Help! What is this car?


#1

I was doing some research into the history of Los Angeles not too long ago and came across this picture (attached).

I LOVE THIS CAR. but I have no clue what it is… I would buy one cash if I could find one. I’m broadcasting this out to the wise community of Car Talk™!! What is this car? When was it built? Are there any left in existence? I have tried to find more info about this can but have not idea where to start…

The picture is of a Los Angeles Department of Public Works vehicle. I don’t know the date of the photo. It’s a public record photo.


#2

Judging by the car in the background, the truck is likely from the 1930s or 1940s.


#3

Its a public service license plate that looks like it dates to 1934. Crosley was known for making small vehicles during this time frame but I can’t find any pictures of a panel truck they produced, but the hub cap does not have the Crosley emblem.


#4

I think I found it. It’s most likely a Pak-Age-Car milk truck from the 1930’s. I’ve included a picture. They were also used for many other purposes.


#5

Missileman nailed it!


#6

NICE!! Thanks Missileman & Everyone! On to my next goal… to buy one to restore to glory!
That was super fast!


#7

A quick search on those things showed they were built by Stutz and then Diamond T with production ending at the start of WWII. The info says 10 are known to exist so getting your hands on one may be extremely difficult; a.k.a. expensive as all get out.
Odds are a lot of them were melted down for the war effort.

http://www.jcristmuseum.org/stutz-indy.jpg


#8

You need a subscription to
VINTAGE TRUCK
a very nice mag that deals with trucks and station wagons. every issue they have a column on body makes. Back in the day there were several body makers since the big 3 did not make milk, delivery, ice cream, etc bodies.
It is similar to Ford, GM etc making the frame, drivetrain cowl forward and Carpenter, Bluebird, Thomas making bus bodies.

The mag is a little hard to find, it is at SOME Barnes & Nobles but can also be found at farm stores.


#9

I enjoy reading Vintage Truck too. This magazine had an article on a milk truck in a recent issue as I recall.


#10

Here’s a link to a couple more pics and a paragraph on the history farther down. A total of 3500 produced until 1941. Made by Stutz in Indianapolis from 1930-38, then by Auburn in Connersville, IN from 1938-41. Diamond T was contracted for service work because Auburn didn’t have a service network.

http://forum.aths.org/PrintTopic92062.aspx

And another link and excerp. Its a little confusing what role Diamond T played and who made the chassis and drive train. Sounds like it was a 3 cyl that could be pulled with the trans in 15 minutes. Interesting vehicle.

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/c/central/central.htm

Later that year Auburn management purchased the trade name and tooling for the Stutz Package Car from the bankrupt Indianapolis automaker and formed a new subsidiary, the PAC-AGE-CAR Corporation on August 25, 1938 in order to build it. Stutz had filed for bankruptcy on Sept 29, 1937, a few short weeks before Auburn’s filing.

The Package Car was a small urban delivery vehicle that Stutz had introduced in 1937 as an alternative to the much larger milk and bread vans offered by traditional truck manufacturers. Available in a 90” and 116” wheelbase, the clever trucks featured an all-steel unibody and an easily removable rear drivetrain module that could be exchanged in under an hour.

Most of the Connersville factory’s Pac-age-car output was re-branded and sold by Diamond T dealers as the Diamond t Package Car. During its short life (1939-1941) several hundred Package Cars found buyers and at least one 1939 Diamond T is known to exist.


#11

Thanks @Bing ! Super Helpful


#12

Thanks @Philstorrs . Just a tip here. I have great luck with Google but try typing in the subject then clicking on “Images” at the top. You can then see hundreds of Pak-Age-Car pictures. If you click on the link of the picture…it will usually tell you the name and other specifics.


#13

These are really historical trucks so can’t help myself. There is a youtube video on one, and the forum has guys that have seen, resotored, them. Very interesting. Incidentally, the Auburn plant in Connorsville also made the bodies for the Jeep during the war and also afterwards.

http://forums.aaca.org/f169/rescued-1935-stutz-pak-age-car-273411.html


#14

Thanks, @Bing, I enjoyed the video, too.


#15

I would imagine a frontal crash in one of those things would make an old VW Bus appear to have a Five Star safety rating in comparison… :slight_smile:


#16

Yes, a crash would be horrifying. Not that other 1930s cars were much safer. These milk vans would be driving slowly on small residential streets, often very early in the morning. I suspect accidents were very rare. The OP might find something similar that is more common and easier to restore, probably post-war.


#17

In one of those picture is the milk man picking up pieces of glass bottles that broke after he ran head on into a palm tree. Didn’t look like much damage except for all the milk that got spilled. No seat belts though since I don’t think they had seats.


#18

Youall remember a while back there was a post from someone who had a physical need to stand up to drive…and the ol’ milk truck was the best fit of all.


#19

“I don’t think they had seats.”

So the driver either stood up or sat on the milk crates?

Sounds like a death trap, by today’s standards

We have lots of panel vans in our fleet . . . modern version of that milk truck, but they at least have seats and seat belts


#20

In one of the pictures it looks like there is a stool type seat mounted on a couple pipes that maybe swung away but nothing that we would call a seat with a back on it. From my youth I remember the milk trucks around and the one the neighbor drove was a stand up deal. Why sit down when you had to stop about every couple of houses anyway to deliver milk?