1952 Federal 45M Truck Tractor, Used by Cole's Express

Summary

When this truck was new, about 120,000 tractor-trailers traveled the roads. By 2000, there were over two million. New interstate highways helped long-haul trucks dominate the freight business. Americans developed a romantic image of truckers as modern cowboys roaming concrete trails, speaking their own language on CB radios. Drivers became heroes of movies and music. But real truck driving is demanding, sometimes dangerous, and often boring work.

When this truck was new, about 120,000 tractor-trailers traveled the roads. By 2000, there were over two million. New interstate highways helped long-haul trucks dominate the freight business. Americans developed a romantic image of truckers as modern cowboys roaming concrete trails, speaking their own language on CB radios. Drivers became heroes of movies and music. But real truck driving is demanding, sometimes dangerous, and often boring work.

Artifact

Truck tractor

Date Made

1952

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

88.381.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Galen L. Cole.

Material

Metal
Rubber (Material)
Glass (Material)

Color

Orange (Color)
Black (Color)

Inscriptions

Painted on cab doors: Coles / No. 160 / ICC93682 On hubcaps: Federal Hood: Federal hood ornament Sides of hood: Federal decal

Specifications

Make & Model: 1952 Federal 45M truck tractor

Maker: Federal Motor Truck Company, Detroit, Michigan

Engine: inline-6, L-head valves, 427 cubic inches

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Height: 10 feet

Width: 8 feet 1 inches

Wheelbase: 197 inches

Overall length: 25 feet 2 inches

Horsepower: 127 at 2600 revolutions per minutes

Weight: 10,900 pounds

Pounds per horsepower: 85.8

Price: $6,027

Average 1952 wage: $3,660 per year

Time you'd work to buy this truck: about 1 year, 7 months

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