Coleman Trucks


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By jhancock - 8 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/e81c6959-2f3a-4730-ab7e-c95c.jpg

This is a 1929 Coleman all wheel drive dump truck powered by a 128 hp Buda engine shown in South Deerfield, MA in 2011.

Jim
By Tony Bullard - 8 Years Ago
Jim I talk to the owner at that show trying to figure out how they could get that truck all the way from Littleton CO. Now I see they were made in washington DC also.

By Eddy Lucast - 8 Years Ago
Don Chew restored an early 20's Coleman 4WD truck for the Coleman family. IIRC it was found in a nudist colony in the hills above Boulder Colo. It was the feature truck at the ATHS National Convention in Denver in about 1991.
By jhancock - 8 Years Ago
Interesting info!

I suppose if someone wanted a Coleman badly enough they could have put it on a railcar.

Driving would have been a sloooow trip!

Jim
By Brocky - 8 Years Ago
Here are a couple that were at the HVTA show in Greeley CO in 2009

Ken Kafla's 1929



and Jim Grumbles 1927

By Linntractornut - 8 Years Ago
Did anyone ask Don Chew how he found that Coleman in the nudist colony? Howe Bros. in Troy, NY built the Coleman units out here, popular on Chevy and GMC in the early 1950's when Walter and Oshkosh started getting expensive and towns realized they were expensive to use as regular dumptrucks. I always regarded Don Chew as the 4WD expert, hope he is still doing well.
By Linntractornut - 8 Years Ago
I think they made a tractor-dump trailer unit in the mid or late 1920's like a Euclid? I've seen pictures of such a unit both on the bridge replacement rt 8 Noblesboro, NY c. 1927 and c. 1930 in Palatine/Danube NY along the barge canal. Tom Siemons (Sterling owner) had sent me a photo of a Quickway? shovel on a Coleman at an old mine down in PA about 20 years ago, hope someone saved that one.
By Trucker - 8 Years Ago
Two postwar Colenans Model G-55 with Comfo-Vision and self-made cabs.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/6647a3a3-a72d-47dd-bc1f-8843.jpg
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By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
I don't have pictures but we had alot of Coleman aircraft tugs in the Air Force, they sported a suicide knob and front and rear steering, you could make'em do all kinds of crazy things, like going down the flight line sideways. I don't remember what engines they had but will never forget the electric clutch with the clutch button on the gear shift knob. I got a real butt chewing from a CWO for taking a C-130 out of his hanger too fast, but he also said I was the best he'd ever seen on backing, what he didn't know was they backed just like a hay wagon. The Coleman didn't have a left and right brake like a farm tractor, but the front and rear steering made up for it.
By Tony Bullard - 8 Years Ago
Colman tug with plow.











By Tony Bullard - 8 Years Ago
One more. Independent front and rear steering so it could crab. I don't remember any rear spring.

By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
Thanks Tony, that's it.
By jhancock - 8 Years Ago
Looks like a good snow pusher!
By Skip - 8 Years Ago
The RCAF (Canada) had a fleet of these things. IIRC they had a flathead Chrysler product engine and a Torqueflight or something similer for a transmission. We used Unimogs in Germany and the Colemen in Canada.
By Tony Bullard - 8 Years Ago
The tug I posted had a Continental six.
By Shifty - 8 Years Ago
Don't recall where I got these factory photos, but enjoy.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/f590b327-a810-4841-8298-e219.jpg
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By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Great pictures Shifty. The C-124 Globemaster brings back some memories. I once flew from Hickam to McClellan AFB on one. There were times that I thought I could get out and walk faster than we were flying. I thought we would never get there.

Its funny how some things never change. In the very first picture in this tread of 1929 Coleman, you could clearly see the large dome hubs. I guess they still use that same design, as least they were still using it in the 60's.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/c2981cf9-6296-4d6e-917a-65c2.jpg
By 71int - 8 Years Ago
Michelle
Flew many hours on C-124's as a loadmaster in the late sixties hauling outsize cargo
before the C-5 came into operation.

Dave
By Shifty - 8 Years Ago
Thanks Michelle
I never flew on the Shaky. Mostly C97, and KC135 the few times I flew, but if I remember it right.
Two things that aerodynamically aren't supposed to be able to fly are Bumble Bees, and C124s.
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Shifty (24/03/2013)
Thanks Michelle
I never flew on the Shaky. Mostly C97, and KC135 the few times I flew, but if I remember it right.
Two things that aerodynamically aren't supposed to be able to fly are Bumble Bees, and C124s.


The C-97 Stratofreighter was a pretty respectable aircraft, I would consider it the penicle of prop aircraft as far as speed. I am sure it was nice to transistition from from from the C-97 Stratofreighter to the C-135 Stratotanker. It was always a mystery to me why both the cargo versions of the 97 and the 135 both had the same nick names Stratofreighter and both the KC versions had the same nick name of Stratotanker, I guess Boeing was stuck on Strato. The civil version of the C-97 was Stratocruiser, I don't remember what the civil verson of the 707 (C-135) was.

Dave, I bet those were some long rides on the Old Shaky.
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Michelle Cole (25/03/2013)
Shifty (24/03/2013)
Thanks Michelle
I never flew on the Shaky. Mostly C97, and KC135 the few times I flew, but if I remember it right.
Two things that aerodynamically aren't supposed to be able to fly are Bumble Bees, and C124s.


The C-97 Stratofreighter was a pretty respectable aircraft, I would consider it the penicle of prop aircraft as far as speed. I am sure it was nice to transistition from from from the C-97 Stratofreighter to the C-135 Stratotanker. It was always a mystery to me why both the cargo versions of the 97 and the 135 both had the same nick names Stratofreighter and both the KC versions had the same nick name of Stratotanker, I guess Boeing was stuck on Strato. The civil version of the C-97 was Stratocruiser, I don't remember what the civil verson of the 707 (C-135) was.

Dave, I bet those were some long rides on the Old Shaky.


"Dash 80" for the 707 is what I recall
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
1972 Coleman Tug, 2 axle steering, 318 Chrysler industrial engine, Allison 4-speed auto transmission, weighs 13,000lbs, designed to pull 100,000lbs







By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
1955 Coleman Tug Chrysler Industrial IND-6A Flathead engine

By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Shifty, Great photos
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Coleman CF-55-AF Tug also built by Federal F-55-AF was a license built version

Built by two American companies Federal (F-55-AF) and Coleman (CF-55-AF) these tugs were made up of two GM cabs welded together, had 4-wheel steering and were powered by a Buda LO-525 6cyl engine producing 125bhp.











By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Bill White (25/03/2013)
Michelle Cole (25/03/2013)
Shifty (24/03/2013)
Thanks Michelle
I never flew on the Shaky. Mostly C97, and KC135 the few times I flew, but if I remember it right.
Two things that aerodynamically aren't supposed to be able to fly are Bumble Bees, and C124s.


The C-97 Stratofreighter was a pretty respectable aircraft, I would consider it the penicle of prop aircraft as far as speed. I am sure it was nice to transistition from from from the C-97 Stratofreighter to the C-135 Stratotanker. It was always a mystery to me why both the cargo versions of the 97 and the 135 both had the same nick names Stratofreighter and both the KC versions had the same nick name of Stratotanker, I guess Boeing was stuck on Strato. The civil version of the C-97 was Stratocruiser, I don't remember what the civil verson of the 707 (C-135) was.

Dave, I bet those were some long rides on the Old Shaky.


"Dash 80" for the 707 is what I recall


The nick name Stratoliner comes to mind, I am not for sure. The Dash 80 was a model number.
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Michelle Cole (25/03/2013)
Bill White (25/03/2013)
Michelle Cole (25/03/2013)
Shifty (24/03/2013)
Thanks Michelle
I never flew on the Shaky. Mostly C97, and KC135 the few times I flew, but if I remember it right.
Two things that aerodynamically aren't supposed to be able to fly are Bumble Bees, and C124s.


The C-97 Stratofreighter was a pretty respectable aircraft, I would consider it the penicle of prop aircraft as far as speed. I am sure it was nice to transistition from from from the C-97 Stratofreighter to the C-135 Stratotanker. It was always a mystery to me why both the cargo versions of the 97 and the 135 both had the same nick names Stratofreighter and both the KC versions had the same nick name of Stratotanker, I guess Boeing was stuck on Strato. The civil version of the C-97 was Stratocruiser, I don't remember what the civil verson of the 707 (C-135) was.

Dave, I bet those were some long rides on the Old Shaky.


"Dash 80" for the 707 is what I recall


The nick name Stratoliner comes to mind, I am not for sure. The Dash 80 was a model number.


On July 15, 1954, the Boeing 707 prototype took off from Renton Field in Seattle. Nicknamed the Dash 80
Stratoliner was a name Boeing gave in 1938 to a model 307. And the 707 airliner was called Jet Stratoliner. I flew C-47 (Dakota) first then C-54 (Skymaster) and then Convair C-131 (Samaritan)
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Jet Stratoliner, I wasn't too far off. I knew the name Stratoliner kept on coming to mind when I got to thinking about it. The Air Force nick name for the C 47 was Skytrain, and was commonly called the Gooney bird by the flight crews and ground personell, I think the Dakota was a Navy nick name if I am not mistaken. As you mentioned the C-54 was the Skymaster and the C-118 also made by Douglas was the Liftmaster. The Douglas C-133 which looked to me like a stretched c-130 was called the Cargomaster. The cargo aircraft that was prevelent when I was in the A/F was the C-47, C-54, C-97, C-118, C-119, C-121, C-123, C-124, C-130, C-131, C133, C-141, C-5, C-17 of course after a few years the prop jobs started to dissapear and all were replaced by jets. There were a few more odd ball cargo planes that were built in small numbers. Bill, you flew C-131, did you know that there was a trainer version of the 131? It was the T-29 flying classroom. It was for navigator training. Identical to the 131 except of the door on the right side of the aircraft and the numerous aero domes on the top to shoot the stars with.
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Michelle Cole (26/03/2013)
Jet Stratoliner, I wasn't too far off. I knew the name Stratoliner kept on coming to mind when I got to thinking about it. The Air Force nick name for the C 47 was Skytrain, and was commonly called the Gooney bird by the flight crews and ground personell, I think the Dakota was a Navy nick name if I am not mistaken. As you mentioned the C-54 was the Skymaster and the C-118 also made by Douglas was the Liftmaster. The Douglas C-133 which looked to me like a stretched c-130 was called the Cargomaster. The cargo aircraft that was prevelent when I was in the A/F was the C-47, C-54, C-97, C-118, C-119, C-121, C-123, C-124, C-130, C-131, C133, C-141, C-5, C-17 of course after a few years the prop jobs started to dissapear and all were replaced by jets. There were a few more odd ball cargo planes that were built in small numbers. Bill, you flew C-131, did you know that there was a trainer version of the 131? It was the T-29 flying classroom. It was for navigator training. Identical to the 131 except of the door on the right side of the aircraft and the numerous aero domes on the top to shoot the stars with.


Yes I knew about the T-29, we called the C-47 A Dakota or Gooney bird but I liked the Dakota better and some times Skytrain, Dakata was an RAF name. I liked the C-131 the best.
By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
Michelle, The c 47 was what they used to make Puff the Magic Dragon. The most awesome fire-power display ever at night. Later they made one out of a 130 I think. Wayne
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Your right Wayne, the C-47 version was the first platform, actually AC-47 I think was the designation. The C-47 platform was selected because it could fly so slow.

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By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
Michelle, Theere is no way to tell how many lives were saved by Puff but I know a few. Words cannot describe how good he looked one night. Wayne
By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
wayne graham (26/03/2013)
Michelle, The c 47 was what they used to make Puff the Magic Dragon. The most awesome fire-power display ever at night. Later they made one out of a 130 I think. Wayne
Right on Wayne the C-47 Puff used to fly over Nam and cut loose with the guns, i used to know how many rounds between tracers but have since forgotten but it actually looked like a solid red neon light coming down, when they converted the C-130 to a gun ship they claimed to be able to fly over a football field and put a bullet in every square foot of the field.
By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
Chelle you left out the C-7 which the Army gave us and affectionetly named it the Caribou. I bet Wayne saw alot of em over yonder.
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Douglas AC-47D Spooky aka "Puff, the Magic Dragon"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKOrpyO0z48

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73SciCMf9Rw
By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
Lynn, In Army ammo it was every 5th round. I don't know bout what the air force used. you are right it was just a solid red stream to the naked eye. Yeah we saw plenty of the caribou but I had forgotten till you brought it up. I repressed the memories for so long and now when I want one it is some times not all there at first. Wayne
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Lynn D (27/03/2013)
Chelle you left out the C-7 which the Army gave us and affectionetly named it the Caribou. I bet Wayne saw alot of em over yonder.


Lynn, Here you are.

C-7A/B These designations were applied to all 144 Caribous transferred to the U.S. Air Force by the U.S. Army.

Bill
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Yes, I had over looked the Carabou. I am not suprised that I missed one, could be more I missed. My mind fades as I get older.

This Carabou had a wreck, I have slept too many times and can't remember where the picture was taken.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/23c62abd-2c15-4479-9780-f971.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/813052c5-a7a7-4bdf-9aae-a5e0.jpg

Another Carabou wreck. Not the same aircraft but it looks like both could have met the same fate, looks like it laid up on its right side. Makes me wonder if both was a result of a right landing gear failure.
By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
Michelle, They were a very busy little work horse in Nam. Most important of all they brought a lot of mail. Wayne
By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Dak Pek Vietnam Crash



The aircraft just before impact



After the crash, in which the right wing was torn off and burning in the background



A view of the crash scene from the approach end of the runway



Close-up of the burning right wing and right main gear



View of the wreckage of the fuselage from the rear. From the "189" on the tail, it can be determined that this was aircraft serial number 62-4189



Nose of the aircraft



By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
Michelle I don't know why the Caribou came to mind, maybe because they were stationed at Cam Ranh Bay along with our Herks, I got to or had to(depending on how you look at it) fly on one to Ben Hou one night to fix my 130 that got hit on take off. When it comes to remembering I'm terrible and couldn't name half of the ones you did. Thanks to you and Bill for the pics.
By Shifty - 8 Years Ago
OK. As long as we have totally hijacked this thread, and I was an Arc Light troop myself.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b804fd94-ab51-433b-bb56-0091.jpg
By Lynn D - 8 Years Ago
Shifty your right we have totally hijacked this thread, but while we're at it I think the B-52 was one of the ugliest planes sitting on the ground and one of the prettiest in the air due to their wing lift, alot of flex for sure.
By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
The 2nd most awesome thing I ever saw from an air craft was a B 52 do a touch and go at an air show. The first of course was the afore mentioned PUFF. Wayne
By Eddy Lucast - 8 Years Ago
So how about something a little older, who has a picture of the gliders they used in WWII? I'm curious! I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being at the mercy of the wind and gravity. My step dad flew one in behind German lines at Normandy and I've always wondered what it looked like. He never talks about it, I only found out what he did thru a newspaper article.
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Bill had mentioned that he used to fly on C-54's. Here are some pictures I made of a C-54 flight I was on in the 60's.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/051993b5-3a3f-4d8a-8459-21a3.jpg

This was not long after take off from Hickam. We had took off the day bafore but threw a #3 prop on take off. We did a down wind leg and landed. By the time the engine and prop were replaced it was late and we opted to say over night and leave the next morning.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/35713625-1862-4e72-bfcf-f0a5.jpg

Same aircraft, we lost #2 on the way into Wake Island. It was repaired and we were on our way the next morning.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/f134b56b-9fca-45ed-8b2a-f638.jpg

After a successful run up we were ready to leave the next day.
By Michelle Cole - 8 Years Ago
Ed, here are some WW II glider pictures.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/ee455a76-370a-4162-a21a-a30a.jpg

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This one has the invasion stripes.

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This is powered, I never knew some ended up with engines until I found this picture.
By jhancock - 8 Years Ago
I don't recall where I saw a mini bulldozer that was designed to ride in a glider to be used in clearing hedgerows and other obstacles for the D-Day invasion.

Jim
By wayne graham - 8 Years Ago
Eddy, that would take a lot of guts. I understand why he won't talk about it. You just saw me post everything I can say about what I was in and the va has sent me to several shrinks just to say that much. My hat is off to your step dad, Wayne
By Shifty - 8 Years Ago
Eddie
Here's a picture of the cockpit. (WACO GC4A)
This part was hinged, so cargo, or troops could be loaded.
The gliders were towed by C46s, and C 47s with a rope 300 feet long about 150 mph.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/8ce2f532-69e3-4865-b81b-128e.jpg
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By Bill White - 8 Years Ago
Michelle Cole (28/03/2013)
Bill had mentioned that he used to fly on C-54's. Here are some pictures I made of a C-54 flight I was on in the 60's.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/051993b5-3a3f-4d8a-8459-21a3.jpg

This was not long after take off from Hickam. We had took off the day bafore but threw a #3 prop on take off. We did a down wind leg and landed. By the time the engine and prop were replaced it was late and we opted to say over night and leave the next morning.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/35713625-1862-4e72-bfcf-f0a5.jpg

Same aircraft, we lost #2 on the way into Wake Island. It was repaired and we were on our way the next morning.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/f134b56b-9fca-45ed-8b2a-f638.jpg

After a successful run up we were ready to leave the next day.


Thanks Michelle, lots of memories here..........Bill
By ppsyclone - 8 Years Ago
I have a polite request. Can we please keep this thread for Coleman trucks and perhaps have a separate thread for the aviation stuff. I was Naval Air and worked on the flight deck of the USS Ranger in Nam. I love the aviation stuff too. But how about if we keep the truck make threads just for that make. It is a valuble research and education tool for all of us, especially those of us relatively new to old trucks. Thanks for listening.
By cookieten - 8 Years Ago
Hi guys! I am wondering if anybody would be willing to share a higher-res vintage image of the Federal (F-55-AF) or Coleman (CF-55-AF). I am building a calendar for PWAM down in Pueblo and having one heck of a time trying to find some good images of this tug at work or in the factory. YES! This unique vehicle gets its own page but I need more for it :) We photographed some great models all over the one they have but I thought it would be really special to have a vintage image included with the calendar page. As you can imagine, good images of this rare vehicle are hard to find. Any help would be much appreciated and I will give you full credit in the calendar for use of the image(s). Email me at cookieten AT yahoo.com. Thank you so much :)

Thanks in advance!

Celia

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/d7773434-2ee4-4985-acf4-f721.jpg
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 8 Years Ago
This is probably not what you are looking for, but it is the best I have. This Coleman CF-55-AF is the earlier model with the Ford-based cab. The aircraft is a huge Martin Mars seaplane built at the end of WW2. It was in fire bomber service in the Pacific Northwest when this photo was taken. Pat MacPhail sent me this many years ago.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/ebe41f52-b517-4e1d-bf55-2285.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/3af32db9-264c-476b-99f6-d77f.jpg
By Mike Kellett - 8 Years Ago
Celia, It's my understanding there may be at least one of these Coleman cabs in a salvage yard in Dodge City, Kansas. When I was young there were two that sat in a ditch on the edge of town. I am hoping one of them survived. If I locate I will post pics. These things were used quite a little in this area as the old WWII bomber bases were used for training for several more years.
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Greetings fellow Coleman Truck Enthusiasts! 

My name is Craig Trout, I was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, and I guess you could say I am a "Coleman Brat," through and through.

My late father, Harold V. Trout, worked at Coleman for 30 years (1950-1980) and I used to love to go down to see him at work and wander around the production lines and the erecting floor. My earliest memory of the Coleman "West Plant" (just across Curtis Street from their main building on Nevada Street) was it being jammed absolutely full of two long rows of simply huge Coleman CF-55-AF double-cab Air Force towing tractors receiving their finishing touches (or at least they seemed huge to a young boy about 4-5 years old). Coleman was in the midst of finishing a major 9.5 million dollar contract (1951) for the Air Force, and they were often shipping several railroad flat cars of CF-55-AF's a week. My memory is that they were shipped all over the world, mainly being slated for tug duties with B-36's and other heavy bombers.  Most were yellow, but I remember at least one large run in olive drab dress also. They looked so strange with those two back-to-back cabs welded together...

In later years, I was fascinated by the huge rotary snow plows built under license for the SnowBlast Corporation, and of course the legions of MB-4's that totally dominated the production lines for many years. I also remember the prototype cab-over-engine 4x4 "Space Star" that also had 4-wheel steering and was integrated as one unit with what would ordinarily be an 18-wheeler trailer. It was usually parked outside the West Plant between company runs picking up castings, or delivering axles.  Coleman also made various truck spotting vehicles, such as the "Champion-500" and even experimented with a pickup-mounted street sweeper called the "PiggyVac."  Of course, their production lines always included a very steady stream of 4x4 conversions for a wide range of commercial vehicles, to include Chevy's, Fords, Dodge, International Harvester, GMC's and such.

As a coincidence, my late father grew up in Carbondale, Colorado where Harleigh Holmes first did his first drive train experiments in around 1916-1917 or so while managingr a local reservoir & irrigation company as his "day job."

I have a great interest in the early years under Harleigh R. Holmes, then Plains Motor Company, and eventually Coleman Motors after the late 1923 move from the Plains Motors plant at Larimer & 8th streets in Denver back to South Nevada Street in Littleton. In the future, I will be posting short items about the "Coleman Truck Family Tree," to include Holmes Trucks, Plains Motors Company Trucks, and of course those fascinating early Colemans.  I also have a strong interest in those companies that Coleman had a strong working relationship with, such as the Colombian Steel Tank Co., Quick-Way Truck Shovel Co., Howe-Coleman, International Harvester, Marmon-Herrington, and SnowBlast Corporation.    

I look forward to postings by others with similar interests.

Craig 
Loudoun County, Virginia
By Tony Bullard - 8 Years Ago
Welcome to the forums Graig. We'd love to see pictures that you may have especially unusual stuff like the "PiggyVac" or other prototype stuff.
By Eddy Lucast - 8 Years Ago
Craig have you ever met Don Chew? He restored a 1922? Coleman for the Coleman family. It was displayed as the feature truck at the American Truck Historical Societies annual truck show and convention in about 1990 that was held at the Denver Tech Center.
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Hi Eddy,

Don Chew's name comes up repeatedly in my research, but I have never met him. His published articles are excellent. Do you have any contact information for him? I would very much like to connect with him.

Thanks!
Craig
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Hi Tony,

As I round up my files, I hope to start posting some of the more unusual items for everyone's enjoyment and comments.

Craig
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
My understanding is that there were perhaps (8) or so restored Coleman Trucks in the recent "Western Welcome" parade in Littleton this August. Did anyone attend and take pictures?

– Craig
By Eddy Lucast - 8 Years Ago
Craig send me an email.
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 8 Years Ago
Craig, welcome to the forums. I'm looking forward to your photos. I love the old stuff and all wheel drives in particular.
By Brocky - 8 Years Ago
Craig,

Welcome to the forums. I an another 4X4 admirer.

Don Chew does not communicate by computer. Please send me an email at brocky45@prtcnet.com and I can send you his US mail addy and phone number.
By ppsyclone - 8 Years Ago
Here's a link to the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAAo_w6fhm4
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
What a FANTASTIC video! Thanks for sharing!

I have already watched it about 8 times trying to pick out the "model number" and probable year-group for each of the four early-model Coleman Trucks towards the end. I see Ken Kafka's 1929 (DD-40?), does anyone know who owns the other early ones?

And "what in the world" was that first-in-line, low-cut utility vehicle? In all my years around Coleman, I never saw one on the production floor or in sales brochures.

Thanks again for sharing!!

Craig Trout
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
I did not make it to the parade but I've seen pics from it. The plow truck is a 1939 and belongs to the state. The other red one is a 1933. The orange one is this truck http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix/trucks/bullnoze/2006/jul01/c2.jpg don't know the year. The green one was originally set up to run on railroad tracks as well as the street. A 1978 model with a Nissan diesel, the only one of these made, I think that is what I was told.
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Is anyone in contact with Celia? (See her 10 Sep 2013 post)

I set aside some "CF-55-AF" photos for her pending PWAM museum photo calendar project, but in writing to her posted email address, I got no response.

For everyone else, the CF-55-AF were those big double-cab monsters developed to tow B-36s and other heavy bombers of the late 40s and early 50s

• The first order in 1949 consisted of (49) units mounted with back-to-back Ford cabs.

• The second order in 1950 of (73) units and is when I believe they experimented with Coleman-fabricated cabs with Ford 1945-1947 doors.

• The third order in 1951 consisted of (495) units, and these are the most familiar to everyone with back-to-back Chevy cabs (some sources say GMC, but essentially "same-same"). There are by far the most survivors out of this Coleman "Class of 1951."

• As a child, I remember a few later runs of smaller numbers of CF-55-AFs, both in yellow and olive drab, but I do not have any details. I do remember as a small child that these big guys were flat huge. It was a real scramble when I was invited up into a cab!

The other major product line in the very early 1950's was the "G-55" heavy truck with all it's many variants, and of course a very steady stream of commercial truck 4-wheel-drive conversions -- fire trucks, utility trucks, surveyor crew trucks, and mainly snow-plow-mounted trucks. They also shipped a huge number of axles, I assume to Howe-Coleman. I also remember an experimental "swamp buggy" with huge tractor tires, but I don't think much ever came of it.

Craig
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
A couple of years ago I was put in touch with a fellow who's dad worked at Coleman during the same era as your dad. Maybe it was you? He was in Castle Rock Colorado at that time. He gave me some pictures of some other tugs, one was called the Ant and had tracks like a tank on the back. The others I think are different versions of the A2. Not that it matters but a newspaper article that I got from the library says the GM cabs were purchased through Burt Chevrolet which was fairly close to the Coleman plant.

Do you know why Federal built those tugs as well?

There is a farmer in northern Colorado who has a modified CF-55-AF that he uses on the farm.

Bill.
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Hi Bill,

No that wasn't me in Castle Rock. Art Julian perhaps? We went to school together and his Dad worked at Coleman for many years also.

As for "the ant," is this what you were referring to? I do not remember the model number, but I believe it was designed for a very low-slung aircraft. Dad helped in some way with the hydraulics. I don't think it ever went into full production. Does anyone else remember any details?

Craig

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b1b266ce-8dff-4385-974e-126d.jpg
By Tutlebrain - 8 Years Ago
Interesting thread... Some Colemans and Coleman equipped IHs found their way into Israel, to be used in conditions very different from those they faced in the US. The below buses were used by Egged, Israel's largest bus & coach operator on its Sinai desert routes. They had Perkins diesels, not sure about g/boxes but the 4X4 conversion is Coleman for sure.http://www.egged.co.il/objects/HZ_128_SINAY_B_16.jpg
http://www.egged.co.il/objects/HZ_128_SINAY_B_19.jpg

http://www.egged.co.il/objects/HZ_128_SINAY_B_10.jpg

even Coleman 4X4 has it's limits:)
http://www.egged.co.il/objects/HZ_128_SINAY_B_13.jpg

Pics from Egged's page http://www.egged.co.il/main.asp?lngCategoryID=15795 (Hebrew only)
Egged preserved one which can be seen at its museum
http://www.egged.co.il/objects/38598_B_222.JPG
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
Craig,

Yes that's it, but I don't know the official model or number.

Here's a few more from the fellow in Castle Rock. I thought he said one of them was an A2.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/bf74b6f1-2d0a-4872-a345-a188.jpg
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Hey Bill,

Great shots! Thanks for posting those. I was straining to see if my Dad was in ether of the two shots to the right. I remember they had some real problems getting the rather unusual hydraulics setup to work smoothly.

Craig
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
American Coleman  "CF-55-AF" Double-Cab Towing Tractors for the B-36

There has been some recent interest in the big CF-55-AF "double-cab" Air Force Towing Tractors built in three contracts in 1949, 1950, and 1951 for an overall total of (617) units. (see my earlier post from 24 Oct 2013)

-- As an admittedly weak attempt at Coleman humor, I thought everyone might like to know just where CF-55-AFs actually came from. Coleman simply grew them on a local "Truck Farm" just east of Littleton! Here is the fall crop almost ready for harvest...


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/43eb45be-2001-4040-9014-b83f.jpg

Actually, this photo was taken 62 years ago TODAY, October 30, 1951. That's Tom Farney, Chief Inspector for Coleman, at the front left checking one of the big GMC double cabs. (The earlier 1949 run had used Ford double cabs). My understanding is the GMC cabs had been ordered through Burt Chevrolet in Englewood (by coincidence where Dad worked before coming to Coleman in 1950), and they began arriving in such huge numbers, Burt had to store some of the cabs on their near-by pasture lands until Coleman had enough room to come pick them up for use on their extremely busy assembly lines – (495) units in that 1951 order alone. Busy times!

Below 
is a shot of the very crowded erecting floor at the "West Plant" just across Curtis Street from the main plant on Nevada Street.




Below is a print advertisement showing one of the earlier double-cab units from the 1949 order towing a B-36.  This first order used back-to-back Ford cabs, rather than the GMC cabs used in the following two orders in 1950 and 1951,  (Source: Automotive Industries, July 15, 1950, page 9)



And finally, here are two "official" company shots by Littleton commercial photographer, John Grissinger, who for all intents and purposes was the official Coleman photographer throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/a5b1415f-0416-4818-b8c1-07e8.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b13c4166-8068-4065-8e2e-0381.jpg


These trucks were just plain big! As a small boy, it was a real scramble when I was invited up into the cab.

(All
images above are from my personal collection -- please credit as appropriate.)

By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 8 Years Ago
Great stuff Craig, please keep it coming.
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/21cac988-bf56-4df9-a9bf-3490.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/29c400a3-339a-4e64-95cf-0239.jpgSome years ago I was able to ride with a friend of a friend of a family that had several tugs. Here's some shots for now. Under the impression this is a Coleman cab.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/bca53f5f-c34f-4f90-be0b-fb78.jpg
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
That didn't come out in the right order.

Craig, the building in your photo is still there. The main building is not.
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Bill,

Yes, that sure looks like a CF-55-AF double Ford cab from the 1949 order. My understanding is the 1950 order had cabs fabricated by Coleman, but Ford doors. My shots, of course were from the 1951 order with double GM cabs.

Craig
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
To me the windshields look like they sit lower than a Ford, but I am not an expert by any means.

Thanks to the Denver library I have quite a few copies of newspaper articles on Coleman, some with photos showing various personnel and vehicles.

I'll try to post some when I get home tonight or tomorrow.
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/7402406d-6f04-43b3-a8b4-506e.jpgNo dates on these newspaper copies.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/bd016bce-4259-4a65-94b5-02b3.jpg
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
Hope this is readable.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/00c73818-c0c3-49da-96ba-dc58.jpg
By Hambone - 8 Years Ago
Craig,

Any info on this one?

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/60db2a6c-71e3-483d-a42f-a8fb.jpg
By chtrout - 8 Years Ago
Hambone,

That appears to be a short-wheelbase (136") G-55 from the very late 1940's or early 1950's

This is a somewhat unusual shot in that the hood seems a bit shorter and it does not have duals in back. However, the G-55 was offered with 4-wheel steering as an add-on option, so perhaps that is the reason for the single rear wheels on this one.

G-55's were introduced in 1940 and in later years (about 1949-1955) were the only American Coleman truck model actually listed as a standing catalog item. All other trucks and various tractors were built to specifications on contracts. Over the years, the G-55 had various modifications and upgrades and offered wheel bases ranging from 136" to 160". They were ordinarily powered with a Cummins diesel.

Craig


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b4c49666-2168-4897-99ba-2cb5.jpg
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Re: Military Designation for the Coleman G-75 "tug"

As most Coleman researchers know, most Coleman trucks or towing tractors (tugs) built for the military had both a Coleman model number as well as a military designator. 

•    As an example, the ubiquitous Coleman "G-40" Air Force Towing Tractor was known as an "MB-4" in military circles, and is most often remembered as the MB-4 even to this day.

Question: Coleman later produced a much heavier variant of the G-40 and gave it the model number of a "G-75." It had the same cab, but a wider frame and significant ballast weights for added traction.

•    Does anyone know the military designation (MB-?) for the Coleman G-75?

In a similar question, Coleman produced a heavy-frame G-55A in 1943 for the Army Engineers that was mounted with a "Quick-Way" Series-E crane, which also came with an "attachments-trailer" for the clam-shell, shovel, and pile-driver attachments. 

•    Does anyone know the military designation (MB-?) for the Coleman G-55A mounted with a Quick-Way Series-E crane?

Thanks!
Craig
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c3d9535a-a90e-45d1-809f-7840.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2dfbcbb3-35f5-4ee6-8ee8-22a4.jpg
>>Photo source: Wot, Vol. 24, No. 6, Nov-Dec 2003, pg 17.

I am researching Coleman history, and in about 1925 or so, Coleman entered into an arrangement with Columbian Steel Tank Company to sell Coleman C-25 four-wheel-drive tractor lash-ups with Columbian 5,200 gallon frame-less trailers.

I am having trouble finding much more about this. Can anyone refer me to someone researching Columbian Steel Tank Company trailers?

Thanks!
Craig

By bill murray - 7 Years Ago
I found this issue of the Field Artillery Journal online yesterday while looking for something else.
As I did not find it on this thread I thought the group might enjoy it.

I did not split out the Coleman chapter as the rest of the magazine is a really interesting read if you have
a spare hour or two.  Use of airplanes in other than air combat, views on German and French equipment/tactics/personnel etc.
Also of great interest to me is that it was written by A.W.Herrington as an advisor to the Field Artillery Branch, the same
Arthur Herrington that six years later would form Marmon-Herrington and would of course do a lot of business with
not only the US military but armies all over the world.
I hope it interesting as additional background to the Coleman story.
Bill


http://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/archives/1925/JUL_AUG_1925/JUL_AUG_1925_FULL_EDITION.pdf



By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Bill, thanks for posting this. I am not sure when he retired from the Army, but my understanding is that Art Herrington was a major adviser to Harleigh R. Holmes and Coleman Motors from about 1925 until about 1931 when he struck out on his own and co-founded (along with Walter Carpenter Marmon) the Marmon-Herrington Company, which specialized in 4x4 trucks for the military. During his time with Coleman, Art Herrington had a major influence in moving Coleman towards also offering a variety of military 4x4 vehicles, a focus that continued long after Herrington left and up to the very end of Coleman operations in 1987. It is my understanding that for all intents and purposes, Art Herrington was the "Washington DC Branch" of Coleman Motors (as referred to in print ads of the time) and played a huge role in promoting Coleman trucks to potential military buyers.

If I have any of this wrong, please correct me, but regardless, "Col". Arthur William Sidney Herrington (1891-1970) was very interesting guy and made many important contributions to four-wheel drive technology and its applications for military use.

On a side note, Art Herrington never advance beyond "major" in the Army Reserves following the great war.  His title of "colonel" was purely honorific and bestowed on him by his peers.  He liked it, so he used it the rest of his life. 
By bill murray - 7 Years Ago
Hi Craig:

Thanks for the additional info and I hope my link was something new for you.
All of us have our own "Niches" in the field of automotive research and I fear mine has always been photos
rather then the history of a given company or it's founders  In far too many cases, I am happy with the maker name and
a proper year, often skipping the exact model number.

The only possible exception is a Retired Marine Corps Major General I was put in touch with in 1970, F.S. Robillard.
My Dad had recently retired also as a Major General in the Marine Corps and he was helping me a bit with my research
and put me in touch with Gen. Robillard whom he had known slightly.  Turns out that Gen. Robillard was sort of a one
man pitchman for International Harvester and their M Series of trucks.  He was heavily involved in the development of both
the 4X4 and 6X6 variants that were supplied to USMC and USN as the Army required virtually all the output of GM, Ford and
Chrysler.  As well, the 4X4 Inters replaced a range of Marmon-Herrington models used by USMC in the years just prior to
WWII.  Gen. Robillard sent me several boxes of literature, engineering reports and tech manuals on Inters and other stuff and
we had just started up a sort of dialogue when he rather suddenly passed away in 1971.  So, I never really put the story together.

It would be interesting to know if he and Herrington ever worked together when USMC was using Marmon-Herrington products.
I will try to find the little correspondence we had to see if I can find anything interesting.  Sadly, it is most likely buried in a box
somewhere in the basement but I will have a look.

I would also like to mention here that I really appreciate all the research you have done on the Coleman brand and it's offshoots.
I know how much effort that takes.

Bill
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hi Bill,

Yes, I already have that edition of the Field Artillery Journal, but I know your posting will be of great interest to other researchers interested in the early development of Coleman (and other company) 4x4 prototypes being designed for the military, as well as Art Herrington's deep interest in developing a more fully-mechanized, modern US Army, even in the face of significant post WW-I peacetime down-sizing and budget cuts. I have recently found a special appreciation for Art Herrington's patriotism and commitment to the US Army, considering he had actually been born and raised in Coddenham, East Suffolk, England.

I found your most recent post particularly interesting since I am a former Marine officer myself (a mustang actually), but I was only a lowly 1st Lieutenant with Wpns Plt, Echo 2/6 some 45 years ago. Yes, Art Herrington played a large roll in developing numerous vehicles used by the USMC, including the omnipresent Jeep. Every Marine rifle company had at least one Jeep and trailer – either our First Shirt or Gunny would usually drive ours.  That poor trailer would bounce and buck like a bronco!  Ha!  Our Jeep seemed to have only two speeds -- bugs-in-your-eyes Fast and skidding, dusty Stop. 

Thanks for you kind comments - ever since I connected with Don Chew last year, I have been providing him with everything I find in support of his pending book on the history of Coleman due out late this year.

Semper Fi!
Craig
By John Frances - 7 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/b18df54e-2399-4f28-bb73-b3a5.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/4d00d36e-231a-4c8c-bff8-5144.jpg
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hi John,

I have those two shots also, the top one of the C-25 towing the 5,200 gal. Columbian Frameless Tank trailer is taken on Main Street Littleton, just west of the intersection with Prince Street, and is from the Littleton Museum collection. I like it because it clearly highlights the "signature" Coleman heavy dome hub protectors on both the front and rear axles of the C-25. Not very big, but great traction.  The Army bought it as a type "TTL" towing tractor for light 37mm antiaircraft guns and other light field artillery. 

The lower 1920's shot is an early variant of the 5-ton model being demonstrated carrying 10,000 lbs of cement up Ruby Hill in South Denver. Coleman used Ruby Hill as one of their favorite demo sites for many years, even well into the 1950's when they were experimenting with farm tractors and earth moving prototypes related to the D44B Famese project for the military. The shot is probably from the Denver Public Library Western Collection, but I have an original print in my collection also.

Great shots!
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago
This has been a great thread. A.W. Herrington's evaluation of the Militor and Coleman is fascinating reading. Herrington had a very interesting career prior to forming M-H. He was born in England in 1891 and came to New Jersey when he was 5 years old. He graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology and began his professional career with the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company. When the U.S entered WW1 he became a motorcycle dispatch rider with the rank of Lieutenant in the American Expeditionary Corps in Europe. At the end of the war he was discharged from the Motor Transpotation Corps with the rank of Captain. He later rose the rank of Major in the reserves, but he was never a Colonel in the military. The title of Colonel was bestowed upon him out of respect by his associates in the Motor Transportation Corps during the post WW1 years when he was a consultant to them and other firms. Herrington liked the title and kept it for the rest of his life. Herrington was married in 1926, and his honeymoon began with a trip to the Indianapolis 500. His bride spent her 2nd night as the new Mrs Herrington in the Duesenberg factory, watching her husband and Fred Duesenberg assemble the race car that Pete DePaolo would drive to 5th place in the race. Herrington had earlier been the pit manager for the 500 winners in 1922 and 1925, and later served as Chairman of the Technical Committee. Herrington and his wife were well known patrons of the arts in Indianapolis, and had their own art collection valued at several million dollars. Art Herrington died at the age of 79 in 1970 as the result of an accident in a small foreign sports car in which he suffered fatal head injuries. This information is from the book "The Marmon Heritage".
By Hambone - 7 Years Ago
The green Coleman on the first page of this thread was Art Herrington's design. Have heard it referred to as the Baby Coleman due to it's small size.
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hi Bill,

Do you mean Jim Grumbles' Coleman #187.  As far as I know, it is the earliest fully restored Coleman.    Serial #9 (old Littleton fire truck) and #18 (Kenny Plandel) are perhaps too far gone to do much with. 
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Wow, Jeff!!  What a wonderful post...  Even though Art Herrington eventually struck out on his own and went into direct competition with Coleman, I have continued to expand my appreciation for his remarkable life and contributions.  He was truly a leader in his field....

By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago
Here is a 1929 CCJ article on some tests run by the Army at Fort Holabird featuring several Coleman models, including a couple of  6x6's. The attachments will open larger.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/95f69737-dbcb-405a-9337-ffec.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e9241bb9-6c16-4bb6-b9c3-81c8.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f5033335-93bc-4b7b-8eb0-8b11.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e9902533-bd38-4ad1-9520-8660.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6aafd3bb-913e-4c11-b842-9840.jpg
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago
Here is another short CCJ article featuring a Coleman 6x6 employed by the Army as an early aircraft salvage truck in November of 1929.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f2399294-20ac-4d79-9c97-9f41.jpg
By Tutlebrain - 7 Years Ago
I am always struck by how European this type of US truck looks (not just the Colemans - FWDs and Oshkoshes were like this too) with the set-back axle and that long snout...
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f506a52c-14b2-406b-b742-d05c.jpg
and let's not forget Switzerland's Saurer - no idea if they had a look at a Coleman before coming out with their axles...
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/3decc748-a808-4123-9a18-1421.jpg
Did Coleman ever try to offer a highway-going truck like FWD and Oshkosh?
By Hambone - 7 Years Ago
Craig,

#187 is the one at least according to my info. I believe Don Chew is the one that restored that truck and may have been the one to tell me it was Art's design.
Jeff,
Thanks for posting those articles
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey Turtlebrain, 

Yes, the vast majority of Coleman trucks from the very beginning of  production in August 1920 through closure in 1987 were, as you say "highway-going" trucks, mainly trucks with dump bodies that could also be mounted with snow plows, or other special rigs for setting telephone poles, logging, tank trucks, aircraft refueling, aircraft recovery, well drilling, and a wide variety of other special applications.  Several, such as the very early C-25 (1925) and the much later G-55 also came in "tractor" versions with a 5th wheel for hauling over-the-road semi-trailers.  In about 1966, they also developed a prototype over-the-road truck named the SpaceStar.  

There were also other, special, dedicated-use vehicles, such as the massive D55RE rotary snow plow built under license from SnowBlast Corporation, or the 4-ton, G-55A mounted with a Quick-Way Model - E shovel with attachments produced in WW-II (military designation G-84)

As a side note, from 1920 through about 1923-4, the trucks were known as Holmes Trucks, Plains Motors Trucks, then Holmes again briefly, until 1924 when brothers Alfred Eliot Coleman and George Levi Coleman bought controlling interest in Plains Iron Works, and then re-branded the truck as "Coleman."  
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey Jeff, 

Yes, those are great articles, I think Don Chew found them to be very helpful when I sent them to him several months ago.  CCJ is a truly great resource!


By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Yes, Hambone, that's exactly right, #187 was restored by Don Chew for Jim Gumbles.  For the full story, see This Old Truck, Vol. 4, No. 5, Nov-Dec 1996, pp. 24-27.  

By Tutlebrain - 7 Years Ago
Craig,

Thanks - did you mean that thing?
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/89f0acf6-65c8-4c07-b7de-72a9.jpg
Very advanced for its time with the aerodynamic high roof - again it foreshadows modern European trucks (just look at the current Scania). Was it 4X4? 

Cheers

T

Edited to add: found more here on Google Books
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey T, 

Yes, that's the SpaceStar -- 4-wheel steer, 4-wheel drive, and integrated cab and trailer arrangement where the trailer is hard-connected to the cab with a rails locking mechanism rather than a 5th-wheel.  In the publicity photo you posted, the trailer has been backed off a bit and they are looking down at the rigid locking rails    
By Tutlebrain - 7 Years Ago
Shame nothing came out of it in the end... 6.5MPG from a DD318 apparently. Here's more, in case anyone is interested: http://hankstruckforum.com/htforum/index.php?topic=31105.0 
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Anyone have a better scan of this Dayton Wheels ad featuring a circa 1926 Coleman X-100-F?.  The X-100-F was mainly used for logging operations and also for hauling telephone and power poles  -- The X-100-F would usually team up with a D-40X mounted with a pole-setting rig.   

  http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2bd4dcfb-efe0-43c6-b00c-7afb.jpg
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
American Coleman had a licensing arrangement with the Marmon-Herrington Company that lasted from approximately 1964-1984 and involved a license to use the patented Coleman 4x4 axle in MH conversions for commercial heavy trucks. The licensed axle was called an "MC-9" (Marmon-Coleman-9) and appears to have been used mainly on conversions of GMC trucks. 

•    Does anyone have photos of a "MC-9" conversion? Was the heavy dome hub protector stamped as "MC-9" or perhaps "Marmon-Coleman"?

•    Were these conversions limited to GMC trucks only?

•    Can anyone provide additional information on these conversions?

(I already have a copy of The Marmon Heritage by George & Stacey Hanley, but it only provides limited information.  I have posted a similar query on the ATHS forum and I am providing everything I find to Don Chew for his pending book on Coleman.)

Thanks!
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
American Coleman had a licensing arrangement with the SnowBlast Corporation, 4695 Ironton Street, Denver, Colorado to build rotary snow plows, licensed by SnowBlast, but mounted on a Coleman model DD55RE 4x4, 4-wheel-steer chassis. The "carrier" (Coleman truck) was powered by a 220hp Cummins diesel and the SnowBlast rotor assembly (including helical spiral cutting bars) was powered by a super-charger Cummins 320hp Cummins diesel. The plow could handle 2300 tons of snow an hour and "cast" it as far as 120 feet.

I have identified DD55RE Coleman-mounted R-2200-H SnowBlast rotary snow plows dating from 1960-1971. The 1960 model can be identified by the "stepped" appearance of the engine compartments in back, the 320hp engine being much larger than the 220hp engine. These units tended to be delivered to airports and state highway departments in yellow or orange. The US Air Force may have had some units also.   In the 1971 CR-2200-H variant, both engine compartments are level with each other. The only ones I have identified were delivered in olive-drab to the US Army (4 units) in 1971.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ff645904-9132-4cd1-95ae-ce9f.jpg

•    Does anyone know of any Coleman-mounted models later than 1971?

•    Does anyone know of any other Coleman chassis models, other than the DD55RE?

(As a point of clarification, SnowBlast licensed a number of other companies to also provide carriers (perhaps Oshkosh, FWD, Walter and others - not sure), but not all SnowBlasts were mounted on a Coleman chassis.)

Everything I find is being provided to Don Chew for his pending book on Coleman.
By ppsyclone - 7 Years Ago
I remember the Snowblast facility on Ironton. It was there when I moved to Denver in 1976. I think it went away in 77 or so. I wonder if Coleman was providing chassis then. That would shed some light on when Coleman production ended. Perhaps by that time they were using other chassis. They were rare birds out here. Whereas Coleman plows were all over the place. As far as MH goes, I learned about it on the MH web site. For a while they had a converted Diamond Reo with a Coleman axle on their web page. Perhaps they could provide some pictures
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey RatchetJaw,

I am still a bit fuzzy on SnowBlast corporate history, but my understanding is they brought the "Rolba System" from Europe to American about 1959, and by 1960 were issuing licences to heavy truck manufacturers to provide dedicated "carriers" (truck chassis) to mount their rotor/blower assembly and helical spiral cutting bars which cut the snow and fed it into the rotor. As a kid, I remember the helical spiral cutting bars (SnowBlast term) always reminded me of a giant yellow reel lawnmower mounted in front of the simply huge rotor blades. There were also two very tall vertical blades to cut a smooth channel through the snow the width of the truck.

SnowBlast eventually merged with or was perhaps bought out by Sicard and became Sicard-SnowBlast or SMI-Snowblast. This may have occurred in about 1977, the date you remember SnowBlast "going away."

When I was about 11-12 years old, I remember Don Higgens being some kind of senior engineer or project manager at Coleman for the SnowBlast project. I don't know whether he was on the Coleman payroll, or worked for SnowBlast, but he was on site at Coleman's Littleton plant and he and Dad became truly great friends. I do know that later Don Higgens was Executive Vice President of SnowBlast Corporation.

Pardon my trip down memory lane, but as a boy, one of the amazing sights I remember is when Coleman drove a SnowBlast down into Littleton's Sterns Park Lake and threw water, fish, tadpoles, frogs and whatever else some 40-50 yards all the way up onto South Spottswood Street. I remember excitedly laughing in surprise and total delight at the jaw-dropping awesome power of the big yellow behemoth. I think they were wanting to "load test" the big, heavy rotor blades to check the balance and such. Those were the days before ecological awareness, and any concern for fish, frogs, and such!! Ha!

Anyway, any memories you have about the SnowBlast plant on Ironton Street in Denver would be very welcome. Do you remember if they fabricated the rotor assemblies there, or did they come in from somewhere else?  My impression is that the SnowBlast plant was rather small, do I have that right?
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
One of the small but important SnowBlast details I forgot to mention is that it had a really interesting spinning insert in the windshield that literally spun at something like 1,000 rpms (not sure I have that right) and it would literally spin off any amount of slush, ice and snow, and so the visibility for the driver was just great. In later models, the cab was raised to sit well above the rotor assembly, again for great visibility for the operator. 

See the photo in my previous post showing the circular white frame on the driver-side windshield that housed the spinning insert.
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d1dee14c-78e3-4f0b-b007-5235.jpg

Information on Coleman Buses?

In my ongoing research in support of Don Chew’s pending book on the Coleman Motors Company of Littleton, Colorado (makers of heavy 4x4 trucks and aircraft towing tractors), we have been having difficulties in establishing any detailed information on Coleman buses.
  • Research suggests that Coleman built the chassis, and the bus bodies may have built by the Scott Cab Company. Incomplete information suggests that an overall total of an estimated (41) Coleman buses were built. 
  • Among the earliest known customers were the Colorado Motor Way (sometimes contracted as “Motorway”) and the Denver Cab Company, both managed by R.W. James of Denver.  Colorado Motor Way had been formed in Jan 1923 and had bought most of the buses (5 Faegol 20-passenger buses and 5 White 16-passenger buses) from bankrupt Inter-City Automobile Lines, Inc which had only operated from 18 Jun 1922 to 29 Dec 1922.
  • Early Colorado Motor Way routes included Canon City-Pueblo-Denver (only first year, franchise failed the approval process), then mainly routes from Denver to the Fort Collins area.  There also seems to have been some form of stub operation around the Silver Plume and Empire area, details pending. 
  • All this becomes relevant because photos of Colorado Motor Way buses on these routes may include Coleman-built units.   
Does anyone have any additional information on Coleman buses, or any suggestions on likely resources?

Thanks for any assistance or suggestions. 
By John Frances - 7 Years Ago
ruined by the watermark but...'Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Co bus #64 Coleman negative exposed Sep '49 Estes Park Colorado'

By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey John,

GREAT shot!  Did not know they had Colemans.  Cannot find it on eBay, is it still up for bid, or was that an old image?

Thanks for sharing!

Craig
By John Frances - 7 Years Ago
chtrout (7/15/2014)
Hey John,

GREAT shot!  Did not know they had Colemans.  Cannot find it on eBay, is it still up for bid, or was that an old image?

Thanks for sharing!

Craig


old image
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
1977 COLEMAN G-40-G (MB-4) UP FOR SALE....

While I have no personal role in this sale, I am always interested in seeing Coleman trucks and tugs preserved when possible.

I have noticed that the Village of Rantoul, Illinois is offering a 1977 American Coleman "G-40-G" for sale on eBay. The G-40 series was more commonly known by it’s military designation of "MB-4."

This is reportedly a 1977 model, which would have been a very early serial number after the G-40 was simplified and downsized from the original 1954 design. As an unusual feature, I would have expected a Allis-Chalmers 4331 engine, but the seller reports a Chrysler 318, much like had been used in the previous, heavier G-40 model.  Perhaps this was a transition period?

The seller reports the G-40-G runs and is in generally good condition, with the exception of the brake master cylinder being empty (leak or other issues?)

The G-40-G (MB-4) may be viewed at:   (very detailed data is provided, including work history)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161426068103

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a2fde024-c32b-4096-808b-dfa6.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0c1f2413-1d55-4213-8cac-1497.jpg


Any Coleman collectors out there that might want to give this guy a good home?
By Wolfcreek_Steve - 7 Years Ago
I'm not the sharpest shed in the tool, what does an airport tug do, to get 38,000 miles put on it in 16 years?
By wayne graham - 7 Years Ago
Steve, I would guess that there is one  too many zero's. That one probably came off  Chanute air base at Rantoul. If so it has not been used for years as a tug. Wayne
By Wolfcreek_Steve - 7 Years Ago
Why can't we copy and paste to this sight anymore! EDDY!!!!!!!!
In the Ebay listing they show the mileage when brought to the Rantoul Airport and how many miles were put on there, then the total so it isn't just a typo. I suppose it is possible that who ever did the write-up doesn't understand the 1/10 mile number on a non-digital odometer!
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey Wolfcreek Steve,

I suspect you are right, the last number in the mileage should perhaps be a 1/10.  Accordingly, 3,862 miles makes much more sense.  Still a lot of miles for a tug, but then it is a 1977 - or that is to say, 37 years old. 

I was skeptical about the year (seemed a bit early), so I asked for a photo of the builder's plate, and then posted it below with the photo.  Sure enough, April of 1977.

I also learned from the builder's plate that this is a G-40-G, or that is to say the "G" variant.  The previous "F" variant was the last on the original body style that dated all the way back to the prototype in 1954 ("A" variant).  I believe the G-40 went through at least an "H" variant, but I do not yet know if more versions followed. 

Craig


By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Re:  1977 American Coleman G-40-G (MB-4) "tug" up for sale.

I see they just dropped the asking price to $1,800.00.  Perhaps a bit more realistic... 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161433126012

I have no personal role in this sale, I just like to see old Colemans preserved/restored whenever possible.  Wish I was in a position to do it myself.
By Bill White - 7 Years Ago
The Village of Rantoul, ILL.Home of Chanute AFB now decommissioned is where it is the Village owns it and it is at the old AFB. Rantoul is south of Chicago
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Coleman Front Drive (4x4) Axles and Differentials – General Information
  • For most of its history, Coleman did large numbers of in-house 4x4 conversions, primarily for Ford, Chevy, and GMC trucks, but also a variety of other truck manufacturers. 
  • Howe-Coleman would also install 4x4 conversions on virtually any truck brand on the market, but numerous International Harvesters have been seen. 
  • Marmon-Herrington called their version the "MC-9" (Marmon-Coleman-9) and installed these 4x4 conversions mainly on GMCs from 1964-1984.
In the various diagrams and images below, note the very distinctive "power yoke" straddling the hub, very much like inventor Harleigh Holmes had first patented it in 1916.  Since the power yoke rotated with the wheel, they were ordinarily covered with a heavy dome hub-protector.
  
Here are some selected images and diagrams for the benefit of all who might be interested:

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/b042c396-8a65-4121-8631-582f.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f4ecd8ce-4dff-43ea-9be6-5cbf.jpg


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/66da5edf-dfec-41e5-b978-2c61.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ccc9508e-4365-42eb-b03e-5690.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c7cbde0e-c8fa-4552-9160-b424.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d775f33d-8c34-483d-8f92-6a56.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0d7d0f4e-a573-4bd8-bf3d-e254.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/34256587-76db-4e0f-990e-f629.jpg


Hope these images help those interested in exactly what a Coleman 4x4 axle should look like, either assembled or disassembled. 


By chtrout - 7 Years Ago

Coleman Front-Drive (4x4) Axles and Differentials – Specific to the Coleman G-40 (USAF designation MB-4)


The G-40 axles were essentially the same as other 4x4 axles installed on Coleman trucks and tractors, as well as in 4x4 conversions.

Though the body and engine was beefed up from the G-40, these diagrams would also generally apply to the Coleman G-75 (USAF designation AS-32U-18, or "U-18" for short)

Selected pages from Coleman manuals:

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a3511207-b86e-4977-bff1-4db0.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6171ccbc-d31e-411c-ba0a-29e5.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/788ee4f9-3817-4813-bd24-f66b.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a4ad7069-abfe-4373-b3c4-b200.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ff9eef51-7ebd-4b2f-985d-d7cf.jpg


The top (4) images are for G-40s (variants "A" through "D" from 1968 and the bottom image is from 1970.

Hope these are useful for any G-40 (MB-4) owners out there.


By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Recognizing a Coleman Front-Drive (4x4) Hub

Generally speaking (not always), Coleman 4x4 axle hubs are usually covered by a heavy-dome hub protector.  (The only notable exception occurred in later years when Budd wheels were used a a few models)  

In the early years, most heavy-dome hub protectors were not marked, but in later years, may have had "Coleman" across the center, or more often, circling the outer edge. Coleman-conversion license holders, such as Howe-Coleman, often had their unique imprint on the hub protector.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/3061c44a-2481-4e66-907f-d067.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0265ee3e-8f68-44c0-8304-844c.jpg


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/984f6220-8e95-4065-897d-a4a3.jpg

                  (this is Don Chew holding a flat variation of the Coleman hub protectors in his collection)

Once the heavy-dome hub protector is removed, the characteristic Coleman "power-yoke" is revealed, which delivers the power through the axle sleeve to the actual rim of the wheel.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/328dd6ac-d45b-4939-80ef-39fc.jpg


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/3267e688-2331-4cd8-907d-5a49.jpg


In some cases, there is also a Coleman-stamped inner protective plate over the axle sleeve opening.  This also may have been the case on those few models when Budd wheels were used.  

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/45016af7-b94f-4764-b805-0f1d.jpg

>>> I truly apologize for not knowing who to credit these images to -- they were "floaters" on the Internet (with the exception of my own photo of Don Chew holding his flat "cake-pan-style" Coleman hub protector).

Hope this is helpful.
By Hambone - 7 Years Ago
Craig
about two thirds of the way down the page is a black and white photo of a bus in Lakewood,CO.
Do you know if it is a Coleman? There was supposed to be a Coleman bus at this park according to several people I've talked to. Seen a color photo from Don Chew years ago, he was not certain it was a Coleman.

http://forums.autosport.com/topic/107830-commercial-vehicle-nostalgia/page-3

By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Recognizing Coleman Buses...

Hambone,

With regard to the photo taken in about 1999 by Frank Barrett at the Belmar Museum in Lakewood, Colorado of a rather forlorn-looking circa 1920s-1930s bus, I am not truly sure whether it is in fact a Coleman Bus, but I tend to think it is not, for a variety of reasons.

>>>Update:  Don Chew has detailed photos of this bus and it definitely is a Coleman -- based on the patented bathtub-style frame.  

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/477e6ef7-eaeb-428e-be18-06a9.jpg

(Source: photo of unknown bus model taken in about 1999 by Frank Barrett at the Belmar Museum in Lakewood, Colorado)

For those not familiar with a Coleman bus, what made it truly distinctive was that Coleman held the patent for a vehicle having the frame outside of the wheels for either a bus or passenger car. While the front hub is ordinarily the primary recognition feature for a Coleman product (assuming no nameplate is present), in the case of Coleman passenger buses, it is the outside frame, sometimes referred to as a "bathtub" frame.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/b723d865-938e-470e-8ef4-5e6d.jpg

(Source:  Don Chew collection)
  • Close examination of the Lakewood vehicle does not suggest such an outside frame, and additionally, neither the bus body, window configurations, or front hub resemble any known photographs of a confirmed Coleman bus.
  • However, the bus does generally resemble several other-brand buses known to be operated by the Denver Cab Company and/or Colorado Motorway, who also did purchase a number of Coleman buses.
  • For this reason, the bus body may have also been fabricated by the Scott Auto Body Company of Denver (Eighteenth and Washington Streets), who also fabricated all known Coleman bus bodies, with the exception at least one prototype designed and fabricated by Harleigh Holmes at the Coleman plant.
As general background, the first known reference to Coleman producing a passenger bus occurred in August 1925 with a simple passing mention of "the new $25,000 bus," no further information provided. By September 1929, Harleigh Holmes was known to be working on a double-deck motor bus, and already had one on the road for testing purposes. The engine was on the second deck, and the first floor was much lower to the ground, resulting in both a low center of gravity and easy passenger loading. In December of 1932, the Nevada Transportation Company purchased at least one special-design Coleman bus which would carry seven passengers and two tons of mail & express on their route between Las Vegas and Tonopah, Nevada. The Nevada transportation Company had an option to purchase two more Coleman buses, but I do not yet know if they were actually built. In June of 1936, Coleman built five big 30-passenger, 143 hp buses for the Estes Park Route of the Rocky Mountain Transportation Company. These buses were distinctive for their aisles being sloped down like a movie theater so that the passengers in the rear could see out the front window as well as the passengers in front. These buses were so successful, that 12 more were purchased that same December for a known total of 17 buses. The year 1936 is the last year that I have been able to actually document any Coleman bus production. In addition to the 18 fully-documented bus sales listed above, it is also known that the Denver Cab Company/Colorado Motorway (same owner operator – R.W. James) also purchased an unknown number of Coleman Buses, although I have not been able to document the actual number built. I have seen at least two photos of Colorado Motorway Coleman Buses in actual service. Don Chew is of the belief that the overall total number of Coleman buses produced may have been approximately 41, but I cannot yet find anything more to support that number.

>>>The topic of Coleman Buses is of great interest to a number of Coleman researchers, to include Don Chew, and any additional photos, documentation, or even great war stories would be greatly appreciated.
By Trucker - 7 Years Ago
Coleman production statistic from Ward's automotive yearbook 1953.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f3a6aa36-8749-4c71-ac48-d0e6.jpg

By Trucker - 7 Years Ago
From Ward's automotive yearbook 1951:
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/fabf44d8-6312-455e-ae97-64fd.jpg
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey "Trucker,"

Thank you so much for posting those Coleman production numbers from Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1951 and 1953.

By coincidence, I am going to the Department of Transportation Reference Library in Washington, DC tomorrow morning. My research indicates they have Ward's on the shelf from 1938 through the present. Some editions even have short write-ups on Coleman. Looking forward to it!

Craig
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
International Harvester "Farmall" / Coleman 4x4 Conversions

Much as been written about Coleman 4x4 conversions for light and heavy commercial trucks, either installed as "in-factory" conversions by Coleman, or installed under licence by either Howe-Coleman or Marmon-Herrington.
  • IH Farmall 806 – 1963          
  • IH Farmall 1206 – 1966
  • IH Farmall 1256 – 1967
  • IH Farmall 1456 -1969

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/cc62ec71-f23f-446a-bd0d-ea19.jpg


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d412131b-2956-41f5-a788-9454.jpg

Source: Two "Mecum Auctions" (Lot S79) photos of a very nicely restored "IH Farmall 1206 Front Wheel Assist" with front Coleman 4x4 hubs. 

I believe I have also seen at least one Massey Ferguson 97 with Coleman 4x4 hubs (may have been a field-install).

I know this is primarily a truck forum, but can anyone else add to the discussion of Coleman 4x4 conversions to commercial farm tractors or earth moving equipment?
By Brocky - 7 Years Ago
I believe this Minniapolis-Molene in Roger Gerhart's, Lititz PA, bone yard is a Coleman conversion?http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ff0ba9fc-5587-4c59-9cca-8cd5.jpg
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey Brocky,

Wow!  Sure looks like it!!  Hub protector and axle seem to be identical to the IH Farmall conversions.  Thanks for posting!

Craig
By Hambone - 7 Years Ago
Just received a call back from the museum/park in Lakewood regarding the bus. According to a volunteer that works with their vehicles it is a Coleman, came out of Fountain Colorado. The bus was sold to someone in the area years ago. They told me there is a bus like it in the movie Of Mice and Men.
There is supposed to be a Coleman automobile in the area as well.
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
re: Coleman Bus at the Belmar Museum in Lakewood, Colorado

Hey Hambone!

Thanks for the follow-up message. You caught me by surprise that the very early bus at the Lakewood museum actually is a Coleman Bus. If there are any Coleman "recognition features," I had obviously missed them.

Are you in the Denver area, will you have a chance to go see the bus at some point? Any more information on this important find would be very interesting to Coleman researchers everywhere! There is some chance this is the only "surviving" Coleman Bus if you can validate the museum's understanding of what it is. I have heard rumors of other Coleman Bus survivors, but so far, none of the rumors "proved up" as far as I know.

Yes, that is exactly right, a Coleman Automobile is somewhere in the Denver area and is currently undergoing full restoration. I have not seen it myself, but I think it is perhaps the 1933 "White Car" model. Don Chew has seen it and was very impressed with the work so far. The owner is very "private" about his efforts, but we are very hopeful he will showcase it at some point in the future.

Thanks again for the Coleman bus information!
Craig
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Just noticed a very rare 1948 Ford COE Boom Truck with a Coleman 4x4 Conversion for sale on eBay.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/574ff602-67ce-4c3a-9559-ce80.jpg
  • This is an interesting truck on several levels, not only for rare Ford truck collectors, but also for Coleman 4x4 conversion collectors. 
  • I am not involved in this sale in any way, I just like to see Colemans and Coleman 4x4 conversions preserved and/or restored whenever possible. 
  • At last look, the bid was $1000, but I assume it will creep up a bit as people see it. The bidding closes in about 6 days. 
To see the full details:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201231271652?forcerRptr=true&item=201231271652&viewitem=&sspagename=ADME:SS:SS:US:3160

By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
I am hoping to find someone who has a copy of the March-April 2011 issue of Double Clutch magazine who might be willing to copy the 5-page article regarding the 1941 Coleman.

I will of course pay all copy and shipping costs. Please email me if you have a copy and would be willing to share.

UPDATE:  
  • Special thanks to Jeff Lakaszcyck who was kind enough to send me a scanned copy of the requested article.  THANKS Jeff!
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago
Craig, pm me your email address. I have a scan of it I can email you.
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago

Craig, I just sent you a pm. I didn't realize my pm's were full. I deleted everything, so we should be good to go.

By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Coleman Trucks and Howe-Coleman Conversions

Does anyone have a copy of the Sept-Oct 1988 edition of Double Clutch magazine? I am hoping someone will be kind enough to scan the article on Coleman Trucks and Howe-Coleman conversions. (Not sure of the exact title of the article). Already checked eBay and did not see that edition up for sale/bid.

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Craig
By Scott Ales - 7 Years Ago
We farmed with a G706 Minneapolis Moline back in the 1970s and 80s.  It was a 4 wheel assist system that had a 6-8 row wide chain drive in the transfer case!  I tore into it one day since the front axle wasn't working properly and found that massive chain.  I kind of laughed to myself when I first saw it.  Thinking, it's just a bigger version of my Schwinn Bicycle.  Anyway, that thing was a beast.  We had huge "Rice Type" tires on it and they all had a hand clutch.  I have fond memories of out-pulling our neighbors new 4x4 John Deere for 1/10 the cost.  

We also had a funny event with the old girl.  My brother was having a senior high beer party at our farm in 1979 and one guy got out of hand over the loss of a girlfriend and several glasses of beer.  Someone ran up to me explaining he was pounding on our tractor or even beating it up!  I asked where he was hitting it, the guy said, " I think the grille"  I told him not to worry, the grille will win that fight, it's cast iron!  The only thing I found was a little blood which washed off easily.

Youthful ignorance!
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Coleman Chain Drive Transfer Cases

Hey Scott, I found your posting about your G706 Minneapolis Moline tractor with a chain drive transfer case to be very interesting! You did not say directly, but I assume it is a Coleman transfer case?

I had been aware of Coleman getting a patent on a “Chain Drive Transfer Case” (patent application 17 Jun 1968, granted 14 Apr 1970, US Patent # US3505904 A”), but I had not yet figured out what applications it had been used for. I am now wondering if International Harvester also used the same transfer cases on their tractor models with Coleman 4x4 conversions.
  • Here are the mechanical drawings submitted with the Coleman patent application, in case they are useful in working on your transfer case. Does it seem to be one and the same?
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/8745513a-dbf7-4cfe-a9fc-e07e.png
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0587d6f5-4622-45cc-80a3-76f7.png
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/69f7e42d-6d2c-4f93-a0c2-104c.png
Hope this was helpful!
Craig
By chtrout - 7 Years Ago
Hey Scott,

I forgot to ask... Did your G706 Minneapolis Moline tractor have Coleman heavy dome hub protectors on the front axle? If so, do you have a photo of the tractor? It might be very interesting us “hard core Coleman nuts.”

Thanks!
By Scott Ales - 7 Years Ago
That is absolutely the case I remember!  We sold that tractor in 1983 or 4 I think.  I do remember large domed covers over the end of the axles too.  

I'll try to dig up an old photo.
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 7 Years Ago
chtrout (12/5/2014)
Coleman Trucks and Howe-Coleman Conversions

Does anyone have a copy of the Sept-Oct 1988 edition of Double Clutch magazine? I am hoping someone will be kind enough to scan the article on Coleman Trucks and Howe-Coleman conversions. (Not sure of the exact title of the article). Already checked eBay and did not see that edition up for sale/bid.

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Craig


Craig, the ATHS has listed a number of Double Clutch issues on ebay in the past, but I don't see any now. You might want to check with Courtney and see if they still have that issue available. 
By Brocky - 7 Years Ago
Craig
Try contacting them direct:
Antique Truck Club of America
PO Box 31 
85 South Walnut Street
Boyertown PA 19512
610-367-2567
office@antiquetruckclubofamerica.org

Brocky
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
FAMECE (Family of Military Engineer Construction Equipment)

As background, the US Army Engineers developed the FAMECE (Family of Military Engineer Construction Equipment) program to establish a very standardized set of construction vehicles that would utilize a common prime mover (Universal Engineer Tractor – "UET") that could act interchangeably as a loader, dozer, pull a scraper (earth mover), and similar military construction functions. The equipment was required to be very transportable, to include air-drop capability.

Perhaps as many as 5-6 companies entered the competition, submitting various "UET" prototypes for evaluation, to include the American Coleman Corporation of Littleton, Colorado.
  • American Coleman "UET" prototype submissions included the D44PM (essentially a towing tractor, but sometimes also mounted with a small dozer blade) and the much larger DPM743 (mounted with a large dozer blade), as well as the D44BV (a very compact, but rugged towing variant).  For additional reading, see Don Chew's article in the March/April 2001 edition of Antique Power, pp 26-30. 
  • Ultimately, the Clark Equipment Company (CEC) emerged from the Validation Phase of the competition in about 1969 as the successful contractor for the Full Scale Development (FSD) Phase, and the other competitors, to include American Coleman, then tried with very limited success to instead offer their designs on the general commercial construction and agricultural markets. 
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/25df7908-f070-436f-bc5c-ad95.jpg

American Coleman's D44PM ("prime mover") Universal Engineering Tractor (UET) entry pulling a standardized scraper during the Validation Phase competition.  Source: Craig H. Trout collection. 

Question: Does anyone have any detailed information on the early phases of the FAMECE program? 
  • My current research suggests that the FAMECE program was developed as the result of a 1965 policy directive in which the US Army sought to reduce the size and weight of equipment, to include military construction vehicles, and it appears that the competition phase concluded by about 1969, and then full-scale development continued well into the 1970s. 
  • However, these dates are in apparent conflict with newspaper accounts of American Coleman developing air-drop-capable tractors for the US Army Engineers as early as 1954 that seemed to be very similar to FAMECE specifications, and since my father worked at American Coleman, I have personal memories of various military engineering tractors and earth movers painted in olive drab being tested throughout the mid-to-late 1950s, and perhaps into the early 1960s.
  • ∙Was the FAMECE program actually developed in two (or more) distinct phases? Was there a mid-to-late 1950s competition, followed by a totally re-designed competition in the late 1960s? 
Any information or ideas regarding resources would be greatly appreciated.   I am conducting this research in support of Don Chew’s pending book on the history of Holmes / Plains / Coleman / American Coleman trucks.

As always, Thanks!

By ColoradoGreen - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a488a9d6-d44e-4c49-9875-f499.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/35b4d01b-2db1-4e22-8a7c-6eb1.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c85b5030-e599-485c-97b7-4750.jpg

Little Joe.
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

Do you have a time frame for when the book will be available?

Mr. Green, are those recent pics?
By Hamish - 6 Years Ago
ColoradoGreen (1/4/2015)
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a488a9d6-d44e-4c49-9875-f499.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/35b4d01b-2db1-4e22-8a7c-6eb1.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c85b5030-e599-485c-97b7-4750.jpg

Little Joe.

That's a neat survivor Troy. Is the tandem rear end factory? GMC cab by the look of it. I wonder if it's going to get repowered with the Series 60-probably a bit much engine for it.


By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
After WW2 Coleman used Chevy or GMC cab. They shut down due to a strike in 50-51. When they reopened and introduced new models they used the IH Comfo Vision cab.The picttured truck had a Cummins init currently. I heard it is a 262.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Hambone (1/5/2015)
Craig,

Do you have a time frame for when the book will be available?

Mr. Green, are those recent pics?


Hambone, 

Don Chew had hoped to have his Coleman book out last fall, but due to some family issues, and also some much-needed reformatting, it now looks like it might be sometime this summer.  I just keep feeding him research until he suggests a cut-off date.  Anything not used in the book may become material for spin-off articles or pamphlets that Don and I are already planning for.  At this point, the book is evolving into more of a "coffee table" style book, while our planned follow-up articles and pamphlets will be much more detailed and in-depth coverage on selected topics, such as the Coleman racing cars, Air Force towing tractors, Coleman vs. Snow, and similar ideas. 

I will be sure to provide full pre-ordering information here when we get close to a publishing date for the main book, which will serve as the "anchor" for the series.

Thanks for asking!

Craig

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
ColoradoGreen,

Although the cab is different (GMC "deluxe" 7-window cab), Coleman produced several beefed up G-55 semi-tractors and such in February 1953 for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) for use in their atomic bomb testing preparations on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
  • Although they used standard heavy-duty Coleman "power yokes," those appear to be Budd 10-hole wheels in front, which eliminated the need for the iconic Coleman heavy dome hub protectors on this particular model.  (please correct me if I am wrong) 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/442a8667-c2c5-43e6-8786-6c5e.jpg
Original Coleman Company photo from my personal collection, please credit me as appropriate)

As for your photo of the boom truck (which is somewhat similar with the exception of the cab and hood louvers), I would be interested in any additional details you might uncover. Where exactly is the unit located?  "Little Joe" was also the nickname given by some to the (617) simply huge Coleman double-cab AC-55-AFs produced in three separate contracts (49, 73 and 495 units) during the years 1949-1951, the busiest single period in Coleman history, when the work force swelled to an all-time high of 460.  Labor difficulties had preceded the 1949 contract and again resumed in 1952-1953.
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

Were/are you acquainted with the Schierenberg family?

Mr. Schierenberg (don't recall his first name) was one of the engineers on the Space Star. He has passed but his family was still in Colorado a few years ago.I spoke with his son about the Space Star about six years ago, don't recall his first name either.
Another person with Coleman knowledge is Randy Ledermann. You can find his email through Hanks Truck Pictures, I think he is in Kansas.

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Hambone (1/6/2015)
Craig,

Were/are you acquainted with the Schierenberg family?

Mr. Schierenberg (don't recall his first name) was one of the engineers on the Space Star. He has passed but his family was still in Colorado a few years ago.I spoke with his son about the Space Star about six years ago, don't recall his first name either.
Another person with Coleman knowledge is Randy Ledermann. You can find his email through Hanks Truck Pictures, I think he is in Kansas.




Hambone,

Thanks!  Those are great suggestions...  I will try to track them down!
By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

Do you have any pictures and information on the Bull of the Woods snow blower?
Do you know where the Space Star, I last saw it north of Denver on US 85/Vasquez more than 20 years ago?

Thank,

Brian
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
ppsyclone (1/6/2015)
Craig,

Do you have any pictures and information on the Bull of the Woods snow blower?
Do you know where the Space Star, I last saw it north of Denver on US 85/Vasquez more than 20 years ago?

Thank,

Brian



Hi Brian,

In answer to your questions:


"Bull of the Woods" - Colorado State Highway Dept. Rotary No. 1


The story of the "Bull of the Woods" actually unfolded in several distinct phases.

In late 1927, Major Louis D. Blauvelt, Highway Engineer for the State Highway Department (SHD) of Colorado, designed and had a rotary snow plow built in the SHD shops in Denver.   It was reportedly the first of its kind for road work.  The railroad-style rotary quickly proved successful in concept, but SHD was unable to find a heavy truck or Caterpillar tractor that could not only push the rotary snow plow through deep snow, but also keep properly aligned with the road.

Perhaps influenced by a demonstration he witnessed 28 Feb 1928 on Main Street in Littleton, Colorado in which a 5-ton Coleman truck challenged a 10-ton Holt crawler tractor to a tug-of-war (and repeatedly won!), Maj. Blauvelt next mounted his experimental SHD rotary on a 5-ton Coleman truck the following month (March 1928) and immediately achieved the success he had been looking for. By early April, the new SHD rotary/Coleman truck configuration had opened Berthoud Pass for the season, the earliest this high mountain pass had ever been opened.  Now, for the first time in Colorado history, the mountain passes would not have to be closed each year with the first heavy snow, and could now be kept open year round.   The Blauvelt/Coleman combination was truly a "game-changer" in Colorado mountain pass history and heavy snow removal operations in general. .

However, the "mechanical marriage" of the rotary and Coleman truck was a somewhat unlikely looking affair.  The rotary was mounted on the back of the truck with the rotary wheel facing toward the rear.  The Coleman truck would drive normally to the work site, then turn around and clear the road by backing into the snow.  The rotary had its own separate engine and operator, and the operator's cabin even included a couple of bunk beds and a kerosene stove.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/75bf2faa-7eb8-4ddf-9d37-8392.jpg

Colo. S.H.D. No. 1, the "Bull of the Woods" from a Coleman print ad of the times.  Source: Craig H. Trout Collection. 

The design was continually tested and improved upon, with multiple nearly identical units soon being ordered. Ultimately, Harleigh Holmes applied for a patent for a Coleman-truck-mounted rotary snowplow.  The application is dated 11 Apr 1931 and was granted 15 Mar 1932 as US Patent "US 1894296 A."  The patent drawings look almost identical to Major Blauvelt's original 1927 design as later mounted on a Coleman truck in 1928, but of course with mechanical improvements.  Apparently with Blauvelt's full blessing, Holmes further developed the design concept and brought it to market.  Multiple units were built for the Colorado State Highway Department, and even one for a mining operation near Lake City that needed to keep its access roads open year round.  California also purchased multiple units, as did several other western states.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/36ebe50f-d87c-492e-9189-ba9b.jpg 

Harleigh Holmes's patent for the SHD-designed rotary mounted on a 5-ton Coleman truck.  It very closely follows the original Blauvelt design, but for some reason, portrays an open-vestibule cab, rather than an all-weather cab as was always delivered.  Source: U.S. Patent Office, Craig H. Trout Collection. 

While the original prototype (Colo. S.H.D. No. 1) was nicknamed "The Bull of the Woods," I have also seen some of the other numbers in the series called by the same nickname.  Perhaps the nickname was sometimes used interchangeably for any of the big SHD rotaries being used at the time.

On a side note, Maj. Louis D. Blauvelt (1867-1930) was kind of an interesting guy. He started his career with the Colorado Midland Railroad, then was chief engineer of a dam & irrigation concern in New Mexico, and was next with the Chicago & Northwestern.   He next became Chief Engineer for the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific ("Moffat Road"), and then after a very distinguished stint in the Army during WW-I, was named Chief Engineer of the Colorado Railroad Commission, and as such was the designer and construction engineer for the Moffat Tunnel.   In 1921, he was named Highway Engineer for the Colorado State Highway Department, where he served until his death in 1930.  If newspaper accounts of the time are accurate, Blauvelt was truly "the father" of the truck-mounted railroad-style rotary snowplow, and Harleigh Holmes/Coleman Motors owed much to the ground-breaking design work of Major Louis D. Blauvelt in this regard.


Fate of the Coleman SpaceStar (aka "ELM")


As for the SpaceStar, as you probably know, only one unit was ever built, and although the publicity photos always show it with a second "pup" trailer, I never actually saw the pup trailer attached to the unit when it would be parked on Curtis Street outside the West Plant in between runs to pick up castings or deliver axle conversion units. The unit had been designed and patented in 1966 by then American Coleman president Emmett L. "Ted" Martin, hence the SpaceStar being nicknamed the "ELM" in his honor. The SpaceStar continued to make "company" runs well into the 1970s, but I do not remember seeing it after then.  I have also heard that it ended up on a back lot at/near US 85 & Vazquez, but that it was cut up and scrapped some 20 years ago. I have never been able to confirm this.

By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

Thanks for the info and photos you've posted, can't get enough.
Did the Space Star always belong to Coleman? In the late 70s I used to see it parked outside a residential area about 38th and I 25. It was there several times with both trailers.
By ColoradoGreen - 6 Years Ago
I'll see what I can find out about Little Joe... it's sat (if it's still there) at a local dealer for probably the better end of 20 years now. I remember seeing it for a long-time. What I do know is it currently has a 262 Cummins for power, and if my memory is right, is a '49. So, it's obviously been re-powered at some point.

If it's still there, I'll see what I can find...

It's for sale... but, the price is a little steep at $12,000 last I heard...
By bill murray - 6 Years Ago
Craig:

Do you have this item which I believe is an export catalog that is buried somewhere in my files.  I copied some of the photos so let me know
if I should look for it.  If you need it and if I can find it, it's yours for the taking.

Edit:  I don't post many photos here so they did not turn out inline.  One is a Ford, one an Inter and I suspect from early 1950s.
There are 4 other photos.

Bill

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/8a7524b8-f33e-4f30-b415-46c.jpeg



http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a521d4d7-5cea-4bb6-9a26-ff8.jpeghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5d60de5e-39f6-4356-988d-e23.jpeg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
bill murray (1/8/2015)
Craig:

Do you have this item which I believe is an export catalog that is buried somewhere in my files.  I copied some of the photos so let me know
if I should look for it.  If you need it and if I can find it, it's yours for the taking.

Edit:  I don't post many photos here so they did not turn out inline.  One is a Ford, one an Inter and I suspect from early 1950s.
There are 4 other photos.

Bill

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/8a7524b8-f33e-4f30-b415-46c.jpeg



http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a521d4d7-5cea-4bb6-9a26-ff8.jpeghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5d60de5e-39f6-4356-988d-e23.jpeg

  • I have been wanting to get a good copy of the very briefly used "globe" logo for a very long time. 
  • The upper photo appears to be a 1948-1950 "Ford F-5" 1 ½ ton Coleman conversion (Budd wheels in front). It appears to be equipped with at St. Paul snow plow bracket in front and St. Paul underbody blade bracket below, as well as a St. Paul hydraulic side and rear dump body. 
  • The lower photo is an International, also with a Coleman conversion in front (with Budd wheels). I think it is a KB-8 (perhaps 1947-1949), but I am not at all sure. Note the snow plow mounting frame in front and the underbody grader blade.  
  • Although they cannot be seen clearly, since the trucks in both photos are mounted with Budd wheels, they may include Coleman-stamped protective caps over the axle sleeve openings  
>>> Question:  Can anybody out there help me with the correct IH model and year?

Thank you again for posting this and your offer to share!!

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Bill Murray, 

I tried to email you and it bounced.  Could you please email me (click on my name and use the email feature under "contact") so that I have your correct email address?  I am eager to make contact with you!

Thanks again!
Craig 
By bill murray - 6 Years Ago
Hi Craig:

Nice to know it is something that is new to you.

Apologies again for the lousy photo presentation, I am  not at all computer savvy.  I do spell well, though.

OK, here is the rest of what I downloaded a long time ago.  Sorry for the quality but it is better than nothing.
I will do the basement search tomorrow to see if I can find the original materiel.

Bill

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/51e0c966-4647-4db8-82ee-0fb.jpeghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2063a596-1870-458e-8a97-661.jpeg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/40923a85-f16e-4ab7-9bf7-5b2.jpeghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/577da3cb-7c18-4424-9a88-b57.jpeghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5c77ff0f-53b8-4213-8f9f-75d.jpeg
By bill murray - 6 Years Ago
Hi Craig:

My email address is mostoysinc@aol.com which I do not hide.  Most anyone can contact me.  The Good Guys way outnumber the Bad Guys.

Bill
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
When I was a kid our township (Town Of Caroline, Tompkins County, NY) had three of those Chevys like your third picture with Frink (??) V plows and wings on them.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
American Coleman G-40 (MB-4) Towing a B-17 "Flying Fortress" to a USAF Museum

Interesting photo of Boeing B-17G "Flying Fortress" serial #44-83624 "Sleepy Time Gal" being towed across the Mad River Bridge on 17 Jun 1957 by a circa-1956 American Coleman G-40 (MB-4) towing tractor for delivery to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The historic B-17 was later disassembled and transferred to the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, Delaware where it was delivered on 16 Jun 1989. The "Sleepy Time Gal" is now fully restored and on display at Dover AFB.  The "triangle-L" group marking on the tail indicates assignment to the 581st Bombing Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force.  Serial #44-83624 appears immediately below the "triangle-L" group marking.  Not visible in this photo, the B-17 had pin-up-style "nose art" consistent with the "Sleepy Time Gal" nickname theme. 
  •   I know this is a "truck" site, but sometimes it is interesting to know the context and setting for interesting truck photos. 
The American Coleman model G-40 was designated by the USAF as an "MB-4" class towing tractor and was developed in 1954 for all-weather towing of aircraft weighing up to 140,000 lbs. The cab was designed so that the top half and doors could be removed for service in hot weather conditions.  By 1961, a total of 1,197 units had been delivered, and production continued well into the mid-1970s, if not later. At least (8) variants 
of the basic G-40 design model were developed. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/4a9eaddb-257d-4a9c-922d-32c1.jpg


Anyway, a truly great photo of an American Coleman MB-4 doing the "visually unexpected."

(thanks to Kenneth Biggs who told me where to find the photo, not yet sure who to credit the original photo to.  I suspect it is an official USAF photograph)
By bill murray - 6 Years Ago
Found this a couple of minutes ago.
Billhttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/9f93a666-a981-4951-89a7-a2b2.jpg
By Trucker - 6 Years Ago
1929 Coleman 6x6
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0cf9a9c5-f78e-4401-a507-040a.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Trucker (3/3/2015)
1929 Coleman 6x6
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0cf9a9c5-f78e-4401-a507-040a.jpg

- - - -

Coleman "Model-10" 5-ton "Heavy Duty Refueling Unit" -- US Army Air Corps "Type-A" Refueler Truck


I was excited to see your posting of a Coleman "Model-10" 5-ton "Heavy Duty Refueling Unit" which was designated by the US Army Air Corps (USAAC) as a "Type-A" refueler truck.

>>> Question – Was this image part of an article or advertisement, or was it just an inserted image along with other recent truck developments?

•    Based on the date of the above Motor Transport article, 24 Jun 1929, I assume this was USAAC U.S. Registration Number #80757 which had been delivered to Selfridge Field, Mount Clemens, Michigan on 4 Sep 1928. 

•    If this is correct, the this was the first Coleman "Model-10" 6x6 refueler delivered to the US Army Air Corps, and was the biggest truck of any kind ever owned by the USAAC up to that date. 

By May of 1929, the USAAC was so impressed with the rugged performance and increased capacity of the Coleman "Model-10" 6x6 refueler, they had just placed an order for four more units. At least one of the units was assigned to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, but was instead re-configured as an aircraft salvage truck, and at least one "Model-10" refueler was assigned to Langley Field, Virginia. Another unit was ultimately assigned to Henry Post Army Airfield at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, but I am not sure if it actually "started" there.  

∙    The Coleman Model-10 "Type-A" refueler consisted of a Coleman "Model-10" 5-ton chassis outfitted with a 1,200 gal. tank for aviation gasoline, and two 100 gal. tanks for water and oil. A unique feature of the truck was the tandem single wheels in the rear, as preferred by the USAAC. 

∙    The Coleman Model-10 was a huge leap forward for the USAAC, since it replaced previous refuelers that only had a very meager capacity of 350 gallons each. The new Model-10 was assigned to a Keystone "B-5 Panther" biplane bomber squadron of 9 planes, each with a fuel capacity of 300 gals. These B-5 biplane bombers were among our "first line bombers" through about 1934. 

As background, the USAAC had previously ordered a Coleman 5-ton 4x4 refueler (perhaps a Model-4), and although also designated as a "Type-A," it 
had only one set of duals in back, as opposed to the Model-10 which had two tandem single wheels in back, which the USAAC found to perform better on its air fields. 

∙    This previous 4x4 "Type-A" refueler, as well as a 4x4 C-25 "Type-B" refueler and a 4x4 C-25 "Type-C" refueler were all initially assigned to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. The "Type-B" and "Type-C" trucks, due to their relatively small fuel tanks, were found to be impractical, and soon re-configured as "Photo Trucks," which I assume were mobile dark rooms for servicing aerial photographic missions of the observation squadrons. 

= = =
Questions:

1.    Does anyone out there have an authoritative source on late-1920s US Army Air Corps specifications for what made a refueler a "Type-A, B, or C"?   I assume it was tank capacity, but have not found a table indicating details. 

2.    In addition to the 3-ton C-25 "Type-B" and "Type-C" refueler trucks converted to Photo Trucks, the US Army Air Corps also operated a small fleet of Coleman 3-ton C-25s configured as "windlass trucks" (also known as "Blimp Tenders") for reeling in and out the tether lines for observation balloons/blimps, and a few C-25s were also configured as airfield beacon trucks. Other than Fred W. Chrismon, U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles (Minneapolis, MN, 2001), pg. 279, has anyone seen any other sources on these windlass trucks and beacon trucks?  The USAAC also operated a small number of C-25s configured as common light cargo/utility trucks for use around the airfields, but these were pretty much "off the shelf" configurations with no major modifications that I am aware of.  
  • As a side note, while Fred Chrismon's writeups are generally outstanding, in some cases his specs and dates are just a bit off. For instance on the Colman Model-10 (page 348), it was actually a 5-ton truck and it was only a 1,200 gal capacity tank (per Coleman company materials and USAAC records) 
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Craig

Again a big THANK YOU for the very interesting follow up information on the model 10 refueler..

Also in the March/April issue of Antique Power magazine (Available at Tractor Supply) the advertisment for Auman Auctions online sale ending 3/29/15 shows 3 Oliver and 1 Cockshutt farm tractors with Coleman front wheel drives, like we have talked of before.. The Cockshutt says it is #2 of 3 made.  Were these applications more popular than we might have thought???
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Brocky (3/4/2015)
Craig

Again a big THANK YOU for the very interesting follow up information on the model 10 refueler..

Also in the March/April issue of Antique Power magazine (Available at Tractor Supply) the advertisment for Auman Auctions online sale ending 3/29/15 shows 3 Oliver and 1 Cockshutt farm tractors with Coleman front wheel drives, like we have talked of before.. The Cockshutt says it is #2 of 3 made.  Were these applications more popular than we might have thought???


Hi Brocky,  THANKS for the heads up on the current issue of Antique Power - I will have to get one.  Actually, I should subscribe!  As for the Oliver and Cockshutt tractors with Coleman front axles, I did not know about that, but at one point, American Coleman was shipping about 14 truck loads of axles a week, mainly to International Harvestor, but I am sure a number of other farm tractor brands offered the 4x4 option -- it is such an obvious advantage in the fields.
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Craig

The ad says 1955 on one of the Olivers.. No date on the rest.. I do not know the exact date which Oliver, Minniaplis Moline, and Cockshutt all came under the White Motor umbrella?? Autocar was 53 and REO and DT were 58 & 59 respectfully..
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Brocky (3/4/2015)
Craig

The ad says 1955 on one of the Olivers.. No date on the rest.. I do not know the exact date which Oliver, Minniaplis Moline, and Cockshutt all came under the White Motor umbrella?? Autocar was 53 and REO and DT were 58 & 59 respectfully..


I know for sure that Colemn did some conversions on White trucks and perhaps sold them some axles also -- perhaps they trickled down to the farm tractor lines?
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Why is it that every research project like yours, an answer actually asks more questions...
By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
The White conversion used a White rear axle that Colemn modified by cutting tge ends off and adding Coleman front axle ends and knuckles. I have a picture of a White with a conversion and you can see the name White on the pumpkinn. They also did this for Mack. I think the model waas a B426. I have also seen C, K, and KB IHs with a Coleman modified IH axle in front. The 3 diamond logo is stamped into the pumpkin.
By Wolfcreek_Steve - 6 Years Ago
Guys, my dad bought a new Cockshutt 550D in 1960, surprisingly one of the first modern diesel tractors in our community.
Here is some info about the end of Cockshutt, taken from here.  http://www.cockshutt.com/history.html

1958

Picture
This was the year Cockshutt introduced a full line of tractors in one season.  Each size, 540, 550, 560, and 570, was totally new, - not just a face-lift.  Raymond Lowey, the famous automobile designer, had crafted the 500 series sheet metal, setting a new standard in modern styling. Once more it was innovation, excellent engineering, and a keen marketing staff that allowed this little company to compete with the giants. Even the carriage and wagon business, under the name of Brantford Coach and Body, had grown to become the largest truck body and semi-trailer manufacturer in Canada. The company was on its way to bigger and better things, like Radial combines, and Hydrostatic tractors when it was suddenly bought out. Cockshutt did not fail - it was a victim of financial manipulators, through an unfriendly stock market take-over.

1962

New management promptly sold the farm equipment division to The Oliver Corporation, which soon changed the Cockshutt name to White Farm Equipment. Brantford Coach & Body was sold to Trailmobile. After 85 years as a respected, and profitable industrial empire, designing innovative farm and truck products, the Cockshutt name was retired. Never the less, Cockshutt products have made a huge contribution not only to the expansion and profitability of western farming, but also to the industrial development of the Dominion of Canada. For many it was a family place to work, with nice people and honest principles. Still today the examples of its products and contributions to the less fortunate stand as memorials; both to the enterprise and generosity of the Cockshutt family, and those who worked with them. The International Cockshutt Club is doing a great service by promoting the preservation of Cockshutt equipment, and by honoring the name and the accomplishments of its people. 
 
Wm. H. Cockshutt, 2004
By rubbishman - 6 Years Ago
Chrismon pictures 2 Coleman equipped CO-range chassis, one a USAF generator platform. The  windshield looks about 12' above ground line. I wonder how effective COE designs were in these applications.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
"American Coleman Roadrunner"

Okay, guys, I kinda thought I knew my Colemans, but this one has me stumped.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/fafa478e-e1db-4f48-adf4-ecfc.jpg

It is very obviously based on a G-40 (MB-4) after it was significantly restyled in about 1976 when the G-40-G variant was introduced.

•    The only major differences between this "Roadrunner" and a "stock" G-40 is that headlights have been added to the leading slopes of the fenders, plus turn signals, clearance markers and such; a bug screen has been added over the grill; and windshield wipers. There is also an air foil added to the top of the cab, but I suspect it came later.

•    The basic structural elements of the cab, windshield, hood, fenders and heavy (ballasted) bumper look identical to a G-40-G and later variants.

•    The photo was supposedly taken in Bochelt, Belgium in 2012. That's a Belgium license plate on the bumper.

>>> Question:  Has anyone out there ever heard of an "American Coleman Roadrunner"?

∙    An alternate explanation may be that someone simply customized a surplus G-40 and set it up for "over the road" use. The reason I say this is the name plate looks very crowded and perhaps even homemade. Any thoughts or ideas out there?
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
rubbishman (3/5/2015)
Chrismon pictures 2 Coleman equipped CO-range chassis, one a USAF generator platform. The  windshield looks about 12' above ground line. I wonder how effective COE designs were in these applications.


Do you have some page numbers on those two models?  On a quick look, I did not find the photos you are referring to.  We're talking Chrismon's "US Military Wheeled Vehicles," right? 
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Question on the Coleman G-55 vs. D-55 Trucks

I am hoping for some research assistance if anyone has additional information.

∙    The G-55 Coleman Truck was introduced in 1938 and became the anchor truck line for Coleman Motors well in to the late 1950s, if not later. It went through numerous variants, to include changes in radiators, engines, drive trains, cabs, and general stying. Significant variants included the half-cab G-55A which was introduced sometime before November of 1940 as a "carrier" for Quick-Way cranes both before and then during WW-II.

∙    The D-55 Coleman Truck was introduced in 1954, and production of the G-55 and D-55 overlapped by at least a few years. I have not yet determined when the G-55 went out of production. Regardless, as with it's predecessor, the D-55 went through multiple variants until replaced in 1962 the very modern-looking EH-62.  Among the significant variants of the D-55 was the RE-55 which served as a "carrier" for the SnowBlast rotary snow plow line (multiple models.)

>>> Question: Does anyone out there have any catalog pages or specs for the D-55?  I am fairly familiar with the G-55 but I am lacking authoritative specs on the D-55. I assume a larger engine – I believe the D-55 had a Cummins 290 turbo diesel, at least early in its production run. 

∙    Any assistance would greatly appreciated. Please PM me if you have any D-55 data sheets.

∙    I would also very warmly welcome any other Coleman catalog sheets you might be willing to scan, loan, sell, or even "donate" to our ongoing Coleman research effort.  We are trying very hard to get this right...

As always, Thanks!
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
The Coleman EH-62 – Who Made Those Distinctive Cabs?

While I know who the manufacturers were for most of the Coleman cabs after 1940 when they stopped fabricating their own -– 1940-1941 Highland Body Company; 1942-1947(+8) Ford; 1949-c.1952 GMC; 1952-on International Harvester, and such, but I have never been able to nail down who made those very distinctive cabs that American Coleman used on the EH-62, their final big truck line before ceasing operations.  

The EH-62 was introduced in 1962 and replaced the previous D-55 line which had come out in 1954 as the successor to the G-55 line (with several years of overlap).

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f5a947d8-d6eb-4d4e-baae-45a2.jpg

        (Source:  Don Chew Collection)

>>>Question: Does anyone know who made these cabs? They almost have a Oshkosh or FWD look to them in some ways.

As always, Thanks for any help!
By Trucker - 6 Years Ago
chtrout (3/8/2015)
Question on the Coleman G-55 vs. D-55 Trucks
I am hoping for some research assistance if anyone has additional information.
∙   >>> Question: Does anyone out there have any catalog pages or specs for the D-55?  I am fairly familiar with the G-55 but I am lacking authoritative specs on the D-55. I assume a larger engine – I believe the D-55 had a Cummins 290 turbo diesel, at least early in its production run. 
∙    Any assistance would greatly appreciated. Please PM me if you have any D-55 data sheets. 
∙    I would also very warmly welcome any other Coleman catalog sheets you might be willing to scan, loan, sell, or even "donate" to our ongoing Coleman research effort.  We are trying very hard to get this right...


Craig,
Specifications of Coleman G-55 and D-55 trucks contain in the old Automotive Industries and Commercial Car Journal magazines. For example data from 1963 Automotive Industries.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e411433b-d42d-4252-bc5c-0d78.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Trucker (3/9/2015)
chtrout (3/8/2015)
Question on the Coleman G-55 vs. D-55 Trucks
I am hoping for some research assistance if anyone has additional information.
∙   >>> Question: Does anyone out there have any catalog pages or specs for the D-55?  I am fairly familiar with the G-55 but I am lacking authoritative specs on the D-55. I assume a larger engine – I believe the D-55 had a Cummins 290 turbo diesel, at least early in its production run. 
∙    Any assistance would greatly appreciated. Please PM me if you have any D-55 data sheets. 
∙    I would also very warmly welcome any other Coleman catalog sheets you might be willing to scan, loan, sell, or even "donate" to our ongoing Coleman research effort.  We are trying very hard to get this right...


Craig,
Specifications of Coleman G-55 and D-55 trucks contain in the old Automotive Industries and Commercial Car Journal magazines. For example data from 1963 Automotive Industries.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e411433b-d42d-4252-bc5c-0d78.jpg




THANK YOU so much!! Yes, I have completed a page check of all Ward's Automotive Year Books for 1938 through 1975, but coverage of Coleman product go pretty spotty by the late 1950s and into the 1960s.

I had not tried Automotive Industries and Commercial Car Journal, but will now.

Thanks again!
By Trucker - 6 Years Ago
Craig,
Archives of these magazines are here:
http://www.ai-online.com/Adv/catalog/cat_index.php?FromDate=01%2F01%2F1950&ToDate=11%2F02%2F1959&q=&Submit=Search
http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000506927?type%5B%5D=all&lookfor%5B%5D=CCJ&ft=ft
By rubbishman - 6 Years Ago
Craig, sorry for delay but it is the Crismon IH book, I don't have it with me here but there are at least two photos of the units I mentioned.

I suspect that those "generic  cabs" were products of a company called "Truck Cabs Inc." This name has been mentioned on this site before. It appears they were a vendor that supplied cabs not only for trucks but various equipment such as cranes, etc. also. They all seem to have details such as the "cap roof", the one-piece stamping with drip rails formed in at the edges. 

They seemed to have  furnished most of those half-cab designs popular through the sixties. I have the hulk of a Highway boom truck with one.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
rubbishman (3/12/2015)
Craig, sorry for delay but it is the Crismon IH book, I don't have it with me here but there are at least two photos of the units I mentioned.


Great --- Thanks!  I was looking in the wrong Chrismon book.  I will look in the IH book instead. 

Thanks again!
Craig
By rubbishman - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/7ca7134b-327d-4347-9dfd-779a.jpg This is to show one example of those cabs.http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0c2e26cd-48d5-4ab2-b44d-2df1.jpg
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

I don't know who made those cabs but a company called Crenlo made cabs for Coleman.I don't know which ones though.

Rich Barker at CDOT is another person to contact about Coleman.
By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
Truck cabs is still in business. They were a continuation of Highland cabs. Two of their better known cabs were the Cincinatti cab for for engines and the reverse slant windshield cab for Oshkosh, FWD, and Duplex.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Specs for the Coleman EH-62

Anyone out there have any specs for the Coleman EH-62?  My understanding is that it came out in about 1962 (confirmation pending), but I have not yet found any listings in March 15th annual statistical editions for Automotive Industries for the years after 1962. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f5a947d8-d6eb-4d4e-baae-45a2.jpg

(photo from Don Chew Collection)

I know that one EH-62 survives with a heavy wrecker body in Silverthorne, Colorado.  Does anyone know the owner's names or have his contact information?

As always, Thanks!


By Tony Bullard - 6 Years Ago
Graig there is one ATHS member in Silverthome who may have it or know of who does. I sent you a PM

By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
There was one turned into a wrecker in the Dillon/Silverthorn area. There were also a couple turned into water trucks in the Denver area a few years ago.
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

There are six in Colorado that I know of. Big R Construction has one with a water tank, and this tow truck. I don't know who owns the others.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2a644117-9927-4337-b79a-792c.bmp
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
I will be at the ATHS convention in York, PA wearing a bright orange trucker's cap with a round Coleman logo, if anybody wants to talk Colemans!   
  • Anybody got a November 1968 Overdrive Magazine they would be willing to sell?  I am having trouble finding a copy.
  • Current want list... I am having trouble finding American Coleman company materials on D-55s and EH-62s 

I am always very eager to buy (or borrow) Coleman catalog pages or manuals that I don't already have.  The more I build my reference library, the more I can help folks with their Coleman restorations and related questions.

It also helps with my research in support of Don Chew's pending book on Coleman history.   
By ColoradoGreen - 6 Years Ago
chtrout (10/30/2013)
American Coleman  "CF-55-AF" Double-Cab Towing Tractors for the B-36
 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/a5b1415f-0416-4818-b8c1-07e8.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b13c4166-8068-4065-8e2e-0381.jpg


These trucks were just plain big! As a small boy, it was a real scramble when I was invited up into the cab.

(All
images above are from my personal collection -- please credit as appropriate.)



For those interested in a restoration, I figured I'd let all of you know that a friend of mine in northern CO has a ranch with three of the CF-55-AF double-cab tugs sitting on the property. They're in various states of repair, one is only a cab shell, the other two are still sitting on their chassis. I didn't have time to get up and take a close look at them the day I was there, so, I can't speak to condition of running gear or anything like that. But, certainly one good example could be built, if not two, with what is sitting on his ranch. I'm also reasonably certain he'd sell, as the oddball vintage stuff isn't his gig. They just happen to be there. They all still wear the distinctive yellow paint.

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
ColoradoGreen (6/16/2015)
chtrout (10/30/2013)
American Coleman  "CF-55-AF" Double-Cab Towing Tractors for the B-36
 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/a5b1415f-0416-4818-b8c1-07e8.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Uploads/Images/b13c4166-8068-4065-8e2e-0381.jpg


These trucks were just plain big! As a small boy, it was a real scramble when I was invited up into the cab.

(All
images above are from my personal collection -- please credit as appropriate.)



For those interested in a restoration, I figured I'd let all of you know that a friend of mine in northern CO has a ranch with three of the CF-55-AF double-cab tugs sitting on the property. They're in various states of repair, one is only a cab shell, the other two are still sitting on their chassis. I didn't have time to get up and take a close look at them the day I was there, so, I can't speak to condition of running gear or anything like that. But, certainly one good example could be built, if not two, with what is sitting on his ranch. I'm also reasonably certain he'd sell, as the oddball vintage stuff isn't his gig. They just happen to be there. They all still wear the distinctive yellow paint.



I don't know the details, but I believe these are the CF-55-AF survivors ColoradoGreen is referring to.  The two still mounted on their chassis are from the final 1951 contract using GMC cabs, and the cab sitting on the ground is from the original 1949 contract using Ford cabs, or at least Ford doors. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/1e5a07f8-af6b-4e66-b12a-20b5.jpg


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/8fbbe8d7-a41f-4f2a-a27a-12ba.jpg
Source:  Ken Kafka (I don't know if he took these himself, or if someone forwarded to them.)
  • Ironically, although there were relatively few "Federal F-55-AF's" made (same general specs, but with MH front end), at least two Federals survive, one in the air museum in Pima, AZ, and one in the air museum in Pueblo, CO.
  • I don't know of any Coleman CF-55-AFs in a museum, but suspect there surely may be several.  Anybody know for sure?
Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Oldest "Coleman" (nee Holmes) Survivor?

If my research is correct, Holmes Truck serial #9, completed in about August of 1921 at the Holmes Truck plant on South Nevada Street in Littleton Colorado, still survives at Don Robertson's Gold King Mine museum in Jerome, Arizona, which is about midway between Flagstaff and Prescott.
  • To clarify just a bit, brothers Al and George Coleman bought out Harleigh Holmes in May of 1924, re-branding the truck-building operation as "Coleman Motors" at that time. They had formed "Coleman Motors" in 1922 as a holding company with the intent of buying Holmes out, and that is why some Coleman letterheads say "since 1922," even though they did not actually start building trucks under the Coleman name until May of 1924. For those of you who really "know" your Coleman history, yes, "The Plains Motors Company" was in the mix too from the summer 1922 until the spring of 1923, but that's a different story for another time.
Anyway, back to Coleman (nee Holmes) Serial #9...
  • Once first built, it is not clear if she was sold, and then returned home, or simply remained on the Holmes/Coleman property as a "shop truck." 
  • Regardless, in 1925, the hose boys at Littleton Volunteer Fire Department realized their truck #2, a used-1923 White truck then jury-rigged as a fire truck, just wasn't up to the job, so asked Harleigh Holmes and Coleman Motors to build them a replacement truck, to become the new replacement LVFD Truck #2. Coleman donated much of the labor, and to hold costs down, it is believed they took an existing chassis, Holmes Serial #9, and retrofitted it as a firetruck, with pumps, equipment, water and hose storage as appropriate, while retaining it's original open, railed cab, and perhaps even it's original Hinkley HA-400 4-cylinder engine, or perhaps a Buda 4-cylinder replacement and a Rome-Turney vertical-ribbed radiator. 
  • By August of 1928, it was concluded that the "new" Coleman truck was under-powered and had trouble struggling up Court House Hill on Littleton Boulevard when fully loaded down with water, hoses and numerous dangling firemen, so the hose boys once again approached Coleman and asked for a larger 6-cylander Buda engine. This was soon done, but in order to accommodate the longer engine, the frame had to be extended. So, about 18" of the chassis from old Holmes Serial #1 was cut off and welded onto Serial #9. For this reason, it is believed the chassis now has both Serial #1, and then Serial #9, stamped into the driver-side frame rail. 
  • Lettered as LVFD Truck #2, it served for many years until finally retired, but then pulled back into service and retrofitted as a water truck and utility crane. During this period, it briefly had a closed-cab from the late 1940's simply fitted over the top of the original open cab.  Having lived out it's useful life, Don Chew then had it briefly, and it eventually found its way down to Don Robertson's Truck Collection at the Gold King Mine near Jerome, Arizona.  
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/20a8d6f2-a2af-438d-8f3f-afe7.jpg

1921 Holmes Serial #9 (?), Gold King Mine museum near Jerome, AZ.  Note the replacement
Perfex radiator added when the frame was extend 18" in 1928.  
Source: AZphotos, all rights reserved.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2546fb67-2095-48ac-8314-bbfc.jpg

Coleman (nee Holmes) Serial #9 while in service as Truck #2, Littleton Volunteer Fire Department.  
Source:  Don Chew Collection. 


Does anyone out there have an interest in visiting the Gold Hill Museum?  From the photos, it has a fairly large, undocumented collection of old trucks in various states of repair and disrepair. Due to the dry climate, many are well preserved and not too rusted out.

Request for Assistance:  If someone does go, could you please take a very close look at the Coleman chassis shown above?  
  • If my research is correct, it will have both a Serial #1 and a Serial #9, perhaps repeated several times, all the way forward on the driver's-side frame rail.   If this is true, it will confirm my research in tracking this worthy old girl down! 
There are sketchy rumors of Holmes Serial #11, also an open, railed cab, in fairly complete condition somewhere near Yosemite, California.  Anyone familiar with that one?

From what I can tell, Kenny Plandel's Holmes/Coleman Serial #18 is actually the third oldest Coleman survivor, although it was long thought to be the oldest.  

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Got Coleman???   (Literature, that is...)


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e8ef35fd-f45c-48a2-8d23-e993.jpg
Example catalog page (front side) I recently provided to a collector who is rebuiding his
Ford F-4 and it's Coleman front-wheel-drive.  
Source:  Craig H. Trout, Collection, if used, please credit me. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2c24344e-7aa2-4a18-9436-bf09.jpg

First page from the Coleman manual I recently provided to a collector
rebuidling his Ford F-4 truck which is fitted with Coleman front-wheel-drive.  
Source:  Craig H Trout Collection, if used, please credit me.  


In my on-going research into the history of Holmes / Plains / Coleman / American Coleman, I have a standing interest in adding more catalog pages, sales materials, spec sheets, and literature to my growing Coleman research library.   And photos too, of course!

This growing research library serves three primary purposes:

   1.  Support Don Chew's pending book on the History of Coleman Motors

    2.  Support the Littleton Historical Museum's fine collection of Coleman literature and artifacts.

    3.  Support Coleman truck collectors who are in need of information while rebuilding/restoring their Coleman trucks/aircraft towing tractors, or other trucks brands converted to Colman front-wheel-drive.

Why do I do this? Simple.  My late father worked at Coleman from 30 years (1950-1980), and I am truly a "Coleman-brat," having hung around the assembly lines and erecting floors the whole time while I was growing up in Littleton, Colorado. Whether it was the excitement of being invited along on test drives or parades, or just watching Colemans being loaded onto railroad flatcars along the north face of the Main Plant, Coleman is in my blood, through and through.

Request for Assistance:
  • Do any of you have any original Coleman catalog pages, spec sheets, or manuals that you would be wiling to scan, sell, loan, or donate for this purpose?
(People who know me well also know that I make every effort to properly credit the sources of all materials, unless you specifically ask me not to.)  

I have many of the "AutoLit" images that people have downloaded from the Internet, but they are often very fuzzy and difficult to read when enlarged to full size.

>>> What I am truly needing are good-quality scans (or originals).  Bottom Line: The more I have, the more I can help people with their restoration or research questions.  "Paying it forward," so so speak..

  • If you are willing to help out with some Coleman literature or photos, please "message" me so we can work out the particulars to your complete satisaction. 
Thanks everyone!!  Truly. 

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,
In regards to the tugs at the ranch did Ken send you pics of the one they still use? It's been modified somewhat. I have pics if you want. There is or was two of the Federals sitting along highway 287 near the border with Wyoming.
An interesting addition to the story of #1, at one time it had a late forties cab installed right over the original cab. I don't remember the name of the fellow that owned it then but he is friends with some friends of Ken Kafka. His dad also worked at Coleman during the sixties I think.

By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
chtrout, are you aware of any connection / licencing of Coleman's patents abroad? Reason I'm asking is the below - that's a Swiss FBW 5T army truck, you can't avoid noticing the front axle.. Am asking my European contact also. Pic by Keith Paterson.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6df87e2b-b509-413f-8235-9b56.jpg 
By DMac - 6 Years Ago
Hello,
I'm new to this message forum.  I worked at American Coleman Co. from 1968 to 1970.  E.L. Martin was the owner when I started but he soon sold American Coleman to Kansas City Southern Industries.  The SpaceStar (ELM Truck) was being frequently used to haul axle and FWD assemblies back East and on return trips hauled steel.  As Government Contracts Mgr. one of my jobs was ordering railcars and trucks to haul the MB-4 towing tractors to their various destinations.   DMac
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
DMac (7/29/2015)
Hello,
I'm new to this message forum.  I worked at American Coleman Co. from 1968 to 1970.  E.L. Martin was the owner when I started but he soon sold American Coleman to Kansas City Southern Industries.  The SpaceStar (ELM Truck) was being frequently used to haul axle and FWD assemblies back East and on return trips hauled steel.  As Government Contracts Mgr. one of my jobs was ordering railcars and trucks to haul the MB-4 towing tractors to their various destinations.   DMac


Hey DMac!

Welcome to the Coleman discussion thread. Your employment period and duties at American Coleman sound familiar – did we exchange emails about 6 months ago or so?

Perhaps you knew my late father, Harold V. Trout, who worked at Coleman from 1950 to 1980 (30 years). When you hired on was just about when he was Material Control Manager.

Yes, Coleman was shipping quite a few G-40 (MB-4) tractors in the early 1970's, and smaller orders of G-75 (U-18) tractors to USAF and allied bases around the world. I think they were also still producing a few SnowBlast units, and the PiggyVac had also just come out. The EH-62 sales were never quite as strong as the previous G-55 and D-55 trucks that sold so well to state and county highway departments.

Would enjoy hearing your memories of government contracts and such. I used to love to hang around Low Street down towards the old Columbine Mill and Littleton Lumber Company and watch them load MB-4s onto the D&RGW 50' flatcars. The "Louviers Local" would pick them up late in the morning, carry them down to the Sedalia crossover, then on back into Denver by early afternoon.  Most MB-4s were delieved in yellow, but I remember a few orders in olive drab, also.  

Did you save any photos or catalog sheets? A G-75 or EH-62 manual perhaps?

Again, Welcome!!!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Tutlebrain (7/18/2015)
chtrout, are you aware of any connection / licencing of Coleman's patents abroad? Reason I'm asking is the below - that's a Swiss FBW 5T army truck, you can't avoid noticing the front axle.. Am asking my European contact also. Pic by Keith Paterson.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6df87e2b-b509-413f-8235-9b56.jpg 


Sorry for the slow response, but no, I do not recall any Coleman axle assemblies being either shipped to, or licensed to the Swiss. I do agree that those do look somewhat similar to the later-stye Coleman hub-protectors, like on some axles sold to International Harvester and such.

Perhaps our new member, DMac, will know something on this?

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By DMac - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/dd884ddd-ea78-4d4c-acda-5f7f.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d11b5749-e3af-4638-b916-6ed5.jpgHello Craig,
Yes I knew your father, Harold.  He was a real gentleman and a terrific person.  My step-father C. F. Decker also worked at American Coleman Co. from the early 1950's (about 1952) until around 1972 +-.  He had jobs in purchasing, government contracts, VP Sales and VP Plant Production.
As Government Contracts Manager, I also filled the duty as traffic manager and ordered the trucks and railcars for the MB-4 shipping.  Some of the railcars were 89 ft.  It was a fun day when we loaded and shipped a dozen or so MB-4s.   I remember one day Russ Swank was in my office upset about having to pull so many MB-4s in and out of the plant every day and he was demanding they be shipped.  Of course I had to wait until the required number were ready, but as we were talking the 89 foot railcars arrived and rolled passed the window.  My comment was, "Well, what are you standing her for Russ,  you have MB-4's to load so we can ship them."   I enjoyed working for American Coleman.   I was also the Parts department supervisor for the sales and shipping of all the replacement parts for various Coleman manufactured assemblies. 
I don't recall exchanging email with you 6 months ago?    Very glad to here there are people like you working to preserve Coleman vehicles and American Coleman Company history.  I have a few photos but sorry to say, no manuals.    Have you been able to find out what happened to the ELM Truck  (SpaceStar)?   I recall it was sold to a major truck manufacturer and then it just sat for quite some time over at the PiggyVac factory in Sheridan.  After that I don't know what happened to it. ~ Dennis
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
DMac (8/1/2015)
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/dd884ddd-ea78-4d4c-acda-5f7f.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d11b5749-e3af-4638-b916-6ed5.jpgHello Craig,
Yes I knew your father, Harold.  He was a real gentleman and a terrific person.  My step-father C. F. Decker also worked at American Coleman Co. from the early 1950's (about 1952) until around 1972 +-.  He had jobs in purchasing, government contracts, VP Sales and VP Plant Production.
As Government Contracts Manager, I also filled the duty as traffic manager and ordered the trucks and railcars for the MB-4 shipping.  Some of the railcars were 89 ft.  It was a fun day when we loaded and shipped a dozen or so MB-4s.   I remember one day Russ Swank was in my office upset about having to pull so many MB-4s in and out of the plant every day and he was demanding they be shipped.  Of course I had to wait until the required number were ready, but as we were talking the 89 foot railcars arrived and rolled passed the window.  My comment was, "Well, what are you standing her for Russ,  you have MB-4's to load so we can ship them."   I enjoyed working for American Coleman.   I was also the Parts department supervisor for the sales and shipping of all the replacement parts for various Coleman manufactured assemblies. 
I don't recall exchanging email with you 6 months ago?    Very glad to here there are people like you working to preserve Coleman vehicles and American Coleman Company history.  I have a few photos but sorry to say, no manuals.    Have you been able to find out what happened to the ELM Truck  (SpaceStar)?   I recall it was sold to a major truck manufacturer and then it just sat for quite some time over at the PiggyVac factory in Sheridan.  After that I don't know what happened to it. ~ Dennis


Hey Dennis!

WOW!! Great photos!!

In my own memories, it was relatively unusual to see the SpaceStar (ELM) with its pup trailer also attached. I remember it usually running with just the main trailer. Who are the people in the photo, do you know?

And yes, I mentioned 50' flats from the earlier days, but they used the 89' foot TTX "TrailerTrain" flats almost exclusively in later years. Due to their long length, I remember their wheels would really squeal coming down the south leg of the wye. The Rio Grande eventually abandoned the north leg of the wye, because it was an even tighter curve, and could just barely handle 50' boxcars, let alone a couple of 89' flats. Love the loading scene checking tie-downs. Do you know who the men were?  Both Coleman employees, or was one the D&RGW car inspector?

I remember the MB-4 cabs arrived in 50' boxcars, and they would unload and store them stacked up in the outside-frame corrugated metal "warehouse" on the north side of the tracks. Do you know offhand who manufactured the cabs? I have never thought to ask.

YES!! I remember Cliff Decker well! Dad truly thought the world of him!

I chuckled at your comment about Russ Swank... Actually, I never saw him when he -wasn't- fussing about something. But he could sure get the work done. I think he was plant superintenden by then – had been with the company since the 1930's – always treated me very well in his own gruff kind of way. I began hanging around the Plant when I was perhaps 5-6 years old and on through high school, then again when I got home from the Marines in 1972.

No, I don't for "for sure" what happened to the ELM, but I have heard several variations of a story that it eventually sat in a junk yard for some years in North Denver, then disappeared.

Again, Welcome Dennis – we will truly look forward to more of your memories!

Keep Calm and Coleman on!
Craig

By DMac - 6 Years Ago
Craig,
The people in the photo are C. F. Decker,  Peggy (my mother), and my half-sister, and half-brother.  I took the photo but I don't remember the exact year... some time around 1968 or 1969.  Those were Coleman employees tying down the tractors, but I don't remember the names.   Oh ... pardon my 'oops',  I meant the Englewood Plant (4002 S. Clay Street)  for the last place I saw the ELM Truck.  
I started working at American Coleman Co. in early September 1968, after getting out of the U.S. Air Force.  Owner, E.L. Martin sold the company to Kansas City Southern Industries and they acquired Am.Coleman Co. as a wholly owned subsidiary on December 5, 1968.   Don G. Higgins succeeded E.L. Martin as president.  C.F. Decker became Vice President-Sales.  Bob Case Vice President-Accounting. Here is a picture of the E.L.M truck as it appeared on a post card.  I think the photo was taken by Grissinger, Littleton, CO.http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ae116f25-8484-4b60-95e3-86cc.jpg   http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6bafaf4d-c396-47d1-b50f-23b2.jpg
Yes, Swank was an interesting and 'gruff' person but he did get the job done and I always got along with him just fine.  I believe his title after KCSI took over was "Plant Manager".   Under Swank were:  Francis Wier, Tooling, J. A. Patch and L. Wiegel, Machining and W. D. Van Lue, Assembly.   The Chief Engineer was Ray E. Schierenberg and the Project Engineers were:  Tibor Czibok and Everitt Van Engen. Tibor was from Budapest, Hungary. 
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
DMac (8/1/2015)
Craig,
The people in the photo are C. F. Decker,  Peggy (my mother), and my half-sister, and half-brother.  I took the photo but I don't remember the exact year... some time around 1968 or 1969.  Those were Coleman employees tying down the tractors, but I don't remember the names.   Oh ... pardon my 'oops',  I meant the Englewood Plant (4002 S. Clay Street)  for the last place I saw the ELM Truck.  
I started working at American Coleman Co. in early September 1968, after getting out of the U.S. Air Force.  Owner, E.L. Martin sold the company to Kansas City Southern Industries and they acquired Am.Coleman Co. as a wholly owned subsidiary on December 5, 1968.   Don G. Higgins succeeded E.L. Martin as president.  C.F. Decker became Vice President-Sales.  Bob Case Vice President-Accounting. Here is a picture of the E.L.M truck as it appeared on a post card.  I think the photo was taken by Grissinger, Littleton, CO.http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ae116f25-8484-4b60-95e3-86cc.jpg   http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6bafaf4d-c396-47d1-b50f-23b2.jpg
Yes, Swank was an interesting and 'gruff' person but he did get the job done and I always got along with him just fine.  I believe his title after KCSI took over was "Plant Manager".   Under Swank were:  Francis Wier, Tooling, J. A. Patch and L. Wiegel, Machining and W. D. Van Lue, Assembly.   The Chief Engineer was Ray E. Schierenberg and the Project Engineers were:  Tibor Czibok and Everitt Van Engen. Tibor was from Budapest, Hungary. 


Dennis,

Wow! Those names were a stroll down memory lane. Don Higgins and Dad got along great, and his daughter worked at the "Sell-4-Less" Rexall Drug Store down at the corner of Curtis & Main ( I dated her briefly). Don Higgins went back all the way back to the American Road Equipment Company days in Omaha. The "J.A. Patch" you mentioned was probably Jerry Patch, a master machinist dating all the way back to 1922 at the Plains Iron Works / Plains Motors Company at 8th & Larimar Streets. When Jerry retired, I think he was perhaps the longest "continually" serving Coleman employee. "Bud" Celein and sister Helen may have retired by the time you started, but they were also from the very early days. Yes, the ELM photo was taken by John A. Grissinger (Main Street) who was for all intents and purposes the company photographer from the late 1930s well into the 1970s. 

Great memories...
Craig

By Slim 3979 - 6 Years Ago
Craig and Dennis, we really, really enjoyed that Coleman history lesson.  THanks

Slim
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Craig, 

Thanks for the reply. I'm fairly certain FBW built their axles at their own factory in Wetzikon but that's all I know. FBW together with Saurer and Berna was just another company killed by Mercedes-Benz (although the factory still makes special haulage MB trucks)...

Cheers

T

PS: Would it be nice if the Space Star is found - so far ahead of its time in concept AND looks (very modern European with that tall, high roof cab). 
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
1951 Coleman Yardmobile trailer spotting vehicle

Jeff Lakaszcyck had posted this to his "What Am I for Monday -- 7/20/2015," and so I copied it here to memorialize it in the Coleman discussion thread, and also get it fully tagged.  (Jeff, I hope that's okay...)
  • By the way Jeff, THANK YOU from all of us for your truly oustanding "What Am I" series -- truly fascinating stuff!!
As I had indicated in my original response, the Coleman Yardmobile was developed at the request of PIE, and long-time Coleman employee Raymond "Bud" Celien did the design work, filing for his patent on 4 Oct 1951, and it being granted 16 Feb 1954.   This would be the begining of a very long series of American Coleman tractor spotting vehicles, and in fact their very last major product line was their "Champion Yard Horse" prior to closing down operations in 1987. 

= = =
Hmm, this is perplexing, someone posted the answer we were looking for early on, but it is gone now. So we will take the last answer, Coleman. While Coleman was the builder of this truck, we also have to give a partial credit to the Ford answers, as some Ford components were used. At least nine of these yard donkeys were built for PIE. Sergey "Trucker" had the right answer. Thanks to John Frances for these photos, and also for providing this info from "Distribution Age" magazine in 1951. 

PACIFIC Intermountain Express Co. is using a new single-seat tractor, called a "yard donkey," to spot and tow semitrailers at freight docks and maintenance facilities.The "donkey" is equipped with a hydraulic fifth wheel controlled by the driver. This permits the yard hostler to back under a semi-trailer and, after the king pin is locked, lift it without cranking up the "landing gear." The landing gear under the semi-trailer is lowered when the road tractor is unhitched to hold the former in a level position. By use of the hydraulic fifth wheel on the "donkey," it is not necessary to raise and lower the landing gear in the yard, as the hydraulic fifth wheel raises the semi trailer high enough for the wheels on the gear to clear the ground as the trailer is moved.From his seat, the hostler can also reach back and connect or disconnect the air lines carrying air to the semi-trailer brakes. A special stand holds the lines at a convenient level to the rear of the seat. The hostler is thus able to back a semi-trailer into the dock or pull it into position for over-the-road service without lost motion. By making the air connection, brakes on the semi-trailers can be tested before hooking on to line-haul power equipment.The short coupling permits mobility that could not be obtained by a standard tractor. This feature is particularly important in the movement of semi-trailers in maintenance and overhaul shops. A 35-ft. semi-trailer can be turned around in its own length or switched easily from one service line to another while undergoing inspection maintenance.The unit measures 13 ft. 2 in. It is fabricated under company specifications by Coleman Motors, Littleton, Colo. Bartlett Trailer Co., Chicago, furnished the hydraulic fifth wheel. Power unit and component parts were supplied by Ford. The company has nine of the units in operation.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/604367ea-f9b4-4db7-8a9f-cea1.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/bc3b1f5d-3da9-478b-9b56-3d92.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0ae1f9a7-36e8-49c1-a431-5f15.jpg

Jeff
Attachments Coleman 1951 yard dog PIE Line... (6 views, 277.00 KB) Coleman 1951 yard dog PIE Popu... (6 views, 106.00 KB) Coleman 1951 yard dog PIE Popu... (5 views, 226.00 KB)- See more at: http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/80554/What-Am-I-for-Monday-072015?PageIndex=2#bm80646


Thanks again, Jeff, and John Frances -- Great Stuff!
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
American Coleman "Champion" Yard Horse series

American Coleman's last major product line was the Champion Heavy-Duty Trailer Spotter, and its many variants. 


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a584eed3-0c02-46c1-93e7-4da4.jpg

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By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 6 Years Ago
chtrout (8/2/2015)


Jeff Lakaszcyck had posted this to his "What Am I for Monday -- 7/20/2015," and so I copied it here to memorialize it in the Coleman discussion thread, and also get it fully tagged.  (Jeff, I hope that's okay...)
  • By the way Jeff, THANK YOU from all of us for your truly oustanding "What Am I" series -- truly fascinating stuff!!


Craig, thanks for the nice words. You are free to re-post anything from the WAI that you wish, just give us a plug ! And I am really enjoying this Coleman thread, there is some great stuff here.

By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

You mentioned the IH with Colemen front axles, here's one of a few we had in Israel. These were used in the operator's, Egged, Sinai desert routes. One was preserved by them in derivable condition. 

Cheers

Thttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0bb5fb87-9eb5-4b07-8c8e-cdcd.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Tutlebrain (8/2/2015)
Craig,

You mentioned the IH with Colemen front axles, here's one of a few we had in Israel. These were used in the operator's, Egged, Sinai desert routes. One was preserved by them in derivable condition. 

Cheers

Thttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/0bb5fb87-9eb5-4b07-8c8e-cdcd.jpg



Great shot!  Those Coleman heavy dome hub protectors really show.  
  • IH bought very large numbers of Coleman front drive axle assemblies for IH in-plant installation on their medium-heavy duty truck lines, as well as on special-order Farmall tractors.  At one point in the late 50s or early 60's, American Coleman was shipping up to 14 truckloads of front-drive axles a week, but not all to IH of course.  
Thanks for sharing!!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
IH also used them on R Models and other heavies. Howe Brothers used them in conversion. Marmon Herrington also used some Coleman axles in their conversion. Years ago I saw a pic of a Diamond Reo on the MH webpage. I wrote them about that and they replied they did use Coleman axles on some conversions. White and Mack had Coleman convert some of their rear drive axles suing Coleman ends to make a front drive axle for OEM use. IH also did this in the 40's.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
International Trucks with IH in-plant installation of Coleman Front Drive axles...

Here is an example of an IH "RF-190 (6x6)" with an IH in-plant installation of Coleman Front Dive axles.  There are still a number of suvivors out there.   
  • Rather than the usual Coleman heavy dome hub protectors, they had a much flatter look, but still were very easy to spot.  I have never heard their true name, I have always just called them "cake pan" hub protectors.  Ha!

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/1f8802d9-1a0b-4d6e-93c2-ac15.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Coleman Front Drive Axles installed by other truck manufacturers

Coleman Front Drive Axle "conversions" were installed on a wide variety of trucks starting in 1939 -- mainly on Chevy, Ford, and IH, with smaller numbers on Doge, Mack, White, Autocar, GMC and such. There had been a very low volume of "spot" conversions before then, but 1939 is when the numbers really started to kick in and it became a major marketing push. 

By 1943, Coleman had developed official "Coleman Front Drive Conversion Kits" that any competent garage could order through and authorized Coleman dealer and install for a customer, and they sold very well.

IH and Mack were the first to do actual in-plant installations on their production lines in 1958.
  •  If anybody has any data on other truck companies that did "special order" assembly-line installation of Coleman Front Drive Axles, I will always be interested. Actual catalog pages are always appreciated!.
As for farm tractors (by special order), IH Farmall, Minneapolis-Moline, Cockshutt, Case, Oliver, and perhaps others. 

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Early on there was at least one FWD with Coleman axles.
Craig the Littleton parade is in two weeks, I''l try to make it and get some shots of any Colemans. Met a fellow last year who just purchased a G75? the dash plate show A/S32U-18. Said he hopes to put it in the parade this year.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Hambone (8/2/2015)
Early on there was at least one FWD with Coleman axles.
Craig the Littleton parade is in two weeks, I''l try to make it and get some shots of any Colemans. Met a fellow last year who just purchased a G75? the dash plate show A/S32U-18. Said he hopes to put it in the parade this year.


Coleman Front Drive Axles on FWDs...


Hey Bill,

Yes, in January 1921, FWD asked Harleigh Holmes for a demonstration of a Holmes Truck and then requested he install his "Holmes Front Wheel Drive" on a FWD chassis. I have always thought it was just a "ploy" by the FWD engineering department to get their first good look at the new "upstart" competitor that was getting so much attention. The Holmes front-drive FWD was then around Denver for some years and was owned by Paul V. Jennings, the FWD distributor for the Denver region.  Very interesting hybrid, to say the least...
 
As for the Western Welcome Week parade in Littleton, I had truly hoped to go this year, but I just could not quite work it out with my job (pending deadlines and such).

Yes, the American Coleman G-75 was designated by the USAF as the "AF Type A/S 32U-18, or "U-18" for short. The G-75 was essentially an upgraded G-40 (MB-4) with more power and was also much more heavily ballasted for greater traction. It also had essentially the same cab, and as with the MB-4. the top could also be removed for warm weather operations.  If it is in the parade, I would be extremely interested in photos of the data plate(s).

There may also be some EH-62s in the parade, as well as the usual big "D" and "E"-series trucks from the late 1920s and 1930s (Ken Kafka, David Wardle, et al). There may even be an early G-55 (SHD), and an MB-4.

Please, please, take loads of pictures, and please include the data plates if you can get access to the cabs, as well as shots of the serial numbers (stamped into the side of the leading end of the frame rail on the diver's side).

I am so deeply disappointed that I just cannot make it. Please give Don Chew, Ken Kafka, Jim Hatfield, Ralph Selby and all the other Coleman Faithful "my very best" if you see them.

Thanks Hambone!!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
chtrout (8/2/2015)
International Trucks with IH in-plant installation of Coleman Front Drive axles...

Here is an example of an IH "RF-190 (6x6)" with an IH in-plant installation of Coleman Front Dive axles.  There are still a number of suvivors out there.   
  • Rather than the usual Coleman heavy dome hub protectors, they had a much flatter look, but still were very easy to spot.  I have never heard their true name, I have always just called them "cake pan" hub protectors.  Ha!

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/1f8802d9-1a0b-4d6e-93c2-ac15.jpg


Craig,
Thank you for the information - that heavy front axle looks even more similar to the stuff all the Swiss manufacturers used, as the pics below (by Piere Barmaz and Curdin Chistell from the Saurer FB group) show. I'm going to make further inquiries on "our" side of the world, this is a bit of a mystery...

Cheers


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e35a739f-4988-4aed-a56c-6340.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/b9e444c4-3121-4538-922f-e296.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Hey Turtlebrain!

Wow, you are right – they do look very similar to the style of Coleman Front Drive axles that IH and others were installing on their assembly lines.

The following are two better examples. Although they are farm tractors, I chose them because in yellow, it is relatively easy to make out the details. What are your thoughts?


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f04dd5e7-7176-47ba-a01b-77a8.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/04bbddc1-d38f-499e-9d0c-172c.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/07039e95-c777-40f9-ae33-4883.jpg


Also, please remind us where you are located? Your posts are often fascinating! 

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Craig,

Thank you. Let's see what the Swiss are saying... Oh: if it makes sence, I live in Austria but grew up in Israel in the 60s and 70s.

Cheers,
T
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Transition from "Coleman Motors" to "American Coleman," via "The American Road Equipment Company"


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/fffa9f59-b803-4ac8-9046-37d7.jpg

"American No. 6"  model road grader manufactured by the American Road Equipment Company of Omaha,
 Nebraska.  Source: (unknown)  Internet.


There is frequently some degree of confusion as to just where "Omaha" fits into the Coleman / American Coleman corporate family tree. 
  • In Oct 1948, George L. Meffley, then president and principal stockholder of "Coleman Motors," Littleton, Colorado, sold his controlling-interest shares to the "American Road Equipment Company" in Omaha, resulting in that new parent company then being reorganized as the "American Coleman Company," with all sales and distribution offices being in both Omaha (domestic sales - managed by Howard H. Agee) and Chicago (international sales -- managed by E.L. Martin). However, all actual truck manufacturing still continued at Littleton, Colorado, and still under the "Coleman Motors" name, regardless of absentee corporate ownership. 
  • In Feb 1953, two of the Omaha men, E.L "Ted" Martin and B.I. "Fritz" Noble, finalized their purchase of controlling interest in the operation, immediately moving all offices back to the manufacturing plant in Littleton, while at the same time formally changing the truck name itself to "American Coleman."  Among the other "Omaha" men who also made the move to Littleton was Don Higgins, who would eventually be named president, replacing "Ted" Martin when he sold out his shares in December 1966 to Kansas City Southern Industries and retired. 
  • Not sure what happened at this point (1953) to the former American Road Equipment product line (primarily road graders, as well as road grader-conversion units for farm tractors), but that separate product line never did move to Littleton and seems to have soon simply faded away. 
To clarify, Coleman trucks were never actually "manufactured" in Omaha - that was simply the domestic sales and distribution office in a suite on the second floor of the WOW (Woodman of the World) building in Omaha. I am not sure where their entirely separate road grader product lines were assembled, but I have no indication so far that any "Coleman" manufacturing ever took place there.

However, it was not unusual during the period of early 1949 through late 1952 to see Coleman Trucks being shipped to Omaha to either be demonstrated or shown for sales purposes, hence several "sales photos" with imprints showing Omaha-based commercial photographers. 

The following letterheads and imprints were typical during the transition period:


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/52415f6b-80f7-48c7-8f45-c142.jpg
 http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c6e7f5d1-e4d7-4d62-864a-1f96.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d5e605ca-cc8a-4565-b3d6-4eaa.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/4c959495-21a9-4f38-92fc-63cd.jpg

In the third letterhead down, note the "AC" logo very briefly used in 1952, then never seen again...
Source: all four letterheads are from my personal collection, please credit me as appropriate


Research Questions:
 
  • Is anyone out there familiar with exactly where American Road Equipment Company had their assembly plant? 
  • Does anyone have any more details on their product lines?   I have seen a number of International Harvester  and other farm tractors converted into light-duty road graders with American Road Equipement Company "front-ends" and grader assemblies, but have not yet found any sales materials and such.  
Anyway, I thought the above brief explanation might help make sense out of Coleman catalog sheets and other printed materials that carry the "WOW Building, Omaha, Nebraska" address, even though all Coleman trucks and aircraft towing tractors were still being built in Littleton, Colorado.

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
1949 Factory-Built COE Ford F5 Boom Truck with Coleman Front-Wheel-Drive

I am not involved in this sale in any way, but just noticed this on eBay. My only interest is in seeing Coleman trucks and Coleman conversions preserved whenever possible.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/dc62fca4-1ac9-48b7-b8af-904b.jpg
  • This is an interesting truck on several levels, not only for rare Ford truck collectors, but also for Coleman 4x4 conversion enthusiasts.
  • This is the same truck that was up for sale about a year or so ago, but now seems to have some light repairs, including re-hanging the rear passenger-side door. 
  • For full mechanical details and more photos, see: 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Other-1949-Ford-F5-4x4-COE-Boom-Truck-/201410791173?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2ee504c705&item=201410791173


Keep Calm and Coleman On!

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Coleman Trucks in the 2015 Littleton 87th Western Welcome Week Grand Parade

Although I originally didn't think I could make it, I finally met all my deadlines at work and flew from Virginia to Colorado to attend the 87th Western Welcome Week Grand Parade in Littleton, Colorado, held on Saturday morning, August 15, 2015. It was a gorgeous day, and the parade was extremely well attended.  It was great fun as the ripple of applause broke into actual cheers as our little convoy of venerable Coleman trucks made their way down Main Street. 
  • For those of you not familiar, Coleman Trucks, and then later, American Coleman Trucks were manufactured at their main plant on Nevada Street near downtown, Littleton, Colorado, and so it has been a tradition over the many, many years for Coleman Trucks to appear in the annual "Western Welcome Week Grand Parade," formerly known as the Littleton "Homecoming Parade." 
  • When Coleman was still in full production, it was not unusual to see a groups of 4 or 5 shiny new yellow MB-4 aircraft towing tractors demonstrating their 4-wheel steering "shenanigans" – crabbing, weaving around, turning very tight 15' circles and such to the delight of all involved. Coleman would also enter other trucks and tractors currently in production, and it was always a real treat to see. At peak production (early 1950s), Coleman had over 450 employees, most all living in the Littleton area, so this was the chance for the whole family, friends and neighbors to see what their fathers had built at work.  I have many very fond childhood memories of seeing the Coleman trucks " do their stuff" in the parades each year.
  • Although in recent years, there have been as many as 6 restored, or partially-restored Colemans in the parade, this year there were only three:

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ea658511-b64e-4cb4-a637-dd2f.jpg
Buck Kemphausen's circa 1933-34 Coleman E-54, fully restored, and railed in back for parade duty.
This truck had sat for many years outside a general store in Minturn, Colorado loaded with antlers,
and if you could guess how many, you just "might" get a free cup of coffee. 
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/61310688-6526-4d48-bcee-a1db.jpg
Passenger-side 3/4 view of Buck's Coleman E-54. Note the sliding door, Coleman-fabricated cab, and the
 high-mount headlights for snow plow duty  It originally had a dump bed in back, but eventully was a
boom truck, and there is a heavy winch just behind the cab.   
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/a76eaf50-d022-4b5c-a1fc-b61a.jpg
Buck's 1965 G-75 (USAF designation U-18) serial number 56,5136.  It developed an oil leak and had to
be pulled from the parade line-up just before we started.  It had been built in May 1965, was rated for
aircraft 100,000 -- 250,000 lbs, weighed in at 25,400 lbs, had a drawbar pull of 18,000 lbs, and had a
"governed" speed of 30mph. As with the MB-4 before it, the top of the cab could be removed for warm-
weather operaations.  
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/852db27a-dfd8-4308-ae70-7f15.jpg
Buck's 1964 G-75, serial number 56,3122.  Although in fresher paint, it is actually the older of the two
G-75's and was produced in March of 1964, perhaps for the very first USAF contract for this new G-75
 model, which was essentially an up-graded MB-4 with a bigger enigne and more ballast for traction.  
Don Chew has always said that the G-75 was the "sweetest handling"  aircragt towing tractor he had
ever been around in his many decades of experience.  
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6ee00ea1-ff4e-4a0e-9ac6-e434.jpg
That's me standing with the venerable old E-54, now nicely restored.  I am 6' 2", so that gives an idea of
the size of this truck  A truly fun day for me...
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e584bde7-a2ff-4f85-9e38-204d.jpg
A Coleman-cab-top view of entering downtown Littleton during the annual parade, something Colemans
have done almost every year since the parade had first been inaugurated in 1928, some 87 years ago.  
Even before that, there were regular Littleton Independent newspaper accounts of Coleman tucks being
displayed on Main Street or being run in various parades. It was a great honor to once again ride in a
Coleman in this parade, something I had not done since I was about 9 years old in the back of a very
shiny new yellow MB-4.   
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit.


Due to people being out of town, health issues and such, several expected Colemans did not make it this year, but we are hoping for big numbers next year.

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
Craig,,

Here's the backside of an article I received from Randy Ledermann at least ten years ago.
Was this just someone using the American Coleman name? At one time the Littleton museum had a small display about Coleman that stated one of the last vehicles built was an all terrain rescue vehicle or words similar to that.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/3149b638-2a32-4d75-83f1-f304.bmp
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 6 Years Ago
Craig, thanks very much for posting the parade photos. It looks like a fun day.
By Hambone - 6 Years Ago
The E-54 from the parade as it was in 2004.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/066f3d5d-c29b-49ef-bfff-c574.jpg
By thundersnow70 - 6 Years Ago
That parade looks like a great time. Thanks for posting the pics. I picked up a Ford script flatbed for my F4 Coleman. Maybe someday it will be worthy of the parade. I send you the MC 9 manual Craig. Sent you an email but haven't heard back. Let me know if you got it please. Thanks............Mark
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
thundersnow70 (9/3/2015)
That parade looks like a great time. Thanks for posting the pics. I picked up a Ford script flatbed for my F4 Coleman. Maybe someday it will be worthy of the parade. I send you the MC 9 manual Craig. Sent you an email but haven't heard back. Let me know if you got it please. Thanks............Mark


Hey Mark!

I just got home last night from a trip for work and your manual was there waiting for me. I am going to spend some time with it later today. I have also sent you an email...

Thank you again, that was extremely thoughtful and generous to you to share a copy of that with me!

Thanks again!
Craig
By John Frances - 6 Years Ago
Original axle strapped on the back.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/558c1da9-ef50-4f7f-b188-1300.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
John Frances (9/7/2015)
Original axle strapped on the back.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/558c1da9-ef50-4f7f-b188-1300.jpg


Hey John,

Great shot of a Coleman Front Drive Conversion, presumably from their "kit" that sold so very well.

I am not a Ford guy and I cannot quite read the Ford model number. Do you know?

Several other photos I have seen from Truck Engineering Corporation always have quite a bit of data on the back. Does this one include the Coleman axle model #?

My sense is that Truck Engineering Corporation in St. Louis did quite a few conversions over the years, but virtually any competent garage could install the Coleman kit purchased from an authorized Coleman dealership. I have also seen quite a few installed by Pallady Welding & Equipment Company in Oklahoma City.  Both companies were "authorized dealers" for Coleman Front-Drive Conversion kits. .

By this time, Howe-Coleman was also installing their own "knock-off" version based on a slightly-altered Coleman axle that on which they attempted (unsuccessfully) to get their own patent. 

Do you have any more of these? Again great shot – thank you for sharing!!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 6 Years Ago
Craig, it is an F700 "Big Job".
By John Frances - 6 Years Ago
That's just an ebay display picture, I don't know what's on the back and don't have any others.
By rubbishman - 6 Years Ago
I have going over the Commercial Car Journal archives and posted some advertisements on another page, but have yet to see a Coleman ad or even any write ups on them under "What's New" etc.

Ads for M-H, F.A.B., Spicer and others in practically every issue through the 50's however.

Coleman must have run ads somewhere, maybe CCJ had too expensive ad rates.


By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Circa 1929 Coleman D-40 at Macungie?

My Sep/Oct issue of Double Clutch arrived today, and in the coverage of the 2015 ATCA Truck Show in Macungie, just barely visible in the background are two shots (pages 6 and 12) of what appears to be Dick Hallberg's very nicely restored circa 1929 D-40(?) Coleman Truck. I was disappointed they did not give it any actual coverage.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/03de844e-ba8e-40e3-8679-ae09.jpg
Source: Photo by Gene Herman, later published in Hemmings Motor News. . . 

Did anyone attend Macungie, and if so, did anyone get any good photos of this big yellow Coleman? I have been trying to arrange to get photos of the data plate(s) inside the cab, and also the data plate on the dump bed, but have not yet been successful.

I made it to York (ATHS) this year, but missed Macungie...  Obviously I missed out on a very good show. 

Thanks in advance for any photos!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 6 Years Ago
Craig, check your pm's.
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
No idea what's the story behind this, the pic was uploaded on the HAMB forum of all places, but I have a feeling it belongs here...

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6d20f4e6-d5d1-4f9a-9e03-f866.jpg
By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
Tis is I think a B-426. The axle is a Mack rear axle modified by Coleman. The cut off the ends of the rear axle and grafted Coleman steering knuckles on to make a front driving axle. This cost less that purchasing the whole axle from Coleman and also cost less that Mack building one from scratch, given that it was a low volume item. Coleman also did this with White and IH rear axles.
By John Frances - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5935587a-fa65-46f7-a379-4cd9.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
MB-4 (G-40) American Coleman Aircraft Towing Tractor Posted on eBay


From time to time, I notice various MB-4s sitting derelict, most of which are in pretty poor condition or heavily altered, but this one appears to be in reasonable shape and essentially "ready to go" for a full restoration.

•   I have no interest in this sale beyond just encouraging the preservation or restoration of Coleman trucks, aircraft towing tractors ("tugs"), and Coleman Front Drive conversions whenever possible.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5ee1237b-1aa9-40fe-8e19-b2f4.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5698050c-9645-41ce-9c6e-a40e.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/7127032b-fd24-4960-a12e-b1d1.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/587fd907-0a35-48a5-8410-fd8b.jpg


For more information, see:


http://www.ebay.com/itm/MB-4-American-Coleman-Aircraft-Tug-Tractor-4-Wheel-Steering-2WD-4WD-/381411196183?hash=item58cde0fd17

Data:   (per the seller)

MB-4 American Coleman Aircraft Tug Tractor
Year: 1970
Make: American Coleman
Model: MB-4 / G-40
Engine: 6 Cylinder Chrysler 30-1627-1
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Mileage: 12,259.7
Hours: 833.7
Towing Capacity: 100,000 lbs
Drawbar Pull: 10,000 lbs
Serial Number: 569072
Engine Serial Number: E083838
Weight: 10,700 lbs gross weight
  • Reportedly runs, but may need servicing.  
  • The only major alteration seems to be the axillary hitch device in front.  The tires are not the orginal heavy "diamond tread" design, but would be just fine in the short run. 

Keep Calm and Coleman on!
Craig
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
American Coleman Shop Manuals Needed...

I am trying to locate copies of the following American Coleman shop manuals. Does anyone have copies that I could scan and return? Or PDFs that you have already scanned?
  • "Coleman Front Drive Axle Unit Selection and Usage of Transfer Cases" - The American Coleman Company
  • "Coleman Drive Axles and Their Installation" – (as appeared in an article in "Automotive World" - date?)
I am also looking for the installation shop manual that a garage would have used to install a "Coleman Front Drive" conversion "kit."

If you think you can help me out, please PM me so we can work out particulars to your complete satisfaction.

Any help or suggestions would be truly appreciated!

Craig
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
1962 American Coleman EH-62; Declutching Problems with the Transfer Case...

I have a friend who recently purchased a 1962 American Coleman EH-62 that is generally in very good shape, but he seems to be having problems with the declutching mechanism on the transfer case.  If he is correct, it is an "American Coleman model 112a transfer case," but I do not have any references to that model in my reference library.
  • In short, he has having trouble engaging the front wheel drive. 
  • I am not familiar enough with transfer case problems to be able to help him. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/14e00ef4-e225-4ac5-ab29-b5ec.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d2b6cd65-f78f-40c0-b4d2-4115.jpg

He thinks he may have some form of linkage missing, but I am not at all sure from the photos he provided.

Is there anyone out there that would be willing to discuss his problem with him if he were to give you a call?

If you think you can help him out, please PM me with your name and phone number and I will arrange for him to give you a call.

Thanks in advance for any assistance or suggestions!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!

Craig
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Craig, it would make sense to post here also: http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/Forums/Mechanical-Questions-and-Answers
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Craig

Found this over on Big Mack Trucks site.

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/42071-1956-ford-f-700-awd/
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Brocky (10/6/2015)
Craig

Found this over on Big Mack Trucks site.

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/42071-1956-ford-f-700-awd/


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/17b89761-93da-4b40-91ff-727e.jpg

Wow!  Great looking truck!   I will write something in the near future regarding the different Coleman hub types and why some do not have the familiar heavy dome hub protector...

Thanks Brocky!
By JimF39 - 6 Years Ago
This photo was recently posted in a Facebook group. I've never seen a Coleman like this, can anyone provide some info?  The caption said "In Italy".http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5e185a4a-9b2a-4b50-92cd-9b7e.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
JimF39 (10/15/2015)
This photo was recently posted in a Facebook group. I've never seen a Coleman like this, can anyone provide some info?  The caption said "In Italy".http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5e185a4a-9b2a-4b50-92cd-9b7e.jpg


Hey Jim,

Wow, truly Great photo!

I have never seen anything quit like this before, so I am assuming it was a "special order."  That appears to be a chassis very similar to the 1951 series of double-cab CF-55-AF built for the US Air Force to pull B-36s.  This single GM cab, very unique hood, and unusual body in back, may have been simple modifications to the AC55AF, but perhaps with a larger engine.  That is clearly the standard "Coleman" script name plate across the radiator, and of course it has the standard Coleman heavy dome hub protectors all around.  All Colemans of this era that were designated for "export" had the same three metal bands across the radiator, and this example seems to follow that specification.

If anyone learns antyhing more about this photo, I would be extremely interested.

Thanks for sharing this, Jim!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By Park Olson - 6 Years Ago
Would that load be underwater cable ?
By John Frances - 6 Years Ago
Here's the original picture from an Italian forum, it's much bigger.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
John Frances (10/15/2015)
Here's the original picture from an Italian forum, it's much bigger.



Thanks John, much better detail!
By JimF39 - 6 Years Ago
Here's what differences that I've noticed on this unit, compared to a CF-55-AF.  The cab is set further forward, and lower over the wheels. It has a shorter, lower and narrower hood. The cowl of the cab is tapered on the sides and top to meet the hood. (smaller engine?)  The angle of the photo makes it difficult to compare wheelbases, I think it just gives the illusion of being a shorter wheelbase.
By Hamish - 6 Years Ago
[quote]JimF39 (10/15/2015)
This photo was recently posted in a Facebook group. I've never seen a Coleman like this, can anyone provide some info?  The caption said "In Italy".http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5e185a4a-9b2a-4b50-92cd-9b7e.jpg[

When you look at the big photo John Francis posted it appears to have the letters SAME at the top of the grille. SAME was and still is as far as I know an Italian tractor manufacturer that specialised in 4wd tractors with their own air cooled diesel engines. The other truck looks like a Diamond T 980/981.
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Hamish I did not see the large pic but now you mentioned it you are correct. SAME (Società Accomandita Motori Endotermici), was founded in 1942 in Treviglio (Bergamo) by the brothers Francesco and Eugenio Cassani and is now a part of the SAME Deutz-Fahr (SDF) group. They produced more than tractors but also tried to compete with the Unimog with their Samecar - and for a brief period even made trucks but wisely pulled out realizing they were too small to compete with companies such as Fiat, MAN, MB, Volvo and so on. I have no idea what's the story behind the Coleman-SAME but to me it's either a later attempt by an operator to save fuel by replacing an original gasoline engine with a SAME diesel or something SAME did themselves, possibly as a part of an evaluation excercise.
The below pics are from the SDF archives (http://www.archiviostoricosamedeutz-fahr.com/catalogo/?pp=1&ipp=25&heading_id=4535 - I went through them and there's no trace of the Coleman-SAME) - does the axle look familiar (this is the Unimog competitor)?

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/7bb1f2c8-f10a-4f97-a9a9-bde3.jpg  
The below is the "Dinosaurio", the biggest tractor SAME offered in the 60s

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d80c25e4-9219-472a-9564-50b7.jpg

... and the "Elefante" truck range, 4X4 or 6X4 with front driven axle.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e695db16-d3ea-4127-b5ac-f6ff.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e208afba-6a7d-4f3a-98ef-1c7f.jpg

SAME home page: http://www.same-tractors.com/en-GB/  
and their archives in English http://www.archiviostoricosamedeutz-fahr.com/en/. There is a contact page so it might be worth it to get in touch with them? 
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
JimF39 (10/16/2015)
Here's what differences that I've noticed on this unit, compared to a CF-55-AF.  The cab is set further forward, and lower over the wheels. It has a shorter, lower and narrower hood. The cowl of the cab is tapered on the sides and top to meet the hood. (smaller engine?)  The angle of the photo makes it difficult to compare wheelbases, I think it just gives the illusion of being a shorter wheelbase.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/7c50a2e6-1328-4f53-9cb6-6f04.jpg
Here is a photo of a 1951 CF-55-AF for comparison purposes.  Dad took this photo while he was woking as an
 inspector.  He was soon reassigned to install winterization kits on these big brutes.  At 3-4 years old,
these are my first memories of a Coleman truck, and my very first ride down to Church Street on a test drive.
The four-wheel steering and the ability to "crab" made these monsters unusually agile. 
Source: Craig H. Trout Collection -- please credit


Jim, 

Now that I have pulled a CF-55-AF photo for closer comparison, I think you are exactly right on all your observations.  Besides having a single cab rather than a double cab, it is definitely farther forward, but they do appear to have a similar wheelbase.  The radiator cowling appears to be very similar, but on the CF-55-AF,  the hood slopes up to the cab, but on the SAME model, it is nearly level, and gives the appearance of a smaller engine.   Regardless, I continue to suspect it was a special order that was loosely based on the CF-55-AF chassis as a starting point.   Perhaps SAME provided their own engine, or re-powered the unit after it arrived. 

Craig
By JimF39 - 6 Years Ago
Possibly acquired surplus, and repurposed by SAME as a prime mover.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
JimF39 (10/17/2015)
Possibly acquired surplus, and repurposed by SAME as a prime mover.


Actually, that makes great sense! 
By JimF39 - 6 Years Ago


Craigslist find:

http://eastidaho.craigslist.org/cto/5270353405.html

By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
JimF39 (10/17/2015)
Possibly acquired surplus, and repurposed by SAME as a prime mover.


Jim, to me the picture seems to be from the late 50s and at that time the CF-55-AF were still in use by the USAF (and maybe even considered as tactical equipment)?

The sign on the tractor says "Fumagalli" and the reg no. is a Milan one, so to me it's clear the Coleman belonged to Fumagalli Transporti who was a heavy transport specialist in Milan and I believe is a part of the Fagioli group (http://www.fagioli.it/Pages/Heavy-Transport_and_Lifting.aspx?lang=en-US). Whether there's still an old timer working there who may remember the Coleman I doubt but maybe they have some old photos... 
By Hamish - 6 Years Ago
Tutlebrain (10/16/2015)
Hamish I did not see the large pic but now you mentioned it you are correct. SAME (Società Accomandita Motori Endotermici), was founded in 1942 in Treviglio (Bergamo) by the brothers Francesco and Eugenio Cassani and is now a part of the SAME Deutz-Fahr (SDF) group. They produced more than tractors but also tried to compete with the Unimog with their Samecar - and for a brief period even made trucks but wisely pulled out realizing they were too small to compete with companies such as Fiat, MAN, MB, Volvo and so on. I have no idea what's the story behind the Coleman-SAME but to me it's either a later attempt by an operator to save fuel by replacing an original gasoline engine with a SAME diesel or something SAME did themselves, possibly as a part of an evaluation excercise.
The below pics are from the SDF archives (http://www.archiviostoricosamedeutz-fahr.com/catalogo/?pp=1&ipp=25&heading_id=4535 - I went through them and there's no trace of the Coleman-SAME) - does the axle look familiar (this is the Unimog competitor)?

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/7bb1f2c8-f10a-4f97-a9a9-bde3.jpg  
The below is the "Dinosaurio", the biggest tractor SAME offered in the 60s

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d80c25e4-9219-472a-9564-50b7.jpg

... and the "Elefante" truck range, 4X4 or 6X4 with front driven axle.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e695db16-d3ea-4127-b5ac-f6ff.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e208afba-6a7d-4f3a-98ef-1c7f.jpg

SAME home page: http://www.same-tractors.com/en-GB/  
and their archives in English http://www.archiviostoricosamedeutz-fahr.com/en/. There is a contact page so it might be worth it to get in touch with them? 

Thanks for posting these pictures, Tutlebrain, interesting stuff-although as you say, no trace of anything that looks to be related to Coleman.
By Tutlebrain - 6 Years Ago
Some more pics of the Israeli Egged IH-Coleman buses in service in the Sinai peninsula in the 70s...
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c22a6e8a-d75c-4184-a79d-bf79.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/e3e2a076-ec6d-4754-a5b9-6174.jpg
By cobra5 - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/1539cd23-bbd6-46c6-b29e-5978.jpg
I reposted here from another section on this forum as was suggested by one of the other members. 
I just found this site and since I'm now the proud owner of an aircraft tug, I thought I should join the group. A little background history on myself. My name is Tim and I retired from the Air Force in 2005 after 21+ years.  I currently work as a QA inspector for a company that operates air tankers for fighting wildland fires. I'm into collecting and restoring military vehicles so when I seen this come up for auction I had to outbid the scrapper to save it. I'm hoping that some of the folks on here can point me in the right direction to source manuals so I can work on it. I will be posting questions as I get around to working on it. So far I have cleaned it up and removed the homemade pusher bar and tire from the front. I'll need to find some cab parts and a layout of the dash to see what is original and what has been altered. Anyone with input I'd be happy to hear from you. Thanks
By Slim 3979 - 6 Years Ago
Welcome to the forum, Mr. Cobra 5,  That sure is a good looking tug.

Slim
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Tim

Welcome to the board.. I am sure Mr. Trout will chime in shortly with the info you need..

Post us some more pictures of you "treasures"!!
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Hey Cobra5,

I already commented on your 1980 American Coleman G-40-H (MB-4) aircraft towing tractor on the previous thread.  I will pull together some more interesting details on the "G" and "H" variants of the G-40 in the next few days and post some detailed information by this weekend.  

I think you will enjoy what I am pulling together for you...

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By cobra5 - 6 Years Ago
Thanks for the welcome!
 Craig I look forward to reading your post. So are you the guru when it comes to all things Coleman? It seems that every site I belong to has the go to guy when it comes to needing information. The biggest hurdle so far has been getting a copy of the USAF manual for this tug. I have the manual numbers but so far all my connections in the Air Force have come up empty. I did find a vendor who deals in manuals that has them but I'm not going to pay $1,500 for 3 manuals.
Thanks Again!
Tim
By cobra5 - 6 Years Ago
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5e8bb878-d200-44c4-bd26-4c92.jpg

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/aff5c0df-2bf2-4f39-abad-17b8.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/bb0784c8-9733-4968-9211-3fe8.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/ed11e58f-0aba-4493-8953-01e5.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6e8514ec-d02c-41cf-9444-4d1a.jpg
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/f1b65c37-2096-407d-b9b2-90be.jpg

Here are some more images of the tug. I have since pressure washed the engine.
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
cobra5 (11/4/2015)
Thanks for the welcome!
 Craig I look forward to reading your post. So are you the guru when it comes to all things Coleman? It seems that every site I belong to has the go to guy when it comes to needing information. The biggest hurdle so far has been getting a copy of the USAF manual for this tug. I have the manual numbers but so far all my connections in the Air Force have come up empty. I did find a vendor who deals in manuals that has them but I'm not going to pay $1,500 for 3 manuals.
Thanks Again!
Tim


American Coleman Manuals for the G-40 (MB-4) Aircraft Towing Tractor

American Coleman manuals for the G-40 (MB-4) are often available  for the Oct 1964, Dec 1968, and May 1970 editions, but they are for the previous G-40 variants "A" through "F," which had a totally different cab, different engine and perhaps other differences in the axles, transmission, transfers case and drive train.

So far, I have not located a manual for the G-40 "G" and "H" variants (nearly identical), but I will absolutely keep you in mind. The "G" variant came out in about 1976, so in your searches, a manual would have to be dated 1976 or later to be relevant for your G-40-H.  Hope that helps narrow your search. 

Keep Calm and Coleman On
Craig

By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Craig
This picture of a B-75 Mack just showed up on Big Mack Trucks.  Looks like a Coleman front axle?

http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac105/ptcheshire/MACK%20B%20Model/MACKALLWHEELDRIVECARRIER_zps566a2505.jpg
By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
Brocky (11/6/2015)
Craig
This picture of a B-75 Mack just showed up on Big Mack Trucks.  Looks like a Coleman front axle?

http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac105/ptcheshire/MACK%20B%20Model/MACKALLWHEELDRIVECARRIER_zps566a2505.jpg


Hey Brocky, great photo, thanks for sharing!

Yes, that is a Coleman front axle. Both Mack in-plant factory installations and after-market Coleman conversions looked somewhat distinctive with the very prominent "rim adapter ring" showing around the heavy dome hub protector, which could all be taken off as one unit.  Behind that outer assembly is where the "power yoke" attaches to the "compensating ring," which in turn is attached directly to the wheel rim in order to transmit the power directly from the axle shaft to the wheel rim. That patented and very distinctive arrangement is "what made a Coleman a Coleman."

Coleman Brand-Specific Conversion Kits for Ford, Chevrolet, Mack, White and International Trucks

The below photo actually shows an example Howe-Coleman conversion, but American Coleman was providing front drive axles directly to Mack for in-plant installations by 1955, and had also been providing special brand-specific after-market Mack-Coleman conversion kits since the late 1940s.  
  • Overall, I know of "brand-specific" Coleman after-market conversion kits for Ford, Chevrolet, Mack, White, and International trucks, all kits dating to the very early 1950s or perhaps late 1940s.  These could be installed by any of the (57) authorized Coleman distributors, or even any competent garage mechanic. 
  • There may be other brand-specific Coleman conversion kits that I have not yet identified.  Anyone know of more brands out there?
  • Coleman could of course also do "in-plant" conversions of just about any brand -- I have even seen Studebaker trucks -- but this was custom work and not known to be offered as established "brand-specific" kits for use in the field. 
  • Skilled shops like Howe Brothers of Troy, NY could also convert literally just about any brand truck that came in the door, but they were using "Howe-Coleman" conversions, which were actually an unauthorized knock-off of true Coleman conversions, and this caused Howe Brothers some real legal difficulties due to perceived patent infringement claims made by Coleman starting in December, 1950.   Howe brothers branded their own axle assembly the "Howe-Coleman," but they actually called the completed conversion a "Howe Quad Conversion," although that latter name never really caught on and quickly fell into disuse.  

>>> I am not a "Mack" guy, but I am thinking the photo below is a 1955-to-late 1950s "B" series Mack. Does anyone know for sure?

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/8152de2c-5ab8-499c-a71d-bd0c.jpg
Source:  Howe Brothers, Craig H. Trout collection, please credit. 

Also -- question, is that radiator on the photo you posted "original stock," or has it been swapped out with an upgrade? It doesn't look quite right to me, but then again, I am not a "Mack" guy, so I am not sure about the various truck models.

Thanks again for sharing the very interesting photo!

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig
By Brocky - 6 Years Ago
Craig

That cast radiator would have been stock on a B-75, BUT it looks like it has been moved forward to allow the home made instillation of the "Boom Cradle".. from the background in the picture I am guessing it is an Oklahoma / West Texas oil field truck, and some of their mechanics / welders were artists at wild and wooly fabrications!!

Thanks for the picture of the new B model.. Will see if I can move it to the BMT site
By ppsyclone - 6 Years Ago
This is a B426 with a larger radiator.
By cobra5 - 6 Years Ago
chtrout (11/4/2015)
Hey Cobra5,

I already commented on your 1980 American Coleman G-40-H (MB-4) aircraft towing tractor on the previous thread.  I will pull together some more interesting details on the "G" and "H" variants of the G-40 in the next few days and post some detailed information by this weekend.  

I think you will enjoy what I am pulling together for you...

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig


Craig,

Have you had a chance to get the info together?

Thanks!
Tim

By chtrout - 6 Years Ago
American Coleman G-40 (MB-4) Aircraft Towing Tractors, First and Second Series...

There has often been interest in the various American Coleman aircraft towing tractors (sometimes informally dubbed "tugs" by USAF ground crews) to include the three series of CF-55-AF double-cab jobs from three consecutive contracts in 1949, 1950, and 1951, followed by multiple large contracts for American Coleman G-40 tractors (classified as type MB-4s by the USAF), and then followed by several smaller contracts for American Coleman G-75s (USAF designation A/S32U-18 or "U-18" for short). The G-75 was essentially an upgraded G-40 with a larger engine and significantly more ballast for traction.  Like the G-40 before it, the cab and doors of the G-75 could also be removed for warm weather conditions.  

The American Coleman G-40 (MB-4) was developed in early 1954 for all-weather towing of aircraft weighing up to 140,000 lbs. The cab was designed so that the top half and doors could be removed for service in hot weather conditions. After completing its test and evaluation phase at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, it was formally accepted by the USAF in late 1954 and a continuing series of very large contracts resulted in a total of 1,197 units being delivered by 1961, and continued strong production through at least 1981, if not later, with the final grand total yet to be determined.

Variants A through F

At least (8) variants of the basic G-40 design model were developed in (6) variants A through F, and then followed (after some major design changes) with at least (2) more variants, G and H, if not more. The initial G-40 aircraft towing tractor weighed in at 10,700 lbs, had a drawbar pull of 10,000 lbs, a wheelbase of 161.3", a top (governed) speed of 40 mph, and came powered with a with a 94 hp 6-cylinder "L-Head" Chrysler "Industrial-30" gasoline engine. The G-40 had 4-wheel-drive, 4-wheel steering, and turning radius of 15' and was famous for its ability to "crab" into difficult-to-reach positions.

•    Units were shipped to military bases for the US and allies all over the world, usually dressed in either bright "ground-support" yellow or olive drab. Military units delivered in bright yellow ordinarily had the tops of their hoods painted in non-glare flat black, but were often repainted in all yellow during USAF re-builds.  The small sky light on the roof was ordinarily delivered with green-tinted polarized safety glass and helped ground crews judge their vertical clearance when easing under the nose or wings of large aircraft.  As delivered, most military units had large opposing diagonal black stripes on the front and rear ballast sets, which also doubled as "bumpers."  All units had very basic cab interiors that included builder's data plates as well as other plates with operational and maintenance information, as well as shift-pattern and "crabbing" diagrams. 

•    Several commercial companies, such as Frontier Airlines, also purchased a small number of G-40s, but the various airlines usually had their units delivered in pristine white. 

•  In terms of "branding," variants A-F ordinarily had flat black, non-curved Coleman "script" name plates about 13" wide and 3 1/2" high (the "C" and the "l"), on raised letters approximately 1/4" deep.  Variant-G tended to be branded with the somewhat modernized two-line "American Coleman" with "Littleton, Colorado" in small raised print on the bar between. These name plates were 8" wide and 1 1/2" high and were ordinarily flat black on yellow units, but have been seen in chrome plate on occasion.  Variant-H was often branded with a very basic American Coleman painted in large block letters across the radiator guard.  The above "branding" varied on some units, and a few units were even branded with the portrait-format cursive half-blue / half-red very large "a," with "American Coleman" in small print below, all printed in enamel on a chrome-plated radiator badge.  Again, these official branding schemes varied, especially around transition period from the old E and F variant to the new G and H variants, but can be used as a very general guide.    .   

•   In terms of MB-4 manuals for American Coleman G-40 Variants A-F, official government manuals are known to have been published or updated on the following dates:

•    MB-4: 4 Oct 1964/1984   (T.O. 36A10-3-6-3; Technical Manual; Overhaul; Towing Tractor; Type MB-4, Model G-40, Coleman, F09603-84-C-0322; Published under the authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, 4 Oct 1964, Change-8, 26 Jan 1984)

•    MB-4; 16 Dec 1968    (T.O. 36A10-3-6-3; Overhaul Manual; Aircraft Towing Tractor; Models G-40-A, G-40-B, G-40-C, G-40-D; 305-156; The American Coleman Company, 5801 South Nevada, Box 72, Littleton, Colorado, 80120)

•    MB-4; May 1970     (TM 55-1740-200-14, Dept of the Army Technical Manual; Operator's, Organizational, DS, and GS Maintenance Manual including Repair Parts and Special Tools List; Tractor, Wheeled, Aircraft Towing, HQ, Dept of the Army, May 1970)

IMPORTANT NOTE: When considering the purchase of an MB-4 manual, be very sure it is for an American Coleman G-40, and not for the other totally unique MB-4 versions produced by Grove, Entwistle, NMC-Wollard, PSI, Dodge "bob tails," and others. BOTTOM LINE: All American Coleman G-40s were classified as MB-4s, but not all MB-4s were American Coleman G-40s.

•    There are many survivors of this first series of variants still working as makeshift snow plows, or in heavy-tow applications, such as construction and logging jobs.  There are also significant numbers sitting in equipment yards just waiting to be brought back to life. 


•    In terms of shear numbers produced, this was one of the most successful single designs in either Coleman or American Coleman history.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/201d3b6d-3e48-4f3a-a05d-d5f0.jpg

Official American Coleman photo of a G-40 from variants A-F.
Source:  John Grissinger Photo, Craig H. Trout collection, please credit. 


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Official American Coleman photo of a G-40 from variants A-F, this time showing the rear deck area. .
Source:  John Grissinger Photo, Craig H. Trout collection, please credit. 

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/1018c145-6053-4118-9727-24c0.jpg

Fairly typical interior layout for G-40 variants A through F. 
Source:  Craig H. Trout photo, please credit. 


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Typical G-40 Data Pate, in this case, representing Variant-F in the series.  This particular USAF
 contract was produced in July of 1975, not long before the re-design to Variant-G the following year. . 


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Very colorful official American Coleman brochure for the G-40, continuing with the 1949 advertising theme,
"We're Moving the World." 
Source:  Original brochure in the Craig H. Trout collection, please credit.  


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A very informative layout from the interior of the above brochure touting the versatility of the G-40.  The various
photos depict both military, industrial, and commercial applications.  
Source:  Original brochure in the Craig H. Trout collection, please credit.  



Variants G and H

Although not quite as ruggedly handsome as its more "boxy" G-40 (MB-4) predecessors (variants A-F), the American Coleman G-40 was simplified in 1976 with a one-piece hood/fender combination that now tilted forward for servicing of the new, more powerful Allis-Chalmers 4331 engine (Earlier variants had Chrysler Industrial-30 engines).  Although appearing to be smaller, the new variant now weighed in at 11,000 lbs (without ballast), or that is to say, 300 lbs more than previous variants, but still had drawbar pull rated at 10,000 lbs.  

•    It is believed that its other principal mechanical specifications of the upgraded G-40, such as tread, wheel base, and turning radius remained essentially the same.

•    In terms of USAF MB-4 manuals for American Coleman G-40 Variants G-H, I am told the following editions were published, although I have not yet located my own copies:

•   MB-4, Jan 1988   (Maintenance Manual; 36a10-3-23-13; Jan 1988)

•   MB-4, May 1993   (G-40-G & H; Operators Manual, 36A10-3-23-11; May 1993),

•   MB-4,  Apr 2010   (Parts Manual; 36A10-3-23-14; Apr 2010).

IMPORTANT NOTE: When considering the purchase of an MB-4 manual, be very sure it is for an American Coleman G-40, and not for the other totally unique MB-4 versions produced by Grove, Entwistle, NMC-Wollard, PSI, Dodge "bob tails," and others. BOTTOM LINE: All American Coleman G-40s were classified as MB-4s, but not all MB-4s were American Coleman G-40s.
.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/514168d0-62ef-47c8-ab79-4273.jpg

Official American Coleman photo of a G-40 from variants G-H.
Source:  John Grissinger Photo, Craig H. Trout collection, please credit. 

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1976  official American Coleman Brochure announcing the the upgrades of variant G.  Note suggested uses
include military and commercial aircraft towing, industrial yard hustlers, agricultural field hauling, and use
 as snow plows. 
Source:  Original brochure in the Craig H. Trout collection, please credit.  


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/887fdf5a-4032-4dcc-a0a6-3d7e.jpg

The brochure interior also features a photo of the new tilt-forward hood design for easier engine access. 
Source:  Original brochure in the Craig H. Trout collection, please credit.  

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/2e754bb2-a88c-4cd3-87c0-3b2b.jpg
 
Interior photo of a "Variant-G or H" G-40 aircraft towing tractor.

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/48282ac0-ac85-4319-82ad-f70c.jpg

Although rearranged somewhat from the previous photo, this is also believed to be a Variant-G or H cab interior. 
Source:  Original photo in the Craig H. Trout collection, please credit.  

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/d251e484-83e0-4ca1-861a-f262.jpg

Typical data plate from a G-40 variant "G."  This USAF contract was produced in April 1977.

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In 2013, the Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) in Colorado made news when it retrofitted their surplus USAF
1980 G-40 (variant "H"?) from its original Allis-Chalmers 4331 diesel engine to a 50 hp electric powered by (6)
24-volt batteries, thus significantly reducing their carbon footprint during ground operations.   
Source: © Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), please credit.
 
 
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The G-40 electric retrofit drew praise from environmentalists and allowed Telluride Regional
Airport  to announce it had gone "Green" in its ground operations.  Wayne Alexander from 
"Electric Blue" in Walton, Kansas made the conversion, with technical assistance from Bob 
Batson of "EV America "in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  Now at 35 yeas old, this American 
Coleman G-40 has found a comfortable new life and continues to turn heads in its new pristine
white livery. The original G-40 appearance  was virtually unchanged by the innovative conversion. 
Source: © Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), please credit. 

--  Any day an old Coleman is restored and returned to a useful life is a very good day in deed! 

Keep Calm and Coleman On!
Craig

By cobra5 - 6 Years Ago

Safe to say that the yellow later model G-40 at the end of your post is a G model and the white one before it is a H model. I say this because I know I have an H model and it looks exactly like the white one. The yellow one looks like it would be inline with its predecessors as far as still having a manual transmission. The G-40 A-F that you start off with is the same model we have here at work. The exception to the one we have versus the one in your picture is that ours has a square hydraulic reservoir on the drivers side fender and no tool box door on the drivers side either.

By chtrout - 5 Years Ago
"Coleman Motors" vs. "Howe-Coleman" – Correcting the Record...


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Howe Brothers Letterhead used in the 1930s and 1940s
-- Source: Howe Brothers, Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit


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General layout of the Howe Brothers complex drawn in the 1940s.  The layout is actually condensed,
the top building is actually father down the hill and the very long Quonset hut is actually up a gentle slope
 to the left.  The original "Carriage House" from the early 1920s still stand just out of view to the right.    
-- Source: Howe Brothers, Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit

For some years, a number of articles and postings have repeated a long-told story that Howe Brothers copied the Coleman Motors patent for their own Howe-Coleman front-drive axle, made sufficient minor changes, was granted their own unique patent, and Coleman Motors then sued Howe Brothers in open court over what Coleman perceived to be "patent infringements." Additionally, at least one article even reported that John Howe had actually "teamed up with Al Coleman and Harley [sic] Holmes in developing the first Coleman truck."

•   None of the has ever sounded quite right to me, so I decided to dig a little deeper, using both original Coleman/American Coleman and Howe Brothers company files and correspondence.

As has often been documented, Howe Brothers of near Troy, New York, were among the major East Coast distributors of Coleman Motors trucks from about 1929 to 1950. Some sources go on to suggest they were actually the "exclusive Coleman distributorship for East of the Mississippi," but this just isn't true. Official Coleman distributorship listings show at least (10) other Coleman Motors authorised distributorships in the general Northeast region, located in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, and PA. (Howe Brothers did not even hold "exclusive" rights to the New York" sales territory.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/87472443-7057-4f7c-8e3f-b8ae.jpg

After their fist building in Troy burned down in about 1919, founder Frank Howe moved into this carriage house
in Brunswick Center, NY.  In this photo, as an authorized Coleman Motors dealer, Frank Howe has lined up two big E-series
Coleman tucks, and one older D-40, all fitted up with big Sargent Plows, a plow brand which Frank Howe tended to favor.  
Coleman would ship the trucks by rail, and they would arrive on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad and be
delivered to Port Albany, and then Frank and his crew would go down and drive them back to his shops.
This carriage house still stands (private), and the eventual Howe Brothers complex was built just above and
to the left of this view.
Source: Howe Brothers, Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/079d787e-79ce-4806-9d30-38e5.jpg

Another big early E-series Coleman Truck all turned out an "ready for work" in front of the carriage house
shops.  Note the hoist-frame mounted on the left side for the "wing plow."
--  Source: Howe Brothers, Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit


In the mid-late 1940's, second-generation brothers John and Frank Howe realized it actually may be cheaper to "in-house" fabricate several components of the authorized "Coleman Motors Front Drive Axle Kits," resulting in significant savings when purchasing the otherwise complete "conversion kits" from Coleman, while also improving the Howe Brothers's "bottom line." Coleman Motors soon realized that Howe Brothers were now substituting "unauthorized" non-Coleman components in what were being advertised and sold as true "Coleman Conversions," and promptly cancelled the Howe Brothers distributorship license effective in about December of 1950, while also threatening legal action. In addition to the very obvious "proprietary interests" regarding Howe Brothers apparently "infringing" on the pre-existing Coleman patents for the various components, Coleman, very understandably, also did not want to accidently be honoring warranties for "unauthorized" components they did not even manufacture. 


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Ciica 1949 ad for authorized Coleman-Ford conversion kits installed by Howe Brothers, which bough the
kits from Coleman Motors as the as the "CFC Coleman Ford Conversion Kit" first introduced in 1943. 
--  Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit


Accordingly, Howe Brothers made what they believed were sufficient minor modifications (primarily to how the power yoke attaches to the compensating ring) to justify applying for their own "Howe-Coleman" patent, but in spite of a thick volume of applications, denials, re-applications, and supplements, the U.S. Patent office denied all applications as not being significantly "different" from the original Coleman patent, and never actually granted a separate patent to Howe-Coleman for their somewhat modified axle design. The extended patent application process, filing of appeals and supplements, and related attorney fees became exceedingly expensive, and with business on the downturn, Howe Brothers eventually gave up on their patent applications, and a final U.S. Patent was simply never granted.

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Two models (different scales) of the power-yoke assembly.  The patented Coleman version is on the right,
and the Howe-Coleman version is on the left.  To the untrained eye, they are difficult to tell apart, but the
primary differences lay in the "cross section" (thickness) of the power-yoke, and how it actually attached
to the compensating ring.  I have laid an example Howe-Coleman compensating ring in front. 
-- Source: Craig H. Trout photo -- please credit


The legal challenges from Coleman Motors, and then successor The American Coleman Company, continued on for at least eight more years, and American Coleman even began the very aggressive strategy of contacting Howe Brothers conversion customers directly and also threatening them regarding their own "participation" in the perceived Coleman patent infringement process by knowingly buying "knock off" Coleman conversions, now being branded as "Howe-Coleman" conversions. As late as November 1958, these threatening letters were still being sent, and Donald G. Higgins (then American Coleman Sales Manager, later company president) was still reporting that American Coleman was considering legal action. Ultimately, as Howe Brothers business continued to decline, American Coleman calculated that it was just not worth the anticipated legal costs of continuing with a full-blown formal law suit and extended open court battles for a problem that was slowly going away of its own accord. In short, it appears that Coleman Motors, and then American Coleman, never actually filed their threatened suit, but their repeated "company letterhead" threats to do so clearly wore on the minds of Howe Brothers staff.

Regardless, Howe Brothers continued to do a slowly decreasing number of Howe-Coleman conversions well in to the early 1990s, when they then switched to using front-drive axles from other manufacturers, to include Rockwell, FABCO, and Marmon-Harrington. Eventually, Marmon-Harrington stopped selling the individual axle assemblies, which then just left only Rockwell and FABCO as suppliers. The last front-drive conversion (Rockwell, I believe) completed by Howe Brothers occurred in late 2014.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/6f894ee7-e722-4a0c-ba22-57b9.jpg
Example of one of the many one-page flyers Howe Brothers published for various truck brands, to include
Chevy, GMC, Ford, Mack, International, Brockway White -- essentially any brand truck that came in the door.
 -- Source: Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit



http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/75f7927a-8810-47ad-91bb-d6ea.jpg

More modern flyer from after they switched to largely using Rockwell and FABCO front-drive axles. 
-- Source: Craig H. Trout collection -- please credit


In an interesting side-note, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Howe Brothers briefly called their conversions the "Howe-Quad-Drive," but the axle and hub itself was physically branded as "Howe-Coleman," so it was the latter name that gained full acceptance, since it always appeared in cast bold letters on the heavy dome hub protectors, and in some cases, on the front differential housing. Originally, Howe Brothers used a heavy cast iron dome cover, but eventually switched to using a much lighter fiberglass dome cover.


http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/c0c952cc-36ba-4e51-b7d4-4d9f.jpg

Examples of the original heavy cast iron Howe-Coleman hub protector to the left, and the lighter fiberglass
version on the right.  I have also laid a power-yoke and compensating ring assembly in front.
-- Source: Photo by Craig H. Trout -- please credit     (both hub protectors are in my personal collection)


At least one published article also reports that Howe Brothers founder John Howe (1897-1972) "teamed up with Harley [sic] Holmes in developing the first Coleman truck." Again, there are just no indications this is true. Harleigh Holmes began development of his "Fore Wheel Drive" (as he preferred to call it) in 1915, and actually patented his first "Holmes Front Drive Axle" in 1916, also founding the "Holmes Truck Manufacturing Company," a.k.a. "Holmes Motors Company," at the same time to incorporate his axle into trucks. At first, he experimented with converting a Model-T Ford truck chassis, but then eventually developed his own "Holmes Truck" in 1919, and began actual manufacturing operations in Littleton, Colorado in 1920. The initial "Holmes Truck" brand, then the "Plains Truck" brand was not actually re-branded as "Coleman" trucks until March, 1924. John Howe is never mentioned in the numerous contemporary Littleton Independent and Carbondale Item newspaper articles that commented almost weekly on the development of the Holmes Truck, and conversely, "Coleman" is not mentioned in Howe Brothers company files until about 1930. It does appear to be true, however, that John Howe went west in about 1929 and viewed the Coleman Truck, offered to go into "partnership" with Al Coleman (actual owner by this time) and Harleigh Holmes, but his offer was declined, and he only got a Coleman Trucks "dealership," which lasted until about December of 1950 when it was summarily cancelled by Coleman Motors as the result of the perceived "patent infringement" issues.


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The Howe Brothers complex as it appear today, little has changed from the 1940s when it was in it's hay-day. 
-- 
 
Source: Photo by  Craig H. Trout -- please credit   

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/af7d61a8-24f6-4eda-9159-2326.jpg
Current view of the lower shop buildings.  
-- Source: Photo by  Craig H. Trout -- please credit  
 

>> AFTERTHOUGHT -- Although Howe Brothers got just a bit crosswise for a bit, and Coleman Motors got rather "grumpy" with them, Howe Brothers tried very, very hard to make things "right" and get their own unique patent.  Regardless, I am very deeply impressed this small family-owned business now in it's third generation of Howe family owners, and I have come away being a huge Howe Brothers fan.  

Since there has been so much misinformation out there regarding the first "very friendly", and then eventually rather "tumultuous" Coleman Motors / Howe Brothers relationship, I thought this clarification might be interesting...


Keep Calm and Coleman on!
Craig
By Jeff Lakaszcyck - 5 Years Ago
Thanks Craig, that is some very interesting reading !
By Junkmandan - 5 Years Ago
Craig-------I believe this style front wheel drive was also used by International on farm tractors. My neighboring farmer in eastern NY  has what appears to be the same yoke and drive ring on his Hydro 966 tractor, with mechanical front wheel drive .
By thundersnow70 - 5 Years Ago
Interesting reading Craig, thanks for posting that. It looks like your trip was a great success. Those pics of the parts you posted made me do a double take. Somebody somewhere is probably in need of them. Did you see any of those giant wheel bearings laying around?
By Brocky - 5 Years Ago
Craig
Thank you for the very interesting information..

Dan
IH/Farmall, Minnapolis Moline, and I believe Oliver all used this front wheel drive. I may have posted this MM at Roger Gerharts earlier in this topic

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/9d0a385c-f58b-4973-94c3-aaf6.jpg
By Junkmandan - 5 Years Ago
Now that you mention it, I probably have a similar picture from last year !
By Tony Bullard - 5 Years Ago
Brocky (1/7/2016)
Craig
Thank you for the very interesting information..

Dan
IH/Farmall, Minnapolis Moline, and I believe Oliver all used this front wheel drive. I may have posted this MM at Roger Gerharts earlier in this topic

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/9d0a385c-f58b-4973-94c3-aaf6.jpg


I also thought Oliver may have used Coleman but after reading 79 Oliver service manuals it seems they all used this type which may have been Elwood, Ross or their own.