Die Cast Steel Toy Truck "Buddy L Army Supply Corps" c.1940



This is an original die cast steel toy truck with rubber wheels, finished in army-green powder coating by the Buddy L Corporation. The truck has advertising on both sides that reads "Buddy L Army Supply Corps". The piece has appropriate patina for its age. There is some rust coming through its original finish and the signage has worn on both sides. The rubber wheels and toy mechanism are in excellent condition.

  • CREATOR Buddy L Corporation (Manufacturer)
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Die cast steel, powder coating, rubber.
  • CONDITION Excellent. Wear consistent with age and use.
  • DIMENSIONS H 6.5 in. x W 14 in. x D 5.5 in.


Buddy L, introduced by Fred Lundahl and named for his son, was one of the most successful lines of toys in the USA. The Moline Pressed Steel Company in Moline, Illinois began making the model vehicles in 1921 with the same heavy gauge steel they used in automobiles and trucks. The toys immediate popularity resulted in Moline shifting exclusively to the models within a few years.

Buddy L produced trains, construction, delivery and emergency vehicles, as well as Ford cars and trucks. All had moving parts, some had removable cargo and working hydraulics. Early vehicles averaged from 20 to 26 inches and were sturdy enough for a child to ride. 

World War II's need for steel meant finding other materials, so Buddy L produced wood vehicles during those years. After the war, vehicle size decreased and Buddy L experimented with plastics, but quickly returned to metal fabrication in lighter gauge materials. In the 1970s, the company was sold to a Japanese firm. 


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