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The Martin Truck and Body Corp.

The formation of the Martin-Parry Corp. was the result of a 1919 merger between the Martin Truck & Body Corp. of York, Pennsylvania and the Parry Mfg. Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana.


Although some very early Ford trucks were sold with commercial bodies, Ford discontinued the program in 1913.  Being a carriage maker, Martin offered a complete line of commercial bodies not only for the Model T, but also for their own line of chassis, renaming the firm to the Martin Truck & Body Corp. in the mid-teens to better reflect their line of work. 


For over ten years Ford had literally given away their truck body business to independent builders around the country and in 1923 decided to stop being so generous, and implemented a new fully equipped Ford Truck sales program starting with the 1924 model year.


The emergence of the motor truck, and in particular, the International High-Wheeler in 1907 did not go unnoticed by Martin.  Martin introduced a ½-ton high-wheeled truck in 1909 that was powered by a 16hp 2-cylinder engine that delivered power to its rear wheels via a planetary transmission and chain drive. A re-designed ½ -ton to 6-ton Cab Over Engine debuted in 1911 powered by a choice of either a 29- or 66-hp Wisconsin 4-clinder engine. The 2-cylinder Martin was discontinued in 1913 and the 4-cylinder chassis became the all-new Atlas Truck in 1916.  


Following the introduction of the Dodge Bros. truck in 1916, Martin was one of the first body builders to advertise bodies built specifically for the new light truck.  Martin, and others, specialized in station wagon or depot hack bodies for both the new Dodge as well as the Ford Model T.  Martin’s station wagon was called the “Park Auto Body” and was marketed directly to Ford and Dodge Bros. dealers in the Northeast.  


As with all early station wagons, the respective factories, (Ford, Dodge, and others) did not assemble these vehicles, they only supplied the chassis. When a wagon was ordered by a dealer, the chassis would be delivered to the body company where the bodies would be mounted. Completed vehicles would then be picked up at the factory, or shipped directly to the respective dealership. Bodies shipped overseas or by rail were normally sent disassembled in crates or “knocked –down” and then reassembled once they reached their final destination. 


Ads by the Martin-Parry Corp. in Town & Country and National Geographic advertised the firm’s Park Auto Body, a continuation of the series of suburban bodies introduced by the Martin Truck & Body Corp. in 1916.  


The worm-drive Atlas Truck survived into 1921 although it became a separate firm, now called the Atlas Truck Co., following Martin’s merger with Parry.  

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