April 19, 2024

Wade Through Films

The Ultimate Driving Machines

Lucky ’13: The Little Giant

Lucky '13: The Little Giant

Photos by Jim Haklar

The Little Giant’s lack of a front hood can be startling to passengers who are not used to riding so forward on a vehicle

The Little Giant’s lack of a front hood can be startling to passengers who are not used to riding so forward on a vehicle

Thirteen is a lucky number for David Alt, Jr., of Finksburg, Md. He owns 13 mint cars and trucks from 1903 to 1918. One of them is a Little Giant from, you guessed it — ’13. The Little Giant was one of 40 truck brands manufactured in Chicago between 1911 and 1920.

From horse to truck

During the first two decades of the 20th Century, trucks were competing against horses. The flesh-and-blood horse came with fleas, disease, smells and manure. At best, a work horse could haul 25 miles in a day. A commercial truck could go a lot farther, faster and carry more. A horse needed to eat and have a stable. In short, the cost of a horse was becoming unsupportable.