In Reply to: BNO-MOTO-TUGS posted by Mike Groom on October 23, 2009 at 14:52:08:
I own two BNO 40's, #327 and #641. I am a bit surprised that you said that you can determine production years as that is info that I do not have and I would surely like to have if you would post it. I called Harold Brock a few months back and talked to him about the tugs. He seemed to believe that Ford made them at the Rouge plant. He treated them as a side show, something that the government requested of Henry F. for the war effort and Henry went along. This would make the earliest production date 1942, but Harold's memory seemed to be pretty fuzzy. Both of my tugs, which are low serial number tugs, show all the markings of production in or around 1942 - sheet metal dash, I beam radius rods, hinged battery box door, 2N radiators (pressurized). I don't see any of the features of earlier 9N production (I own about 7 9N's so I have plenty around to compare to).
The tugs WERE offered in civilian sales. I have a copy of an original sales brochure. You could order the tug in Ford gloss gray, US Navy flat gray or US Army flat olive drab. The sales brochure shows a pic of a guy in an airline baggage handler's uniform driving a tug. The tug has "Ford" hubcaps on it, which do not appear in the parts manuals.
Don Barkley has an original parts manual in his manuals library. He was good enough to make me a copy. Gary Zielke sold me a tug body and he apparently also has a manual. Don't know if it is original. His late dad restored a tug and put it in a museum. Gary himself is not into tug restorations.
Roger Weingardt in Las Vegas has a BNOS 40 or 25 (not sure) tug in his collection. This was the cast iron wheel and solid rubber tire version. It is "farmerized" and not restored. It is the only surviving "S" tug that I know of.
Hope this info helps. We should really post all of this over on the "History" board. Any info on tugs is scarce and it is a great help if we can share it.
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