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Art Anderson

More progress on the '20 Oldsmobile gasoline truck

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Finally, I got to work on the cabinet that goes on the back of the tank, which housed the delivery hose (for carrying the fuel from the truck to an underground tank, stowed on a reel at the rear), plus having space for stocking cans of grease, etc.

Sometimes, it makes sense to go looking around the house for stuff to make, say, a template for an arc such as the top of the tank--in this case, a discarded CD fit the bill perfectly:

Gasolinetankercabinet1-vi.jpg

After drawing an arc using the CD, it was a simple matter of a few basic measurements, drawing a line across the arc giving the width of the cabinet, using an Xacto stainless steel right triangle square to get the sides drawn in, and then the line across the bottom so that these panels could be cut: (the smudging is from lightly sanding the sheet styrene, so that the pencil lines would not only show up, but be relatively permanent)

Gasolinetankercabinet2-vi.jpg

Raw assembly of the cabinet (the extra panels are for one of two more tank bodies I am building along side this one). You may note the slight overhang of the sides and top, this is clearance for 1/32" thick basswood and birch plywood, as many of these units used wood at the rear, for the access doors and their framing:

GasolineTankercabinet5-vi.jpg

And finally, assembled onto the rear of the tank itself, with the woodwork done (still needs hinge and latch detailing):

Gasolinetrucktanker6-vi.jpg

Finally, after all these years (soon to be 23 years since I started on the chassis for this thing!) it's beginning to come together, look like something!

Art

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Very nice work, Art!!

I always loved the trucks from that era!! They have so much character!!

Please keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks for sharing,

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would like to see it when its done if it ever gets done

To paraphrase some California winery's slogan: "I'll finish no model until its time"

Art

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To paraphrase some California winery's slogan: "I'll finish no model until its time"

Art

At your rate then, I guess you finish no model! ;)

Just kidding. It looks really good. Are you going to make this one "showroom new" or old and worn?

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Great build so far! Going to look awesome when its finished.

Now, not wanting to throw wrenches, but are the rear springs thick enough to support the weight of the tank? They look a little on the light side. Mind you, that is what I am going on, the look. I have not seen the real thing so I wouldn't know the reality of it all.

It doesn't take away from the model, I just notice things like that. I have to stay quiet at the movies with the family when I notice stuff "hey, when a car pops a wheelie, the back goes down first, then the front comes up..."

Awesome scratching, by the way! Real inspiration!

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At your rate then, I guess you finish no model! :P

Just kidding. It looks really good. Are you going to make this one "showroom new" or old and worn?

Harry,

Believe it or not, this project has come to the point of beginning to think about what level of finish. I am pretty certain that in 1920, such a truck wouldn't have had the hign, concours finish of say, a 21st Century restoration, but it wouldn't have been on its last legs to the scrapyard either (after all, that was an era of company pride in the vehicle).

Tempering my usual deal of a show car finish is all the wood there--the biggest reason for it was to get a wood grain surface after painting, but that could be enhanced by a lightly applied patina of road dirt. So, I am in the midst of thinking on this.

Art

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Great build so far! Going to look awesome when its finished.

Now, not wanting to throw wrenches, but are the rear springs thick enough to support the weight of the tank? They look a little on the light side. Mind you, that is what I am going on, the look. I have not seen the real thing so I wouldn't know the reality of it all.

It doesn't take away from the model, I just notice things like that. I have to stay quiet at the movies with the family when I notice stuff "hey, when a car pops a wheelie, the back goes down first, then the front comes up..."

Awesome scratching, by the way! Real inspiration!

Torino,

Believe it or not, those springs are very close to the drawings of the real truck, and the few pics of that truck (real one is fitted with a 1.5 ton grain body), so I'm not too worried. During the building of the gasoline tanker body, I did do some calculating as to the volume of gasoline and kerosene this tank would hold (Always wondered if I would ever use the formula for determining the volume of a cylinder when I was a Freshman in HS!!!). I came up with 400 gallons of gasoline (the larger section of the tank) and 125 gallons of kerosene (the short, rear section of the tank body). That volume of these two fuels would weigh in at just 2800lbs. Give another 1000 lbs for the tank and the wooden framing, and it's all well within the load range of that suspension (realize that a closed-body luxury car of the day could weigh in around 4500lbs WITHOUT fluids or 7 full grown adults as passengers, on much lighter springs, add luggage for them, and you had a pretty hefty load right there), the weights for a truck such as this aren't out of line, I don't think.

The bigger issue would have been tires and brakes. Even though the relatively anemic Oldsmobile 4cyl engine had about 50hp, with that much load, it wouldn't have been any speed demon--loaded, that engine was probably out of breath under a full load. Likely, a truck such as this would have been in city delivery service only, gasoline deliveries to farmers in their infance (internal combustion farm tractors just then coming into use--"Daisy and Dolly" were still pulling the plows and wagons down on most farms), very little open road deliveries would have been done. Almost all gasoline and oil shipping between towns and cities was still by railroad tank car, which was then drained either into some sort of bulk tank operation, or the tank car just sat on a siding until emptied into trucks such as this. Top speed on a truck like this would have been pushing it to top 25mph, and under load, in city traffic, perhaps 20mph in good tune was all that could be had,

Tires such as these were heavy duty construction--8-10 plies of heavy cotton cord in the casing, on "clincher rims" (rims that literally clinched the tire bead, unlike the style of tire bead/wheel rim we see today), and carrying 80-90psi to support such a load. Brakes were an even more "iffy" proposition! This truck was equipped with external contracting bands on the rear brake drums, mechanically actuated by a brake pedal, there being internal expanding brake shoes in the same drums for emergency use, mechanical as well, controlled by a brake lever in the cab--actuated by the "armstrong method". Hydraulic brakes had yet to be introduced into passenger automobiles--Duesenberg did that in 1921, with the first Duesenberg Model A, and air brakes, while already in almost universal railroad use, had yet to be scaled down to fit motor trucks for the road. Runaway trucks, even in the city, were a constant worry! Steering was by non-reversible (meaning the driver had to physically steer the truck around a corner, and then steer, by arm strength alone, out of the turn, no letting one's hands slip on the steering wheel as caster & camber joined up to bring the front wheels back straight!) worm and sector steering gears. So, driving a truck like this, fully loaded, even in town was a full-time job, and one NOT for "97lb weaklings" or the faint of heart!

Art

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Definitely a beauty and by the sound of it, well researched.

I stand corrected and formally retract my unknowledgable observation.

BTW, my last project was an old Mack flatbed (Tom Daniels Beer Wagon/RC Cola Wagon) that was made into a hot rod truckster. See "Bully" in the Under Glass section. Definitely not anything close to stock...

Keep up the great work and keep us drooling modelers updated.

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