AUTOCAR HEAVY DUTY (CLASS 8) TRUCKS
"Mama said little Danny's not doing too good in school
said he keeps talkin' about his daddy that he hardly knows,
teacher said that he just sits at his desk and draws pictures of
I guess I know what that means and what it shows"
(from "Roll Truck Roll" written by Tommy Collins (1966))
HASN'T SURREPTITIOUSLY DREAMT ABOUT TRADING PLACES WITH THE NOMADIC
LONG HAUL TRUCKER -- AMERICA'S MODERN DAY COWBOY. FORTUNATELY THOSE
OF US THAT WORK IN A CUBICAL - NOT THE CAB OF A PETERBILT -- CAN
STILL THROW SOME DAVE DUDLEY INTO THE DISC PLAYER AND HEAD OVER TO THE
LOCAL TRUCK STOP FOR A CUP A JOE.
"Pour me another cup of coffee,
for it is the best in the land,
i'll put a nickel in the jukebox,
and play that Truck Drivin' Man"
(from "Truck Drivin Man" written by Terry Fell (1962))
Autocar is the oldest continuously produced vehicle nameplate in
the United States.
The company was formed in 1897 as the Pittsburgh Motor Car Company
by brothers Louis S. Clark and John S. Clark. The first vehicles
a gas-powered tricycle and a small auto dubbed the "Pittsburger". In 1899,
the company was relocated
Ardmore, PA and the name was changed to Autocar. In 1900, Autocar produced
the Type V Runabout, an automobile with 2 cylinder engine.
In 1907, Autocar added truck production.
ceased producing motorized tricycles and cars to focus on trucks
exclusively. Manufactured starting in 1907, was the
Type XVIII, a one ton truck
with an 18.1 hp 2 cylinder motor, 3 speed transmission, and 85 inch
wheelbase. Also produced was the similar Type XXI, a two ton truck with
a 97 inch wheelbase. These models were produced until 1926. In 1919,
larger models (up to five tons) were also manufactured. In 1926, Autocar
marketed a new series of trucks up to 7 1/2 tons with four and six
cylinder motors. In 1936, Autocar introduced the UD series. Autocar was
heavily involved in production of trucks for WW II starting in 1940.
In 1953, Autocar was purchased by White Motor Company of Exton, PA.
Autocar was a top nameplate for White, which was marketed mainly for
applications such as logging, mining and construction.
White Motor Company distributed Autocar, Freightliner, and
Western Star trucks. This group was known as the "Big Four".
The Autocar nameplate was
acquired by Volvo in the early 1980s, as part of their acquisition of
White Trucks. Volvo marketed cement and dump
trucks under the Autocar nameplate until 2001. Volvo acquired Mack Trucks
in December, 2000. At the time, Mack like Autocar was strong in heavy
construction trucks. As a result of the Mack acquisition,
the U.S Department of Justice mandated that Volvo offload
Autocar, which they did to Grand Vehicle Works, in 2001. GVW currently
trucks under the Autocar nameplate, their website is