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Not Autocar. Not Diamond T/REO.

US military, yes (but not in combat roles).

"Late 1920s, 1930s" - correct, for this specific example.

(Hint #2 - while this was obviously not a race vehicle, it did participate in other types of "performance competitions" to promote sales. And the company namesake did also support and create race cars as a sideline, especially for a very specific and unique auto race, driven by patriarchs of a racing family still active today.)

Edited by adan
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  • stuny

    1931

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John Z. Goriup

I was going to wait a while, but it seems more than one have taken the time to pursue the story behind this fascinating and remarkable automobile & are aware of the identity of this thing so I think it's time to reveal all. It's the 1935 Hoffman 8X..............and as indicated, it's the only one ever made. The curious thing about this car is that even though it wasn't officially commissioned by one of the big manufacturers there seems to have been enough money available to develop a on

wlaidlaw

Not a 450, 150, 200 or 300 - rarer than those, with only two original factory cars made, although some have been cobbled together later. Given that you can't measure the engine size from my photo and John is going away I will disclose that it is a 250S. This was the first car to use the new (or at least much revised) four cylinder engine planned for the forthcoming T series birdcage models. The idea was to produce a car with the straight line performance of the 300S but with the lighter and torq

stuny

You got it, Philip - Your turn again.  BTW:  this particular one is from 1948, and I saw it on viewing day before an auction house car auction. Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

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Not White.

Not American LaFrance.

However the very first sale of the mystery truck was to the town fire department (modified with the necessary pumping and riding gear). It was able to pump water 80 feet vertically, manuever in 2 feet of snow, and climb a 50% (26.5°) grade fully loaded.

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The design reminds me of the trucks from Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, also known as FWD.

But it seems to be a Coleman which were also 4WD. My assumption „Not for long distances“ should be correct. Most Colemans were made for towing and ploughing on shorter distances.

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3 hours ago, adan said:

...It was able to pump water 80 feet vertically, manuever in 2 feet of snow, and climb a 50% (26.5°) grade fully loaded...

I did wonder, looking at the various clearances (at front including chain-mounted cab-step and, rearwards, the comparative lack-of similar 'space') whether it was primarily designed to be able to perform as a snow-plough or 'path-clearer'?

Philip.

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6 hours ago, Rona!d said:

But it seems to be a Coleman which were also 4WD.

That is correct. Ronald's turn.

A 1929 Coleman 5-ton 4WD, from a design created and built by Harleigh Holmes (1880-1963), based on a 4WD system he thought up while working as an irrigation engineer in the Colorado mountains near Aspen. Holmes originally expected to sell his trucks to mountain mines and lumber camps.

Photographed in 2009, the first month I had an M9, in Vermont (right next door to New Hampshire) at an antique farm-equipment and auto rally.

The funny thing is that while I photographed it in Vermont (near my birthplace) - it was built in Littleton, CO, about 15 miles of my current home in Denver. Which I did not know until I researched its history for these posts.

https://www.littletongov.org/my-littleton/littleton-history/other-topics/harleigh-holmes-coleman-motors

Holmes sold his Holmes Motor Co. to miners and ranchers Alfred and George Coleman in 1922. Holmes continued as engineer and demonstration driver for the company.

The racing connection is that George Coleman became interested in racing cars just before 1930, at first specifically for the race to the top of 14000-ft Pike's Peak (The Pike's Peak Hill Climb) about 50 miles south of Littleton. The first Coleman racing model featured front-wheel drive. Later models in 1931/32 were built for the Indianapolis 500 - the 1932 race car had 4WD. None were very successful - they had immense HP (the 2nd and 3rd had two engines) and tended to break their drive-trains before or during the races they entered.

Coleman's first drivers for the Pike's Peak race attempt were three brothers of Swiss descent from Colorado Springs - named Louis, Jerry and Joe Unser. Whose descendents form a dynasty of race drivers still active today (Al Unser III, son of Al Unser Jr., grandson of Al Unser, and great-grandson of Jerry Unser Sr.) The racing family also includes Jerry Jr,, Johnny, Bobby, Bobby Jr, and others.

https://unserracingmuseum.com/racing-family-history/

Military uses - various. Some had small cranes on the back, others did operate as airfield utility vehicles. The Army's first purchase was used to haul an AA cannon to a test range.

Civilian uses - as mentioned previously, the first one sold was a fire truck conversion for the city of Littleton. But they were, as Ronald says, very popular as snow ploughs, and also mountain rescue vehicles - any job that required load-hauling ability over rough, sticky, slippery or steep terrain. While still under development in 1921, a prototype climbed into the foothills west of Littleton to rescue people trapped by a blizzard.

Edited by adan
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