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1930’s Featured Truck Article Links

November 5th, 2017
Month Year Make Owner
October 2017 1939 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Robert Bratcher
June 2017 1939 Chevrolet COE 108″ WB John and Lisa Milton
April 2017 1937 Chevrolet Panel Truck Burt Fulmore
November 2016 1936 Chevrolet 1 1/2 Ton Mike Russell
April 2016 1938 GMC Cab Over, Roll-Back Glenn Garrison
July 2015 1936 Chevrolet Low Cab 1/2 Ton Bryan and Beth Frogue
June 2015 1935 American Doodlebug Mr. & Mrs. Steve Mosley & Family
April/May 2015 1934-36 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Panel Truck Unknown
May 2014 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Richard Wright
September 2013 1936 GMC Pat Kroeger
June 2013 1939 Chevrolet ½ Ton Steve Jones, New Zealand
March 2013 1939 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Pickup John H. Sheally II
January 2013 1934 Chevrolet Canopy Express Kevin Koch
October 2012 1935 Chevrolet Suburban Ed Brouillet
June 2012 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express Roger and Ginny Schuyler
December 2011 1937 GMC T-16 Cab Over Engine Gary Witmer
October 2011 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Roger Sorenson
August 2011 1936 Chevrolet ½ Ton Pat O’Brien
February/March 2011 1936 Chevrolet ½ Ton Pickup Don Shew
June 2010 1938 GMC COE Jim Raeder
November 2009 1938 Chevrolet ½ Ton Don Cotrona
March 2009 1939 Chevrolet Model XHJC Brian Robinson
December 2008 1937 GMC Trailabout Ron Loos
September 2007 1937 GMC ½ Ton Richard Carroll
August 2007 1936 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Leo Stokesberry
November 2006 1935 Chevrolet Suburban Ed Brouillet
April 2006 1936 GMC ½ Ton Pat Kroeger
November 2005 1934 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Steve Sickler
Sept/Oct 2005 1969 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Glenn Sexton
August 2005 1939 Chevrolet 1 Ton Will Perterson
July 2005 1938 Chevrolet Dan Sauter
February 2005 1939 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Sergies Lucas
September 2003 1937 Chevrolet ½ Ton Al Lopez
July 2002 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Johnston

 

1935 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

May 1st, 2014


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This month we feature one of the nicest 1935 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickups in the country. At 69 years old, the owner attends his first 12 car shows.
All are in upstate New York during 2013.
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His 1935 received no less than first place in every one in the commercial class. In five of these events he also was awarded “Best of Show” Those attending
stand and admire. Quality parts, good workmanship, its rarity, and the owner that is always there for questions at shows is important. Here is how a ½ ton
pickup receive this much attention.

IT GETS BETTER!
The Westtown NY newspaper sponsors a classic car and truck display each month in their city which awards a trophy for the “Best of Show”. At the end of 12 months of shows the public then picks the best of all the prior 12 winners. Yes, you are correct. Richard’s little 1935 was voted the 2013 “Ride of the Year”! They don’t get much better than this.

This is its story

Its 1965 in upstate Westtown, New York. A young Richard Wright notices a 1935 Chevy ½ ton in a local salvage yard. He can see it every day as he passes the yard. One afternoon he finally stops and asked about it. What a surprise! He can own it for $100.00 and then tow it home. The next day it sits in his back yard!

At 21 years old, you usually don’t consider restoration. It soon received a V-8 engine and related mechanicals to make it go fast and sound like it could even go faster.
And then comes life changes. Marriage, children and a home with all the usual expenses on a limited income. The little truck was put aside for the other higher priorities. When Richard received an offer to sell it and make a good profit, he knew he had to let it go.

In looking back, Richard remembers being unhappy for 44 years whenever he thought of selling that little truck. He had not seen another since.
Now enters Richard’s brother in about 2009 when he noticed an unrestored 1935 advertised in the next county. He demands they go together to see it. Though very badly worn most all parts were there. It was said to have been used in a New York apple orchard during its earlier years.

Richard decided it would be a great retirement project for himself (he was 65 years old) and his brother. He just had to own it! It would be much like reliving their early years when he had his first 1935. Only this time, it would be mostly just like GM made it.

Sadly, soon after the restoration started, his brother developed an incurable disease and then the rebuilding begin feverously. Richard worked continually with some help from the brother so at least the truck could look near new and it would be drivable for both. Only a surface restoration was done but it looked good if you did not get too close.

Sometime after his brother passed away, Richard decided it was time to restore the pickup even better. Now it went down to the bare frame. Each part was restored or replaced. Four years were required to make it what it is today.

He went out of his way to find original GM parts when possible so it could be very close to a new 1935. Every nut and bolt was removed, cleaned, painted or replaced. Being a retired Chevrolet mechanic gave him experience to help carry the project to completion.
Even the cab was disassembled completely. The top unbolts from the cab sides. All the mechanicals were rebuilt to make it like new, no exceptions. It still has the correct 207 six cylinder and 3 speed transmission. Richard wanted no problems once the pickup was completed.

One special extra that always separates the “men from the boys” in a show is the addition of a correct cotton covered braided wiring harness. This looks so special in a 1935 vehicle in comparison to modern day PVC coated wiring!

About 3 years into this major 4 year restoration another bad thing occurred in Richard’s life. It was necessary that he have open heart surgery! This really slowed his progress on the little 1935 ½ ton. “I could not do things like I used to”.

To help with the final 20% of the restoration his good friend Glenn Adams owner of Star Collision and Body Shop came to Richard’s rescue. He took care of sheet metal straightening and painting in their special paint booth. Richard helped with the body assembly while in the later stages of his heart surgery healing. It was Glenn that made the final stages of the restoration possible!

Important! When you rebuild a pickup cab (or a car) with a wood body frame, a new set of rules are introduced. The ash wood must be cut to “exact” specifications. No errors allowed! Following photos show the cab wood frame prior to the sheet metal being attached.

Once the cab wood frame is assembled the metal panels are temporarily attached. If the panels do not fit perfectly, they are removed and wood carving is required. It is back and forth until all metal is aligned perfectly. Only then is the exterior sheet metal painting done (off the truck). Of course, the metal panels have to be straightened exactly right at the very beginning.

For example: Richard explains there was many hours getting the wood to fit perfectly inside just one metal door skin so that the latching would operate correctly! It is difficult to imagine that in 1935 a new pickup came off the assemble-line every 10 or 15 minutes!
Only two major changes exist in the restoration: the brakes and the dash.

The brakes are 1936, one year newer. Thus, the pickup has hydraulic brakes and not the cable system as in 1935. Richard explains “I have so much time and money in this restoration, it needed an improved brake system to help avoid an accident”.

The burl walnut coating on the dash gives the interior a more deluxe appearance.
The following photos are divided into before, during and after the major restoration.

The Beginning!

                    Richard Wright’s first 1935, bought about 1965
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At Home

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The Fun Begins

 

The Second Beginning

                               The 2009 New Purchase

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Trailered Home

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Incomplete Engine
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A Tired 1/2 Ton

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Most is There

                         1936 Axles Give Hydraulic Brakes

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Front

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Rear

                           Down to the Frame

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Almost Apart

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On Edge

                       Mechanicals Await Installation

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Engine Ready

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3 Speed Completed
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Differential

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All Together

                            Sheet Metal Ready

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Cowl

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Waiting Assembly

                       Sizing Metal Before Paint

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Panels Tested

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Wood & Door Mating
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Bed Check for Fit

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Fenders Ready

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More Sizing

                                  Assembly Begins

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The Floor Frame
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Cab Frame
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Roof in Place
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Window Panel
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Getting Close

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Complete

                                  Assembly After Paint

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Corners & Back

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Almost There
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Looking Good

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Fenders in Place
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Interior

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The Focal Point
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Richard’s New Wheel

The Finished Product!
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Hood Down
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Hood Up
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Right Side
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Engine in Place
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Back View
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New Headliner

You can contact Richard Wright at char63@optimum.net.
For even more data on why the 1935 Chevy ½ ton is so rare, click on the web site of Jim Carters Truck Parts. http://www.oldchevytrucks.com, then technical articles, next 1934-46 catalog, and finally cabs. This will lead you to: The Demise of 1935 High Cab Pickups. You will get an even more update on why these pickups are so unusual in today’s world.

 

 

 

 

1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express

May 31st, 2012


1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express
While recently sorting through some stored papers we found some older photos of our
un-restored 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express we once owned. What a surprise! We thought these pictures were lost.

Our company, Jim Carter Truck Parts, had bought this very rare vehicle from Walt Kutchler of Anaheim, CA during the early 1990’s. Walt was an avid collector of 1937 Suburban’s and other rare 1930’s Chevrolets.

Our idea was to restore it to new condition. It would then be placed in our company show room for customers to see. We were a relatively new company and restoration funds were limited. We discovered it would probably be years before we could afford to complete this restoration and gather some of the rare missing parts. So when a person in Northern California began to push us into selling it, we finally yielded to the pressure.

After all, he was to keep it looking like a 1937 and also used it in his business for advertising.

Some of the photos you are seeing are when Roger and Ginny Schuyler of Crescent City, CA first received it from us. Yes, much work was ahead of them. When I received his packet in the mail in 1999, I was amazed! The little 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express was better than new. We had plans to use its original 216 six cylinder engine, however the Schuyler’s choice of a small block V-8 turned out very well. The bright paint, side curtains, and white wall tires make it the eye- catcher at all the shows. Roger told me at its first show, it received a 2nd place out of 500 vehicles! We can see why.

While writing this article, we found the phone number we had for the Schuyler’s was no longer theirs. If anyone knows where the Schuylers or this little 1937 Canopy Express are located, we would sure be interested in reconnecting with them. Email us at jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com.  Please see updated information below the images.

1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express
1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express

Update:  June 14, 2012

The new owners have been found!  They are Hap and Karen Volk of southwest Oregon.  The Canopy Express is said to be just as clean as when first restored.  As often occurs with a vehicle this nice, the owners hesitate driving it because of the possibility of scrapes, gravel chips, and related road damages.

They have considered selling it at about their cost of $40,000.  If you are a serious buyer, the owners can be contacted at karen@karenvolkrealty.com or call (541) 672-4444.

 

 

1939 Chevrolet

August 1st, 2005

Owner: Will Peterson, Winnemucca, Nevada

1939 chevrolet pick up truck

I purchased my 39 Chevy in 1973 for 500$US. I drove it in original condition for several years. After 3 wives, it has been the only thing I could hold onto. I used it for wood hauling, then with a 600 gal. tank, for water, then in the 80’s, it went mining with me, serving well hauling gold ore down a treacherous road. Finally, it was ready restoration, which started with a new water pump, then a new head gasket, and on and on. I tore it down for a frame off restoration. I sand blasted the frame, checked the 4 speed transmission, installed all new brake stuff, and a clutch replacement. Then I checked out the bottom end of the engine and gave it a new valve job. New glass and upholstery followed and Finally paint and reassemble. It is almost totally original with a 41- 46 stepside pickup bed.

While tearing it down, I removed the top from the non-synchro 4 speed to clear the cab when I pulled the 216. It looked very good gear-wise for all the thrashing it has absorbed. It makes noise in first gear as do all spur cut gears.

The 216 runs pretty good, so I removed the pan and re-shimmed the rods, replaced the seals and gasket. It was so nasty, with rat poop and nesting, old grease and who knows what. No rust though I had a vision of it shiny and clean, like brand new, pulling me back to a simpler time. My wheel base is 158.5 in. but the frame is drilled for 133in. which will put it in long bed pickup box category or short bed with 110 in. That makes it a heavy duty pickup with single wheels at the rear. An Express model..

I bought a good sandblaster and new compressor, and ordered new brake parts, new motor mounts, new cab mount kits from Carters. When I pulled engine and transmission I found really caked on old Saudi oil on it. So I pulled pan and head and side panel, lifters. Next came pistons. The block did not require ridge reaming, and I bought a digital c-clamp for measuring all of this. Bore is standard, as is the crank , so cool. Crank and rods are in good shape, I installed new rings and pistons, the gap on mine is 1/16 in., and the manual calls for .005 to .015, I read 1/32 can be acceptable. I re-shimed rods to .002, using the method the old mechanics used in 1941 manual. After reading the manual, I am lucky to not have to do the crank.

It was interesting to find out how the babbit rods work. The misconception of dipper is that it is a dipper type system for all engine speeds. But actually the dippers only dip at very slow engine speed, as there are nozzles that direct a high pressure stream of oil to the dipper holes when engine is at higher rpm. It is a very good system, misunderstood. Even when one installs replaceable insert type rods in this engine, it is still the same dipper-nozzle type oiling. It really works good if set up properly. I installed an oil filter and detergent type oil is used.

New clutch disc, new rings and pistons, new motor mounts, master and wheel cylinder repair kits were ordered.

Cab work: I removed all the inner panels, only rust on the overhead wiper cover. Very good condition for 66 years old. I removed the dash to redo the gauges. Sorting out all the fasteners, I had to use them as samples. Not one of them was useable. One thing missing was the horn. It is a two tone type, as there is a switch on the dash with city tone or country tone. The next project was the cab and windshield. The windshield was tough, as the lower v-strap was rust-welded in the 377$us frame. I managed to salvage most of it but I had to buy new v straps and glass, repair the frame a bit, and paint over the repairs.

I pulled the dash out with all the wiring, so the cab was now totally stripped. I sand blasted the whole cab and put in sound proofing after interior painting. All the wiring and some of the switches were replaced. I was thinking, “This thing will be like brand new, almost….I know there is an end to it, somewhere down the line…It is just so much fun”. I got a new windshield for 40$us. This was the best deal I got.

New parts from Carter showed up. The crank and rods were just fine. I re-did the shims on the rods according to a 1941 manual. Did not use plastigage, they showed how to get it tight and then loosen by .002 so the rod would just slap back and forth by hand. I removed 003 from each rod bearing. I put the engine back together with new oil tube for rockers, new water pump, valve job, and gaskets.

March 13, 05, I installed the engine, started it without water, ran for about 20 seconds, sounds good…. I got a 1955 stepside bed, 78 in long, with no fenders on it, but with good metal and a tailgate. Fenders from Jim Carter’s go for $250.00 each. I can run it around without rear fenders for awhile anyway. I do plan to get to Hot August Nights in Reno this year. I had to repair the wiper motors and the covers by riveting aluminum sheet over a section of rusted out metal. I then installed new brake lines, all new rubber, brakes are ready now.

Body work is unending sanding. I got new side window, it seems like everything I touch has to be fixed in some way. I decided on sunrise red trim, fenders and running boards brown with the cab and bed Almond. Saw the older Chevy on the front of the Jim Carter’s catalog and was inspired. I installed cab with new mount. The grille had small red remnants in the horizontal lines and the front Chevrolet emblem was red. Evidently it was a decal. Using one color for the big basics unitized the beauty of the 39 design. Brown looks good in the interior.

I ran the motor for 1 hr, all was well after I adjusted the valves. This engine sounds like a new one, with no unusual noises. By this time I was almost done. I installed the interior trim from Carter’s. It looks like a new pickup. Red trim was next. Upholstery was initially a Saddle Blanket type. I installed antifreeze and new side terminal battery on April 7, 05. Now that I was nearly done, it was similar to having a kit car shipped to my garage with all the engineering done. Just put it together. I got a very sound feeling of pride, an appreciation of 10 for the people that created this truck back in 1939.

On April 19, 05. I installed the wiring for the alternator (I kept the original generator ), started it up, charged just fine. I tried to turn it off, no way. Then I remembered reading in Carter’s catalog about a diode to stop that. The alternator provides current at idle to operate the ignition, bypassing the battery. I also installed the hard yellow pine into the bed. I used polyurethane for protection. The bed only has 7 boards, making it a 1946 model, according to Carter’s, and it looks the same as earlier, down to the square nuts used. It is also a wee bit wider than 1939 models. A lot of the bed components were the same from 32 to early seventies. I installed a new glove box from Carter’s, it is made real good and fits super. Red wheels, hard yellow pine bed boards, red hold down strips, were installed and look good. Now , it was time to bleed the brakes, wire up the Chevy taillights. I think it is done. I think I will go for a ride with no license plate but and old 1934 Calif. one I found many years ago. I bet the cops will let me go……

Editors Note: Because many dates were not noted, this article has been edited slightly from the original diary format.

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1939 chevrolet pick up truck 1939 chevrolet pick up truck 1939 chevrolet pick up truck