Vintage Trucks of the Day: Corbitt Conventionals – One of the Last of the Cottage Industry Truck Makers

Let’s take a quick look at a few vintage snapshots of a truck brand that may not be familiar to some of you. Corbitt, based in Henderson, NC, was one of those classic small manufacturers of the kind that have long disappeared. Richard Corbitt started building powered buggies way back in 1912, and switched to trucks as the field got crowded. He built trucks and some buses on a small scale (he never had more than 300 employees), and his assembly line consisted of a few trucks in progress hitched together with chains and pulled forward by whatever was the lead truck at the time.

Here’s a few conventionals from mostly the immediate post-war era. Corbitt also built some very wild COE trucks, but we’ll save those for tomorrow.

This is a short-nosed Corbitt. Most of the post-war trucks were powered by Cummins diesels, and by various makers of gas engines before the war.

Speaking of the war, Corbitt made some 5500 legendary 6×6 trucks for the Army. They were big, and powered by a giant Waukesha gas engine.

Here’s one on the go.


And one at a freight depot.

In 1952, Richard Corbitt sold the company because he was old and in poor health, and the one son who had been interested in taking over had passed away. The new owners liquidated the firm within a couple of years.


Here’s a somewhat more detailed account of Corbitt