Atlas Bodies - Lambert Manufacturing Co. - 1910s-1930s - Eagle Pass, Texas
A 1920 Atlas - Lambert Manufacturing Co. catalog offered a number of bodies for the Model T and Model One-Ton chassis.
Wagner's Ford Trucks since 1905 claims that many Atlas bodies were exported to Mexico.
A 1920 Atlas catalog shows a screen side canopy express body with a partially open cab. Another image shows an open-sided bus. For 1921 Atlas offered an attractive 10-passenger open bus body for Model T and TT chassis that featured a more enclosed rear compartment, roll-down storm curtains and a large rear step. Although Atlas specialized in open-style bodies designed for warmer climates, they also manufactured closed side panel trucks as well as express bodies with integral flared rails to facilitate easier loading.
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.
There was also an Atlas Carriage Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio who made carriages from 1880-1910.
Dec. 1922 - Atlas Body Works, Inc., Bridgeport, Conn., manufacturer of automobile and bus bodies, has awarded the contra t for building an addition to its plant. The structure will be one-story high, 80 ft. x 90 ft., of brick and steel construction, and it will be modernly equipped throughout.
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