Photo courtesy of America's Car Museum.

Photo courtesy of America's Car Museum.

Americans have relied on work trucks to get their jobs done for more than 100 years, which is why America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma, Wash., is paying homage to them with 15 vintage vehicles that helped shape the U.S. The new exhibit, opening Nov. 5, called “Tools of the Trade – Powering the Working Class,” will feature work vehicles including paddy wagons, grocer’s trucks, delivery vehicles, and more.

“When Americans built their first automobiles, the sizes, shapes, and configurations quickly began changing to support the massive growth of our country,” said ACM Curator of Exhibitry Scot Keller. “It’s amazing to see how these vehicles laid the foundation for many of our modern construction, transportation, and police vehicles.”

The exhibit features an eclectic range of vehicles, such as a 1947 Ford Railway Express 1½-ton panel truck, built by the Railway Express Agency – a company created by the U.S. government during World War I for the rapid and safe movement of parcels, money, and goods.

“Many car museums have displays that feature classic and vintage cars, but very few feature a collection of work vehicles, which have a very important part in American history,” said ACM CEO David Madeira. “The team at America’s Car Museum did a great job of putting the historical context around these vehicles, and I think our visitors will be floored.”

In addition to the 15 vehicles on display, Tools of the Trade – Powering the Working Class will also feature a 35-foot exhibit wall with four video monitors, offering more details.

The vehicles in Tools of the Trade include:

  • 1907 Kennett
  • 1915 Ford Model T Depot Hack
  • 1920 Packard 3-Ton grocer’s truck
  • 1922 Olympic 2 ½ ton truck
  • 1928 Graham Brothers Screenside
  • 1929 ACME Model 17 1-ton dump truck
  • 1929 Chevrolet 1-ton Huckster truck
  • 1929 Ford Model AA 1-ton dump truck
  • 1931 Twin Coach Helms Bakery truck
  • 1934 Ford BB V-8 Wrecker
  • 1940 COE Chevrolet Police “paddy” wagon
  • 1942 GMC 1½ ton stateside truck
  • 1946 Chevrolet Model DS/3800 Express 1-ton pickup
  • 1947 Ford Railway Express
  • 1956 Cushman Ice Cream wagon

For more information on Tools of the Trade – Powering the Working Class, and other exhibits at ACM, visit