The Gotfredson & Joyce Company began in 1920 in Walkerville, Ontario, Canada. In 1923 the company moved to Detroit, MI and became known as the Gotfredson Truck Company. The first trucks were assembled trucks powered by a variety of engines such as the Buda. They had Timken axles, Brown-Lipe and Fuller transmissions, a cast aluminum radiator and Ross steering. The company offered a range of trucks from three-quarter ton to 7 tons. They also built 4- and 6-wheel buses, fire trucks and taxi cabs. The company failed in 1929 and reorganized on a much smaller scale using Buda gasoline and Cummins diesel engines. In 1932 the firm made an advantageous move by acquiring the Michigan distribution rights for Cummins diesel engines. A new subsidiary was formed called Diesel Sales of Michigan. In 1936, Gotfredson adopted GMC cabs for its trucks. These were ultra custom heavy duty vehicles produced in very small numbers, just five or six a year, and all for Detroit area customers. At the time, if a truck operator wanted a diesel-powered job, he had to go to a custom producer like Gotfredson to get it. The company continued to build these custom trucks in very small quantities until 1946 when production ended, though it’s believed that a few more units were built after that. The Gotfredson truck seen here is a Model 40, which was built in 1925.
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.