Historic Truck Brands
The Traffic Motor Truck Corporation (TMTC) was a truck manufacturer in St Louis from 1917 to 1929. It used Continental and sometimes Gray Victory engines.
TMTC’s vice president, Theodore C Brandle, sold his Brandle Motor Company Chevrolet in 2017 and, with Guy C Wilson and Harry P Mammen, founded TMTC.
The first 1918 Traffic model was sold as a rolling chassis with cowl and seat, and boasted a 4000-pound payload, plus a claimed cruising speed of 14mph.
It had a four-cylinder, 40bhp, 239 cubic-inch side-valve Continental Red Seal engine, Covert transmission, Borg and Beck disc clutch, Kingston magneto with impulse starter, Russel rear axle with internal gear and roller bearings, standard Fisk tyres, 133-inch wheel base and an oil cup lubricating system.
The retail price was $1195 and had risen to $1595 by late 1920.
The trucks were also exported to countries including Australia, Guatemala and El Salvador. At least two Traffic trucks are known to have survived in Australia.
A surviving Australian Traffic truck – Tony Buchanan
In 1922, 1⁄2-ton, three-ton, and four-ton payload models were introduced. A sales letter dated 17 June 1922 cited the available models being a 6000lb heavy transport for $1995 and a Speedboy for $1695.00.
After Word War One, the USA entered a severe depression and the price deflation of the 1920–1921 depression was actually more severe than that of the Great Depression of 1929. From its peak in June 1920, the consumer price index fell 15.8 percent over the next 12 months, compared with a worst figure of less than11 percent at any point during the Great Depression
Many automotive companies struggled in the early 1920s and particularly truck makers, who also had to contend with a post-War sell-off of US Army vehicles. (That lesson was learned and after WWII many Army vehicles were simply dumped at sea, rather than being sold to commercial buyers.)
In July 1922 TMTC merged with Associated Motor Industries, which made several makes of automobile and trucks. Traffic’s Wilson and Brandle were appointed to Associated’s Board.
The plan was to continue making Traffic trucks as well as some of Associated’s automobiles at the Traffic Motor Truck manufacturing plant in St Louis. Traffic trucks were also to be assembled at Associated’s plants in Boston, Indianapolis, Louisville and Oakland.
Associated also owned the Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company, which made the Jackson four-wheel drive truck and the Old Hickory truck. They also made Jackson, Dixie Flyer and National automobiles.
The company was renamed the National Motors Corporation in 1923, but by 1924 it had ceased most production. Some vehicles seem to have been made after that, but the Great Depression put finally put the nail in the coffin.