Test your 1930 truck knowledge

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Recently (the past few years) I've been trying to find production numbers for 1930 USA made trucks. In my research I've compiled several data points thanks to original literature ranging from parts list books to Automotive Industries Statistical Issues but the 1942 Wards Automotive Yearbook seems to narrow the figures down significantly and I believe was recognized by the industry to be a proven source, so for the sake of simplicity my studies are based off this source going forward (for now)...


The first scan is from the 1942 Wards Yearbook illustrating the amount of "registered" trucks for the year 1930.

**NOTE** - Figures were compiled by RL Polk & Co. (Military & Delivery trucks are omitted) so I believe the source to be a valid point of reference.

The following two scans are showing the truck production totals for USA and Canada and the breakdown per weight rating.


What I'm trying to determine in this post, is to compile production totals for any of the truck manufacturers on this list of "registered trucks" (see the first scan). 


If you have any production numbers for any of these manufacturers on this list, please input. Please notate if you are listing production totals or registered totals so I can keep the two separate.


I realize it's a daunting task but any input is appreciated. Please be sure to include source of material.

Truck websites/clubs of the manufacturers listed in first photo are also good sources so please share if you know of any valid sources.

Thanks for any help.






Wards 1.jpg

Wards 3.jpg

Wards 2.jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)

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A possible additional confusion  (as if you needed any) for your project---it's my understanding that at least some states registered (licensed) trucks as models of the year first registered, not models of the year actually produced---

This could skew totals both for near end of year production (being "registered" in the immediately following year) and in cases where inventory was tied up in liquidation litigation, bankruptcy and such (prevalent in the Depression years)...

Yes, R L Polk & Co was considered a very reliable source in their years; I recall they published books of pass cars registered by state; don't recall if there were comparable truck books, and no longer recall exactly what info they showed...

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Great point Bud, thanks for your input...I'll try and locate any Polk work for trucks by states to see if we can fill in some blanks.. thanks again.


As you know, this research leads in many confusing directions so I'll try and clarify my objective the best I know how. My ultimate objective is to validate and document Dodge Brothers  production totals as best as possible with the little bit of info we have to work with, but in order to do that I need to find out more info from other truck manufacturer enthusiasts.

In regards to the skewed numbers,

I realize that is the reality but I'm hoping to get a good starting point and then work backward and/or sideways IE per state and other channels as the research progresses to find those answers (if even possible) but for now, I'm trying to sort out a foundation and to see what other proven documented production figures  are out there that I simply don't have access to. As you know, several books have been published with this data for various manufacturers figures but I thought maybe a process of elimination as a viable approach to at least try and consolidate  SOME of the work needing to be finished..


As an example:

In the work compiled by John Gunnell title "Standard Catalog of Light Duty Dodge Trucks 1917-2002" he list historical numbers for Dodge Brothers trucks for 1930 totals produced as 23,316 and list's the calendar year total registered  DB trucks at 15,558.

His figure of 15,558 does coincide with the Wards Yearbook total for registered trucks for DB, so initially, in regards to DB trucks anyway,, my objective will be to pinpoint where the remaining 7,758 trucks production figure was derived from and document the source for reference.

I've contacted John Gunnell personally to ask what his source was for his conclusion on those numbers and he does not even recall at this point where he retrieved those numbers from. He implied it may or may not have been Wards but it could have came from other sources also,, he simple doesn't remember.  At the time he was challenged with the task as per the editor of the magazine that he was working for to find production numbers and according to John, others in the field were accumulating the same type of work in regards to production numbers for Dodge and other US Manufactured trucks so everyone had different approaches and contacts for there respected sources.


How is it that the production of 7758 units for DB (as just one example) isn't accounted for in documentation seems incomprehensible to me. I feel that we in the hobby,  those who were pioneers before us, and those currently in the hobby along with generations to come deserve these answers - to stop short is unacceptable. There has to be some way to bring it together, especially with this great tool we have at our disposal called the internet.


The answers may be in other books and documents that others out there may have. I'm hoping that a few of those kind folks will respond and share mutual documentation to help fill some blanks. In all reality I doubt it will ever be resolved (in my time) but I hope we can at least fill in a few blanks for future truck hobbyists.

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To add to why production totals can vary greatly from sales totals:


It is published that only two car companies showed a profit for 1932.  GM and Nash.  As far as Nash, that partially happened because they sold far more cars in 32 than they produced in 32.  There were unsold 31 bodies and completed 31 cars from the 31 year models.  They made an oddball "first series" 32 Nash for a few months that made use of theleftover 31 bodies but used new bumpers/grille etc , so that they appeared like a new model.  Then in March I believe, the new "second series" 32 Nash came out with new bodies and even a newer grille than the early 32, etc.



So, if the above info is correctly stated, then that means Nash made more cars in 31 than they sold in 31.   That would leave the totals for both years, deceptive.

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Thanks for your input F&J,,


I do understand the discrepancy between registered, sold and produced. Sorry for my rambling but I'm really just looking to see if anyone has production figures for those vehicles listed in the first photo.


I see on page 9 production totals for US and Canada equal 603,236 units.

Then on page 22 it shows a combined total for 599,991 so I assume that the 603,236 includes things like buses and other coaches that are not being considered on page 22 figures of 599,991 (again for both US and Canada made).


I think it's safe to say that excluding buses and other large coaches (that may be in city records only), all truck weight classes including special types such as dump trucks as an example are included in the 599,991 production figure.


599,991 produced

410,699 registered


*189,282 either not registered or sold - Not concerned with this total *


I'm not so much concerned with the gap from registered to produced, what I am trying to confront are the missing info of how they came to the conclusion for the "production" totals. Again, using Dodge Brothers trucks as an example, where did the 23, 316 figure come from in Grunnells and others writings ?


I'm hoping that other truck guys who own  REO, Mack, or International on the list in photo 1 will input to see if there is a way to get somewhat closer to what the true production totals were for each maker. Out of 91 total truck manufacturers for the year 1930, we should be able to find a few answers.

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