1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Started Oct 23, 2017 | Discussions thread
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K1W1 55
K1W1 55 Contributing Member • Posts: 531
1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

When I heard that my favorite truck from the Bill Richardson Transport World https://www.transportworld.co.nz/ (Invercargill New Zealand) was going to be leading the 2017 Labour Weekend Truck Parade, well I just had to go down and watch. Add to this that my long awaited new acquisition, a Zuiko 12-100mm Pro had just arrived a day before, well another good reason to go down town to watch.

Yesterday however was overcast, dull and raining but as the local paper said this morning when reporting upon the parade "we don't melt in the rain" and as all us proud Oly Pro camera users know - rain is nothing to be worried about. The light of course was blah but I was very impressed with the detail the lens resolved in such conditions, the beaded rain is very sharp upon the trucks bonnet (hood for you non-English english speakers ).

This was the first time this lovely old truck had been out of it's shed since it was restored in 1996.

First a bit of history:

From Wikipedia:
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. Most of the units produced, a few hundred, 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.

From Bill Richardson Transport World:

Year: 1940
Make: Dodge
Model: RX70
Serial No: 8349779
Engine Make: Dodge
Engine Type: Side Valve, 6 Cylinder
The only working Dodge Airflow truck in the world. One of 303 Dodge Airflow trucks built, this truck was one of an order of 75 built for Texaco in 1939 - 1940. This was the 4th last Airflow Dodge built, completed in February 1940. It went to a contracting company and was used as a water cart before going to the wreckers. It was bought by Louis Wright a tanker truck operator from Chicago who intended to restore it but didn't. Bill Richardson bought it in January 1992 and finished it's restoration in December 1996.

To quote from the Transport World website:

If you're looking for things to do in Invercargill then Transport World could be for you. Brought to you by one Southland family with a serious passion for wheels, Transport World offers you the chance to view two expansive private motoring museums, Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca in superb surroundings. Find spaces bursting with a huge range of automotive and motorcycle history. Designed to have broad appeal, you will be captivated by their quirky details and interests for everyone. In April 2017 Transport World announced its third attraction Dig This Invercargill. Expected to open in Spring 2017, Dig This Invercargill will be New Zealand’s first heavy equipment playground and will offer the chance for both young and old to drive heavy machinery.

You will find 7 out of the 8 Ford letter cars, hundreds of restored & un-restored trucks, 1930's Ford V8's, 100's of petrol pumps, a collection of Combi's & a huge number of other interesting and quirky exhibits and then down the road at Motorcycle Meca over 300 motorcycles dating from 1902 to 2007 including 3 John Britten racing bikes.

Enjoyment of the following pictures is best at full size I recommend. Sorry if this is a bit photo rich but, well it is a photo essay & I do rather like the truck

Proudly leading the parade of over 150 trucks

And this is where it lives

In pride of place at the entry into the first hall

Shares this first hall with some other small trucks & Ford V8's on one side

And the Ford Letter cars on the other side

The collection has another streamliner tanker truck too but it isn't as pretty in the front.

I had been taking the photos using the technique exposing for middle ground & using a FL-50R flash on FP setting as a fill with camera on base ISO with the intention of bringing up the darker background & dodging the brighter foreground in RAW processing using Capture One Pro 10 as the large spotlit hall gave very low ambient light levels. Then I thought I would take some photos with longer exposures & no flash, I had no tripod so decided to set the camera on the floor thereby adding the reflections in the polished concrete, the mix of light types made colour temperature a bit tricky.

I hope you enjoyed my offerings from the marvelous facilities that the Richardson Family group of companies have established in the city I live in. I highly recommend anyone with an interest in Trucks, Cars, Motorcycles and heavy machinery as well as historical motoring items come and visit them if in Invercargill. The food in the restaurants at the museums is excellent too.

Thank you for looking and I hope there is not too many images.

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