The truck up for Auction is a Liteway. It is a prototype carrier vehicle built in 1953 by the McBright Corporation of Lehighton, Pennsylvania. The truck was built to carry a maximum pay load while conforming with city codes. Built entirely out of aluminum (produced by the Reynolds Company, their first foray into the automobile industry) it weighs 18,000 lbs. and can carry a load of 42,000 lbs. for a total weight of 60,000 lbs. It is 36 feet long. I purchased the truck from an individual after spotting it parked at his residence in Port Jervis, New York while eating lunch at a diner. He told me he had used it commercially as a Cargo Vehicle. Because it is a Prototype, the truck does not have a traditional VIN number, only Model No. TT 000-001. After purchasing the truck, and about a week of tinkering, I drove it home to New Jersey. A friend and I took a trip to Lehighton to see if we could find out anything further about the Liteway. We met some Old Timers who remembered the McBright Corporation and one Gentleman (who actually still owned stock in the McBright Corporation and is the Brother of one of Engineers, Sid Heisner, now deceased). He gave me the number of his Niece who helped me get in touch with her Brother Robert Heisner, the Son of Sid Heisner. Turns out, the truck was designed and built by a team of Aeronautically trained men from World War II. In talking with Robert he sent me photographs, brochures, and newspaper articles. He also put me in touch with Roy Handwerk who worked for McCoullough Motors which I understand was the reorganization of McBright Corp. after they decided that Liteway was not a strong enough name for the truck. They had changed the name to Road King. I also met Mr. Moyer, the Comptroller of the McBright Corp.,who gave me stationary from the McCullough Motor Corporation with their Letterhead and an original Road King sales brochure. He also sent me a seven page letter with his memories of his days working at McBright and driving one of the first Road King Trucks.
My Friend, having been a SAC mechanic in the 8th Air Force, noticed the Aeronautic rivets and bulk head wiring. Presently, the original White 150A engine is in the truck and mounted in the rear. The motor is seized and the motor mount bracket is cracked. I was told that they had an agreement with White that if they had engine trouble a White mechanic could change the engine in the field. This would take one hour to complete. The Liteway is unibody constructed, no chassis. The truck has twin steering made by Timkens Axles Corporation. Air accelerator and air clutch. It also has power assist steering by Bendix Westinghouse. Mileage unknown.
I"ve kept the truck for 30 years now and it is in the exact condition it was when I found it. The Liteway, dubbed the Truck of Tomorrow by William McCoullough, Vice President of McBright Corporation, is a piece of automotive history. The engineering was ahead of its time for the day and it is the predecessor of the Road King. From what I was told, there were only 3 of this Model built so I believe that with the number TT 000-001, mine is the first off the assembly line. I am hoping that the truck goes into the right hands and will be preserved.
- Hello, we answered some questions but they have not posted to the Liteway Listing yet. To see additional pictures of the Liteway please go to Flickr and search Darleen Maxcy, People. Please disregard Power Wagon pictures, those trucks have been sold. Here is information regarding the Liteway that was requested by a Viewer. Thank you everyone! Darleen and Bill
Dimensions: We measured with a tape measure.Rear Door Frame: Height 6" 11 Width 7"Cargo Interior: Height 7" 6 Width 7" 7
The Gentleman I purchased the Liteway from told me that he had backed into a Loading Dock and broke off the sill plates which housed brackets that held the engine compartment door upright or locked down. I am including close up pictures of where that damaged section had been cut off the truck.
I do not have any maintenance records regarding the Liteway.
I have the original eight rear tires stored in the back of the Liteway. (As you will see, they are aluminum wheels. One had been replaced with a steel wheel.) The original four wheels are still on the front. The rubber is dry rotted. I had moved 200 miles away at one point and had the Liteway towed. I put four Bolognese on the back to transport.
The truck is 64 years old, so, yes it has a few scratches. Overall, it is in excellent condition for it"s age. Needs polishing . . . Aluminum should shine.
Also note, the truck could be refrigerated so the cargo hold is insulated and there is a mounting shelf under the truck body to attach a Refrigeration Unit.
Another interesting feature, there was wiring on the doors for heated mirrors
Bill and Darleen