4×4 Dump Truck: 1941 Autocar U-2044

left front

Here’s another vehicle your wife probably won’t let you bring home, even if it is only $4999! It’s a 1941 Autocar dump truck and it’s unique, but perhaps very few of us would find it beautiful. This Autocar was used in World War II as a gas and oil tanker. Then, it was on display in a military museum before it became a snow plow in Reno until it was parked about 8 years ago. Autocar has been around since 1897, started by Louis Clark. He invented the spark plug, perfected the drive shaft, and even perfected the first oil circulation system. Many credit him with establishing steering wheels on the left, thus driving on the right. He insisted his cars be built with the steering wheel on the left, others were on either side, sometimes even in cars from the same manufacturer. This old truck doesn’t run, but it will turn over. The rest all needs help. Find it here on eBay. What could a buyer do with this? Perhaps you could use it as a promotional vehicle or maybe haul a lot of cars to a show? Do you have any creative ideas?

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Comments

  1. jim s

    it needs to be saved but it will take a lot of time/money to do so. would then have to much in it to use as a work truck. if you wanted to return it to WWII spec. where would you find the missing parts?

  2. randy

    I’m replying so that you guys can school me on this cool old truck. I am wearing my “dunce” cap, and I am sitting facing the corner.

  3. FRED

    i think it’s worth rebuilding. i would make it a nice work truck.

  4. 1969Deuce

    I love old trucks. Anyway, some poking around on the Internet shows that this truck has been posted for sale for at least some months in a number of places, the highest price I’ve found being $85xx.

    If he’s right about the Hercules JXD 5.2l, it was used in Studebaker US6 trucks and the White Scout Car, probably others. There are a fair number of both running and being shown, so parts must be available if not plentiful. The places to start looking are military vehicle collector sites like G503. I wouldn’t be optimistic about finding a restorable tanker body that was right, though one that fits and could pass might be had.

    I think he’s still optimistic on price. For comparison I saw this Autocar rig at the Redball show last year and it’s beautiful, as is one just like it I saw at Frank Malatesta’s Horseless Carriage warehouse a few weeks ago. The one in the photo is asking $16K, so one can plus/minus from there.

    If I was the new owner, I’d remove the plow stuff and build along the lines of what it has become, maybe even tilting it to a military flavor of the period. One never knows what might have come out of a motor pool.

  5. JW

    OK you can curse me when I finish as my modifying eyes tell me to dump the plow and the Dump box then repair body / wiring to 12V / Keep Interior original / get drivetrain squared away as well as brakes & tires, then for my finale I would have a custom roll off bed installed so I could use it as a personal car hauler. OK I’m ready for the abuse, go ahead I can take it.

    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      i will give you no such abuse, but will sit with you awaiting our proper punishment as that would be exactly what I would do.

    • Ed P

      An old truck carrying a old car sounds like a worthy project to me. Proceed.

  6. Bobsmyuncle

    Get it running and stopping. Then bar hop every club and hotel in town with a valet.

    • JW

      Bobsmyuncle … I like your way of thinking … ROFLMAO !!!

  7. Cassidy

    Nice rig! 3 shifters: that will keep the driver busier than a long-tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs while he’s rowing through the gears! Lots of good photos from the owner, but I can’t help but wonder if he realized how much work this rig will need to get it ship-shape. The asking price made me look to see if the engine or transmission was made by Porsche. I think at some point in a vehicle’s ownership, when one has come to realize there is no chance of it getting restored or at least made to run safely personally, its time to get a hold of reality and drop the price so the next owner will have a running start on the beast. All he would have to do is look at the Army tractor above that has an ask price of $18K for a well sorted rig to realize his ask price needs to come down to be in line with current market.I’m pretty sure that the market for a ’43 Autocar that’s been used as a snowplow is going to be pretty small.

  8. PAW

    “Many credit him with establishing steering wheels on the left, thus driving on the right.”

    Say what?

    • Howard A Member

      Another cool truck, although, it probably was a road ( or off road) tractor and pulled a tanker trailer. Just for the record, these generally had 5 speed transmissions ( with a possible 2 speed rear axle) and I think 60 mph is a little optimistic. ( especially with the 4×4 axles) The levers on the dash are for the plow operation and the 2 sticks between the seat, I believe, are the hoist controls. ( PTO and up/down) Certainly, not many of these around. If this was a tractor pulling a tank in the war, ( or even a straight truck tanker) it had one of the most important jobs in the war, refueling our military on the ground.

    • Howard A Member

      Another cool truck, although, it probably was a road ( or off road) tractor and pulled a tanker trailer. Just for the record, these generally had 5 speed transmissions and I think 60 mph is a little optimistic. ( especially with the 4×4 axles) The levers on the dash are for the plow operation and the 2 sticks between the seat, I believe, are the hoist controls. ( PTO and up/down) Certainly, not many of these around. If this was a tractor pulling a tank in the war, ( or even a straight truck tanker) it had one of the most important jobs in the war, refueling our military on the ground.

  9. 1969Deuce

    I’m curious whether anyone is seriously considering it and also about opinions on what a fair price would be.

  10. rogerowen

    Nice wagon! But, not sure about the ‘inventor of the spark plug’ claim. I thought it was Edmond Berger.

  11. Cassidy

    ’69Duece; with the amount of rust underneath, seller is going to have move it fairly quickly before things start breaking all on their own underneath. Truck parts sell by the pound; the per pound price goes way up on rare stuff. BTW, I know they’re not sold by the pound, but just try buying any truck part. You’ll get convinced real quick its by the pound.

    • 1969Deuce

      I hear ‘ya. Outdoor living isn’t helping it at all. On my side of the hobby, it’s not uncommon to offer scrap price, perhaps 1.5 – 2x. If I’m reading the data plate right, max gross is 17750 which should make it about 5.5 – 6.5 tons empty. I think that the high per-pound prices would be found in purchasing replacements rather than in purchasing these together as they sit. Parting out would be a lot of work for a very narrow market.

      At a low price one could consider replacing non-obvious things like drive train components while retaining the character. If you didn’t want to sell the dump assemby, the hydraulics could be the basis of one mean beaver tail tilt bed for that car carrier above.

      There’s a nice summary page on the line here:
      http://www.trucksplanet.com/catalog/model.php?id=1922

  12. Cassidy

    Duece, I wasn’t thinking of parting it out except for the snowplow on the front. I was looking underneath and wondering which of those rusty leaf springs was going to break first if there’s not already a few broken ones. Winter is very unkind to machines, especially difficult if you want to undo, arrest and turn around the decay. I’m seeing in my mind most of the bolts snapping off instead of actually turning despite being bathed in oil and assorts chems to encourage rotating.

    • 1969Deuce

      Day and a half to go and still don’t see any offers. Your point above is well-taken. The price needs to be low enough to allow for lots of replacement parts and time. Studying the photos, there’s wood working involved as well.

      Plow probably means salt and that is never good on the undercarriage. Still, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I had a bugger of a time getting the brake lines off my ’51 M37 but persistance, heat, and a bit of tapping got them all loose. I took the fender assemblies off this M107 Water Buffalo. 20″ breaker, PBBlaster, and some bumping and all 2 dozen plus came off clean in about an hour. I was prepared to snap a number of them or light them up red. I think that it has a lot to do with old steel, and esp. in military stuff. It doesn’t seem as prone to rust welding.

      The exception is in the trailer lunettes where the tangs have been nose down, un-lubed and holding water in the frame channel for a few years. Smokin’ with #6 Turbo Torch and a 12 lb hammer have been required a few times. This one (also a ’52) stood up to that for about 90 mins.

      The nice thing about the Autocar is that it has working room underneath, and the parts are probably very standard sized bolts and such. I’d just take my time working on them. I’d rather heat, soak, bang and replace than snap and extract.

      I really hope someone does something with this one. Another idea is car hauler trailer with a parts/tool bed on the frame.

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