aim of this project was to create a 3D computer model of the 1947
Streamliner and, using the geometry obtained, to manufacture a 1/24
scale model of the truck by a computer-controlled CNC milling machine.
Measurements taken from the restored 1947 Streamliner were used, however
the tractor was modified to accommodate for the original longer
Images showing several stages of the modelleng process (Click on a thumbnail below to view a full-size image)
Final renders (Click on a thumbnail below to view a full-size image)
is often claimed that the streamlined beer trucks of the late 30s'
appeared as traveling billboards since advertising of beer was
prohibited in the media. However, it should be noted that the
so-called 'Streamline design' was the order of the day. Raymond Loewy
successfully applied it to locomotives, long distance busses and
automobiles, while design projects of Norman Bel Geddes ranged from
airplanes to ocean liners. In fact 'streamlining' became so popular,
that it was used to stylize virtually any kind of consumer product,
including completely static ones. Moreover, even for the moving
objects, their seemingly 'aerodynamic' shapes were mere fruits of
imagination of their creators, as actual experiments with wind tunnels
were seldom conducted.
Streamlining of trucks was probably started by The Texas Company (later Texaco) already in 1931. Their 1933 Diamond T-based tanker , also known as the ´doodlebug´, exemplifies the early efforts in
streamlining of fuel tanker trucks. This was followed by other companies
in the field as well tank body manufacturers. One of the most popular
platforms for these trucks was Dodge Airflow, first introduced in December 1934.
Count Alexis De Sakhnoffsky
(1901 - 1964) was a prominent industrial designer who had a long
association with the White Motor Company. As an assignee for the company
he was responsible for designing streamlined tankers based on conventional and coe
trucks. The design for the first generation of streamliners for
John Labatt Limited was patented by de Sakhnoffsky in 1938 .
Apparently related to Labatt's streamliners were designs of a trailer
patented in 1937 and a tractor in 1938 . However, Labatt's was not the only brewery that operated streamlined vehicles at that time.
generations of streamliners were built for Labatt's. These
included semis and vans of similar design. All the designs were drawn by
Alexis de Sakhnoffsky. The streamliners were built by the Smith
Brothers Motor Works of Toronto. The coachbuilder used Canadian-built White tractors
and Canadian-built Fruehauf drop-frame trailers to construct the
vehicles. The bodies for the units were hand-built of aluminum
sheets pined over the wooden frame of white oak and ash.
initial order for the forth generation of streamliners was placed in
1941. Original plan included 15 units for Labatt's and one unit for
Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, as a vehicle for transporting
ponies. Manufacturing was however disturbed by World War II and the work
resumed only in 1946. Eventually eleven units were built, ten for
Labatt's and one for Princess Juliana.
The 1947 Labatt's
streamliner was different its predecessors, the trailer was set lower
and was rounded at the front and the rear, it also sported a decorative
stainless steel dorsal fin. The tractor had a longer 121" wheelbase. The
specifications of the streamliner are given in Table I. The vehicle was
painted red with distinctive stripes and lettering in golden leaf; the
two tone (red/dark blue) paintjob characteristic for the previous
generations of streamliners was dropped.