Twin City Trucks Are One Rare Pair

Pair of 1919 Twin City trucks fit in well with Twin City tractor collection

| October 2012

  • Twin City Trucks
    Louvers on the 1919 2-ton Twin City's side panels were made from scratch. Sue Dougan bought the machinery needed to stretch the metal and cut the louvers. The replacement cab was designed using dimensions from other truck cabs of the era.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Twin City
    An intricately detailed logo on the 2-ton Twin City truck.
    Illustration By Nikki Rajala
  • Hand-Crank Model Truck
    Sue is unaware of any other 3-1/2-ton Twin City trucks like this 1919 hand-crank model. 
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Prest-o-lite Container
    A decal on the Prest-o-lite container on the side of the 1919 3-1/2-ton Twin City truck describes the tank’s contents: “Dissolved acetylene prepared and compressed into porous substance by the Prest-o-lite Co., complies with B.E. specification No. 8 and I.C.C. regulations.”
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Wheels
    The wheels of this 1919 3-1/2-ton Twin City truck are typical of the truck’s immaculate restoration. 
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Simple Driver's Side
    As with other vehicles of the era, the driver’s side of the 1919 2-ton truck’s cab was quite simple. 
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Truck for Heavy Hauling
    Original lettering on this 1919 3-1/2-ton Twin City truck indicated it was once used for hauling and heavy storage by a Newark, N.J., company. In a nod to history, that company’s name was repainted on the truck during restoration.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • 1919 2-Ton Twin City Truck
    Sue Dougan takes a break with Gene Runkle, Grand Meadow, Minn., at the wheel of her 1919 2-ton Twin City truck. The early hand-crank trucks are a challenge to steer and drive.
    Photo Courtesy Sue Dougan
  • Twin City Suspension
    The Twin City’s suspension is heavy-duty, making for a rough ride. The original wheels on the 1919 2-ton Twin City truck were in very poor condition. These replacements are somewhat smaller than the originals.
    Photo By Nikki Rajala

  • Twin City Trucks
  • Twin City
  • Hand-Crank Model Truck
  • Prest-o-lite Container
  • Wheels
  • Simple Driver's Side
  • Truck for Heavy Hauling
  • 1919 2-Ton Twin City Truck
  • Twin City Suspension

When Sue Dougan discovered she could get a very rare 1919 Twin City truck, she got excited. “In fact, I was real excited,” the Ostrander, Minn., farmer says. “It was a 2-ton model, and though it looked like just two piles of iron, I didn’t care. One of my workers said, ‘You’re going to put that truck together?’ He didn’t think it was possible. He wasn’t too excited about it, but I sure was.”

So you can imagine her delight when she got a chance at another Twin City, this time an even more rare 1919 3-1/2-ton Twin City truck. “I was real excited again,” she says. “Lloyd Van Horn of Mason City, Iowa, decided to sell part of his collection. I was very fortunate that he gave me the chance to have it, and keep the two trucks together.”

Fortunate for collectors, too, as the trucks are extremely rare. No Twin City truck production numbers or serial number guides are known. “There is another 2-ton Twin City in Kansas,” Sue says, “but I’ve never heard of another 3-1/2-ton Twin City truck anywhere.”

Tractors led to trucks

Sue grew up with Minneapolis-Moline tractors on her folks’ farm near Mason City. “My dad used Minneapolis-Moline tractors and combines on the wheat harvest during the Depression,” she says. Having no brothers, she grew up working in the fields. “I’ve spent all my life on a farm,” she says.



After she went out on her own, while farming for a neighbor, Sue noticed a Twin City 12-20 tractor in a grove. Predating 1920, it had been the neighbor’s family’s first tractor. “It was quite a treasure to the son, part of the family’s legacy,” she explains. “It took quite a few years for him to let me take it and get it running. I had it quite a while until I could get the parts I needed, and that’s where this whole thing started. I met all these great Twin City people and learned where to find parts for Twin City machinery. I worked on that 12-20 during the winter when I wasn’t busy, and started buying other things.”

Those “other things” included machinery from the trio of companies assimilated into Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Co. in 1929: Moline Plow Co., Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. and Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co., which manufactured Twin City trucks and tractors. “After I got a lot of Twin City tractors, it was my dream to have a Twin City truck,” Sue says. “But they were only made from 1919 to 1929, and not very many were made, so I figured that would never happen.”



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