John Donkersloot’s beautifully-restored 1962 Autocar C65-T is a piece of living history. The first Autocar truck was built in 1907, making Autocar the oldest truck nameplate still in production in the United States. In 1953 the White Motor Company bought Autocar, and White was in turn purchased by Volvo of Sweden in 1981. Since 2001, Autocar has been a private subsidiary of Grand Vehicle Works after Volvo sold the company to them. Although today’s models are built for the refuse business and not over-the-road hauling, the name continues. As far as he knows, John is the third owner of his Autocar, which was originally owned by Faber Cement Block of Paramus, New Jersey. The second known owner was Dominic Genario of East Rutherford, NJ, who sold the truck to John in 2000. When John bought the Autocar it was not running – the engine had been disassembled and the driveshafts were missing. Needless to say, John had his work cut out for him. Performing almost all of the restoration work and painting himself, John did get some help from Tony Anthony of Paterson, NJ for the lettering and pin-striping. Powered by a 490 White gas engine with a 5×3 transmission, the Autocar only has 130,000 miles on it! John loves taking his treasure to truck shows, where it definitely turns heads.
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.