American Body Company Inc. - later American Body & Equipment Co. - 1918-1970s - Dallas, Texas


   

American Body Company Inc. of Dallas, Texas offered 27 different truck bodies for the The Ford Model T and Model T One-Ton chassis in their 1918 catalog.

American continued to offer both closed parcel delivery and open express bodies for Model T chassis in 1921.  The also offered a No.200 combination jitney and freight body equipped with a large rear step, storm curtains and easily removable rear passenger seats.

For 1921 American offered the model 900 Hotel and Transfer Bus for the Model TT chassis. It featured a 66" high roof that sloped downward toward the windscreen, integral drop windows, and a totally enclosed passenger compartment.

American also offered special-purpose bodies in their 1922 catalog, such as the model 517 Ice Man special body, which featured a double floor that was used to help insulate the ice and to facilitate easier drainage. Another purpose built model was their NO. 516 Lumber body which had an offset narrow cab and an extra-long cargo floor that extended to the front of the vehicle in order to accommodate extra-long boards. Special bodies designed for furniture moving and livestock hauling were also available.

American sold tank bodies designed to accommodate various liquid cargo on Model TT chassis. One popular model was their No.515 Oil Tank Body which was welded from thick boiler-plate steel and mounted on wooden beams to help cushion the heavy load.

Panel trucks were available with a number of options. The side panels could be made of wood, metal-skinned plywood, or metal - depending on the application and customer's preference.

Their model 501 combination Bus and Freight Body for 1922 was a versatile unit that was equipped with folding (rather than removable) seats and roll-up side curtains, and a clever combination step-tailgate.

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Although some very early Ford trucks were sold with commercial bodies, Ford discontinued the program in 1913.

For over ten years Ford had literally given away their truck body business to independent builders around the country and in 1923 decided to stop being so generous, and implemented a new fully equipped Ford Truck sales program starting with the 1924 model year.

Some of the 1924 Ford brand commercial bodies were built at Ford's Highland Park plant while others were outsourced from various suppliers who included Budd and Simplex Manufacturing. The first body made available was an all-steel express body, a canopy express body became available later in the year in three popular styles; totally open, screen-sided or with roll-up curtains.

The new Ford bodies were stocked by larger dealerships and could be ordered individually through regional Ford distributors by smaller dealers, who couldn't afford to keep them in inventory.

Following closely behind the express bodies was Ford's new enclosed cab which were easily identified by their sloping windshields and half moon openings in the rear quarters. By the middle of 1924 Ford had 8 distinct fully equipped (cab, chassis & body) light trucks available across the nation. Within 5 years many of the small commercial builders found themselves out of business, while larger ones prospered, providing that they were official Ford body suppliers.

In 1925 Ford introduced an optional body for their runabout which attached to the chassis in place of the rear deck. That body was the first production Ford pickup truck, a vehicle that  eventually became the most popular motor vehicle in North America, and remains so today. The official name of the vehicle was the "Ford Model T Runabout with Pick-Up Body", and it sold for $281 fob Detroit. It featured four stake pockets and an adjustable tailgate, and required a 9-leaf rear spring.

Ford also introduced an enclosed cab to go along with their open cab in their new truck body program during the same year.

American still offered their trunk-installed pickup bodies through the late thirties. By removing the trunk or rumble seat, the metal-covered oak box dropped into place giving small contractors, tradesmen, and pharmacies a 60"x34"x16" box for their parcels or equipment.

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American Body & Equipment Co Dallas, Texas (Since 1918) at least in Texas through the 1970s. 1934 Dodge ice cream delivery truck Firms with exact same name in Flint, Michigan and Springfield, Missouri may or may not be related

Built school bus bodies in the 1940s on Dodge and other chassis.

The body for this truck was built and donated by the American Body Company of Grand Prairie.

1950 E Main St, Grand Prairie, Texas

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1946 Dodge WDX Power Wagon; former TV company truck, 10,000lb winch, A-frame boom, original, #714th off the production line, American Body Company utility bed

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Not to be confused with Buffalo, New York's American Body Company who specialized in production automobile bodies for Lincoln and others from 1912-1928. The Buffalo body builder is not know to have built many if any commercial bodies.

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Not to be confused with America's Body Company - A Truck Body Pool that supplies truck bodies to both independent and franchised dealers around the country. Think of them as the McDonald's of the truck body industry.

ROYAL body, from calif, is under contract to supply a service body / dump combo to american body company (a.b.c.). a.b.c. is a truck pool, thus the royal body will show up in the truck dealer's lots. there are a numerous divisions in a.b.c., including independence truck (outside wash d.c.) and liberty truck body (in south n.j.).
 

A May 2003 tornado with 200 MPH winds damaged the American Body Company (formerly Sheer Trucking) in Riverside, MO (across Missouri River to the northeast of Kansas City, KS).  Unfortunately, this company with 40 employees does not plan to re-open.

Another American Body Co is currently located at 1871 Tower Street Flint, MI 48503

 

   

For more information please read:

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Tad Burness - American Truck Spotter's Guide, 1920-1970

Tad Burness - American Truck & Bus Spotter's Guide, 1920-1985

Robert M Roll - American trucking: A seventy-five year odyssey

David Jacobs - American Trucks: A photographic essay of American Trucks and Trucking

David Jacobs - American Trucks: More Colour Photographs of Truck & Trucking

John Gunnell - American Work Trucks: A Pictorial History of Commercial Trucks 1900-1994

George W. Green - Special-Use Vehicles: An Illustrated History of Unconventional Cars and Trucks

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Ronald G. Adams - 100 Years of Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Big Rigs: The Complete History of the American Semi Truck

Stan Holtzman & Jeremy Harris Lipschultz - Classic American Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Semi Truck Color History

Donald F. Wood - American Beer Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Beverage Trucks: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - Commercial Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Delivery Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Dump Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Gas & Oil Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Logging Trucks 1915 Through 1970: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - New Car Carriers 1910-1998 Photo Album

Donald F. Wood - RVs & Campers 1900-2000: An Illustrated History

Donald F. Wood - Wreckers and Tow Trucks

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Impressive International Trucks 1907-1947

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Keen Kenworth Trucks - 1915-1955

Richard J. Copello - American Car Haulers

Niels Jansen - Pictorial History of American Trucks

John B. Montville - Refuse Trucks: Photo Archive

Bill Rhodes - Circus and Carnival Trucks 1941-2000: Photo Archive

Howard L. Applegate - Coca-Cola: Its Vehicles in Photographs 1930 Through 1969: Photo Archive

James T. Lenzke & Karen E. O'Brien - Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks: 1896-2000

James K. Wagner - Ford Trucks since 1905

Don Bunn - Dodge Trucks

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

Don Bunn - Encyclopedia of Chevrolet Trucks

 



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