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Old 10-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default A Neat Old Knock-Down



I found this old "knock-down" while cruising the Ford Barn galleries and just had to feature it... These coach built trucks have always enamored me as they are built so purposel... To read the rest of this blog entry from The Ford Barn, click here.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

So, does the arched door window mean it was built by someone named "Murray" ?
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

Looks like this one. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30584

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Old 10-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

If you read the rest of Ryan's caption, he questions the purpose of "knock-down" versions of these Fords. Weren't they shipped that way to satisfy local-content laws or taxing schemes?......Bob L
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

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Originally Posted by fordy_nine View Post
If you read the rest of Ryan's caption, he questions the purpose of "knock-down" versions of these Fords. Weren't they shipped that way to satisfy local-content laws or taxing schemes?......Bob L
Indeed they were. In this I can only speak of the situation in New Zealand.

Only the well off (or foolish) could afford motor cars back in the day as the tax content was used as a prohibitor. Commercial vehicles could be imported at a lesser tax rate if they were incomplete. So it was the norm for trucks and busses etc to arrive as a chassis and front end complete only as far as the firewall.

The Colonial Motor Company (among others, although they were the biggest by far) would then construct the ugliest damn bodies and trays you have ever seen. Somehow I got lucky, my 1936 Ford Colonial has some curves on the doors instead of the usual flat panels and the roof also has some shape and curves. I can only guess that the 'Gun' new designer was allowed to get a little stylish on his first day day.

Because they are/were quite undesirable as restorers or hot rods most have not survived. They have now become a bit more of the oddity than they already were, and a little rarer. I bought mine from an 'old school' chap who though this vehicle of little value, even though someone had restored it. If I hadn't bought it, it was destined to be broken down for parts.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

These local built commercial cabs were no more primitive looking than some made by independant US firms. Basically,a buyer wanted an A or AA chassis to work & little was expected for driver comfort or stylish design.
Here in New Zealand in the Model A era, there was no import tax on vehicles & anything could be imported [ this changed in mid 1930's] but the Ford distributor here already had a commercial bodyworks set up from the Model T days, so carried on offering cheap basic truck cabs & decks. Other open cabs & a few US type closed types were imported here also. Many of the so called local cabs [ as in Australia also] had more leg room in them than the American 'phonebooth' cabs offered by Ford.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

Bob C is correct, thats my ugly A there.
The Colonial Motor Company had 3 towns with their coach building facilities, The main one in New Zealands capital city, Wellington and another branch in Napier, both in the North Island. There was also a branch in Timaru, in the South island.
The Colonial Motor Company had the Ford francise from 1930 untill 1936.
This company as mentioned, wasn't the only coach building company doing these bodies, and it wasn't just Fords either.
Im stoked to see this part of Ford history being recognised. Thanks Ryan.
Heres a peek at where this truck is at today. Theres more in my build thread,

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30584

and im currently tracking down history through two signs that i've uncovered on the doors.

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Old 10-21-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tudortomnz View Post
These local built commercial cabs were no more primitive looking than some made by independant US firms. Basically,a buyer wanted an A or AA chassis to work & little was expected for driver comfort or stylish design.
Many of the so called local cabs [ as in Australia also] had more leg room in them than the American 'phonebooth' cabs offered by Ford.
No company in NZ had the resources or time to manufacture complex curves so popular in the thirties, and yes, drivers in those days did it tough, particularly in the winter. Draughty cabs, and a blanket over your lap was about it for heating, oh! and gloves, don't forget your gloves.

As far as leg room goes; I wish my '36' had some. This bugger has nowhere near as much leg room as my American built '35' or the '38' Barrelnose I used to have. There's plenty of height, a guy seven foot tall could drive this (as long as his legs were short) and four guys could fit across the cab, as the sides have been extended out with wood panels about 5" each side. To add insult to injury the seat back is at 90 degrees to the seat and the seat base has very little in the way of padding. So I drive the bugger with my arse pushed back as far as the seat will allow and the upper half of my body hunched over the steering wheel. H'mmm maybe I should part the bloody thing out...
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

Sad to add that i sold this truck, but its in good hands. A young diesil mechanic now owns it, and has stripped it back to bare chassis. Hes planning on getting the woodwork in cab fixed, but put it on hold as he just brought a new home.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: A Neat Old Knock-Down

And now its gone to another owner/ caretaker.
I hope to keep the main thread on this ol Ford updated on its progress.
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