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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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