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Tin and Bones: 1920

Tin and Bones: 1920

San Francisco, 1920. "Atterbury truck at City Hall." Looking somewhat skeletal if you ask us. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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Muffler Bearing

I believe the muffler and header pipe are seen rather than a driveshaft center support bearing as mentioned by Born40YearsTooLate. The muffler is being supported on the street side frame rail by hangers from the two sets of four rivets and therefore hiding most of the forward portion of driveshaft.

Cab & Chassis

Indeed it is 'skeletal'. This is a "Cab & Chassis". They are sold to companies that will add a box, flatbed, tank or whatever to it and then put it on the retail market.


The gearing in the differential is a worm screw drive. A very compact system for high wheel torque but the downside was the fact that the vehicle didn't 'coast' well and was difficult to move if the engine wasn't running and the back wheels were on the ground.

Let Our Experts Help

Your local distributor (from the San Francisco Chronicle February 1, 1920):


Unusual drive

The differential at the rear axle is oriented so that the pinion runs vertically, with another type of gear setup (bevel gears?) transferring the horizontal rotation of the driveshaft to the vertical rotation of the pinion. It's overly complicated, but improves the ground clearance under the driveshaft. They also use a very interesting center support for the driveshaft.

This looks like it could be the three-and-a-half-ton model (Model 7D). In 1919 they were priced at $3875 for the standard length chassis, or $3975 for the "long chassis". Atterbury trucks were built in Buffalo, New York.

Atterbury Plant Buffalo

Here's a snip from Palmer's Views of Buffalo Past and Present, copyright 1911

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