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Trick trucks

Although the name of this Web site is, we don’t leave out the trucks that haul around our swap meet finds, take us on Sunday drives through the country or simply carry us into car shows and become part of our daily lives. You’ll find this Web site also addresses these handy haulers with several feature stories.

Assembling such stories started me thinking about the many beautiful truck designs that have come and gone. It often seems as though vehicle manufacturers expend the majority of their design resources on automobiles, many beautiful trucks have hit the highways. Here are a few light-duty trucks sporting designs that I find as beautiful as their respective automotive contemporaries.

1933 D-1 and 1934-’36 C-series International – Here’s is a group of trucks with looks as good as fine luxury cars of the day. Even Internationals built after these beauties are extremely handsome, but a list has to be cut off somewhere.

1933-’39 Diamond T – These haulers earn their name in the looks department, particularly at the start of streamlining. Like International, the Diamond T trucks built after this era could be on any “beautiful truck” list,

1935 Mack Jr./Reo
– The styling of these surprisingly light-duty offerings from heavy-duty truck manufacturers was about one year behind automotive styling, and that’s why they’re so good looking. Finding looks this good in a truck is as rare as actually finding one of these trucks today.

1956 Ford F-100
– Yes, prewar Ford trucks are good looking, but any Ford buff will tell you the wrap-around windshield 1956 model is a standout. I whole heartedly agree.

1957 Dodge Sweptside
– Welding passenger fins on a truck doesn’t sound like a good idea, but it was one of the best of the 1950s.

1955-’57 Chevrolet Cameo – There are many great trucks that deserve to be on such a list, but I would be remiss to leave off the Cameo. These good-looking trucks helped usher in a new era of truck bed design, and did so looking like a super model.

1937-‘42 Willys truck - How do you make the beautiful yet cute-as-a-button truck design even better? Make it able to haul buttons with a bed. The same goes for any prewar light-duty truck with a nose shared with a passenger car (think Studebaker Coupe-Expresss, Terraplane pickups, etc.)

Passenger car-based trucks - While we’re talking about car-based trucks, let me add my final vote for most beautiful trucks: any Classic era-based truck gets a thumbs-up in my book. Just seeing a Packard or Cadillac truck that never was come to fruition at the hands of a handy farmer or rancher gets my blood going. Now, I don’t recommend cutting up that V-12 sedan or Duesenberg limousine in your shed, but elegant (and originally expensive) cars converted to trucks and wreckers in the 1940s and 1950s are about as cool as you can get, and they are exceptionally rare as people eventually parted such vehicles out or placed new coachwork on the chassis.

Here's one of my favorite photos of a passenger car-based truck: This Packard truck photo comes from the camera of Coy Thomas:

I’m sure you’ve started a list of your own while reading mine. Go ahead and submit your ideas below!

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Here's a new car-truck photo of a 1932 LaSalle tow truck from reader Tom Tomlinson:

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