M26 Pacific Truck Tractor – lot 0115

Auction Expired

  • No Reserve
  • Margin
  • Buyer’s premium 16.5 % of the hammer price
  • Location: 84570 Villes Sur Auzon, Vaucluse, France (near Marseille)
  • Estimated Price: €35,000 – €40,000 (When restored: around €110.000)
  • Brochure: Lot 0115 T&T M26 Truck Tractor Rev 2.0

Pacific Car & Foundry: Truck, 12-ton 6×6 Tractor M26

The ‘Dragon Wagon’; The most impressive, armored tank tractor from WW-II!

The sheer size, featureless flat slab sides and sharp-angled corners give the presence like no other support vehicle in the US armory during World War Two. It’s a vehicle with an interesting history and, in an odd turn of events, the M15(A1) trailer (also currently offered in this auction) pulled by the M26 tractor was efficiently designed by the Fruehauf Trailer Company before a suitable 6×6 tractor unit was available.
However relatively many M26 Pacific Trucks survived (as well in armored and non-armored version) this is absolutely not the case for the M15 trailer. Trails with prototype tractors were therefore quickly arranged. The winner was the chain driven T25 prototype designed by the Knuckey Truck Company of San Francisco, California which had the experience in building heavy plant machinery. The T25 was productionised as the ‘Truck, 12-ton 6×6 Tractor M26’. It was fitted with dual Carwood Winches, a recovery frame and a fifth wheel to attach the trailer. However, it could be used on its own as a recovery tractor. When attached to the trailer as a tractor unit,. The combination was designed as ‘Truck-Trailer 40-ton, tank recovery M25’.
As a relatively small company Knuckey did not have the manufacturing capacity to produce a large number of tractor units required by the US Army. As a result, production was turned over to the Pacific Car and Foundry Company of Renton Washington, which went on to produce 1,372 examples between 1943 and 1945.

In the past several of these units were stalled on several scrapyards all over Europe especially France. However, actually it is almost impossible to find a nice restoration project. This might be the last example left being a solid basis for a full restoration job.

This example is recently discovered by Ivo Jr. and Sr. of BAIV BV in Southern France. This is an ex-French Army unit released in the late sixties. Reason was that was involved in an accident in which the right side of the front rear axle apparently came into contact with an object that ‘gave limited movement’.

Despite the fact that several parts are missing on the truck, the owner has done his best to complete the whole as a package over the recent years. The unit therefore comes with an extra rear front axle, all wheels, main which pack with pins, front winch, A-frame / hoist, fifth wheel (non-original) all engine covers, exhaust stack shield and a lot of small loose parts.

This makes this a fantastic package for someone who is looking for a fabulous project.
Vehicle is located in Southern France (near Marseille) and requires a full restoration.

This Truck; the 12-ton 6×6 Tractor M26 is in general very complete and a very nice basis for full restoration. As it has never seen any civil service it was never abused and comes with many of its original military details.
Universally known as the “Dragon Wagon”, the complete combination is without doubt an impressive and desirable vehicle, turning heads at events and commemorations.

Comprising of a tractor unit with trailer, the Dragon Wagon is a very large vehicle and as such is for the serious collector.
On the vehicle you can still find some of the original markings, which is quite unique and rare.

Experienced restorers recognize the value of such a project mainly because it is so complete. Note that some of the parts are currently not mounted like the winches and engine covers etc.
Due to this, you do not have to search for the missing parts for years. However, a well-equipped workshop is an absolute must!

As far as we can determine, the engine is not cracked and turns Also, the entire drivetrain appears to be basically in good condition. Only the middle axle has been pushed out of the attachment, but a spare axle is included to be used a donor / replacement when required.
Unit will be delivered without road registration.


In 1941, intelligence reports from the battles in North Africa revealed the need for a tank recovery/transporter unit to recover light and medium tanks and other combat vehicles from the battlefield and to transport them to Ordnance shops for repair. In October 1941, the U.S. Army issued the request for a wheeled tractor truck with semitrailer, capable of loading both damaged and running tanks, of full load operation at 35 mph over improved roads and of negotiating a 60 % slope in low gear. The tractor truck should be provided with an armored cab for crew protection and the necessary equipment to recover disabled tanks.

The Fruehauf Trailer Co. proposed a 6×6 tractor truck coupled to a semitrailer with the desired load capacity, and in January 1942, the development of such a combination, designated Heavy Wrecker T3 and consisting of the Tractor Truck T 13 and the Trailer T28, was recommended and the procurement of two pilot vehicles from Fruehauf was approved. Manufacture of the tractor trucks was subcontracted by Fruehauf to the Dart Motor Co. of Kansas City (See picture below).

Inspection of the first T 13 pilot revealed a seriously overloaded front axle, and the second pilot was fitted with an unarmored open cab and a canvas top. Evaluation of the second T13 pilot with its T28 Trailer (now redesignated Tank Recovery Unit T3) took place in April 1942. The performance of the Dart T 13 was unsatisfactorily, main deficiencies being poor mobility, a weak engine, and an overstressed power train!

At the same time the Knuckey Truck Co. of San Francisco, California proposed a new concept with a different power train layout, featuring a center jack shaft and a chain-driven rear bogie. Procurement of a pilot vehicle, designated Tractor Truck T25, was approved in June 1942, and the T25 pilot was delivered in September 1942. The production capacity at the Knuckey Truck Co. was judged inadequate by the Army and the contract was transferred to the Pacific Car & Foundry Co. of Renton, Washington in December 1942.
Both the T25 Tractor Truck pilot and the T28 Trailer pilot (the combination being designated as 40-ton Tank Recovery Truck-Trailer T21) were tested at Renton in April 1943.

The vehicles were approved as Tractor Truck M26 and Semitrailer M15, components of the 40-ton Tank Transporter Truck-Trailer M25, in June 1943, with production already underway since May. The M26, which was christened TR-I by Pacific Car & Foundry, was powered by a huge Hall-Scott 440 6-cylinder gasoline engine. Hall-Scott of Berkeley, California was a famous manufacturer of marine engines and had been purchased by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1925.

The delays in fielding the M25 forced the U.S. Army in 1942 to accept (temporary) the M19 Tank Transporter, consisting of the Diamond T M20 Tractor and the Rogers 45-ton Trailer M9, originally built for the British and Canadian Armies, as an interim solution.

Though the M19 was employed by the U.S. Army in far larger numbers, it was not designed for off-road recovery work and therefore mainly used for hauling tanks and general supplies over improved roads. 

The design of the M25 proved to be very good. The only major production change to the tractor truck was the introduction of an unarmored cab with canvas top in 1944. The armored cab of the M26 was a mixed blessing, providing armor protection to the crew only while traveling but not during recovery operations, due to limiting visibility and overstressing the front axle!
The unarmored version was standardized as Tractor Truck M26A1 in October 1944, and the M26 was reclassified as Limited Standard. Therefore, the US forces donated most Armored versions to other countries in the post war period and keep the unarmored version for themselves.

At the same time, the practice of assigning a nomenclature to the combination of tractor truck and semitrailer was discontinued. Though the designation as M25 Tank Transporter is generally applied to all conceivable combinations of the M26 and M26A1 Tractor Trucks with the M15 and M15Al Semitrailers, the U.S. Army officially relates the use of the M25 designation only to the M26/M15 combination.

The nickname “Dragon Wagon” for the M25 is generally believed to be of U.S. Army origin, which seems plausible, though it was not generally used in Army publications or official photo captions. Some traces can be found as in an advertisement for Goodrich tires of March 1944 where it reads: “Meet the dragon wagon” and “DRAGON WAGON is what the soldiers call this tank recovery unit”. 


Truck, 12-ton 6×6 Tractor M26 Model TR-1


Pacific Car and Foundry Company of Renton Washington, USA


48,300 Ib. (21.828 kg) combat weight




Hall-Scott 440, 6 cylinder, 4-cycle gasoline engine, side-valve, liquid-cooled
Piston displacement:     1,090 cu in (17.910 cc)
Power output:                 240 bhp at 2,100 rpm

Bore:                               5 ¾ in

Stroke:                            7     in

Weight:                           2,100 lb.
The 440 Engine differed from the 400 series engine it was derived from by having a power steering pump, a larger radiator, a stronger water pump shaft, a bypass valve to the oil filter and positive crankcase valve.

Serial No. 440320


Main: Spicer Model 703 4×3 speed, manual, constant-mesh and clash
Top mounted power take off: Fuller Model 4B86


Front Axle:                       Type:                      Banjo type

                                        Make & model:      Timken F 7900-A725

                                        Ratio:                      7.69 : 1

Rear Axle:                        Type:                      Tandem Axle

                                                                      suspension chain


Brakes:                            Type:                      Air-actuated.                                                           

Wheels and Tires :          Wheel type:           Budd

                                        Tires:                       14.00 x 24 20 ply


Max. speed:                                             28 mph (45 km/h)
Gradeability:                                            30 %
Max. fording depth:                                56 in (142 mm)
Turning circle:                                         480 in (12.19 m)


Overall Length:               304    in       (7.720 mm)
Overall Width:                 130 ½ in              (3.320 mm)
Overall Height:                124     in       (3.150 mm)
Note: Height on top of cab: 114 in (2.900 mm)


172 in (4.370 mm)


Front Winch:                   Model:          Carwood 5M713K
                                        Capacity:     35,000 lb. (15,9 ton)

Rear Winches:                Model:          Carwood Special 6G-6G
                                        Capacity:     2 x 60,000 lb. (2 x 27,2 ton)

Electrical installation:

12 Volt


Front:                              ¾ in (2,22 cm

Others:                           ¼ in (0,64 cm)       


Ring mount M49 for one cal.50 Machine gun M2
No armament is included


Since this vehicle will be delivered without armament basically no specific permits are required.

However, in / export regulations will be applicable.


Technical Manuals:          TM 9-767

Parts List:                           ORD 7-8-9 SNL G160

Date of Delivery:

09 27 1944

Chassis Nr.:



In need of full restoration.

Almost all original data plates are still installed!


No documentation available. However, will be delivered with invoice and packing list.


Included in the delivery

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is 84570 Villes Sur Auzon,Vaucluse, France (near Marseille).
Local collection is available for this lot. Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

No item will be allowed to be collected without 100% of all legal requirements being fulfilled.


Margin / VAT

This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9. 


Inspections are open on Friday June 17th and June 24th 2022 but are conducted (if applicable) in Covid -19 safe conditions:

  • Inspections will be strictly maximum 1 hour long escorted inspections,
  • Maximum of 3 customers per escorted tour,
  • Customers must book in prior to inspection,
  • Inspection times are 9am 10am 11am 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm,
  • Please note that these inspections might be performed at several locations,
  • Inspections for a longer period or outside these hours can be organized for a refundable fee. (Refundable off purchase price of Auction lot).


To make a booking please reply to [email protected] at least 48 hours before the inspection with the following details:

Full Name(s) and contact details and phone number of the people that are coming to inspect. The LOT number(s) and Auction Name that you wish to inspect (items are stored on several locations, and we will need to retrieve them prior to your arrival).


Parts, accessories, and militaria

The batches of spare parts and various accessories are sold as is, stored in the best conditions and without any guarantee of functioning.



Cars and motorcycles, trucks, cannons, and armored vehicles are sold in as is condition , with or without registration.



Parts, accessories, and militaria

The collection of the lots, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.



Vehicles can be picked up, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.
Handling costs for the removal of the vehicles will, when applicable, be applied at cost.


Arms & weapons

The Auction House will not supply ANY item unless the correct paperwork and licensing – if needed – have supplied in full.

If required and applicable (fire)arms can be made inoperable or permanently disabled by BAIV in The Netherlands as being a licensed Arms & Weapons Dealer Registration Nr. NL20191618779. In this case all relevant cost will be charged to the Buyer in addition and have to be paid in advance in full. Collection by appointment only!


Delivery and Storage

Removal of lots must be completed by Saturday August 6th 2022 after full payment and 100% coverage of all legal requirements.
No storage fees will be applicable until that date.

Lots not picked up by Buyers before Saturday August 6th 2022 will be returned to secure storage at Buyer’s expense. In this case storage fees will be applied as follows :

  • Parts & accessories: € 25,- / lot / week
  • Cars and motorcycles: € 50,- / lot / week
  • Armored vehicles, tanks, cannons etc. € 75,- / lot / week

Storage fees are excluding VAT.


General Conditions of Sale

General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable

Bids on internet

The live auction will be broadcast on: www.aution.tracksandtrade.com 

  1. Register for the auction (log in or create an account)
  2. Bid live.

Please use a computer to follow the live auction!



If any item listed causes offence, or is not correctly or incompletely described, please advise us immediately and we will address your concerns.

Please note this auction date may change due to unforeseen circumstances.


Nigel Hay

MV Historian,  Editor Milweb.net ,  Long term contributor to Classic Military Vehicle Magazine and Market Watcher a.o..   

Good restoration projects have become rare in recent years. Where you could regularly find beautiful projects at French scrap yards 10 years ago, this has completely disappeared in recent years.
This vehicle is without a doubt an excellent basis for a complete restoration. The vehicle is largely complete which means that you do not have to spend many years looking for essential parts.
A fully class A restored M26 Pacific is slowly approaching Euro 100k.
That is why the estimated price level is an excellent basis for someone who wants to restore and own such a fantastic vehicle

Experts estimated value:           between Euro 35.000 and 40.000,- (May 2022)

                                                                 In fully restored condition value will be around Euro 110.000