- Written by webmin
If you’re spent any time at all on the Intertubes, I’m sure you’ve seen photos of the dekotora – those brightly lit and garishly decorated trucks in Japan. As David Greenlees showed us recently on The Old Motor, they weren’t the first to festoon their trucks with lights – Earl B. Gilmore, of Gilmore Oil, had them beat by a few decades with this beneoned truck.
It’s rather appropriate that Gilmore chose to light up the truck in neon – after all, the Gilmore Oil Company as most auto enthusiasts recognize it was incorporated in California in 1923, the same year that fellow California Earle C. Anthony displayed the first neon sign in America, in his Packard dealership in Los Angeles. Neon signs, however, long outlasted the Gilmore Oil Company; the latter became a subsidiary of Socony in 1940 and was merged into Socony entirely in 1945.
Given that year range, can anybody identify the truck that Gilmore used as the basis for his rolling billboard?
UPDATE: Thanks to Kalimaikaika and marmer, we now know that it’s a 1934 Mack BM with a locally-built body (okay, so who built the body?). The photo above comes from Thomas E. Warth’s “Mack Trucks Photo Gallery,” and Warth noted that the Gilmore truck had a chassis number of 6BM1S1439, if that’ll help anybody track the truck down.