Unlike out West, where extra long rigs were common or even longer ones could be specially licensed, like that 105′ long 18 unit car carrier a little while back, in the eastern part of the country those were verboten. But there were a few exceptions, on the private turnpikes in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana, where double 40′ trailers were allowed. I was so shocked the first time I saw a double 40′ rig in Indiana or Ohio, on the way to NY in 1964. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. What a road train!
From what I can gather, this all started in 1959 on the NY Thruway and Massachusetts Turnpike, and this double load of Larks was apparently on a test/validation run. One of the issues was that they needed to be fast enough to keep up with traffic, which meant the truck companies had to build special high-power tractors. This White is one of them.
The purpose of all this was pretty obvious: to lure truckers from (free) highway 20 and to get them to pay tolls on the turnpikes. Several truck makers offered special high power tractors, and this White cabover 5464TDC, nicknamed the Turnpike Cruiser, sported a Cummins 335 turbo with a 10-speed Fuller Roadranger transmission. 335 hp might not seem like much today, but in 1960, semi trucks typically had some 175-220 hp.
Needless to say, the benefits were obvious, although another tractor had to meet the doubles right after the exit to take on the second trailer. But the practice has spread very widely, and double (and even triple) trailers are allowed in many states.
I was passing my neighbors house this morning and notice the Oldsmobile Alero that they had for use of their teenager. I was trying to do the mental math regarding other dead brands to think of what it was the equivalent of.
I guess like seeing an end of production Studebaker in the early 80s. Damn that makes me feel old.
I’m of an age where (mostly) Olds was just another GM brand. Maybe the Quad 4 was the exception; the Rocket 88 was a storied name in my youth but the Olds diesel put most of the nails in Oldsmobile’s powerplant coffin. So to me seeing an Alero is more like seeing a Desoto in the ‘70’s, and I think of Studebaker as a more distinct – and distinctive – brand.
Yes, the Alero was a version of a current technology and style GM intermediate. The Lark was a low budget chop job on an outdated everything. Studebaker was just lucky that their old half a foot too narrow by contemporary standards basic body was the right width for a compact, and the big three weren’t ready with theirs yet. That body looked particularly out of it when it was stretched and finned to try to look current before being Larked.
The 4 door wagons say 1960. One of those white 2 door sedans could have been on the way to the house down the street from me where my childhood best friend’s mother would drive it until 1972. A V8, auto car with red and black Regal interior trim. It was a pretty nice car for a compact of that era.
Fall of 1959 perhaps?
Not unlikely. It must have been a pretty happy day for all around that Studebaker needed double-length carriers to get cars out to dealers. 🙂
Trucks over here have a lower speed limit than light vehicles it applies to light vehicles towing as well the national limit is 100kmh62mph, heavy vehcle limit is 90kmh, mega horsepower makes no nevermind except when pulling 58,000kg uphill, NZ was assembled late and no time was allowed to roll it smooth before kock off on the last day road builders went over mountain ranges rather that thru them and the steep climbs have stayed in use ever since, Car transporters have it easy, cars are light freight for their bulk not heavy and just look at that stude carrier theres really not a vast amount of structure holding up the top level, the whole show would be lucky to top much more than 30 tonnes tractor included, its on single axles for a start so 335 horsepower and only ten speeds would be more than enough,
Speed limits in the US vary by state. California is similar to what you describe in NZ; other states have much higher limits that are the same for combinations as for single vehicles.
In most states, if there are any speed limits on semi trailers, they’re usually put there by the company, not the government.
Such a little country, I wouldn’t have thought you would need trucks there at all, I picture you all driving old Commer lorries and other old fashioned British commercials bouncing around unmade roads.
XII Lark VIs and VIIIs.
“…although another tractor had to meet the doubles right after the exit to take on the second trailer. But the practice has spread very widely, and double (and even triple) trailers are allowed in many states.”
I see triple trailers being pulled on I-70 eastbound in Utah but never past Grand Junction in Colorado. East of Grand Junction is 11,000′ Vail Pass and 7% grades. Is that what happens, the tractor pulling triple trailers hands at least one of them off before the big hills? I always wondered.
NY Thruway and Mass Pike exits (the major ones at least) had a big open area where the doubles would be split before proceeding on local roads. Note the single axle tractor and trailers – the tolls were set by the axle count so this rig would cost no more than a standard 18-wheeler.
Give us at least a footnote about that tractor, a White 5000, successor to the famous White 3000 tilt cab. The 5000 had an all fiberglass cab I believe.
Sorry I just re read it. Good info.
The famous White 3000 was the first successful low cab forward with a tilting cab. As we have discussed here before, It was popular, remained in production until 1967, and spawned a host of competitors. If the 3000 had one problem, it was that it could not really accommodate larger diesel engines, like the Cummins N series. That was not through a lack of effort on White’s part, they did manage to stuff an N series under a 3000 cab in a few models. It was however not very successful and required mounting of the radiator behind the cab with a shaft drive fan. Cooling issues limited output and the truck was a nightmare to service. So, enter the 5000. The 5000 was White’s idea of a modern high cabover specifically built for over-the-road use. It could accommodate the N series Cummins or Detroit Diesel 6V-71 with ease and did indeed feature a very lightweight fiberglass cab with White’s idea of contemporary styling. The 5000 replaced the unsuccessful larger diesel 3000, but the medium duty 3000 stayed in production. The 5000 competed with the GMC DF 7000 ‘Crackerbox’, International DCO 405, various Freightliners, ect.. Unfortunately, the 5000 was not without its problems. The cab was not very substantial and had a lot of issues with flexing and wind/water leaks. Some drivers even reported doors popping open when hitting large potholes. I believe the 5000 was only built for 3 or 4 years before being replaced by the White 7000 series, a sturdy steel cabover with almost no styling whatsoever! Lesson learned. The 7000 proved popular with fleets particularly on the east coast and evolved into the Road Commander series in the 1970’s. In any event, I think the White 5000 was most appropriate to haul Larks around, at least from a styling standpoint. On a smooth road in good weather……
Thanks for your comment about the White 5000. It’s a truck that’s pretty unfamiliar to me, and I didn’t look it up just then; maybe another day. I barely remember seeing these as a kid, and now I know why.
Unlike the 5000, the White 7000 was very common indeed, in the eastern half of the country. Another crackerbox, but apparently much more suited to the job.
Interesting on the 5000’s engine options.
Anyway, one’d think that where an NH would fit, a 6-71 would fit, and where a 6-71 would fit a 1673 would fit, and…
Of course a 6V-71 wouldn’t be in the running with the “turnpike” 335 Cummins – unless the Jimmie was tuned for a very short life. I wonder if the Cummins “turnpike” engine actually was supercharged, rather than turbocharged? Scarce, but available.
I owned an early aluminum cab 7000. Hey, quit yawning! I don’t remember a lot about it, Fairly heavy spec., Cummins 220 power and rough riding “rubber block” Hendrickson suspension.
What I remember most is an incident from when selling the truck. After the deal’s ink was dried, to the buyer’s objections, I still insisted on delivering the truck myself. After the trip I stood in the truck’s driver doorway and showed the seated new owner around the control panel a bit. When finished with the introduction, thinking nothing of it, I slipped to the ground from the high cab with ease, using whatever method had become second nature to a nimble young me. The new owner followed but made his first exit out of the cab with one step to the ground. Ouch! Landed hard too.
No one could have guessed it when this picture was taken but in 2020, it is actual proof that not every car built in the 50’s came from the factory with white wall tires.
No one could have guessed it when this picture was taken but in 2020, it’s an everyday thing to be passed by trucks that are longer than this combination
The load seems to be mostly two-doors and wagons, while the VAST majority of Larks sold were four-doors. Were they publicizing the models they were hoping to sell?
Good observation, polistra. Without thinking about the body types I casually wondered what were the odds, million-to-one, that my own ’60 sedan was pictured in the mix? Now the odds must be even higher. LOL
Look at the “stove pipe” located right at the driver’s ear.
Were they thinking about RH turns and some con about that location? Or was the LH location just the shortest route from the exhaust manifold?
Shortest route for exhaust would have been passenger side, rather odd. LH mounted single exhaust very rare, usually only done because of other required equipment.
I forgot that the article identified the powerplant as Cummins. On second thought maybe that’s intake?
Besides, it’s not best practice to blast new cars with exhaust.