Fun facts about Tex: our 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker
This August, we're celebrating everything Tex here at Bill Richardson Transport World.
From the moment his six-year-old self sat in Snowy Kidd’s truck, Bill Richardson was hooked.
Trucks were one of Bill’s passions, and there are few finer than his restored 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker: fondly referred to by the Bill Richardson Transport World team as Tex.
To celebrate Tex – who now sits pride of place in the entry to our museum – we’ve put together some fun facts for you. Enjoy!
- Bill loved his Texaco tanker: and so does the entire Transport World team! In fact, we’re so proud of the gleaming 1940 Dodge Airflow tanker that – when Joc O’Donnell was planning on opening her father’s impressive vehicle collection to the public – the inspiration for all of our organisation’s branding was drawn from Tex. From our instantly-recognisable shade of red, to our logo, Tex played a huge part in shaping Bill Richardson Transport World.
- Dodge’s Airflow tankers weren’t rolled out on the production line: instead, every one of these incredibly special vehicles specially built, by hand, to order. They were mostly used by major petroleum producers, including Texaco (like the one here at Bill Richardson Transport World). However, some were reportedly used for completely different purposes. At least one was used as a fire engine (by the Teaneck, New Jersey fire brigade), and some were even used to transport beer.
- An estimated 261 Dodge Airflow tankers were built between December 1934 – February 1940. There are just three of these beauties believed to be left in the world.
- Bill was a big believer in the adage that if you were going to do something, you needed to do it right. He really meant it. When he and his team of workshop magicians were restoring Tex, Bill visited the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan – where one of the other three remaining Texaco tankers is on display – so that he could precisely measure the lettering along its side. He got caught climbing over the barrier by the security guard: and had to do a bit of quick negotiating with him to get the dimensions! Luckily, the guard agreed – and the measurements were taken and subsequently replicated on the vehicle waiting back at home in Invercargill.
- Dodge started rolling out its tankers back in 1935 – the year of its 25th anniversary, and 10 years after Chrysler purchased the automotive marque – and stopped just a handful of years later in 1940. These beauties took styling cues from Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow automobiles. Their waterfall grilles is a great example of this.