c.1918 Hahn ¾ Ton Pickup
Engine no. 501
A wagon maker by trade, W.G. Hahn began tinkering with motorized vehicles in the early part of the 20th century, producing a car and a truck in his wagon works in 1907. Seeing the most opportunity in production of the latter, Hahn began a modest effort to build trucks in addition to wagons under the W.G. Hahn & Bro. company moniker. In 1913, greater focus was placed on truck production, a change that accompanied an indicative new name: Hahn Motor Truck & Wagon Co. Powered by reliable and popular Continental 4-cylinder motors using initially conventional chain drive, Hahn found success building 1½ ton models with a $2,400 price tag.
In 1914 the line expanded upward with five models going from 1½ to 3 ton capacity. In 1915, the company began fire apparatuses (which would eventually become their bread-and-butter and carry them through to the 1990s) and in 1916 a new line of shaft-driven ¾ ton models were introduced, of which the offered example is one.
This 1918 ¾ ton pickup features an earlier 1913 Continental 4-cylinder, but otherwise appears mechanically correct with a Brown-Lipe clutch and gearset, Eisemann magneto, and gravity-fed fuel system running through a single Stromberg carburetor. Power is rooted through shaft drive to a Torbensen internal-gear-driven rear axel. Elimination of forward velocity is made possible by a set of rear brakes that are actuated internally by the handbrake and externally by the food brake.
The bodywork is of a newer and unknown vintage that appears correct for the model, save for some alternations such as the relocation of the fuel tank from under the seat to under the windscreen. A more recent repaint of the upper bodywork is indicative of a cosmetic restoration that was started but not entirely completed. Of late, it is indicated that the engine is mechanically sorted and in running order.
A hardy workhorse then as now, survival rates of commercial vehicles are very low due to the hard lives of rigor and toil that most of them lived. The constant use of vehicles such as this wore out major components with regularity, so it is not unusual to find those vehicles that have made it to this day to have some degree of amalgamated parts sourced from different years and sometimes different brands altogether. With the winter ahead, there will be ample time to prepare this hardy beast for summer months of motoring!