Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hawkeye Truck Company

The Hawkeye Truck was the only motor vehicle ever manufactured in Sioux City, Iowa. The company was organized in 1914 and manufactured their trucks through the late 1920's. The first truck was turned out in 1915 at the first manufacturing location, 313 Jennings Street.

In July of 1918 Ralph Bennett, owner of the company had 2 new single story buildings, covering 41,000 square feet, built at 2700 Floyd River Road, renamed and now called Hawkeye Drive for the name of the truck company. 65 to 70 men were employed at Hawkeye Truck company and could turn out 10 trucks a day. One building is still standing today and still in use by a different company.

Hawkeye Truck Company built 3 models. The one and one-half ton, the two ton and the three and one half ton. Early models were built with hard rubber tires with later models having newer pneumatic tires. They were used in every line of industry and agriculture. One model had a hydraulic safety tower used by a utility company to raise workers up to as much as 45 feet to work on utility poles and lines.

Hawkeye trucks were found all over Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, the mid-west and as far away as England and China. At a London show the Hawkeye trucks were called the "Rolls Royce of commercial vehicles".

Not many of the trucks exist today. Only 3 are known to exist in Sioux City. Two are at the new Sioux City Public Museum, with one currently on display and 1 is on display at the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation Museum

It is unknown if the trucks were sold direct from the factory or through dealerships. One possible dealer may have been at the former Bennett Motor Mart building in downtown Sioux City. Ralph Bennett was owner of Hawkeye Truck Company and the Motor Mart building. Ralph Bennett was one of Sioux City's early automobile dealer's.

Hawkeye Truck Company closed their doors in the mid 1930's.

Sioux City Tribune October 31, 1928:

Sioux City Journal February 16, 1975:

Other articles:

Photos of Hawkeye Truck on display at the new Sioux City Public Museum:

This 1917 One and a Half Ton Model K is on display at the new Sioux City Public Museum. It made it's first debut at the Annual Bill Diamond Antique and Classic Car Show held during Labor Day weekend in 2010:

This 1918 Hawkeye Truck was purchased at an auction in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It had to be completely restored to it's original beauty. The cab is a bit differant than the original.

Article and photos:

Hawkeye Truck Company building:

Hawkeye Dr Street Sign:

Information sources are:
New Sioux City Public Museum and Research Center
Sioux City Public Library

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