Vintage Truck of the Day: 1938 Dodge Airflow Tanker Trunk – Airplanes Deserve Streamlined Tanker Trucks

We’ver covered a number of 1930s streamlined trucks, but this was a new one for me. But it shouldn’t have been surprising, since Chrysler pioneered streamlined design in the US with its Airflow cars starting in 1934. Apparently some Dodge truck clients liked the look, and wanted it on their trucks. These were mainly Texaco and Esso, but a few found their way into the hands of other fuel companies which wanted something flashy to be seen fueling the sleek new airplanes at the airport. So a modest number of these, custom built, were made between the years of 1934 and 1939. A few Airflow beer and beverage deliver trucks also were built, rolling advertisements for their products.

At least one of them is still around, at the Henry Ford Museum, looking very much like this one, but in full blazing color:

This one has some slight differences, but it’s pretty close. The cabs were built by Chrysler and the bodies by suppliers of tanker bodies, suitably streamlined. Under the hood of these four-ton rated trucks was a 309 CID Chrysler six, rated at 95 hp, although the last few versions in 1939 had the new 331 CID six, the gas version of the diesel we saw yesterday. Whether there were any diesel versions is unknown.

If you want one, here’s one available on ebay for $16.99, brand new too.