[[Template core/front/global/utilitiesMenu does not exist. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]
  • Announcements

SpreadAxle

Watkins Motor Lines

Recommended Posts

Here is the truck that inspired amt's kit, unit 3950 just like the kit's decal sheet. There are subtle differences from the kit. Painted 1/4 fenders, steel 5 hole wheels on the drives, single exhaust stack, running lights on the hood just behind the grile and above the headlights,roof mounted air conditioner, battery/tool boxes on both sides, red frame.56b077ec9e2d9_idea20watkins3_zps2tpe62im Notice that Watkins was a big user of Great Dane reefers. They did use Fruehaufs like the kit, but with the reefer unit like the one in the Ertl Great Dane kit.  

Edited by SpreadAxle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A cool bit of reference material can be found at www.fatjacksplace.com They have a soft cover book or a CD with 100 or more photos of nothing but Watkins trucks from the 1950s to the early 1980s. Great photos and project ideas. The CD is about $20 while the book is $60. They have quite a few photo collections focusing on individual carriers or types of trucks(i.e. livestock haulers)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic post! Dave Bontrager is quite the truck fanatic.

Edited by chuckyr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the fleet pic with all the white five holers.  Thank you for sharing them B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome. I've been meaning to share these but kept forgetting. The pic of 3950 I just had to share because it's like a piece of history for truck modelers. The fleet pic I knew you guys would enjoy. As to the Watkins Motor Lines photo cd, well worth it. Full of project ideas. Great pix of the trailers showing the change in the graphics in the early 1970s when the eskimo was removed from the trailer. Also, you will see the change from the bare metal finish to the white trailers that happened during that period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very Kool!:) 

Unit 3950, now we know: the origin/inspiration of AMTs W925 box art in 1971, surely AMT best truck/tractor  boxart ever,( so good it lasted until the late 80s under ERTL).

AMTs artist was also surely inspired by this, for the Fruehauf trailer box art too^_^.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is cool are there any other trucks out there like 3950 that where used by AMT/ Ertl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the truck that inspired amt's kit, unit 3950 just like the kit's decal sheet. There are subtle differences from the kit. Painted 1/4 fenders, steel 5 hole wheels on the drives, single exhaust stack, running lights on the hood just behind the grile and above the headlights,roof mounted air conditioner, battery/tool boxes on both sides.56b077ec9e2d9_idea20watkins3_zps2tpe62im Notice that Watkins was a big user of Great Dane reefers. They did use Fruehaufs like the kit, but with the reefer unit like the one in the Ertl Great Dane kit.  

http://gomotors.net/photos/11/b1/t519-kenworth-w925-amt-125_55447.jpg?i

Yes, it the Ertl reefer had stainless steel side walls , it would be a match.

https://www.scalemates.com/products/img/7/8/7/601787-16638-74.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watkins had lots of white Great Danes as well. If you have the Ertl GD reefer kit, you could strip the chrome and go with the white trailer. I think the stainless trailers were starting to be replaced by white ones around '71-'72. The Fruehauf pix  I have show them to be white, but with the little vent door in the upper left corner of the nose like Ertl's Great Dane kits. Here's a white GD from the '70s with the newer graphics.

Note the  eskimo has since rode his skis off the trailer. I think late 1970 or '71 is when he disappeared. Of all the Watkins pix I have, one thing I can't seem to find to confirm my theory is trailer wheel color. I believe the spokes are red, but not sure.

hd_kw4.jpg

hd_kw3.jpg

hd_kw9.jpg

Edited by SpreadAxle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember building the AM kits for the set as a kid...loved them but had troubles with the decals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info here.  I just got this kit sealed yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just came across this site doing some internet searching and a little history of this model that's been passed down throughout my family, this model was designed from my grandfathers truck and trailer. I actually have pictures in an old album that were taken of the truck detail also one of him standing beside the truck during the original photo shoot to get the detail. when I was a young boy we would sit and put these together with my grandfather, sometimes 3 a week. I will try to post some pictures when I can find them if interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We would love to see those pictures.  I have this kit unbuilt yet and plan to build it just like the box art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just came across this site doing some internet searching and a little history of this model that's been passed down throughout my family, this model was designed from my grandfathers truck and trailer. I actually have pictures in an old album that were taken of the truck detail also one of him standing beside the truck during the original photo shoot to get the detail. when I was a young boy we would sit and put these together with my grandfather, sometimes 3 a week. I will try to post some pictures when I can find them if interested.

I would be very interested in seeing those photos!! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great thread.  I have just about everything to make 3950, but I do have one question: I have both the AMT Kenworth W900 kits (one with the spring suspension & one with the torsion bar).  Does anyone know what type of suspension 3950 might have had?  I would have to guess that for a fleet truck it would have the lightest, cheapest suspension that they could get.  The spring suspension in the AMT Kenworth W900 kit s a 38000#, I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great thread.  I have just about everything to make 3950, but I do have one question: I have both the AMT Kenworth W900 kits (one with the spring suspension & one with the torsion bar).  Does anyone know what type of suspension 3950 might have had?  I would have to guess that for a fleet truck it would have the lightest, cheapest suspension that they could get.  The spring suspension in the AMT Kenworth W900 kit s a 38000#, I believe.

I myself wouldnt worry about it cause you cant see the suspension in the photo,unless you buy the book or movie and maybe find out who would know.I would say that truck was an owner operator not a company fleet truck because its fancier than the group photo.Notice the straight pipe , slightly shorter tanks , and wheelbase than the kit.ust enough room the fit the reefer in between the cab and trailer .I say build it Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just came across this site doing some internet searching and a little history of this model that's been passed down throughout my family, this model was designed from my grandfathers truck and trailer. I actually have pictures in an old album that were taken of the truck detail also one of him standing beside the truck during the original photo shoot to get the detail. when I was a young boy we would sit and put these together with my grandfather, sometimes 3 a week. I will try to post some pictures when I can find them if interested.

Oh I would definitely love to see any pix you have. If you find them, please share.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great thread.  I have just about everything to make 3950, but I do have one question: I have both the AMT Kenworth W900 kits (one with the spring suspension & one with the torsion bar).  Does anyone know what type of suspension 3950 might have had?  I would have to guess that for a fleet truck it would have the lightest, cheapest suspension that they could get.  The spring suspension in the AMT Kenworth W900 kit s a 38000#, I believe.

Jim, I tried to examine the pic more closely, but I can't see the mounting brackets for the rear suspension to tell which one it is. Also, from what I can find, Watkins was mostly owner operator at that time. The fleet pic might be something where someone owns a small fleet, and leases it to a carrier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been up for a while but does anyone know if this truck ran duel air cleaners and what engine was in the truck ? I plan on doing this build!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, it's been awhile since I have checked this thread. I would say that if amt used this truck as a reference then it likely had a Cummins. I'm not sure about the dual air cleaners, though. If you do this build, I noticed that also, the tanks don't have steps like the kit does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you notice there is a foot hold attached to the back strap of the right side fuel tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now