Today we take a break from ATHS York coverage for some truly unique pieces of trucking history. Behold, Autocars from one of the greatest construction and material firms in the history of the United States if not the world, Colonial Sand & Stone.
Colonial played a vital role in the construction of some of the most iconic pieces of the NYC skyline (Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Empire State Building, the Yankee Stadium, George Washington Bridge) yet surprisingly little remains of this industry titan. There appears to be no books by past employees, no photo journals, no biographies, simply nothing. I guess when you think about it the Empire State Building isn’t a bad legacy but who really knows that off the top of their head? But I digress.
Receiving a tip that a downstate business had a collection of former Colonial rigs Ryan began to narrow down the possible locations one by one. Using Google Maps and a bit of luck he found his potential address and a phone number. Calling the number an elderly gentleman answered the phone and confirmed the detective work. When Ryan asked if he could stop by to photograph some of the trucks the answer was clear. “Where have you been?? I’ve been waiting for someone to do this for a long time!!”
Apparently the current owner understands the value of these trucks and is not perplexed that others would like to take some photos. How refreshing! Much better than the usual response of “you want to take a photo of that?!”
As Ryan tells us.
I knew at that point the Powerball isn’t something I’d ever win, but I just won something special. So I drove down, met the gentleman and found 4 Colonial Autocars. Some ready to be fired up, some ready to be doctored back to life. As I opened the door of these triple frame, double nut spoke beasts, I could see the original paint from Colonial on the inside. I just touched history.
A truly unique find and well worth the effort. Once again Ryan has outdone himself! If anyone out there has any information to add about these trucks or Colonial please leave a comment below or send me an email.