We don't need no steenkin' 4WD!

Just a Dodge truck from the 1920’s:

Thanks @Circuitsmith; that was fun to watch.

Had you done that with a new 2015 vehicle, you could drive it right to the junkyard, but I’ll bet it would be towed there half way through the course.


Great video. It shows you what those in olden times had to deal with and how the trucks of the time dealt with them. …but, let’s not get carried away. People died or got severely injured doing this stuff i vehicles that have poor stability like these.

Had you done that with a new 2015 vehicle, you could drive it right to the junkyard, but I’ll bet it would be towed there half way through the course.

Ha Ha … Funny. I am sure you were kidding. :wink: My 2015 Tacoma Off road will do that and much, much, much more. As a matter of fact, I have done more in deeper mud with an older model. Now, those are still “prepared roads” compared to where we take modern off road vehicles

A bit more recent than the film of those old Dodges is this 1950 promotional film from Studebaker.

Studebaker was contracted to build special “sand” vehicles for The Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMCO), and special they were. Featuring fully-radiused, flanged wheel wells, oversized tires, extra-heavy duty cooling systems, clutches, and suspensions, they sat a bit higher than the standard Commander sedans. The famous bullet nose was even removed, in order to allow for more air to pass through the radiator, and I actually think that the '50 Stude looked better with this modification.

In the specifications, there is no mention of these vehicles having Studebaker’s Twin-Traction limited slip differential, so that makes their ability on loose sand and snow even more amazing. Based on this film, it appears that Studebaker was prepared to sell these vehicles to the general public, in addition to ARAMCO, but there is no record of any sales to individuals.

The segment on the Desert Explorer vehicles begins after a general look at some proving ground tests. Enjoy!


Were 9.00x13 tires used on any other vahicles in the 50s?

That was a great collection of old film clips VDCdriver…thanks for the link.
I spent the last hour watching a few.

The one on “Driving in New York City 1928” was the best.


A friend sent me that link a couple of weeks ago, and I have only begun to scratch the surface with all of those old car films.

One of my favorites on that site is the one about the Tucker “Torpedo”.
What a shame that only 51 of them were made before the company went belly-up.


The car reminds me of the Chech made Tatra, which was way ahead of its time; it had a rear mounted V8 and a very smooth body, and quite a few were produced. The went out of business after the war.

“The went out of business after the war.”

Not exactly…

Absolutely outstanding!
Thanks. I really enjoyed that video.".

But when the snow gets too bad you might need one of these. Early 1900s snow thrower, notice the spiked tires! Winther Motors Kenosha, WI

Talk about studded tires tearing up the road!

It’s pretty amazing that the Dodge could plow through that kind of muck as well as it does with those scrawny tires on it. Just as amazing is that the roof did not buckle when it was rolled over.

I would imagine that snowblower would do a number on some stray cat that was foolhardy enough to take a chance on darting across the road…

Speaking of rubber arms, a neighbor across the street has an old road grader parked about 2 blocks away from me. It’s a 1925 Galion that was designed to be pulled behind an old steel wheeled tractor; essentially a 2 man operation.
I’ve sat on that thing and imagined what it was like for the operator. Every function (and there are a lot of them) is done with levers and wheels turned manually.
Need to take a picture of that beast and post it.

DANG! That thing belongs in a Mad Max movie!

In Somerville, NJ (the county seat) they used something similar, albeit something towed behind a truck, for snow removal.

IIRC, the device dated back to the 1930s, and almost every year, newspapers would run a little story about the fact that the town’s DPW was still using that ancient equipment. Since the story hasn’t run for a few years, I guess that they finally had to stop using it, but without question they did use a device like that to “blow” snow for over 60 years.

@VDCDRiver Thanks for the update. I meant they stopped producing cars. When I was a kid in postwar Europe, there was one Tatra in a nearby town, a metallic light green one and it drew a lot of stares because of it’s very streamlined design and powerful V8 engine.

When I visited Prague in the '90s, there were always one or two Tatra T603 taxis parked in front of my hotel, waiting for passengers. They were probably several years old by that time, but they looked pretty good–albeit a bit strange.

@VDCdriver, thanks for that video on the Tuckers. It’s very fascinating and informative.

There sure seemed to be a lot of gray cars going through repaints in other colors. It might be assumed gray was Preston’s favorite color but not so much for others.

As great as the performances of all these old 2wd vehicles were, it was the result of their higher ground clearance and little more. The mud seldom if ever gets deeper then the bottom of the hub caps and the bottom of the drive axles if you look carefully. 2 wd would go no where when it’s much deeper. And, they were all RWD… Matter of fact, the Oilfield Dodge varies little in it’s basic undercarriage from modern pickups. This shows that rwd, solid axles and leaf springs are timeless nearly 100 years later and counting, for an inexpensive approach to rough and off road travel and heavy loads.