1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Started Oct 23, 2017 | Discussions
K1W1 55
K1W1 55 Contributing Member • Posts: 677
1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay
9

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:

https://www.transportworld.co.nz/transport-world/collection-and-research/show/truck-1940-dodge-rx70/505264
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.

-- hide signature --

Mandatory self advertising signature follows:
Some slideshows & videos of a wee bit of my work, more to be added
if I ever sort out my music rights issues & find some suitable music.
http://www.youtube.com/user/truder55/videos

 K1W1 55's gear list:K1W1 55's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-510 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 +45 more
savonie
savonie Senior Member • Posts: 2,637
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Being among other things a 'truck nut' it is a treat to see this wonderful essay - great to see it preserved -
Monty
(I have recently acquired that lens and it is 'welded' to my EM10mkii - A marvelous piece of equipment)

 savonie's gear list:savonie's gear list
Olympus E-3 Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II +5 more
Dutch Newchurch
Dutch Newchurch Veteran Member • Posts: 5,716
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

What a magnificent brute of a vehicle!

Thank you for sharing those.

-- hide signature --

Dutch
forestmoonstudio.co.uk
Photography is about light, not light-proof boxes.

Craig from Nevada
Craig from Nevada Forum Pro • Posts: 10,185
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

This is great thread.  Thank you for posting it.

The Texaco Tanker featured is an awesome vehicle--not only delivering fuel but doing so in great style.

 Craig from Nevada's gear list:Craig from Nevada's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5
19andrew47
19andrew47 Forum Pro • Posts: 41,568
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

A very enjoyable set.  A terrific looking old truck.

Andrew

Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 8,265
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Thanks!  Without a doubt one of the coolest trucks ever to grace the road.

Oly

 Olyinaz's gear list:Olyinaz's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Canon EOS 77D Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 8mm 1:3.5 Fisheye +12 more
K1W1 55
OP K1W1 55 Contributing Member • Posts: 677
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

savonie wrote:

Being among other things a 'truck nut' it is a treat to see this wonderful essay - great to see it preserved -
Monty
(I have recently acquired that lens and it is 'welded' to my EM10mkii - A marvelous piece of equipment)

Well Savonie I am not really a "truck nut" myself but I do admire great restored and preserved icons of manufactured items and vehicles and I spent about 4 hours in each of the two transport museums we have here over two weekends so ended up taking about 500 images in total and a number of video clips - they had to kick me out at closing :-). Some day I might actually finish processing them and then will edit the videos, add some slideshows and put them up on my YouTube channel.

Then it will be time to go back for another visit, next time I think I will concentrate upon radiator mascots and other interesting and unique details.

The Motorcycle Meca has some lovely machines too, very spectacular to see several Brough Superior models together covering several years and multiple Vincent Black Shadow's on display together beautiful machines plus I am always a sucker for Indian Motorcycles and there are some beautiful ones there too.

Thank you all for your kind comments.

-- hide signature --

Mandatory self advertising signature follows:
Some slideshows & videos of a wee bit of my work, more to be added
if I ever sort out my music rights issues & find some suitable music.
http://www.youtube.com/user/truder55/videos

 K1W1 55's gear list:K1W1 55's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-510 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 +45 more
Cloudforest
Cloudforest Senior Member • Posts: 1,346
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Great stuff. I love old trucks, especially ones from other parts of the world and this one is terrific. There's something fascinating about the paint jobs and logos from that age too.

More pics please if you go back there again.

Cheers

Pete

K1W1 55
OP K1W1 55 Contributing Member • Posts: 677
Re: 1940 Dodge RX70 Airflow Texaco Tanker Truck - a photo essay

Cloudforest wrote:

Great stuff. I love old trucks, especially ones from other parts of the world and this one is terrific. There's something fascinating about the paint jobs and logos from that age too.

More pics please if you go back there again.

Cheers

Pete

Thank you Pete for your kind comments and to everyone else too. I really should get my nose to the grindstone and work on the other 500 images I took and maybe put some of them into another wee photo story, maybe with a model or era theme. Then there are the several hundreds of lovely old motorcycles - several millions of dollars worth - one worth over a million - I love these two museums, a tribute to a generous family sharing them with us.

-- hide signature --

Mandatory self advertising signature follows:
Some slideshows & videos of a wee bit of my work, more to be added
if I ever sort out my music rights issues & find some suitable music.
http://www.youtube.com/user/truder55/videos

 K1W1 55's gear list:K1W1 55's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-510 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 +45 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads