Another Saturday another auction! Yesterday I went to the yearly municipal vehicle auction at the Town of Palmyra highway department. Trucks and other equipment from all over the area sell at this event. Until yesterday afternoon I thought I was going to skip this event but I eventually came to my senses. This was the first time I have ever been to this auction and this part of the world. I’m glad I went.
Plenty of late model plow trucks of every make were on hand including some rare birds like a ’72 Brockway 361 and a 85 Autocar. To be honest they were the reason I made the trip but once I arrived there was plenty of other great things to see. I was surprised at the large collection of Ford L-Series trucks in very strong shape. There were more than a few Mack trucks to review including a mean looking AWD Mack.
Between the Dobbins auction last week and the auction yesterday I’m drowning in material. I figure there is no better place to start than with a trusty Brockway.
This ’72 361 has north of 124,000 miles on the odometer. According to the auction paper work this truck once belonged to the Town of Ulysses, NY. All in all this truck looked rather good to my amateur eyes consider the year is 2013 and this rig has been tasked with plowing snow for all those years. The rust was minimal and very reparable. A Cummins power plant resides under the hood that seemed to rattle but maybe I was just looking for a problem. Moving to the cab found all gauges in place and in working order. The only way to rev up this rig was to mess with the throttle under the hood. The peddle in the cab was completely flat on the floor. Just a little something for the new buyer to tinker with.
If you google International A-160 you’ll find that many of the result show a 4×4 setup with blower just like this one. This truck is equipped with a SnoGo thrower. I call them blowers but maybe the term isn’t interchangeable? The power plant for the thrower is Red Seal Continental gas engine. All in all this truck was fairly solid. Just a little body damage to the front driver side fender and a misaligned door on the passenger side. Ready to work!
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Nearby was this Brockway 260. Missing wheels and rims where a common theme at the Dobbins Auction. The cab on this truck looked OK. This is back in the era when wood was still used in the cab. I’m not sure what engine this rig had but it was huge. Stamped on the block was the phrase “Chrome Moly”. I’m not entirely sure what that means but it sounds interesting.
Changing gears here for a moment just to referesh and give everyone a break from the rusted iron. I spotted this truck working a few weeks back hauling away old sidewalk. Later that same day I found it across town at a different job site, the same site occupied by the GMC General from earlier in the month. Small world.
Browsing through my collection of photos from the Dobbins auction I came to the following realization. I have A LOT of video and photo to share. I could probably post a different story like this one for the next week or so. Maybe it’s time for two posts a day?
I came across this Northwest Shovel resting at the far edge of the auction yard. It was not for sale. The engine in this shovel is a Red Seal which apparently is type of Continental gas engine. There were several trucks and tractors onsite that used this exact engine for power. One words provides an accurate description. Massive. I don’t know much about this shovel so I guess more experienced people will have to chime in. The age of this machine is up in the air. It contains no hydraulics for the use of digging. Nothing but cables and pulleys here. Maybe something from the 40s or early 50s?
As I mentioned the other day I first learned of Dobbins Auto Parts through a Facebook group. One of the pictures that caught my attention was a yellow Brockway 776 wearing an old NYS DOT logo. I knew right then and there I had to make the short drive (as Billy Fuccillo would say) up 81 to see the trucks in person. Saturday I had my chance and was able to find four trucks that once belonged to a much larger fleet. I had no illusions to the conditions of these Brockways. I knew they were far beyond gone but they still were awesome to see.
NYS DOT Brockway – Click to Enlarge
Out of the four it’s hard to say which one was in the worst shape. I give my nod to the 776 shown above but it really could go to any of the group. All suffered from severe floor pan rot. Seriously. The floors were gone. As you can see the axles, drive line components and body panels have been removed. Scattered through out the yard I found a few fenders and grill assemblies. On three of the four trucks the gauges, switches, and other parts of the dash had been completely removed and replaced with very large bird nests. Only one truck looked complete and by that I mean it still had a plow frame, dump body and both doors. It was still missing parts of the hood and set of tires. Trying to assemble one complete truck from the four would be a fools errand.
Despite the horrendous condition I was thrilled to see these Brockways. The old DOT logos really set me off. I guess I am just that easy to please. From what I know these trucks were not part of the auction. Their future plans are unknown.
Autocar Monday lives to fight another day with thanks to this vintage DC-75T that was located at the Dobbins Auto Parts auction. To the best of my knowledge this truck was not for sale. Wandering through the auction Saturday I came across many vehicles that were marked “not in auction” or “not selling”. It appeared the good stuff was not for sale. I’ve heard that as the day went on more and more items were removed from the auction block. There was a large collection of military jeeps for sale. Most in running condition or not far off. A few days before the auction Military Police officials from nearby Fort Drum called to inform the seller that the jeeps may not be eligible for road use….ever! Come Saturday an official decision had yet to be made but that didn’t stop people from buying. *UPDATE* The Jeeps have yet to be released. The Watertown Daily Times has an in depth article that you can read by clicking here.
Autocar DC75 – Click to Enlarge
But moving on to the reason we are all here, the DC-75T! This Autocar must have been a great looking machine back in the day. Who am I kidding, this truck still looks great in its current condition. I would love to see it running again. This rig is Cummins powered and equipped with a Holmes 750 wrecker. Can it be saved? Maybe. The cab appeared solid and a pair of “better” fenders were nearby. Probably the biggest obstacle would be convincing the current owner to sell!
Last November I ran across a set of photos in a Facebook group known as In The Weeds. The name tells you what to know. Photos are shared of various trucks and other heavy equipment that has been left in the tender care of mother earth. HA! Anyway, the photo came from a scrap yard in Adams, NY and the contents of said yard blew me away. Brockways, Autocars, Whites, military stuff, buses, cars, pickups and construction equipment. It was all at Dobbins. The original poster warned that a major scraping process was underway and soon all would be gone. I become obsessed with getting up there to check it out. The best I could do was a drive by were I saw these two old two trucks. Thankfully the stars aligned and I soon learned that much of the yard was to be auctioned! I cleared my calendar months in advance.
Yesterday was the big day. I arrived around 8AM and found nearly every truck I so drooled over from the In The Weeds facebook group plus a few more. I brought two cameras with me fearing that a memory card or battery would fail before the day was over. Smart move on my part as one of the cameras ran out of juice while the other ran out of space. There was simply too much to video and photograph. Over the following days I will share with you the treasures this yard had to offer in both car and truck form. There will be plenty of walk around video with smart commentary by your humble host. Use of the mute button on you computer is advised.
Of course I am going to start with plows! If I counted correctly there were five Walter Snow Fighters on the grounds. At least three were for sale. It seemed to me that many of the larger trucks were not up for auction. The reason is unknown. Either way I have video of the two most complete units and photos of everything else. I was very surprised to find a former Onondaga County truck in the piles of steel and endless school buses. Hopefully some of our resident experts can fill in the details.
The Walters come from a time when nearly every highway department had at least one in their garage. If you had serious snow to move you had a Snow Fighter. There really was no other viable option outside of Oshkosh. Like Brockway, Walter was based in NYS and had a very loyal following among local government. Too be honest, you still see plenty of them around. Some even in active service!
Saaaaaay what! That is what I said when I saw this truck sitting in the lot at Tracey Road Equipment. Nothing more. Nothing less. This Western Star has some interesting features for an Upstate NY spec’d plow truck. First, super singles in the rear?! New one for me. And how about that belly plow? Not many of those running around the roads of snow country USA.
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Axle up front and outback so you know what that means. This is a single purpose machine. You won’t see it hauling leaves in the fall or patching potholes in the spring. It should be part of the fleet for years to come.
There are times when you can grab the perfect shot of a truck. Usually this takes place at show or when the rig is parked. Then there are times when you have to shoot on the fly…usually through a windshield or maybe tall grass. Such was the case with the trucks below.
I spotted this International Prostar yesterday hauling a Mammoet Kamag 2404. The setup was travelling down the interstate so the only way to grab a photo was through the windshield. Don’t worry, I was a passenger at the time. If you are unfamiliar with the Kamag it is a very interesting device. They are modular in the sense that you can hook as many as 20 together in a variety of patterns for the moving of nearly any oversized and overweight load. They can spin in a circle, rotate, and even crab walk. There is a nifty data sheet you can read by clicking here. I would also suggest visiting the Mammoet and Kamag websites for more unique equipment.
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Other times you find that it’s not just bug guts on glass that get in the way but tall weeds! I couldn’t let this Western Star move on without taking a photo of it. Nice vintage look.
Western Star – Click to Enlarge
And a few others “obstructed” shots. There should have been one more in this gallery but I forgot to add it. Stay tuned!