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Standard Auto Body Co.
Standard Auto Body Company, 1928-1979; Los Angeles, California
Associated Builders
SABCo; Hercules Galion

In the early part of the twentieth century there were 3 unrelated firms named Standard that produced vehicle bodies in metropolitan Los Angeles, California.

The oldest was the Standard Wagon Works (1890s-1910s) which was founded in the late 19th century and survived into the teens producing horse-drawn wagons and delivery vehicles for Los Angeles farmers and businesses.

The next oldest and best known was the Standard Carriage Works (1895-1985). Founded in 1895 by Tony Martin, the firm produced wagons and delivery vehicles and survived the transition to the automobile age, becoming Los Angeles best-known commercial body builder. In 1960 new management relocated the firm from downtown Los Angeles to the suburb of Vernon, which was coincidentally the new home of the similarly-named Standard Auto Body Co., the third LA-based Standard

The third Standard, the Standard Auto Body Company (1928-1979) was a traditional full service truck equipment supplier and body builder originally located at 15th St. and Central Ave., After a 1940s move to 4900 S. Soto St. in the Los Angeles suburb of Vernon, Standard Auto Body began to manufacture a standardized line of steel and aluminum truck bodies. They also distributed third-party accessories such as St. Paul Hydraulic Hoists and Tulsa Truck Winches.

In 1967 Standard Auto Body was acquired by Hercules Galion Products, Inc. of Galion, Ohio. That firm became the Truck Equipment Group of Galion, Ohio-based Peabody Solid Wastes Management Corp. which was commonly known as Peabody-Galion. From 1967 until its demise in 1979, Standard Auto Body Co. was better known as SABCO, or the Sabco Division of Hercules-Galion (later Peabody-Galion).

Under Peabody Sabco became more and more involved in the materials handling business and in 1979 Peabody sold its Sabco division to FMG Industries.

Since 1979, Sabco’s 4900 S. Soto St. plant has been the home of GAMCO Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of materials handling equipment. Originally founded by FMG Industries, GAMCO Industries was the firm’s dba for its material handling operations which was continued after the firm was reorganized as Galaxie Universal Corp. in 1982.

A number of body shops going by the name Standard Auto Body remain in business in and around Los Angeles today, however none of them are related to any of the older firms.

© 2004 Mark Theobald -






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