last year.

Fuel trucks like this 1939 Dodge Airflow is guaranteed to turn heads anywhere;

While we’re on fuel trucks, I’m guessing this to be a 1950-something Diamond Reo, but I’m just guessing.  I’ve no idea about the light pickup behind it. Studebaker?

1947 Ford?

1948 or 9 Willys Jeep?  Here’s what I’m basing that on.

1941 Dodge streamliner fuel truck  . . .

Well, the cruise ship dates from 2000;  the Peterbilt . . . I’d say from the same era but with the stock grille replaced.  ??

1960 Ford F-500?

And this is a modification of replica of an art deco “guardian of traffic” from the Hope (as in Bob Hope–his father–) Memorial Bridge in Cleveland.  Who knew !  And for the record, I love those sculptures, but I can’t look at them while I’m driving.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Well, the boss called and said he wanted an old truck to restore, you know

to make like new.  Great mechanical condition, great paint job . . . you know. I’d love to see this William Walter truck back to its former glory.

The boss was calling me tweeting me at all hours of the clock . . .  “find me a project truck.”    Of course, it was still winter and although I’ve dabbled as truckster and chugster, it’s hard to tell what has promise when you can barely see it.

So I prayed for melt, and then

it snowed again.  Is that a White,

that blue machine under the snow?

Here’s a prospect.  Maybe a 1943 Dodge?


And what might the boss do when I find something that could be great?  Nothing that the Rolling Bones folks have not yet done . . .

Check them out if you’re in Saratoga  . . . or Bonneville. Cockshutt . . . ?  They’re messing with you.

This might be a different path . . .


Here the alleged 1937 White pickup was headed for the Thruway, and yes that is a canal tug in the background.

So maybe what the boss has in mind is a provisions truck?

I could be convinced . . . .

Or maybe this  . . . a box truck . . .

closing in on the border pour les snowbirds??

Maybe a Kamaz?

Well . . . I’m not sure.  He may be a Mack guy.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, except the one directly above credited to Jim Watson, AFP.  Here’s more Jim Watson.

Wait . . . am I in the wrong building and getting an unintended twitter feed?





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June 2023