Texaco's 1934 Doodlebug on steroids


Texaco was concerned about its image back in the 1930s of our timeline, and spent a ton of money (for the time) on image making, logo wearing vehicles that set the tone and theme for the company. There were several Texaco-themed racing aircraft, and other vehicles, but most especially, there were Texaco themed delivery trucks dating back to the 1920s. The prettiest of them all was the 1934 Texaco Doodlebug fuel truck. Designed with a futurist aesthetic and to streamlined with stark clean lines, the Doodlebug was one of a kind. Or six of a kind. There is very little written about them beyond a few contemporary articles in automotive magazines. The design was the brainchild of Norman Bel Geddes, a famous industrial designer and early futurist visionary associated with retro futurism. He created Texaco’s famous Star/green T logo, which is used today.

the prevailing theory is they were painted bright red, but some people think they were painted black

Apparently there is little evidence there were ever more than six of these vehicles produced. Their mission was to deliver fuel oil to industrial facilities. I assume they did the job but their carrying capacity was limited, nowhere near as large as the giant tanker trucks on the road today. One assumes their primary job was a rolling billboard for Texaco. Still, they must have been very impressive both as a triumph of industrial design and for their futuristic, glamorous look. Since this vehicle debuted in 1934, I thought it might be a natural for Mad Maximilian 1934, a game I’ve been running at conventions.

There’s a wonderful, rare diecast from Bizarre that routinely sells for more than 100 USD online. I would kick myself if I bought that, but I did find this coin bank in the same scale (1:43) for a fraction of that. The bank part of it was fine, I could always cover up the slot.

Gasoline Pirates of the Great Plains: A Mad Maximillian 1934 adventure

So I’ve been working on a classic post apoc scenario, the tanker being chased by small gnat like vehicles first seen in the Road Warrior (1982). I have a mental picture of several motorcycles working in teams taking on a convoy of tankers (two of them), one of which is the Doodlebug. The tankers would have an escort and be crewed by a state mercenary unit who use rocket jet packs. I’ll have to make up rules for those. The Doodle bug is heavily armed and has bolt on armor pieces, There is one other tanker (smaller) and maybe a Junker escort. Against this, a small horde of bikes and buggies.

Behold! the Doodlebug from hell!
Rear gunner has a harpoon and a downward facing flamethrower
Front Twin LMG position, which can swivel to become and AA gun. There will be period aircraft to shoot at.

I have roughly 20 bikes and about 5 to 6 buggies. More than enough firing power to take on the tankers. I’m finishing up the paint job on the doodle now. The other period fuel truck is done. I look forward to running this one at Historicon, if there is a historicon, and I’m still alive.

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