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Dodge Airflow truck

The Dodge Airflow truck was a special request model truck that Dodge introduced in late 1934 and available through 1940. It used styling cues from Chrysler Airflow cars and the Divco 1937 Model-B delivery vans. Most of the 265 units produced were fitted with streamlined tank truck bodies, and were used by major oil companies, like Texaco, Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and Esso.

Airflow trucks were based on standard Dodge models, so from an engineering point of view they were rather conventional, despite their striking look. Five model names were assigned successively to the Airflow production; namely K-52, LM-70, LM-71, RX-70 and RX-71.

Garwood Industries and Heil Co. of Milwaukee, Wis, among others, were the producers of the tank bodies; while the bodies of two beer trucks for Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company were built by H. Barkow Co., of Milwaukee.

By the same years other streamlined tanker bodies were fitted to more conventional chassis-cabs of other truck makers, like Mack, International and Diamond T.

Specially unconventional and noteworthy were the impressive Texaco's Diamond T Doodlebug tankers, designed by the futuristic industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. They featured a Heil low profile body and used a Hercules six-cylinder engine mounted in the rear and a large radiator behind it. Air pressure actuated the four-speed gearbox and clutch, using the same pneumatic system for braking. A compound-curved windshield and curved side glass were also noticeable features.

In Australia the Socony Vacuum Oil Company owned several remarkable streamlined Reo Speed Tankers. These trucks were built on Reo Cab over-engine three-Ton chassis. Bodies were built by Martin & King Coachbuilders in Melbourne.

  • Streamlining-goes-heavy-duty
  • Airflow history
  • Dodge Airflow Tanker Trucks – Streamlined And Noteworthy
  • H. Barkow Co., in Coachbuilt
  • 1940 Dodge RX70 truck in Bill Richardson Transport World museum, Invercargill NZ
  • Texaco Diamond T doodlebug tanker in The Old Motor
  • The Amazing Socony Vacuum Oil Company Reo Tanker Trucks
  • Doodlebug down under: BAP’s own streamlined tanker truck
  • 1938 Dodge Airflow Fuel Tanker: Driving the Walter P. Chrysler Museum's new mascot


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