If you’re a fan of truck history you’ll love these rare truck finds. From workhorses to consumer-driven designs, the auto industry has never shied away from creating bold, innovative, and sometimes even a few strange truck designs. Wait until you see the military truck designed and sold by Lamborghini and classic REO Speedwagon fire truck that now calls the Jack Daniel’s Distillery home.
The Lamborghini LM002 existed for seven years between 1986 and 1993. While Lamborghini currently sells cars and SUVs, the company’s forway into trucks was an unusual departure from its history as a supercar manufacturer.
This truck followed the company’s Cheetah and LM001 prototypes. After attempting to developed trucks using a rear-mounted American power plant, the company shifted to the LM002, which moved to a front-mounted Countach V12. Built for military use, the LM002 is part of a short-lived series known as the Lamborghini Militaria.
1931 Ford Model A Mail Truck
The Ford Model A Mail Truck was actively used by the USPS starting in 1928. Mail service was a natural fit for a truck chassis that served various designs, including mail trucks, ambulances, and even funeral coaches.
In this case, the United States Postal Service used a fleet cab design and then brought in custom builders to finish the design for what became the Ford Model A Mail Truck. If you want to see a fully restored Ford Model A Mail Truck, you can visit the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
Volvo L495 Titan
This Volvo L495 Titan truck was a workhorse created by the Swedish design firm. This model was the first to feature a turbodiesel from Volvo, and it later added air brakes.
The truck lineup was offered in the 1950s and into the early 1960s. It was a popular truck in Europe although it did find some success as a long-distance truck in other regions. Just looking at the Volvo L495, it’s easy to see that it was built to handle any workload thrown its way.
1965 Bedford J1 Fire Truck
The 1965 Bedford J1 Fire Truck was sold by General Motors Holden’s and was operated in Australia by the New South Wales Fire Brigade. Given the regionalized nature of this fire truck, it has become a rare find.
This beautifully restored Bedford J1 Fire Truck is part of the Museum of Fire Collection in Penrith, NSW. The photo featured here was taken at the 2011 Sydney Antique & Classic Truck Show.
1956 Mercury 600 Tow Truck
The 1956 Mercury 600 Tow Truck looks like the Incredible Hulk of tow trucks. This beast of a machine isn’t just powerful-looking; it’s also one of the rarest finds on our entire list.
This particular Mercury 600 Tow Truck is incredibly rare because it was only sold in Canada and only for a minimal production run and period. Not only is it a rare truck, but it’s also a lot of fun to lay your eyes on. We’re sure it had no trouble towing any cars it found along its path.
1946 Studebaker Model M-16 Truck 2
The 1946 Studebaker Model M-16 Truck 2 is a superb looking utility vehicle that adds power to its robust design. This particular truck was the only Studebaker M series to come equipped with a Commander “Big Six” 226 ci engine with a six-blade shrouded fan.
The Model M series holds a special place in history as a top choice used by troops during World War II. This truck currently resides in the Hays Antique Truck Museum in Woodland, CA.
1962 Studebaker Champ
The Studebaker truck lineup ran from 1960 through 1964 as the Studebaker Champ. The truck debuted as Americans were turning away from the Studebaker as a go-to car of choice.
The company used existing components to create the Champ, and while it didn’t last long, it helped breathe new life into the manufacturer’s existing car lineup. The Champ may have been short-lived, but it created one feature that is still used on many trucks today– the sliding back window.
Jeep FC 150
The Jeep FC 150, a cab over car design, was produced by Willy Motor’s, a company that would later be known as Kaiser-Jeep.
In creating utility trucks in the 1950s, the company created vehicles that featured a wheelbase that ran nearly the entire length of the truck. The wheelbase design helped the truck climb easier up steep grades. The truck lineup didn’t last long, making this a rare find whenever you can spot one, more than likely in a museum or at a car show.
Bedford QL Breakdown Truck
If you’ve never laid your eyes on a Bedford QL truck, we’re not surprised. This lineup was explicitly manufactured for British Armed Forces for use during World War II. The Bedford QL marks the first time the manufacturer created vehicles aimed specifically for the military. Following the war, the truck photographed was turned into a heavy tow truck.
Fun Fact: This truck used a unique design in which the driver sat directly above the engine in the forward control cab. This design became a popular choice in design following World War II.
The Volvo N88 isn’t the boldest looking rare truck on our list, but it holds a special place in innovation history. In the 1960s, Volvo created this lineup for better fuel efficiency, extended service life, and more general reliability.
While Volvo isn’t known as a commercial truck manufacturer these days, the company pushed other truck sellers to rethink the power and longevity of their trucks. The “system 8” family of trucks are to be thanked for a lot of today’s advanced options.
1937 Hudson Terraplane
This 1937 Hudson Terraplane Utility Coupe looks like something out of an old film-noir comic book. It’s a beautifully crafted passenger truck with plenty of fun features that help it stand out among the herd.
Featured inside this unique looking truck are a banjo steering wheel, fog lights, and plenty of attitude. The truck was considered incredibly durable and lauded for its overall performance. It was sad to see this lineup end so quickly.
1939 Mack Truck
In the 1930s, the Mack truck lineup started to gain prominence throughout America thanks to a stable build for long haul drives that was backed up with plenty of power. In 1939, the truck shown above made its debut.
Historically, Mack trucks helped haul materials needed to build the national highway system throughout the United States. Today, Mack remains a top-selling lineup of trucks preferred by millions of truck drivers all over the world.
The Jeep Honcho isn’t one of the boldest looking trucks on our list, but it’s incredibly rare. The truck line sold in the late ’70s and early 1980s, and only a handful were manufactured.
The trucks were created with sport and short bed truck design, and fewer than 1,300 were produced in total. It wasn’t the most potent consumer truck, but it’s a rare find that may pique some collectors’ interest.
The Bedford S series debuted in the 1960s, and they were not a lightweight truck. They became known as “Big Bedfords” because of a 7-ton weight.
The trucks came to prominence in Great Britain, where they were often co-opted as emergency trucks. How well built were the Big Bedfords? Some of them are still being used as fire trucks in Africa. This truck is most rare in fully restored condition since many are still in use.
1952 Mercedes L319
This 1952 Mercedes L319 was a lightweight commercial vehicle that came in various body styles and designs. You could find this truck with a van style and even a minibus in the 1950s and into the early 1960s.
This particular truck was a more rare version of the truck lineup and has become incredibly rare over the last six decades. If you spot this truck in the wild, consider yourself lucky.
International R190 Mover
International Harvester developed the International R190 Mover in the 1950s. The company, known for its tractors and other farming equipment, already had a firm handle on what it takes to build heavy-duty machinery.
The R190 was responsible for handling heavy hauls, and it did so with ease. The International Harvester lineup of trucks, which included consumer-based options, ended in the 1970s. This R190 is a rare find, but you’ll find a few of them still in use on farms throughout America.
1929 REO Speedwagon Truck
The REO Speedwagon came in various chassis formats, including pickup trucks, tow trucks, dump trucks, and more. This is one of our personal favorites. The REO Speedwagon fire truck was short-lived, and this model is currently on display at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
By 1925 there were approximately 125,000 REO Speedwagons on the road. By 1936 production for civilian vehicles came to an end as World War II production kicked in. Visit Lynchburg, and you’ll get to see this beautiful fire truck in person while enjoying a tumbler of whiskey. It’s a win-win trip.
When you build a tough military truck, it needs to take a beating and keep on ticking. That’s precisely what Commer accomplished with the Commer Q4.
This truck, part of Commer’s military vehicles, was used during World War II, and then it stayed in service until the 1980s. The truck is dense, powerful, and a reminder that British vehicle manufacturers played a crucial part in supporting military actions during a dire time in world history. This rare truck will beat up your modern-day truck, guaranteed.
Austin 1800 Utility
The Austin 1800 Utility almost looks more like the inspiration for an El Camino than an actual utility truck. Also known as the “Ute” which translates to “short,” this truck is incredibly rare.
The truck was created to drive like a sedan while still adding enough utility for farmers to use as a lightweight utility truck. If you don’t live in Australia or you haven’t visited car or truck museums in Australia, you probably haven’t seen this rare truck in person.
Yorkshire Steam-Powered Truck
We can almost guarantee you won’t see a Yorkshire Steam-Powered Truck in person. Created by the Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co, this truck featured a double-ended transverse boiler.
Steam wagon production stopped in 1937, and very few of these trucks are still around. The company itself survived until 1993. A few other company’s at the time attempted to make steam wagons, but they largely failed at bringing the design to market, and with low sales, it’s a rare find in the 21st-century.