Lot 492: 1924 Graham Brothers 1-Ton Flatbed Stake Truck
The Graham Brothers, Joseph, Robert and Ray, were born to a farming family in Indiana. All three were college educated, and ended up working together at a bottle factory, re-named ‘Graham Glass Company’ after they managed to acquire it. Presciently selling out to Libbey-Owens before the market for glass bottles collapsed, they began marketing kits for truck conversion of Model T Fords. Called ‘Graham Truck Builder,’ the kits could be used on Dodges, Cadillacs or Hudsons, or many other cars as well as Fords.
By 1920, the Grahams were manufacturing complete trucks, four-cylinder 1-1/2 ton vehicles with the name ‘Graham Brothers Speed Truck.’ In 1921, they entered into an agreement with Dodge Brothers Company to market and service their Graham Brothers trucks, a pragmatic arrangement since the Grahams had been using Dodge engines. By 1922, Dodge was building Graham trucks in Detroit, and, in effect, the Graham Brothers truck became the Dodge truck. Dodge took a majority interest in the Graham firm and the brothers all became vice presidents of Dodge.
This came to an end when the widows of John and Horace Dodge sold the Dodge Brothers Company in 1925, and the Grahams went their own way, eventually to buy the Paige-Detroit Motor Company that led to the Graham-Paige automobile. Still, the Graham Brothers nameplate persisted on Dodge trucks until 1928 and some of the Graham designs were built into the 1930s.
This Graham Brothers stake body truck was sold new to a California customer and used on a strawberry farm. It has a Dodge-built L-head four-cylinder engine of 212 cubic inches and 35 bhp. It was later owned by the Mid Cal Auto/Truck Plaza in Santa Nella, California. It bears a recent paint job in gloss black, and its bed has been rebuilt and stake sideboards constructed of varnished wood.
The truck has single rear tires, and to support its rated one-ton capacity the rear wheels are of 14-spoke artillery configuration. The fronts are of the customary 12-spoke design. It runs well and can be entered in vintage truck competition or used as an adjunct to an owners business, such as advertising or for high-visibility tasks in a commercial setting.
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