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1941 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Friday, August 4th, 2017


When light trucks appeared on the scene about 100 years ago, they were created for only one reason: WORK. This remained their primary use through at least the 1960’s.

Move up another 55 years and today we find the majority of light trucks purchased for another reason: FUN, PLEASURE, and TRANSPORTING PEOPLE. Even the traditional 8 foot ½ ton bed has been mostly replaced with a 5 passenger cab in front of a 6 foot bed. Hauling is less important than carrying friends and family.

Now enter a related newer segment of this trend. It is a spin-off of our current love for trucks and probably why you are reading this article. Of course, it is the enjoyment of owning and rebuilding an old hauler that once was parked and forgotten on a Friday evening when work duties were finished. Then the family sedan or even a sporty coupe or convertible became the weekend transportation.

In regards to his enjoyment of older trucks, few early pickup enthusiasts can be a better example of our country’s new love affair than Jim Shaw of Marshfield, Wisconsin. When you first see Jim’s 1941 ½ ton you think “It all flows together just right but is still very different. Pickup was a limited production or experimental model that General Motors had considered for production!” Here is Jim’s story:

He purchased this ½ ton about 14 years ago in central Wisconsin. It had spent most of its life totally on a local farm. In fact for its last 20 years it had not been even licensed. The title was lost, probably because the farmer never needed it beyond his property use.

Jim immediately decided to keep its attractive 1941 appearance but add some mechanical modifications that would give it a better cruising speed on modern highways, stop quickly and safer, plus be more comfortable to drive. Though the updates were kept hidden, the most eye-catching feature is the all metal bed.

He was just the right person to create this special pickup. Researching, attending auto shows and swap meets allowed him to be so successful putting this project together.

When it came to replacing the very poor condition pickup bed it was the cost that made this unique ½ ton bed come into being. Jim added the new bed price plus shipping and all came to a stop. He is a metal worker by trade. Some left over metal was free at his company after some jobs were completed. His imagination began to put together plans for a special metal bed. It would look much like a private company might have offered it in the 1940’s.

We think he got it just right. It is all hand built by Jim Shaw personally! It was sure an attention getter in the very recent Iola, WI swap meet in July 2017.

The following are some of the modern updates that make this ½ ton his daily driver.


Jim found the ultimate in horsepower from a drop-in 261 six cylinder to replace the original 216 low oil pressure engine. The 261 was used in 2 ton trucks and school buses during the late 1950’s. What a difference!


A 5 speed overdrive transmission makes all the difference in highway speed. The big surprise here is Jim installed this unit from a 1985 Ford pickup! He had this tranny and he felt sure he could make it fit. What a project! As you might suspect it became a complicated project to get a later Ford transmission to fit against a 45 year old Chevrolet bellhousing. The amount of re-drilling, building special shims and spacers is difficult for one’s imagination. Our hats go off to Jim Shay, a professional metal worker with patience and talents far above most restorers.

It gets even more complicated. The original bellhousing was used because in these early years the horizontal shaft that secures the clutch and brake pedals also support the under floor master cylinder. This shaft extends from the left frame rail to the left side of the bellhousing. In this way Jim could place a new duel chamber master cylinder (for safety) out of sight and position it just like GM did it.

We wonder if this configuration exists anywhere but on Jim Shay’s special ½ ton. This is so unusual, we would be interested to hear from anyone that has completed this project.


A higher speed ring and pinion replaces the original. Lower engine RPM at the same speed is the reward. An open drive shaft now connects to the later differential and the overdrive transmission. All are out of sight unless you get down under.


Front late model disc brakes, not seen unless you look at the underside. Extra money was spent during this modification to keep all the original 6 bolt wheels.


A Show Stopper ½ ton that cruises at 70 mph and Jim Shay, made it all fit together!

He drives it daily to his work and on weekends. He keeps it in storage during the Wisconsin winters but still has driven it 2,700 miles in the last 5 months.


Rear View






A Little Extra


From the Driver’s Seat


Passenger View


261 Engine with Full Flow Oil Filter

1948 GMC COE Deluxe Crew Cab

Monday, May 1st, 2017

When your love for custom cars and hot rods has continued to grow over the years there comes a time when you really want a “one of a kind” vehicle. It must relate to your personality and have that certain flair that will never be seen anywhere else.

This creation came after years in the imagination of Cholly Nachman in his small mountain town of Lancaster, New Hampshire.

In his younger years, Cholly had limited disposable income so he personally did minor repairing and rebuilding of his and others special interest basic cars and trucks, attended local vintage vehicle shows, plus was just wishing for something to come into his life that would be more than “everyday”.

Then about 3 years ago when he reached his mid-40’s he said to himself “It’s time to stop wishing. Let’s just do it!” Cholly had mechanical talented friends as a backup, he had some extra money and he sure wasn’t getting any younger.

The decision was made to find a Chevy pickup or panel truck from the 1950’s and fulfill his dreams. In his search for ideas, he suddenly saw a COE (cab-over engine) truck of that vintage. Wow! Not only was it an eye catcher from the factory 60 years ago but he thought what an owner could do to make it different! Cholly was sold. He would find one, try to stretch it into a crew cab and add a pickup box. This combination would be his goal and he began with only some auto magazine photos.

He searched the country for the right cab for a longtime to start the project. The choice would be a deluxe 5 window COE cab. He found his choice in Florida, almost 1,800 miles away. It was shipped to John’s Welding and Repair Shop in Vermont (Now the money flow began) and soon after the rear of the cab was cut and pulled in two pieces. This totaled deluxe cab with all the floor rusted away was just candidate for this project.

The finished product had to be totally ready for highway speeds and have most all modern extras. Therefore, the “drive train” came from a 1985 Chevy Suburban with a 454 cubic inch V-8 two wheel drive. The body was removed and all the mechanicals and frame were rebuilt to be like new. Cholly wanted no repairs, once all was complete.
The long Suburban wheel base allowed for an 8 foot bed from a 1950’s ¾ ton pickup even with adding the longer crew cab. It all fit together so well including the 60 year old pickup rear fenders. All the details of this total project could fill a small book!


One of the best ways to be successful in creating a quality custom truck is to be able to call upon experts that know your rebuilding needs and are willing to lend a hand when the need occurs. Cholly knew he could be successful in most any basic vehicle update but much of creating an extended cab would be in new territory for him. Mistakes can be very expensive to correct!

The person doing the metal panel addition on the cab sectioning had been a good friend for many years and metal work was his specialty. His name is John Lovell and he operates John’s Welding and Fabrication Shop about 10 miles distance in Maidstone, Vermont. To Cholly – John is a legend! He can build / fabricate anything he puts his mind to and he’s learned a ton of skills in his 30 year career building and maintaining Ships in Alaska. He was the shop foreman for a large shipping / fuel company in Nenana Alaska – Working there from spring till fall every year and would come back to northern Vermont for the winter months while the shipyards were closed in their coldest weather. “This project would not have been started without John’s ability!” (This claim to fame is very unusual). He is retired after spending the warmer months in Alaska building and the maintaining of ships but works full time doing sheet metal repair on antique and special interest vehicles. He specializes in antique auto restoration with 30 years’ experience.

John has spent the winters in northern Vermont most of his life. Yes, it is warmer there than in Alaska and he knew Cholly back in the days when he worked in his off season shop. Cholly got lucky! John was willing to take on this very difficult cab extension at 73 years old. Impossible by most any body shop! His tools, lifting equipment and many years’ experience makes it all come together.

When Cholly and John created the extension, they cut the back off the deluxe 5 window COE cab and slid it back 33 inches. Then talented experience began! John created metal panels that fit so smoothly it appeared GM did it with tooling in the 1950’s. He made the large shaped panels to connect the roof and the sides with the original. Everything had to be just right. There was no room for any error.

Here were some of Chollys associates that were so much help in creating this unusual COE extended crew cab three years ago. Without any of them, this truck would not be as it is today.

Larry Mclain – Body Work specialist Paint Specialist
Steve Bennett – Cleaning and Fabrication Start to finish.
Wayne Gilcris – Electrical Wiring
Dillon Fosket – Welding
John Lovell – Project Manager – Fabrication Specialist.
Dane’s Upholster – Danville Vermont – specializes in Antique Upholster
Rae Davenport – Pin striping – Detailing.

With Chollys team of experts, most all of the COE crew cab was finished in about 12 months. Record Time! The results are outstanding as seen in these attached photos.

After so many years of dreaming of building a really awesome custom truck, Cholly now owns a vehicle unlike anyone else. It looks like an all original 60 year old to non-experts but it has the modern necessities. This includes a smooth riding suspension, extra horsepower and an automatic transmission. Cholly has given his special vehicle thousands of miles over the past 3 years. It’s super comfortable on long trips and is a complete blast to be out and about in. People are so drawn to the truck! Compliments occur at every stop and questions just keep coming.

Cholly stores it for most of the winter as they salt the roads heavily in New England. With a 7 ½ foot height a special garage is of course required.
Much of the fun during its first 3 years has been taking it to local Special Interest car shows. The COE has won 30 first place trophies in the truck class. Most impressive is 1st place 3 years in a row at the International Car Show in New Port, Vermont. What a pedigree!

You can reach Cholly @ cholly.nachman@myfairpoint.net

Cholly and his “One and Only”

3/4 ton long bed fits just right

Even made original Hub Caps fit model wheels

New White wall tires made all the difference!

Open for view

New England back ground

Nice Interior

Comfortable Custom

At Home

Yes, you can park it with cars on the street

COE meets an International! Are we related?

At the beginning. The COE from Florida

The separation

Placing the body on the 1985 frame

Assembly work

Cab almost complete

All together in one photo!

Cholly and John just saying Hello!

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton “Deluxe” Pickup

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017


This is one of the better examples of an Advance Design “Deluxe” pickup. General Motors offered this extra above the standard model. As extra money was limited during these years, most settled for the no frill model. After all, pickup trucks were for work duties. Spending extra income (which most did not have) was not spent by buyers that were just one generation out of the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

To make a 70 year old pickup as nice as this Feature Truck, it certainly had to be disassembled and rebuilt from the frame. Most all areas were kept as factory original as possible. Even the Windsor Blue color was retained.

The proud owners are Dave and Julie McBee of Independence, Missouri. During nice weather Dave and Julie can be seen in their little ½ ton around town or on the open highway for a Sunday drive. Here are the items that make the McBee’s 1948 a factory “deluxe” pickup:

Five Window Cab (the main feature)
Chrome Grill
Stainless Outside and Inside Door Window Trim
Two Inside Sunvisors
Arm Rests
Stainless Outside only Windshield Trim

Two special extras were added to give it more “Keep up with Traffic” qualities. The original 216 cubic inch engine (90 horse power) was exchanged for a 1954 235 high oil pressure engine (145 horse power). What a nice upgrade. This 1954 inline six cylinder, first year for this 235 power plant, was the factory unit in a 1954 Advance Design pickup. Thus, this is a “drop in” exchange with no alterations. It looks almost factory but has 55 more horsepower.

The other important extra was exchanging the original 4.11 ratio ring and pinion with the recently offered 3.55 ratio. This gives about 20% lower engine RPM and higher road speed. What a difference these two extras have given this pickup!

To obtain even less engine RPM, Dave will soon remove his later 6 bolt 15” wheels. They will be replaced by 16” original” wheels plus radial white wall tires that look in tread like the original bias ply design. (The taller the tires, the lower engine RPM)


Julie had been in love with this pickup since they bought it 3 years before. However there was just one item that was not to her liking. It had a 3 speed standard transmission with a column shift lever for changing gears! She would drive it this way but always wished it had an automatic transmission.

Dave soon picked up on Julie’s wish and began to research if any upgrade could be added. What a surprise! He discovered Jerry’s Chevy Restoration Shop in his own city. The owner, Jerry Rivers, can do most anything if it has to do with an older Chevrolet / GMC truck or car.

On their first meeting, Jerry thought about using the same year Chevy passenger car transmission. That automatic (a cast iron case Power Glide) it was introduced in 1950. The car and truck engines were the same. They both had about the same wheel base and they shared a closed drive shaft. Surely, with some yet unknown problems, the automatic could be transferred to a ½ ton. Maybe if it was not too impossible he might even mount the shift lever assembly to fit like the car. After all, the production years were about the same and maybe the same GM engineers shared some of their designing between ½ ton and passenger car. The only way to find out was to try the transfer on a very tired loaner ½ ton to see if he could make it fit. There was no sense tearing into Dave’s really nice ½ ton and find it was not possible! Dave liked Jerry’s cautious attitude so the agreement was made.

Jerry thought he could do it but locating all Chevrolet car parts would be a challenge. It was agreeable to Dave so they both began the parts hunt. From the first day hunting until the finished product, four months passed. It was really a learning experience for Jerry Rivers even though he had done most anything else to 1947-54 Advance Design trucks.

Here are some facts that were discovered when Jerry (with Dave’s help) finished the very unusual automatic transmission instillation.

The early cast iron Power Glide is the same length as a 1948 pickup 3 speed transmission. This saved them from using an open drive-line and a different differential. The ½ ton closed drive line and all its rear end differential could be used. That included axle housings, brakes and wheels. This had been a real concern. Wow, it fit together. What luck!

Even the rear yolk of the u-joint and the middle cross section was still used from the pickup. Just the readily available Power Glide front u-joint yolk was required to slide in to the transmission.

Jerry used a 1953-54 cast iron Power Glide transmission, bellhousing and flexplace. This is because it has a “kick down” that automatically drops to the lower gear during passing on the highway or other extra RPM requirements. It was discovered that the earliest Power Glide (1950-52) required the shift lever to be manually moved to the next segment by the driver to get the higher RPM’s.

The last year for the cast iron Chevy Power Glide (some were a different design) was 1961. After that an aluminum case was used. Check carefully if you make this change to a Power Glide. We do not know if the later cast iron unit will exchange this well!

Surprise Problem: The steering column on the car is one inch longer than the pickup. This created a problem because the small factory hole in the mast jacket that kept the pickup shift box from moving was no longer spaced correctly. To keep the Power Glide shift rod just like the car in length Jerry made another hole up the mast jacket that would hold the lower shift assembly in just the right position. Thus, the shifting mechanism is now exactly like the Chevrolet car engineers designed it 70 years ago.

New Surprise! It was discovered that because the car steering wheel has a center hub lower than its outer round edge the hand shift lever will not fit the flat pickup steering wheel without touching. What now? No, Jerry would have no part in substituting a with a modern street rod steering wheel! Therefore, the car shift lever was given a cut about 75 % deep and then bent before welding about two inches. The shift knob was now in just the correct place. Genius!

The Chevrolet car column linkage fits just right. Years of linkage use were corrected by welding the wear and grinding to exact dimensions. It now moves perfectly. All were zinc plated to look new.

The Power Glide starter is a perfect exchange on the 235 engine. No foot starter. This starter is now engaged with a button under the headlight switch, just like the car.

The Power Glide fluid is water cooled. Jerry found an original Chevrolet car fluid cooler that connects to the lower radiator horse position and is secured to the timing cover for stability. A perfect match for the 235 transplant engine. The attached photos show how nice the finished product now looks. Unless you are a real 1950’s Chevrolet expert you would think the Power Glide on the ½ ton was a GM assembly line product.

Another Nice Surprise: Top of the line “floor mats” are now produced with markings on the back for pedals and 4 speed transmissions cuts if there is a need. Thus, this ½ ton has no unnecessary visible holes for a clutch pedal!

Yes, the running boards have been painted lower body color by mistake. Dave will soon have them repainted to factory black.

NOW LET’S GET BACK TO DAVE AND JULIE. It was so difficult for Dave to explain to his wife why the pickup was away for 2 or 3 weeks for major repairs. The truth was this “Power Glide Pickup” was to be her surprise Christmas present for 2016. She had no idea and Dave said it was difficult for this to remain a secret until Christmas morning. What a surprise! Julie was overwhelmed. It then all came together why their pickup suddenly needed to be in the repair shop so long. Now this little pickup is driven by her as much as Dave.

It actually required months to get all perfected and gather parts. Jerry had a worn out ½ ton as the test truck to fit the many components. A few weeks before Christmas all the altered parts were then transferred to the McBee’s ½ ton. This is why Julie was told 2 to 3 weeks for “some” type of repair.

You can contact Dave and Julie McBee with questions at dlmcbee@hotmail.com

HINT TO READERS: Here is a thought. If your left leg is tired of the clutch or your spouse says an automatic would make the family Advanced Design pickup just right, contact: Jerrys Chevy Restoration Shop at 816-833-4414. Don’t forget to provide him with the Power Glide Transmission, all linkage, and most related do-dads he needs. (He has only a few extra items for the conversion) jerrysbodyshop@comcast.net

Full side view

Deluxe cab window trim

The 1947-48 Hood Emblem. Only years made of Die-cast

From the rear

Light in bed roll for turn signal plus 1948 truck license plate

Last Advance Design pickup under bed tank

All original dash

Fresh air heater works so good

Two words say it all

New old stock door panels

Fog Lights. Nice Accessory

The Power Glide Transmission after its rebuild

Transmission rear on modified 3 speed cradle

The modified rear transmission cross member

Engine, Bellhousing and Power Glide together

Transmission dip stick tube

Lower shift column linkage control

Transmission dip stick tube beside starter

The Car Power Glide Shift indicator fits correctly

Reshaped shift lever

Starter button below headlight knob

Floor mat with no extra holes

The 1954 high oil pressure engine. Fits perfect

Transmission fluid cooler attached to lower radiator hose (beside front of engine)

Jerry Rivers, The early GM car and truck expert!

Early 1947 Chevy 1/2 Ton

Saturday, July 30th, 2016


What a one of a kind early 1947 Chevy ½ ton! Joe Haney of Independence, Missouri decided to use his skills to create an older Chevy pickup that would be nothing like anyone had ever seen. At the same time he would keep the project to a level that would be within his budget. Fortunately, Joe’s mechanical talents and love of older vehicles allowed him to do so much of his own work over several years. Attending many local car shows gave him numerous ideas to pick from while making plans for his creation.

Joe purchased this little ½ ton in 1993 and then kept it in his large home garage 12 years until the time was right during his retirement. To make it so unique over other modified 1941-1946 pickups, Joe bought a 1985 Chevy S-10 just to get the frame. The only S-10 parts he used from the pickup were the frame, gas tank, master cylinder, tilt steering column, and disc brakes.

Some of the other items used from other sources were a 1991 Chevy 350 V-8, a 1979 350 hydro-matic transmission, and a rear differential assembly from a 1980 Chevelle.

The bed is home built except for the front bed panel and tailgate. At first adding a 1947 bed to an S-10 frame seemed next to impossible but Joe never gives up. Here the old saying applies “If you have lemons, make lemonade”.

The problem with the S-10 frame is the side rail rear hump over the rear axle. They and the shock towers raised the bed too high. Thus, using this S-10 frame raised the bed too high. The appearance made the truck look totally out of proportion. Joe made corrections that gave a great custom appearance. It makes this 1947 an eye catcher at all the local shows. He raised the bed floor almost 40% higher than original to be above these stock towers. The following photos show what makes it so unique.

When the full height tail gate is opened, a horizontal oak plank fills the created opening on the end. Nice touch!

The interior is a money saving creation that looks so good! Joe spent time in local auto salvage yards to find just the right seat cushion that fits correctly in the cab’s small area. He found the answer in the third seat in a 1990 Ford mini-van. It’s amazing how well it connects to the seat riser and is slightly away from the doors. He then found one from Ford’s top of the line mini-van which has a leather pleated seat. All the interior was then coordinated with the color of this seat.

Look at the texture coating on the two-tone door panels. What an excellent idea! Trucks had painted metal interior door panels but not this nice!

The oak bed planks are also a Joe project! And oak overhead and floor custom console he made greatly adds to the interior appearance.

Look at the very dark wood that secures the gauges. Yes, Joe cut and drilled it to just the right size. These later gauges look just like they belong there!


Complete plus the shop where it happened

All fits just right!

Headlight close-up



These Alloy wheels certainly add to the appearance

View from the back


Cab complete

Nice firewall with no extra holes

Fitting the new grill between the fenders



Leather seats do not have to be expensive!

Lower oak console

Upper oak console

Joe’s special made gauge

Insulating the doors

Speckle Paint


Raised bed floor. Its hauling days are over!

The 1947 bed floor was raised because of the S-10 high hump frame

Joe made his own bedsides

Gas add location to S-10 tank

Oak horizontal plank fills the gap


Patching required if you want real metal fenders

More patching. Joe did it all







The end

1949 GMC 3/4 Ton Pickup

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

This special Advance Design pickup has come a long way from its early life on a Mid-Missouri farm. Owned and restored by Dale Jacobs of Dallas, Texas, this 1949 GMC ¾ ton has been down to the frame and came out just a little nicer than new.

It’s the old story. It looked very nice and ran just as well but a little extra touch would make it a nicer pickup. Well, the more he got into areas, the more he saw things that just were not quite right. After all it was a farm work truck for so many years. Before long you are tired of seeing so many imperfections, you check your bank account, and say “Let’s just make it a new truck”. It will only take time and money! It was taken down to the bare frame (the easiest part) and the building of the oversize model kit begins.

This four year project involved doing much research, making local new restoration contacts, and learning so much about early GMC’s.

Over the years Dale has owned several “special interest vehicles” including a 1954 Corvette. (Lucky guy!) However, he has always had a hidden desire for a pickup. Thus, this GMC became his project.

Dale’s ¾ ton has the optional 17” split rim wheels instead of the stock 15”. (These were original on the 1 ton pickup of these years). The extra 2” gives the truck a higher top end speed and lowers the engine RPM. Good during daily in-town driving.

Another very unique fixture is the intake manifold, mentioned in Dale’s article below. The original single barrel carburetor intake center hole was blocked off. Then front and rear carburetor receiver openings were installed to hold a pair of two-barrel Stromberg’s. It operates excellent and is probably the only one of its kind in the world! What an eye catcher! He says it easily cruises at almost 70 mph!

The following is a few of the special features Dale wrote about on his GMC. No doubt it is an overview and is the “tip of the iceberg” of all he has done to make it such an attractive well-appointed truck.

Dale’s Personal Story:

A 4 year “frame off” TOTAL restoration of this “numbers matching” GMC 3/4 ton pickup.
The “Ron Kelly Designs” complete rebuild of this original drivetrain and chassis included the GMC 228 engine long block (.08 over rebore), head, flywheel, clutch, 4-speed on the floor transmission with “granny” gear, drive shaft and rear end, all dynamically balanced. Modifications to improve performance include full-flow oil filtering, dual 2-barrel Stromberg carburetors adaptation to original intake manifold with new linkage, and Fenton dual exhaust headers with custom muffler routing.

The chassis rebuild involved frame powder coating, front and rear spring leafs with helpers, Delco lever arm shocks, duel master cylinder brake system, front end and steering linkage with drive box.

The electrical system conversion to 12 volts included the original Delco starter and generator, regulator, new Mallory dual point distributor and coil, new wiring harness, 4 corner lighting with halogen headlights and turn signaling. A new water pump, radiator with expansion cylinder and hoses improve the cooling system.

All body panels were COMPLETELY disassembled and, along with the cab, subjected to a strip and de-rust total immersion process. Reassembly with new fasteners was preceded by extensive applications of epoxy and urethane primers and initial custom lacquer paint then followed by final lacquer paint and clear coatings.

Cab restoration involved new door handles, hinges and panels, headliner with insulation, sun visors, gauge cluster and speedometer, vintage GMC reproduction stereo AM/FM radio and 7 new glass windows allowing a surround view. The air flow heater with control valve and defroster ducts, vacuum wiper motor with linkage, fuel tank with new sender, and all pedal controls were also restored to original specifications. Traversing seat with era appropriate new upholstery allows comfort with a vintage signature. Firewall, roof, floor and doors all received sound deadening applications.

Finishing touches include the re-chromed original grill, badging, radiator fan and added dual trumpet horns. Color coordinated powder coated engine side and valve covers enhance the engine bay. Also evident are new bumpers with valences, vintage Unity spot and fog lights, chromed fuel tank linkage, and powder coated original split rim wheels with new 750-17 tires. An eye-catching top grade oak bed and side rails with stainless linings and fasteners complete this classic restoration.

If you have questions on Dale’s special GMC pickup, his email is drj86wr@aol.com.

Here it Comes!

Open for Viewing

Correct 9 Board Bed

Standing Tall on 17″ Wheels

Even a Right Side Spotlight


Excellent Oak Side Racks

Yes, Dual Exhaust. Neat!

Extra Stake Pocket on 3/4 Ton

150 Represents 3/4 Ton

Good View of Right Side Hardware

Original ID Plate

Door Restored Just Right

Side View of Interior

Nice Dash

Gauge Color is GMC Only

Modern Radio Looks Original

Heater and Spot Light Switch

Like New!

Two Carbs on a Single Barrel Manifold

Dual Horns Will be an Attention Getter for Pedestrians

1946 GMC 1/2 Ton EC101

Monday, August 31st, 2015

When we saw this beautiful restored 1946 GMC ½ ton EC101, we were really impressed. It just had to be our September 2015 Feature Truck of the Month! After all, we had not had a 1946 GMC in this section since 2001.

The proud owner and restorer is Larry Dessenberger of Parsons, Kansas. Why did Larry pick this year GMC to complete a frame off restoration? His comment: “I wanted to restore a vintage truck, had a very nice 1996 GMC, so a 50 year older GMC pickup would be perfect to show the old vs the new”.

The hunt finally ended in Buffalo, Missouri when Larry found a 1946 GMC that had been in storage 25 years. The restoration then became a serious project that required almost 3 years with very few days off! The result is a factory fresh GMC now 70 years old.

It has its restored original full pressure 228 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder engine, 3 speed transmission, with the correct 6 volt electrical system. Even the wiring harness is cotton cloth covered as are vehicles of the pre 1950’s.

To be sure the restoration would be done only once, the mechanicals were replaced including kingpins, brakes, clutch assembly, fuel system, spring pins and shackles, transmission internals and drive-line bearings.

The color is Bamboo Cream, with Butterscotch fenders. Certainly bright for 1946, however still seen occasionally in 1946.

The painted interior is silver brown. Slightly different than the hammered silver brown used on that year of Chevrolet trucks. One of the special GMC standard items (not available on a Chevrolet) is the metal ribbed bed bottom. Larry found one and it fits just right! Even the GMC lettering is correct on the tailgate (Chevrolet used no lettering). Look at the round taillight. It is GMC only!

A very unusual GMC accessory that Larry found and restored is the correct GMC dealer re-circulator heater. What a rare find!

He felt this would allow more comfortable driving on cold dry Kansas winter days.

Point of Interest: Take a look at the GMC horizontal bar grill. General Motors found another way to save money between GMC and Chevrolet trucks. Though the fenders and hood are the same, GM created a grill the same size but with a very different appearance from the vertical bar grill of Chevrolet! It allowed the GMC dealer to have a truck that did not so much as the Chevrolet.

The GMC inline six cylinder engine has a full pressure oil system. Thus, the dash oil gauge reaches 80 pounds. Chevrolet stops at 30 pounds.

Since the restoration completion in about early 2013, this little GMC has won a wall full of trophies and is one of the top attention getters at any show. What a great example to those considering a correct restoration!

Surprise to all of us! Larry is considering the sale of his special GMC due to some developing health issues. It is now posted on a very popular antique vehicle website: Old Ride.com.

This GMC was also given a nice right up in the May/June magazine issue of Vintage Truck Magazine on page 12.

You can contact Larry Dessenberger at his email larrylindadess@gmail.com.

Not a Chevy but Close


Right Side. Correct Olive Color

Left Side

Silver Brown Interior Color

There is that Rare GMC Re-circulator Heater

Pure GMC Round Taillight

Bringing it Home! As Found in Buffalo, Missouri


1947 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton Pickup-Open Express

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

After featuring a truck of the month on our website for 15 years from over the world, we decided to do something a little different. For March we are featuring one of our own trucks! Sometimes, it’s fun to “blow your own horn”.

It was 25 years ago and our growing GM truck parts business had been progressing nicely for 10 years. About then we received a tip from a customer on a very unusual tired pickup seen stored in a midtown Kansas City, Missouri back yard. He said it was a step side bed pickup but it was so large! I decided to take a look to see what homemade truck was in that yard.

WOW! It was a real factory built pickup but was so oversized it looked gangly. It was pure 1946-early 1947 because of its updated front bumper, however the Chevrolet Salesman Data Book for that year did not recognize this model. Strange! We looked back to the 1941 data book and there it was. A 134 ½ wheel base pickup with a 108” long bed, on a 1 ½ ton chassis.

The back yard truck was totally unrestored and certainly had been used for work duties as GM had made it. Grill gone, little paint, no seats, bed wood missing. It would not be allowed to be in many neighborhoods without a garage to hide it.

Because it was so unusual (maybe the only one to survive) I sure wanted it in our collection. Yes, the restoration would be expensive but to have about the only one remaining would make it worthwhile.

A note hung on the home’s front door fortunately got a call. The owner had found it a few years before near Dodge City, Kansas and was told it was a harvest truck used annually during wheat and corn hauling. This may be correct because it had been given an aftermarket tilt assembly (now removed) for raising the bed to dump the contents much easier. He kept postponing the restoration because of the expense and the lack of an extra garage.

Because of these obstacles we reached an agreeable price and it was hauled to our shop the next day. Within several months, the total restoration began when its bare frame was setting on buckets.

The mechanics of this truck are totally 1 ½ ton. The engine has the extra horsepower of an original low oil pressure 235 six cylinder engine with standard 4 speed non-synchronized transmission, single speed differential, and 20 inch split rim wheels. NOTE: The silver zinc plating on the wheel’s lock rings. GM did this to help prevent rust from sticking the ring to the wheel.

Color: Boatswain blue with black fenders. Brown vinyl non-pleated seats. No accessories. The title shows 1947. Thus, produced somewhere in the final 4 months of this Open Express body design. It is the last of the 12 year production of this special bed style.


      • 1. This design was first introduced in 1934 and referred to as an Open Express.
      • 2. Used on both a 1 and 1 ½ ton chassis in the final years
      • 3. 4 stake pockets on each side
      • 4. 4 inches wider than a conventional 1946 ½ and ¾ ton.
      • a. Thus a totally different width tailgate and front bed panel
      • 5. Bed length 108 inches
      • 6. Narrow wheel width and very low body mounting requires narrow “tubs” on inner bedsides.

Page 157 in the 1941 Salesman’s Data Book Sales is the only reference to the dual rear fender 1 ½ ton pickup but no Photo! The 1942 sales brochure shows the drawing of this “Open Express” with single rear wheels. The dual pickup is an option. The term rear dual wheels also are only in the text.

Why did GM offer a 1 ½ ton pickup? Why not?

They already had their very popular 1 ½ chassis with many different beds. The 9 foot box was first offered in 1934 so the chassis and bed were both available. No new tooling! A minor gamble! If it found a few owners, then more sales would be created for the Chevrolet Division and their dealers.

Setting on a 1 ½ ton chassis, it would have been difficult to overload this long 9 foot bed. With the manufacture’s gross weight of about 13,000 pounds, some very heavy merchandise would be needed to ever overload it.

INTERESTING ON REAR FENDERS. Because this duel rear fender pickup was such a slow seller, GM did not change these wide fenders after 1938. Our 1947 feature truck still uses the early fenders. The ridge around the wheel well opening is 1937-38 and match the 1937-38 front fenders. They do not match the non-ridge front fenders of the 1939-46! Just a matter of economics. These were truly work trucks. Owners has no interest if the rear fenders were 1938 or 1946.

NOTE: What happens when wide rear fenders are added to cover the 1 ½ ton dual rear wheels?

Now is where it becomes “very” interesting! The long narrow running boards required with single rear wheels will not reach to full width of the dual fender. Therefore, GM made a special running board extension just for the dual rear fenders.

They are connected to a stock 1 ½ ton running board that extends to the back edge of the cab. This extension widens to connect to the rear dual fender. No doubt, this was a big investment even for General Motors considering the low sales volume that was anticipated.

However, this extension was a must. It must be there for a person to stand on them and reach into the bed. The attached photos will make the configuration easier to understand.

SLOW SALES! No doubt retail sales were always extremely slow. The dealer price would have been slightly above the flat bed with wood sides and it could not carry more volume. Gross weight limits would have been the same when both used the same rear leaf springs.


1.  If the Kansas City owner was correct and it was used near Dodge City, Kansas during the harvest season. Why?  That is because where you found wheat country in the US and Canada, you found numerous Chevrolet Open Express Pickups.  They were natural to carry heavy wheat from the combine to the grain elevator in town.  The 9 foot bed on a 1 1/2ton chassis could not be overloaded with wheat especially with the dual rear 20″ tires of the 1 1/2 ton!  The bed was grain tight so very little wheat was lost.

The open express would have been well suited for small heavy loads such as bricks and masonry related products.

2.  RARETY. As this pickup was built just for work, almost none exist 70 years later. If you paid the extra 1 ½ ton price, then you worked it to justify the price. Few got stored in a barn or garage like a ½ ton! When they finally reached a salvage yard, their value in pure weight made them a first line candidate for recycling at the crusher. Are there any other survivors? We have only seen one!!  An unrestored 1941 owned by Dalton Brack.

YEARS AVAILABLE. This bed introduced in 1934 (also on a 1 ton chassis toward the later production years). Referred to as an “Open Express” because of its exceptional low body mounting and heavier gauge steel bed sides. So low that tubs in the bedside must be provided to protect it from the inner tires

The following photos show some data we had available on the early and late Open Express series.





Ready for Hauling!

Not as Fast as it Looks!

Sitting High on 20″ Wheels

Dual Rears Require Wide Fenders

The Retired Worker

Much Different Bed Construction than a 1/2 or 3/4 Ton Pickup



In storage 5 years! Pardon the dust on the sheet metal.

Running Board Extensions at Rear

Portions of the Complete Board at Front

Correct Dash

Hammered Paint on Interior

Done as GM Made it

It’s all There as When New

Like GM Did it!

Even Cotton Covered Wiring

A Better View of Boatswain Blue

Dual or Single Wheel Fenders Connect to the Bed Lip

Correctly Restored

You can contact Jim Carter at jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com

1946 Chevrolet Ice Cream Truck

Monday, February 2nd, 2015


It is often said that when a person does a complete ground-up restoration on a vehicle that otherwise would be sold to the metal crusher by the pound, the owner has saved it for future generations. Our feature truck for February is certainly one of these vehicles that was close to having been gone forever. Don Ranville of Lee’s Summit, Missouri definitely saved this 1946 ¾ ton ice cream truck from being cut into metal scrap and splintered wood.

He noticed it deteriorated in back of a commercial lot by the Leeds District in east Kansas City (very close to the now idle Leeds Chevrolet assembly plant). It was of little value to most anyone seeing it. The truck required a rare person like Don to recognize the potential of this deteriorated part of history.

Don could see areas that identified this truck as once used by the Belfonte Ice Cream Company *.
He later found this was built in the 1960’s for advertising in parades or giving out their ice cream at local trade shows. Using a 1946 truck would emphases they were an old established ice cream company. This truck even has a large metal ice cream container in the rear to keep ice cream from melting at a show! It probably held dry ice.

Don, a restorer of early cars and trucks for many years, saw possibilities in restoring a vehicle in this condition. The mechanicals, even including the 8 bolt drums and front sheet metal could still be found and it was hoped the remaining wood body might be used as patterns.

When the restorations got underway, Don decided to keep the running parts mostly original. Only the engine was upgraded. A more powerful 1958 high oil pressure 235 six cylinder (almost a drop-in) replaced the original 235 low oil pressure unit.

The optional 4 speed transmission and low geared differential were necessary for the way a neighborhood ice cream truck was used. It needed to move very slowly in housing districts to give children time to get some money and wave down the driver to a stop. A hand operated bell could be heard a block away and signaled the ice cream truck was coming.

Restoring the aftermarket body required much extra talents from an experienced wood worker. Each wood part had to be exactly correct to fit other adjacent panels. Any mistakes could cause a total loss of a panel or wood support and the piece would be remade. Of course, no roof leaks allowed!

Enclosed is an original photo from the 1960’s given to Don by the Belfonte Company. The restoration gives an excellent example of how almost scrap can be turned into a work of art. Note that he decided to use a pair of metal rear fenders. We think it was nice improvement over missing the original multi-piece wood units that were once used.

* The Belfonte Ice Cream Company is based in Kansas City, Missouri. They have been one of the major ice cream suppliers for many, many years and provides their products over much of the Midwest. When being restored the Belfonte Company gave Don permission to reuse their name as it was once on this special truck.

test A company in Florida recently heard about Don’s special Ice Cream truck and offered him a price he could not refuse. It will now be used in that state, marketing a product or just kept for display.

Color: Like it was Found

Original Photo of the Belfonte Ice Cream Truck
NOTE: Rear Wood Fenders

New Restoration

Restoration Complete

Restoration Completed

A Little Extra Original Beyond Original

Logo – Close Up

Don with his New Toy

All Trim Work Done by Tim Bratcher

Close Up Side View After Restoration

Most will be Patterns

Taking it Apart

Patterns in the Making

Body Dismantling

Starting Back

1941 Chevrolet COE

Friday, October 31st, 2014


It was show time at the 2014 American Truck Historical Society national convention. This year it was held in Springfield, Missouri. The Ozark 4-State Chapter was the host. Over 713 large and small trucks from across the US and Canada were registered and on display! So many more were in the parking lot outside of the gates.

Of all these examples of trucking history, several stood out just a bit higher in popularity with not only the crowd but by the officers of the ATHS as well as the local chapter.

Our feature truck of the month is one of those vehicles that was special even before the show began.

This “one of a kind” show stopping small big truck is a 1941 Chevrolet Cab Over Engine (COE) with optional dump bed. The shortest COE offered that year, its wheel base is only 109”. It can fit comfortable in a parking spot at a shopping mall! After all, its massive size extends vertically not in width or length.

The proud owners are Earl and Karen Burk of Ozark, Missouri. It has been their family’s prize position for many years. When they bought it 21 years ago their three young children quickly bonded with it. Karen made decorations for the truck to fit the holiday’s shows and parades such as Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and Independence Day.

While the children were young, they would ride on the dump bed extension over the cab during parades with decorations of gifts and Santa and Mrs. Clause likenesses in Christmas local parades.

During these parades when onlookers are admiring this special COE they get a double surprise! It was Karen’s idea to decorate their son Trevor’s toy dump truck also with seasonal trim. It is now towed by the big guy! What a pair and a crowd pleaser of the parade! From 1 to 95 the looks of delight and hilarity come across their faces.

The COE appeared on the official poster announcing the ATHS Convention so it received so much press coverage over the country. The small brass souvenir plate, given to all show entries, is made from Burk’s COE. It was found on a few very large banners used to advertise the convention in earlier local shows. The compliment of all was it being on the cover of the ATHS Showtime Magazine sent to club members around the world. It shows data and photos of all convention truck participants. See photos.

NOTE: If you want to know even more about the details of the Burk’s COE check out this part of our Feature Truck of the Month.

The wheels began turning several years before Earl purchased this COE. A nice article on this truck appeared in the Wheels of Time, the official magazine of the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS). The article showed this blue COE at its best and described it as a very special truck. To Earl’s surprise about a year later in this same magazine there was a small classified ad offering this identical truck for sale.

At that time it was owned by Joe Fuller in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Joe is known for building quality early large trucks. Earl made several calls and Joe sent some photos showing more details. Earl became convinced, this will probably be the type of truck he had hoped to find. Its short wheel base and tall height would be great fun for his young growing family.

He purchased a ticket on an Express Greyhound bus in Springfield, Missouri and in about 18 hours arrived in Pittsburg, PA. Joe picked him up at the bus station and they were off to New Cumberland.

When Earl saw this beautifully restored blue 1941 COE, he knew the long bus trip was worth every hour! Joe had personally restored this special COE in 1986 with the help of two parts trucks. The best of these three trucks made this COE one of a kind.

When Joe built this COE in 1986, he kept it mostly original with a few exceptions. This was adding a Chevy small block V-8 engine, a 1948-66 synchronized 4 speed transmission, a “Brownie” auxiliary 3 speed attached to the rear of this transmission (to add extra highway speed), and a 2 speed electric operated differential from the 1950’s. Also added were extra leafs in all springs to raise the truck 4 inches. It is now equipped with 9.00 x 20 tires and heavy duty more deluxe non-original split rim wheels. The gas tank on the left has been cut in half horizontally and now serves as a tool box. Creative idea!!

So the sale was made with Earl having no hesitations. He filled the tank and headed west out of West Virginia, through Ohio, and spent the night in a motel in Indiana. On the road again the next morning and back home in Springfield that evening. Total drive was 800 miles with no mechanical problems.

At every stop for gas it was the focal point and would draw a crowd. It was equipped with a CB radio and Earl grinned all the way home as truckers talked about this COE driving down the highway.

Earl and Karen Burk. Great examples of using a special truck for helping bond their family together. What a major change from the “work only” use this truck was designed for! We salute the two of you for being great parents as well as keeping your special truck before the public. Your interest in early trucks will encourage others to follow in your footsteps.

This is in your rear view mirror


Left gas tank opens as the tool box

Class Act

Radiator Repair Day

Grab Handle and Step to get Inside

Show Banner still used after the ATHS Show

Two Dump Trucks in the Parade

Bed Tipped Up

Levers for the 4 Speed, Brownie and PTO.

Nicely Done!


Brass Souvenir Plate given to entries at the ATHS Show

An artist admirer recently sent the Burk’s this pin and ink drawing. Titled “Old Trucks are Fun”.
Very Impressive!

You can contact Earl and Karen on their email at: erlburk@yahoo.com

1946 Chevrolet Panel Truck

Monday, June 2nd, 2014


Jim Winters of Rochester, Minnesota looked two years before he found the vehicle he wanted to restore in his retirement years. He did not want to spend the time and money required for a major rebuilding unless it suited him just right. Many cars and trucks were checked but few gave him that special feeling he wanted.
When he saw an unrestored 1946 Chevy Panel Truck for the first time in 2001, there was no hesitation. This was the one! His retirement project would be this very rare vehicle. It was so untouched. If Jim looked carefully, he could see the remains of the lettering on its sides of a Lenox Plumbing and Heating Company in Rapid City, South Dakota. A panel truck was a natural for this type business, long enough for iron pipe and secure for hauling a furnace out of the weather.
These panel trucks were used in the early years by grocers, bakeries, flower shops, small constructions companies etc. They were a perfect all-purpose vehicle for companies serving the many new suburban neighborhoods developing at the edge of cities and towns. The main buyers were commercial, not the home, farm or apartment owner.
When Jim’s panel truck reached its new garage behind his home, the BIG project began. Piece by piece it was disassembled with most parts marked. A digital camera was also great help. Good records of the 60 year old parts were a necessity.
The 930 pound panel truck body was lifted by canvas straps attached to the garage rafters and the chassis rolled outside. Then more disassembly occurred until the long frame was all by itself. It was then checked for cracks and bends before sandblasting and finally powder coating at a local specialty shop.
It was then extra hidden rust was discovered in the large double panel under the rear door and in these doors. No reproduction panel truck parts were available. Talented metal benders and formers had to be hired to actually create the numerous unusual and important parts.
By, now there was no turning back. A stack of unrestored 1946 Chevy parts would be of little value to a buyer. There was no choice but to move ahead creating the new handmade metal panels. With metal craftsmen from Kuhn Auto Specialties in Rochester, MN making the panels, there is almost no filler in this vehicle. At completion of his truck restoration, Jim would have in just body and paint receipts, $10,000!
During the rebuilding Jim added several improvements that would allow for more pleasurable driving on today’s highways. The truck 216 cubic inch original engine was ok for the local in town work 65 years ago but Jim Winters knew this large panel truck body required more horsepower on current roads, especially in high winds. Thus, the extra power from a 235 inline six cylinder engine was a perfect drop-in replacement.

Almost the Beginning

Instead of the original non- synchronized 4 speed transmission, he added a modern 4 speed synchronized from a 1967-69 Camaro. It has a floor shift like original. The 4.11 ratio closed drive shaft differential was replaced with a 1958 ½ ton 3.9 ratio which was then rebuilt with a higher speed 3.38 ratio ring and pinion. Just $1,200 more!
The wheels and tires are 17”. This is from a ¾ ton, not the ½ ton 16” wheels. They provide extra to the highway speed but do not add much to the vehicle’s height.
All of the above gives Jim a speed up to 75 mile/hour on level highways. This is about a 20 mile/hour increase. WOW! What a change.
This became a 9 year restoration project due to the passing of his daughter with an incurable disease that even the most professional hospitals could not cure! The rebuilding came to a complete stop many times.

Nose to Nose

Closed Doors
Open Doors
Under Construction
A Restored Floor with Siginaw Transmission Installed
The High Dollar Apron & amp; Doors – PERFECT!
Yes, it’s all 235!
A Perfect fit for a 235

Few accessories were available for trucks in 1946 but Jim has located most of them. The 1942 fog lights (added later) are pure GM. A 4” reflector was an important safety accessory for vehicles with a single tail light. See recent technical article on the reflector at the end of this article.
The big find was locating an accessory passenger seat. Very few panel trucks were given this extra. Look at the unusual Chevy truck grill guard. This is pure GM. It is given an opening down the center so the engine could be hand cranked in an emergency.
Jim’s panel truck also has a GM dealer installed cigarette lighter, radio at left of steering column, a 2 motor heater/defroster assembly, a cargo light that is secured inside above the rear doors, and a rare right side taillight bracket.

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Original Right Seat             2 Motor Heater-Front / Side
Dip in Rear Bumper and Rare Right Taillight
Bumper Guard

By doing it all correct the first time Jim Winters has a new 68 year old panel truck that is ready for modern traffic of this century. People love it! He has attended 3 local car shows and received 3 first place awards!
You may contact Jim Winters @ jimw71@juno.com

A Little extra on this Special Panel Truck:

To add better night visibility to all trucks, Suburbans and panel trucks, General Motors offered a 4 inch diameter reflector as a dealer installed accessory. With the single small factory taillight, seeing of these vehicles on the road could be difficult especially if their one bulb burned out. To help correct this problem GM offered a larger reflector that could be attached to the rear license plate bracket. It greatly improved visibility to others at the rear during night driving.

This was a time when town street lights were limited. Of course, on the open road these were no lighting along the highways! This simple GM reflector was offered by the dealers to prevent rear end accidents. The customer could buy this dealer accessory from about 1940 through 1953. One of the attached photos is taken from a 1949 Chevrolet Truck Data Book. The 4 inch lens is a Stimsonite # 24 and the metal Guide ring has a stamping of X-19.

Jim Winters of Rochester, Minnesota has both a restored 1946 panel truck and ½ ton pickup. He found these reflectors for both his vehicles at local swap meets. Few people recognize what these reflectors were used for. Jim found his in a box of miscellaneous unmarked parts.

1942 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton (Military) Herman Pfauter

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Our feature truck for April represents a very interesting extension from the usually seen 1941-1946 Chevrolet and GMC.  Our featured 1942 Chevrolet 1 ½ ton Model 7117 was made in America in a truck factory assembly line.  Look Closely!  This cab’s tooling also produced the familiar civilian Chevrolets and GMC’s used before and after WWII.

The owner and restorer is Herman Pfauter of Santa Barbara, California.  He is a member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, a world-wide club of military vehicle collectors and restorers. Headquartered in Independence, Missouri.  He has eleven WWII vehicles in his collection.  This feature truck is one of the fully restored vehicles in his collection.  After purchasing it in the Los Angles area Herman discovered that it needed a lot of work.  Because this US Navy 1 ½ ton is very rare, the decision was finally made to make it a new truck and spend the time and money required to make at close to as it was in WWII.  It needed so much work!  Fortunately Herman found a good friend that offered his assistance.  The two of them worked together for almost 3 years to get the finished product.  Most parts were removed to expose the complete frame.  Then it was re-assembled piece by piece.  It was two men assembling it like a big model kit.  When finally completed it was so nice!  Only a few hidden modifications made it better for performance and safety.

These included the replacement of the original “Babbitt-Pounder” 235 CID engine with the larger 1954 261 CID Chevrolet inline six cylinder.  He added the Clark 5 speed overdrive transmission that was used in the GMC models.  A more updated hydrovac booster from the 1970’s greatly adds to emergency

stopping.  A 10,000 lbs. winch was added in front.  Oh yes, it was time to add the heater that GM did not include.  Of course, it is pure mid 1940’s vintage.

Yes, the US Government made big changes on the civilian 1 ½ ton trucks when WWII began.  Few of the civilian items were adequate for front line battle duty.  Even the cab, about all that was still that used, was given numerous changes to increase its dependability on the battlefield.  A few changes are shown in the following photos.  Note: These are not from Herman’s truck but these modifications are just like those on his.

No locking glove box door.  They did not need one of several drivers leaving the truck with the only key.

The rear window has a heavy screen screwed to the cab.  This lessened the chance of a broken rear window,  especially bad in winter. (The cabs had no heaters).

No windshield crank-out assembly!  The military did not want this assembly breaking in winter and staying open.  No heater.  Look at the pull down bracket that holds the windshield frame closed.  A thumb screw holds the frame open in hot weather much like a 1934-36 Chevrolet truck or a Model A Ford.  See Photos

The windshield is secured to the top of the cab with two outside hinges.  Easy to service.

The hood hinges are secured to the cab to prevent damage to a butterfly opening design on civilian trucks.

The hood side panels are removed with a basic tool that all mechanics have. Note: The Chevrolet letters were removed about mid-1942. The military provided no advertising.

Herman states his 1 ½ ton is referred today in Europe among collectors as a “Baby GMC” because it had only one rear axle. The GMC 2 ½ ton was similar but basically a much stronger truck with the GMC 270 CID 6-cylinder engine with full-pressure lubrication and dual axles in rear making it a 6×6 while the Chevrolet was a 4×4.
Herman spends almost every summer in Europe where a lot of liberation commemorations take place all over France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Italy and elsewhere to remember the Allies and their efforts to free Europe from Nazi occupation.
When the liberation began in Normandy on D-day in the north and 2 month later in southern France each community regained their freedom of prior years. Herman loves being a part of the parades and WWII displays at the many events in Europe each year. To be more a part of this Herman had his “new” restored 1942 US Navy 1 ½ ton placed in a container and shipped by ocean freight to France. The container was then purchased and it now serves as a safe garage when Herman is home in California.
During the last decade, he has driven his truck in so many European countries (even Germany). Twice it has been over the high elevation passes in the Alps (much like the Continental Divide in the US). Total mileage so far approximately 30,000-at 8 MGP!
The following photos were taken in France.
Note: Our feature photo! This is Herman at a French Liberation show beside his beautiful WWII truck. Just as impressive: Even with a few gray hairs showing he still wears size 34 navy dress blues as when he was in high school – even though he never served in the Navy!

The Chevy door says “Naval Reserve Center, Santa Barbara, California”

Herman and his Chevy in front of the famous church in Ste Mere Eglise, one of the first villages liberated by US paratroopers on June 6, 1944.
NOTE: The parachute on the roof with a paratrooper dummy – this actually happened!

1949 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Randy Priebe

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Randy: First show, First Trophy.

Here is a little 1949 ½ ton that looks and performs as it left the factory in Janesville Wisconsin. Mariner Blue with the correct 216 six cylinder engine, 3 speed column shift transmission and 6 volt electrical system.
It had been used on nearby farm during its first 50 years. The third owner and ground up restorer is Randy Priebe of Appleton, Wisconsin. He saw it for sale in front of a rural local home about 16 years ago. Randy just had to stop and look. The price was about $1,500.00. He walked away but continued to wonder if he made a mistake. Then two years later it happened! Driving down the road he saw it in the back yard of the same house. As the owner now felt it was un-restorable due to much sheet metal rust, it did not run and the bed floor was almost gone. Thus, the price would be $850.00! This time Randy didn’t hesitate. He was the new owner and his goal was to make it a new pickup no matter what the prior owner said about it being just for parts.
The restoration began after a complete dis-assembly and rebuilding that lasted almost 14 years with $12,000.00 invested. His time at $1.00 / hour would probably be near another $1,000.00. Randy worked on it as money was available but research was always occurring to get it done correctly.

During these restoration years Randy had a minor and then a major heart attack with 4 by-passes. He told his wife he really wanted to continue with the restoration. Not only was it in some ways therapy to help in recovery but it would be a great legacy for his grandson in later years. What a special grandfather!
Since the restoration was completed in early 2013, he attended a few car and truck shows. Several trophies were added to his credit. The attached photo of the proud owner with the ½ ton’s first trophy.
Included are photos of this grandson in the truck cab at 1 and 14 years old. In 1 ½ years he will have a driver’s license. Will Randy allow him to drive this 14 year expensive project? We will see.
And Now A Little Surprise!
During the recuperating from his major heart surgery, a good friend, John Benz of Wautoma, Wisconsin wrote a little poem to compare the 1949 pickup restoration with Randy’s personal repairs! We think you will like it.

First the Truck – Then the Owner

There once was a truck named “Ol Blue”
It sat in a field waiting to get its due
A hardy soul named Randy thought it was time
To fix up “Ol Blue” and put it back in its prime
Little did Randy know while the truck was not restored
His “engine” or heart was rotting to its core
Electrical problems had once plagued “Blue” and now also its owner
Spark plugs mis-fired, fluids no longer provided much power
But oh those docs at A.M.C.
Jacked Randy right up with lots of T.L.C.
They rerouted his oil lines and added new fuel
His recovery was swift, now wasn’t that cool
Man and his truck are again re-united
They’re both good as new, on the road a-righted
So here’s to old trucks and guys that fix’em
They both have been gone through from stern to stem
Come next spring they’ll be back on the road
Ready to fire up and haul the next load
Good mechanics and doctors can be hard to find
Thank heaven for both as they’ve become two of a kind
By John Benz – Wautoma WI

You may contact Randy at: r.jpriebe@yahoo.com

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1948 Chevrolet ½Ton

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Qwner: Tad Shadid

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

Combine a love for vintage vehicles plus a strong support for the “home team” and you have our Feature Truck of the Month. The pickup is a deluxe 1948 Chevy ½ ton rebuilt on its freshly powder coated frame. The exterior was carefully restored just like it left the factory except it is the official color of the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Note the cab interior that is also based on the same color as the university.

The owner is Tad Shadid a lifelong vehicle enthusiast and a graduate of OSU. He is a retired veterinarian but now is the owner with his brother of another business in his home town of Oklahoma City. Tad is a perfect example of the old saying – If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person!

He has always been an old car enthusiast. Tad bought his first vehicle (a 1929 Chevy 1 ton) at 14 years old. He did major repairs so it would be ready to drive at 16 when the state allowed a driver’s license. After graduating from veterinarian school he completed a major restoration of a 1931 Ford Model A Coupe which became his second car for about 10 years.

The current 1948 Chevy ½ ton entered Tad’s life about 3 ½ years ago when we found an advertisement for his life dream, a 1956 Chevrolet convertible. The little ½ ton was setting beside the convertible. It was “love at first site” for both vehicles and Tad soon had them home. The convertible still sets in the same corner of his garage untouched. It is the little pickup that made him more excited! He personally rebuilt the truck in 2 ½ years.

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

Except for the color, the 1948 deluxe ½ ton is “bone stock” on the outside. The mechanicals probably look very original to most but several major upgrading makes the pickup very special. A rebuilt 261 cubic inch Chevrolet six cylinder engine was a drop-in after removing the original 216. The extra performance was not only for the highway but, it easily supports the air conditioning system.

Tad kept the original 4 speed transmission and the bullet-proof closed drive shaft system. To get 20% better highway speed he changed the differential gears from the original 4.11 ratio to a 3.55. The front disc brakes are hidden from view but Tad feels much safer with this upgrade. The electronic ignition system plus a 6 volt starter and flywheel causes the engine to start before every one engine revolution.

As is correct for only the 1947 and 1948 GM pickups, it has retained the under bed gas tank location. It remains on the inside of the right frame rail and is well protected from most all accidents.

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

For easier steering he replaced the drag link and third arm from a 1953 ½ ton (a GM improvement that year).  The two tie rods are now of the modern design introduced in the 1960’s. There is no necessity for power steering!

This beautiful pickup couldn’t be more ready for an across the country trip or just being a part of OSU’s many sports events.  Our feature photo shows the college mascot, Pistol Pete beside this pick up with Tad.  How great Tad has spent so much time and money to remain connected to the student body and their sport activities.

To contact Tad email at: tad@actionliquor.com

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck

1946 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Owner: Paul Owsley

The first thing that catches most people’s attention is this nicely restored 1946 Chevy 1/2 ton is the Apple Green paint, an original color on this over 70 year old little pickup.

Its owner is Paul Owsley of Independence, Missouri (a lifelong driver for the Greyhound Bus Co.). For many years he has been the owner of Model A Fords, however, the appearance of the Chevy 1941-46 truck body style had been growing on him in recent years. About 2 years ago he saw an EBay ad that showed a ground up restored 1946 Chevrolet ½ ton about 800 miles away. That description and the photos created “love at first sight”. In 2 weeks it was delivered from Michigan and sitting in his driveway.

He was still impressed but soon realized photos don’t always tell the true story. There would still be many hours of work to make it roadworthy and to correct the mistakes of a fast restoration. It appears the owner had only resale in mind during the resent restoration!

The first project was the mechanicals. The kingpins, spindles and the rod ends may have never been replaced! It could not be safely driven. The engine block had a very small casting hole in the side that always leaked oil on a driveway. The sales person could not have ever driven the pickup but he sure knew how to clean and paint.

The fenders all lacked half their attaching bolts. The big shock was a small hole in the roof with a piece of tape inside to stop water leaks (until sold). The drill bit must have been pressed too hard when they tried to make the one piece 1941 headliner into a 1946 with two pieces.

The cab roof hole was repaired and the orange peel paint surface was corrected when the body was painted again. Surprise: The terminal blocks on the inner fenders that connect the main wiring harness to the head light harness were never installed. Someone had just wired all together as one! All tires needed replacing as they were oversized. They were more like you might see on a full size late model pickup.

The bed was held to the frame with about 2 bolts. Not the required six. The quarter inch bolts in the bed strips had almost no fasteners under the wood. Gravity held them in place.

Finally, a year has passed and this little ½ ton’s “updated restoration” is complete. Several people had jumped into the project to make corrections. Paul really likes it now! It was often seen this past fall at local car shows where the public attention it received relates to its top quality. It is beautiful even when you get close. You can contact Paul Owsley on his email at: owsleyathome@aol.com

1946 Chevrolet 2 ton with Thornton Drive

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Owner: Howard Jones

Wow!  They cannot get any rarer than this 1946 Chevrolet 2 ton with Thornton Drive.  Of several thousand produced, this appears to be the only one remaining.  This 1946 Chevrolet 2 ton has two rear axles turning 8 wheels and tires.  The rear axle assembly was produced by the Thornton Tandem Company of Detroit, Michigan.

It was seen sitting among the 825 specialty trucks at the 2013 annual convention of the American Truck Historical Society in Yakima, Washington.  The owner and restorer is Howard Jones of Corvallis, Oregon.  He found it near his home about 1989 and quickly realized its rarity.

No doubt Howard saved it from the usual death of the rest of the Thornton’s.  Their heavy weight made them a top candidate for the crusher once they found their way to a salvage yard.  The price per pound in one vehicle spelled extra income to scrap dealers that had no sales for the heavy iron parts of a Thornton.

Howard Jones is responsible for the almost ground up restoration in the mid 1990’s.  All facets of the restoration was done except for the Thornton duel differential drive system.  Because it operated correctly he did not disturb the inner workings of these differentials.  Fluid change, cleaning, and relining the brake shoes were the limit.  The fear was breaking an internal part and not finding a replacement.

The original horizontal Thornton side plates were restored and placed back on the hood.  A damaged round Thornton plate above the differentials was made again with a non-metal material.  It looks like the original and no one realizes it is not the pure thing!

Because of working outside much of its 65 years, the cab was loaded with rust problems in all the important places.  Howard finally found a replacement 1946 cab with its share of dents; however, it was certainly an improvement of what he had.

All is now black again on the outside and it has the correct tan hammered paint on the interior.  Howard made it as close to its first day in the field as possible.  Note the heavy front bumper.  This is the first year the Chevy 2 tons were given this extra heavy steel unit.  Howard removed a large accessory grille guard from the bumper during the restoration.  It had probably been in place since it was new. The odometer showed almost 16,000 original miles on the truck.

As this Thornton is only for display, Howard created a large opening in the flat bed.  This allows the curious to see much of the differential that would normally be out of view.

Since its restoration was completed almost 10 years ago, Howard has taken it to three larger shows:  Spokane, WA, Reno, NV, and now Yakima, WA.  The weight, long wheel base, and low gearing makes it much more difficult to be moved like a light weight truck.  It now has its own 6 wheel special trailer!

The Thornton is so long that Howard added 5 feet to his garage to keep it out of the Oregon rainy season.  Having the only one remaining relates to the need to protect it from all types of weather!

Howard’s Chevrolet Thornton uses its original 235 low oil pressure six cylinder engine.  The multi-speed low geared differential allows for easy starting even in third gear on the flat land and no load.

Additional Thornton Data:

The Thornton Tandem Company home office was Detroit, Michigan.  Its non-GM accessory was provided to authorized Thornton dealers in the United States.  The components were produced for trucks manufactured by General Motors, Dodge, Studebaker, Ford, etc.  The “kit” consisted of 2 identical pre-existing complete Eaton differentials.  The Eaton differentials were a standard among many large truck manufacturers.  The Thornton assembly consists of a 2 speed high/low splitter into the pair of 2 speed Eaton differentials.  These differentials were installed as mirror images (one forward and the other reversed).  Very unique!  Add this to the optional “No Spin” assembly inside each differential (full driving power to all rear wheels).  Of course, the 2 ton started with the original non-synchronized 4 speed transmission.  Thus Howard’s 2 ton has 16 forward gears and a reported top speed of about 40mph.

In this case, the Chevrolet Thornton required a 3 piece custom drive shaft with two carrier bearings and long frame rail extensions.  These rails made the frame 1 ½ foot longer at the rear than factory and extended inside the original frame to about the rear motor mounts.  This gave the frame over twice the strength!   The wheel base then increased to 230 inches.  Howard’s Thornton gross weight capacity changed from factory 15,000 pounds to almost 46,000 pounds with 8 pulling wheels.  These frame extensions made it practical to move very heavy loads off-road in rough terrain.  Even carrying a large water tank in the back country for fire fighting was a natural for a Thornton!

In the case of Howard’s Thornton, its first owner used it to carry a large tree removing D6 Caterpillar for making a path in native timber for installing Oregon electrical lines for the first time.  The Thornton was just right for carrying the heavy Caterpillar into the woods with no roads.

Years later the next use for this Thornton was carrying a large water tank.  The water with a sprayer was used to keep down road dust that was created in the back country by logging trucks.

Later, before Howard found the truck, it was owned by a person clearing his large acreage of maple trees.  They could load so many logs and make one trip each day to a nearby mill for processing.  This person is the only owner known that actually kept the Thornton in a barn out of the weather when not in use!

If you would like to contact Howard Jones email hjonesmts@gmail.com.

Other examples of Thornton’s uses:

Hauling coal from mines.  See photo.

Carrying water to rural fires by Fire Departments.

Transporting ready mix concrete to job sites.  See photo.

Hauling sand and gravel.

Moving tanks of gasoline and oil.

Carrying loads at harvest times from larger farms.

Howard has heard about 100’s of Thornton’s that were exported overseas after World War II.  They were great help in clearing the after war rubble from cities due to many bombings.  The large volume they carried helped shorten the time of rebuilding.

Unfortunately, when these large rubble removing jobs were complete, the Thornton’s were too large for most overseas farm work or other commercial uses.  The expense of keeping these large now well used Thornton’s was not useable by the local people.  Once again the heavy weight and operating expense of these trucks was what resulted in their demise!  War torn countries could not afford them or need them once the US contractors had completed their jobs.  They went to steel recyclers.

30 spring leafs

1947 GMC

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Owner: Joe Miller

We are proud to have this very rare 1947 GMC as our feature truck of the month. Manufactured in Pontiac, Michigan from only April through about November 1947, this GMC is one of the few survivors of a 1 ton 9 foot bed pickup. They were bought new for work duties! After years of heavy use and limited money by most owners through the 1950’s, most of these models were used until they were not financially repairable. Their heavy weight made them a good candidate for the crusher once they hit a salvage yard.

Joe Miller of Smithville, MO is the person responsible for saving this unusual GMC and making it into a piece of artwork. Most from the 2 year restoration is just like it was when it left the factory. Even the Brewster Green with Apple Green stripe and wheels is how GMC made most. It is suspected this long pickup was even an eye catcher in its early years!

An advertisement on EBay led Joe to this special pickup in Central Minnesota. It not only was what he was wanting but it had no motor or transmission. This reduced the price as well as the buying competition. Joe had a rebuilt 302 GMC six cylinder waiting at home and correct 4 speed transmissions were not difficult to find. After the sale, Joe found he was the only person that had shown an interest in the truck. He has kept it from the salvage yard and later a worse fate!

This big 1947 was totally disassembled and then carefully put together so there were no worn parts. All had to equal new truck quality. A nice blend of new and used are in the final show package. As a retired airline pilot for US Airways, Joe made this his daily hobby (work) project for 2 years. At one time he had restored a 1931 Model A Ford and later a 1967 Corvette but this was a totally different animal. Everything was heavy duty. Many one ton parts are not being reproduced and hunting is the only way.

The following are 4 things Joe added during the restoration to improve driving quality of his 1 ton: They made the 1 ton a pleasure to drive rather than the opposite.

The 5.14 ratio ring and pinion assembly (pumpkin) was exchanged with the highest ratio available in a 4.10 ring and pinion from a 1967-72 3/4 ton improved the highway speed almost 20% with no visual appearance changes.

The original GMC 228 inline six cylinder engine was not used. It was replaced with a 302 cubic inch later year GMC. This is the largest of the 1939 to 1959 GMC inline engines and is an exact fit. It greatly changed the truck’s performance personality! Originally, they were used in the late 1950’s school buses and 2 ton trucks. The larger cubic inch displacement even requires a 2-barrel Stromberg WW carburetor to provide the correct amount of fuel and air to the combustion chamber.

As much as Joe was comfortable with the 17” factory split rim wheels, there was a concern with being in distant locations and not finding a garage with the experience in change tires with this wheel design. Therefore, he found 5 new 8 bolt 16” wheels that would not rub the tie rod ends. Though the wheels each had 4 bumps to hold a modern hub cap, Joe made a modification. With his skill he added inside 1/2 ton spring clips and the original 1947 3/4 ton hub caps fit just right.

Big Trip!

Because it was finally a go anywhere new 1947, Joe decided he would drive to the next annual convention of the American Truck Historical Society. In 2013, it was in Yakima, Washington. It couldn’t have been any further from his mid-America home in Missouri. The trip would be almost 2,000 miles one way and touch 10 states. But why not! It was new and he needed a break from the 2 year daily restoration project.

Joe and Co-pilot Bob Dyck of Vassar, Kansas (also a truck restoration enthusiast) began the drive leaving Smithville a week before the convention started. It became a vacation between friends. A few stops along the way included the South Dakota Badlands, Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills, and Yellowstone National Park. The attached photo shows Joe at Powder Pass in Wyoming with 9,666’ elevation and also parked in front of the original 100 year old hotel in Yellowstone Park.

The GMC cruised at 60 to 65 mph on flat lands. Most surprising, it drove up to Powder Pass and stayed in 4th gear. Now that’s pulling power!

At the ATHS convention, even with 825 early trucks on display, this big pickup was obviously a little above most in workmanship and was a one of a kind. The surprise to most was that it did not arrive in an enclosed trailer. It was back in Missouri in a few weeks after the long driving vacation of 3,906 miles. Stops from mechanical malfunctions, flat tires, or restoration mistakes, zero! Of course it was a new 66 year old.

Extra items on Joe’s 1 ton that may be of interest:

He protected the bedwood with black paint just like the factory. He was well aware that no General Motors truck would have left the factory with a smooth finish varnished bed.

Note a very unique feature of a 1947-48 GMC truck; the pickups, 1/2 , 3/4, and 1 ton have a 3 bar grille just like the 1 1/2 and 2 ton plus the Cab-Over-Engine trucks. It is assumed the one size fits all idea was to save production costs, is why this was done. Beginning in 1949 the smaller GMC pickup used a lighter weight 4 bar grille.

In addition, the 1947-48 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton GMC’s used a different front splash apron and bumper (nothing like Chevrolet). It is slightly curved on the top and bottom and each far side has 3 holes to support stronger bracing. The center grille guard appears to be standard equipment. Look at the strong grille bracing in the attached photo of another 1947-48 GMC.

Yes, you can make a 5 window deluxe cab from a standard 3 window cab. Joe, with the help of a very skilled body shop, found a badly damaged deluxe cab and used the 2 corner windows. They look like they were installed by GM.

Check out the tall gas spout on the un-restored truck. On a 1947-48 GMC 1 ton pickup it is between the bed and cab and connects to an under bed tank.

A little more padding in the seat plus pleating to hold it in place would make it more comfortable for long rides on more rough roads.

Joe’s new daily driver is now quickly recognized in his town. It is a pleasure for him to drive and it is said he doesn’t even miss not having air conditioning in the Missouri summer.

You can contact Joe at: joemiller3@flica.net


Joe’s work of art

Correct bed floor color

It’s a 302 with a 2-barrel


During restoration

Almost finished

Close to completion

Note the factory under bed gas tank

100 year old lodge in Yellowstone Park

Along the way

As high as it gets!

The condition when he found his 1947

Bought with no tailgate

View from a different truck, 1947-48 grille reinforcement

1946 COE Pickup

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Owner: Bill Knoernschild

Look what you can do with an early COE cab and a lot of imagination (an extra supply of money also helps).  This cab sits on a 1984 Chevrolet 1 ton truck chassis, perfectly carries a 1946 ¾ ton pickup bed, and uses 1940-46 rear pickup fenders.  What a nice combination.  We might call it a COE pickup!

The owner and creator is Bill Knoernschild of Cutchogue, New York on Long Island.  This retired enthusiast has done several other specialty vehicles but this is so far, his high point.  Bill does almost all his own restoration work and his skills and workmanship are superb.

This specialty truck is so unusual that even the non-vehicle enthusiasts have to stop and take notice.  Bill’s COE invented the term “Traffic Stopper”.

He found this tired truck several years ago in a back field on Long Island.  It had been at one time a tow truck.  Due to the COE’s rarity he decided to salvage the cab and save it from a certain death (because of a COE’s weight, most went to the crusher).  Bill decided it would be like no one had ever seen.  It became a 2 year project!

A 1984 Chevy chassis was totally rebuilt including V-8 engine, suspension, automatic transmission, and so many modifications to make it fit the almost 60 year old cab.

The “new” truck has all the power options including air conditioning.  It even operates with a computer under the dash just like a late model vehicle.  Modern interior, updated dash gauges, and six new 16” very special chrome wheels add to the package.

Just one example of the intense labor is the front fenders.  The originals were a total loss and replacements seemed to be unobtainable.  Therefore, fiberglass pickup fenders were used but required a special skill to trim the correct 6 inches and reform to create COE fenders.  Now that takes talent!

Would you believe:  The second time out with his restored COE Bill hit a deer near his home!  It was back to the home garage for much more work on at least one fender!  Therefore, Bill says by this time, the money spent on just body work, paint preparation, and two stage paint had reached $28,000.

Looking over all the receipts for the two year build is now close to six figures!  Wow, if Bill ever gets hit by another vehicle, their insurance company will really be crying the blues.

You can contact Bill at:  Plumbcrazyinc@gmail.com.

Note:  The letters COE are the abbreviation for Cab-Over-Engine.  This is what early truck manufacturers called their units that had the cab over the engine.  Without the nose and engine in front of the truck it had a much shorter wheel base.  Thus, it could make short turns in tight spots such as older neighborhoods with narrow streets and still carry the same amount of freight.  Yes, with the engine below, the cab interior was much warmer in the summer.   For the driver it was what he had to tolerate to own a COE.

1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Owner: Mike Reese

A 70 Year Old GMC Saved From The Crusher!

1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

This 1940 GMC 1 ½ ton had been retired along with its original owner, a farmer near Grand Rapids, Michigan for many, many years. It had been placed in a barn with badly damaged fenders, grille and related front items. The bed was beyond repair. If it was not for the sentimental value to family members, years later, it would have been sent to the crusher. A younger family member aware the truck was hidden in a barn began to consider updating it and making it roadworthy. The big plus was a pair of New Old Stock front fenders and running boards stored on the bed. This gave him the incentive to start on grandfather’s farm truck. It was a surface restoration but still became expensive. The bed was rebuilt at almost $900.00. Installing the new front fenders, finding a chrome grille and bumper surely added to the expense.

A second owner purchased the truck about 1993, however, he never did any further restoration. It sat for 10 years. Maybe this is the reason why it went up for sale. The big restoration money was yet to be spent.

The current owner is Mike Reese of Kempton, Pennsylvania. He bought it on-line in 2003 because he loved the appearance of the front end and cab. He became committed to make it look like new!

He already owned a 1951 Chevy fire truck and a 1951 Chevy 2 ton short wheel base dump truck (he still uses it for occasional gravel and dirt hauling) so he was very aware of what was ahead of him. However, he needed a lighter weight less massive older GM truck for driving to more distant truck shows and being more a part of the fun.

Mike did the final steps of the restoration, taking three years of evenings and weekends to complete. Total cleaning, painting the original Pimpernel Scarlet, all new rubber, correct interior, many mechanicals restored, etc. It was all done to exact 70 year old specifications. Finally, it became just like the Michigan farmer saw it when he bought the truck from the GMC dealership in 1940.

It’s now a head turner everywhere Mike takes it. People just stand and stare at the workmanship. They are looking at what they have only seen in black and white photos of the 1940’s.

After the first year of driving it on lesser traveled roads, Mike finally made one hidden change. He replaced the original 228 cubic inch six cylinder with a completely rebuilt 1956 270 engine. The outward appearance is identical. The two engines even used the same overhaul gasket set. Now the truck had a different personality. He could drive it on freeways to distant truck shows. He still keeps it about 60mph as the truck is still held back due to the original 4.56 ratio differential. He has not been able to find a higher ratio ring and pinion without making a major change that requires different wheels and he refuses to have a different design wheel on the front and rear. We offer our congratulations on this thinking.

One of the items that really stands out on this 1940 flat bed at all shows is the original GMC bed. Most display aftermarket beds, however Mike’s is pure General Motors. The two tall curved front panels (like a half barrel) are a true example of a truck that was ordered with the correct GM bed.

Mike Reese and his 1940 are often seen at Pennsylvania weekend truck shows; however his furthest was the American Truck Historical Society 2011 annual convention in South Bend, Indiana. Distance driven: 630 miles one way. This national club’s 2012 convention was in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This was 250 one way miles.

He never misses the world famous annual Macungie, Pennsylvania truck show 30 miles away. This year there were 600 participants on display. No judging, just lots of fun and memories.

Mike’s 1940 is quite an eye catcher at shows. He almost always receives a trophy or at least honorable mention. Yes, a home family room has many awards that prove this statement.

Mike Reese can be contacted by email— ashtonlansford@aol.com

1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck
1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

Barn Fresh in April 1984!

1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

1947-55 Chevrolet Panel/Pickup

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Owner: Rod Lentz

1947 – 1955 Chevrolet
We met the owner, Rod Lentz of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania at the recent Spring Carlisle Event in April 2012. It was a pleasure hearing of his lifelong enjoyment of owning and restoring older vehicles, especially the 1947-55 Chevrolet Advance Design body style. He became talented in most all mechanical and body repairs. However, he gradually began to think the best of both worlds would be a 1947-53 body with more modern street rod components.

Then one day it happened! He saw the first GM ads showing their soon to be released SSR truck in 2004. He was overtaken with interest. It would be so great to own a new Chevy truck that looked much like the 60 year original and have all the options we have today. He had to have one!!

Later in the year at the unveiling of the new SSR, Rod was a little disappointed. It looked much less like the older trucks he grew up with and the price was well, shall we say not reachable. He realized he would not be owning the SSR that he had been building himself up to own. What now? With his many years of experience with older cars and now being a mechanic at a local Chevrolet dealership, why not build one? He would create his own version of an SSR. It would be updated, and still quickly recognizable as an Advance Design truck.

So it’s 6 years later and Rod’s new SSR is placed on the road. It is truly a vehicle that stops traffic and creates crowds at all antique car shows. Nothing has ever been seen like this. GM should have had this vehicle as a guide to build their SSR!

For more details on Rod’s SSR, check the following to learn some of his secrets:

Rod saw a newspaper ad for some stored unlicensed older vehicles about 10 miles from his home. A 1949 deluxe 5 window Chevrolet had some restoration potential, however a nearby 1948 ½ ton panel truck was far from rebuilding. The owner had not yet called a metal recycler to remove the remaining parts. He told Rod if he would buy the pickup, the parts of the panel truck would be free. This offer and Rod’s creative ideas made the deal. The two vehicles could maybe be combined to create a one of a kind truck that looked more like it came from a Chevrolet dealership 60 years ago and definitely resemble the newly introduced SSR truck.

Good luck! As Rod suspected, the pickup cab width is the same as the panel truck. This was important in grafting the sides to the pickup. The floor was too deteriorated in the panel so it was here Rod got even more creative. He found a used metal floor from a newer used pickup and cut the edges to be just right for the panel truck body. The whole package was sandblasted, patched, and primed before attaching it to the pickup. Yes, it also attached to the frame rails! GM made it that way.

Notice the rear of the bed. Do you recognize some of the remains of the two barn doors from the panel truck? Of course, they fit perfectly because they were from the parts Rod received with the panel truck body! He welded the two halves together to make one panel and then made them into a fold down hinged tailgate.

To help create a little more of the SSR proportions, the top was lowered 2” and the doors widened 4”. What a job! The dash of the 1949 was replaced with one from a 1957 Chevy car.

The engine is as unique as the hand crafted body. Rod found a new 292 six cylinder at a nearby Chevrolet dealership. This is the big six for large trucks and school buses from 1963 through the early 1980’s. He added a 4 barrel Offenhouser intake manifold and Edlebrock carburetor plus a dual exhaust system. The appropriate chrome and polished metal give it that special appearance that is so different than a V-8 engine. Just this power plant alone makes it a real “crowd stopper” at any auto show! The highway performance is amazing! A few V-8 engines might be able to keep up with it.

The floor shift transmission is the current popular T-5 five speed from an early S-10 Chevrolet truck. Its overdrive 5th gear gives the panel/pickup the little extra on the highway and helps lower engine RPM. The shift lever comes out of the floor in just the correct factory position.

Rod used a 1980’s aluminum Corvette differential that gives the truck higher highway speed. The front suspension is also all aluminum as removed from a 1984 Corvette. Modern all disc brakes and 5 bolt 16” wheels add to the package.

Look at those unique headlights. The headlight holes in the front fender were slightly enlarged and now they secure the light assemblies from a Volkswagen New Beatle.

By using two mufflers from a US made Victory motorcycle on the dual exhaust system, the sound is just right. There is no comparison to the sound from a V-8 engine.

The photos tell the story. Rob has a SSR that looks like the 1950’s.

You can contact him at: rnclentz@comcast.net

1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet
1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet

1948 Chevy Truck – Heartbeat of America

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

1948 Chevy Truck –“ Heartbeat of America”
Owner: Luke Stefanovsky
1948 Chevy Truck
This was my 1st project of this sort after dreaming about it for years. I did not start the restoration, but have finished the interior, exterior, the engine bay, and performed some undercarriage work. Once starting the restoration, I was “all in”! It became a great stress-reliever from the daily responsibilities of being a middle school principal in a state hard-hit by the Recession. I spent more time in my waking hours thinking about the truck that I should; it occupied my dreams as well! The truck was back on the road August 2009, and it now has approximately 1600 miles on the completely rebuilt 235 c.i. 6 cylinder engine pulled from a 1955 Chevy. It has a 4-speed stick (floor) with a 4:11 rear. The truck is now my summer daily driver in West Branch, Michigan (approximately 90 miles from my home in Alma, Michigan).

The truck was in the service fleet for the Road Department in Mineral County, Nevada (county seat is in Hawthorne) sometime until the mid/late 1960s. I have corresponded with the man who purchased it from them; it has had multiple owners since then. The truck was originally purchased by the Road Department from the Chevy dealership in Hawthorne, which is no longer in existence. The Mineral County seals on the door sides were compliments of the current Road Department supervisor. I purchased the amber Federal service light and mounted it on a pole in the front-left of the truck bed; the switch is now under the dash. The patched holes from a roof-mounted service light were clearly visible before the headliner was replaced. I’d love to find a rare 1948 Nevada “highway exempt truck” license plate to mount on the front of the truck, which would replace the standard 1948 Nevada truck plate.

Evidence of the truck’s past includes “cleats” of some sort, which can be seen below the tailgate area and the various holes on the side-rails. Holes in various other locations around the truck where unknown items were mounted can be seen. One such set of holes on the upper left of the dashboard were for a small rubber-bladed electric fan. I found a rare N.O.S. Casco rubber-bladed fan and installed it in that very same location! Another hole on the dashboard was where the wiring for the vintage N.O.S. illuminated Hull compass is now located. I completely restored the original Harrison heater that came with the truck, which must have come in handy on cold Nevada mornings/evenings out on the Mineral County roads. IF THESE OLD TRUCKS COULD ONLY TALK!

Amongst a very long list of things done to this truck, I’ve added vintage Guide turn signals, a horn, amber Guide 5-3/4” fog lights, a rear passenger tail light, Guide back-up lights, the side-mounted spare tire, decorative hood ornament, a restored radio/antennae, under hood lamp (a rare accessory), refinished the bed, and added seatbelts (the only way my wife and son were going to ride with me!). A N.O.S. Casco cigar lighter was installed. New wheels were painted/striped and mated to a new set of tires, along with new hubcaps. The cab was striped. The driver’s side inner door panel, the driver’s side upper hinge detents, hinge pins, and the passenger side door latch were replaced. I had to also replace the driver’s side stainless steel window trim. Original “high dome” bumper bolts, along with Marsden nuts, were restored and used on the bumpers. An original jack/handle and complete tool set were also placed under the bench seat. A finishing touch was finding and mounting a GM accessory chrome grille guard. The truck was completely rewired, maintaining the original 6 volt electrical service. Instrument gauges were also restored.

New friends have been made through the project the past few years—some over the phone, others via the Internet, and many in person. The information, help received, and locating miscellaneous parts from the Stovebolt, H.A.M.B., V.C.C.A., and Chevy Bomb forums has been much appreciated. I also found eBay a good place to find parts.

Younger brothers Joe and John were a big help on the project. Joe was a huge help on the electrical side of the project, as well as the body finish. John completed the restoration by building a set of bed racks/rails out of red oak left behind by our deceased Grandpa K.—“the Judge”—who ironically retired from the Bay County, Michigan Road Department.

Driving the “Heartbeat of America” on a regular basis and attending classic car shows has validated for me that completing this restoration was a very worthwhile project to others as well. Attending the 50th V.C.C.A. Anniversary meet in Flint, Michigan July 2011 sure was quite an event! The truck has appeared in two calendars and has been featured in the V.C.C.A.’s Generator and Distributor monthly magazine. A newspaper article was also written on it in the Mineral County Independent-News. The “Heartbeat of America” has come back to life and lives again, 63 years after its creation in Oakland, California. At age 50, I see this restored ’48 Chevy truck as a tribute to the rich auto heritage of our great state of Michigan—which has fallen on hard times recently. Like this truck, we will survive to thrive once more some day again.

1948 Chevy Truck 1948 Chevy Truck
1948 Chevy Truck

If you wish to contact Luke, please send him an email at: lstefanovsky@mtpleasant.edzone.net

1939-46 1/2 Ton Canopy Express “Barn Fresh 1942”

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Owners: Scott and Betty Golding of Stratton, Nebraska

Is this the rare of the rare?

Just when you think they were all gone, up comes a real Canopy Express of the 1939-46 body design.

Our ‘Feature Truck of the Month’ section usually shows restored GM trucks, but we just had to show this almost forgotten body style even though it is not restored. We might call this 1/2 ton Canopy Express a ‘Barn Fresh 1942’

It is owned by Scott and Betty Golding of Stratton, Nebraska.  They found it near Scott City, Kansas, a small town in the far northwest part of the state.   Here the ground is flat and the air is dry.  Thus, body rust is usually not a problem and metal is preserved with the low humidity.  It has saved this 65 year old and it will now be seen by future generations.

Scott states that there were 182 Canopy Express trucks built in 1942.  Therefore, we suspect the survival rate of this year is less than five.  The limited production in 1942 was due to most assembly plants starting to be used to make war materials after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  The Canopy Express had a limited market and with the factories stopping production early, the 182 production number is understandable.  Scott and Betty’s Canopy Express still has a chrome grill which relates to the time before the war shortages.

Though the original black paint is mostly gone from the summer sun, the metal condition shows a very restorable vehicle.  Even the full wood divider is still behind the front seat.  This divider with window was necessary for rear vision as well as to allow passengers more comfort in cold weather when the small dealer installed heater was used.  The wood planks in the bed are tired, but still remain in place.  The roll up canvas curtains were usually gone before the tenth year.  Of course, there is no evidence now they even existed.

The Golding’s should have some good luck with a future restoration as the rare body sets on a 1/2 ton pickup frame.  The parts from the door forward are also the same as a pickup truck.  It is the body restoration that might give some problems because the tailgate is lost.  That will take a real search.

Why did the Canopy Express exist?

In another era of our country’s history (1920’s through 1950’s) extra money was limited.  Those with some disposable income bought one family car.   The man of the house drove it to work and the wife stayed at home with the children.  During World War II, the husbands were often in the military overseas. Therefore, retail stores realized to keep sales or even stay in business; they had to bring their products to the neighborhoods.  The Canopy Express filled that need. They were excellent for carrying and displaying produce and related groceries.  Display trays of food products were taken to the neighborhoods.  Probably a bell told home owners that the grocery truck was coming. Even a scale for weighing produce could be attached to an arm extending from the body.  The Canopy Express canvas sides were easily raised or lowered depending on the weather or when back at the store at the end of the day.  Of course, laundry, bakery and dairy products were also delivered to neighborhoods but this required a different size vehicle.  That is another story!

Scott and Betty’s Canopy Express still has the 216 six cylinder engine.  Most important is its 4 speed transmission.  This allowed the Canopy Express to move very slowly in crowded apartment neighborhoods while ringing the hand-pulled bell.

If you would like to contact Scott and Betty, send email to scottandbetty@hotmail.com.

Can anyone help Scott and Betty find a 1939-46 Canopy Express tailgate?

1945 Chevrolet House of Magic

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Owner: Dirk Spence

A magic show unlike anything you’ve ever seen! Equally important to GM truck people is that all of this has been totally transformed on a 1945 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton truck.

The truck owner and professional magician is Dirk Spence of Tinley, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). It all began in 1980 when Dirk was given a dilapidated 1945 Chevy truck with a ruined engine, broken glass, and four flat tires. Since his youth, Dan had a strong interest in magic and with this truck, he quickly envisioned a traveling magic show that would set him apart from all others.

Once completed, this unique, self-contained 1945 Chevrolet ˜Magic House™ contains sound, lights, and a one-of-a-kind museum. Dirk has even rigged his truck to spit flames when he fires up the engine- just for added effect. His one hour magic show has been in the Chicago area for many years.

This has been quite a project considering the truck only has a 134″ wheel-base. Audiences love Dirk’s magic wagon because it is a touch of old Vaudeville with a splash of 1990’s humor. Dirk has definitely found a niche that draws “oohs and ahhs” when he arrives in his in his gypsy green truck with wood shingle sides at festivals, corporate picnics, and schools.

If you would like to contact Dirk or experience “Mr. D’s Magic and Illusion Show”, please call 708.532.0827 or visit his website at www.mrdsmagicshow.com.

1946 Chevy Short Bed Pickup

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Owner: John Thompson

This 1946 Chevy short bed from Pittsburg, Kansas, may look stock, however, it’s anything but! It is a blend of the character of the pre-war vehicles mixed with today’s technology. When I bought the truck it was almost all stock but it was in pieces strewn between 3 garage stalls. The truck is all steel and had virtually no rust on any of the body panels, but it was missing almost every trim, handle, lamp, chrome, interior, etc. Thank goodness for Jim Carter catalogs! The build began in January of 2008 and was completed in June of 2010. Modifications include the front suspension and frame rails from a 1970 Chevelle giving the truck independent front suspension, power steering, power disc brakes, sway bar, etc. The engine, transmission, rear differential, fuel tank, gauge cluster, seats, and more are all from a 1995 Camaro Z28. Several thousand hours went into the build with a lot of custom work including shaved drip rails, smoothed and reshaped lower grille panel, shaved front turn signals, rear roll pan, fuel tank relocated behind the rear axle and fuel door added to the left rear fender, custom door panels, console (with cupholders), customized yet original looking dash panel, and many other subtle mods. The paint finish is Dupont base coat/clearcoat and the interior is finished with genuine leather.

Other features include: power steering with tilt column, Hotrod Air Conditioning system, power windows, keyless power locks, 8-way power driver seat, 4 wheel disc brakes, rear air shocks, in-dash JVC with DVD player, power antenna, billet & leather steering wheel, composite headlights with integral turn signals, 3rd brake light, Haywire engine management and body wiring harnesses (all wiring was soldered and heat shrink wrapped), 17 inch aluminum wheels, one-piece V-glass windshield, billet drivers wiper, dual electric fans that turn on at 185o or when the a/c is on, and more. The interior was lined with Dynamat before finished and features full instrumentation including tachometer, and seatbelts. The bed is white oak with 10 coats of varnish.

1946 Chevrolet

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Owner: Dennis Odell

1946 Chevrolet

1946 Chevrolet

This month we feature a pick up that is used just the way GM intended.  It is still a work truck and at 65 years old it is used daily in the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area.  The owner is
Dennis Odell of Independence, MO.  The truck is a 1946 Chevrolet half ton.

Dennis now stays busier than on prior career job with the telephone company.  He can repair most anything ( including his 46) and thus is a natural with home repairs.  His little half ton is his daily work truck and hauls materials and himself for his many remodeling projects.

Dennis found it for sale 25 years ago beside a country road at the edge of town and had to have it!  He then personally did the restoration including the painting.  Dennis said he made it above average but not for shows.  After all, he planned on driving it to work daily.  About 12 years ago he retired and now  he and his 46 keep busier than past full time job.

The drive train is a 1977  250 cylinder engine  with a modern floor shift 3 speed and a 1955-56 Nomad rear end. All wheels are 5 bolt.  An under dash radio is his entertainment and the heater is from a 1950 car.  The body is all GM as are the seats, grill, bumpers, and bedstrips.  Yes, he did replace the bedwood.

 With it being used so often in all its years Dennis says it has to have over 250 thousand miles and is still going strong!!


1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet
1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Year/Make 1948 Chevrolet Suburban

Owner: Jerry Rivers

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

It’s a great day for a car show! This is one of those rare Saturday cruise shows when the temperature, a light breeze, and no rain make it a picture perfect day. A few hundred vehicles, antique and street rods, fill the parking spots gather around the old city square.

The display overflow extends onto connecting side streets. Vehicle owners have gathered to enjoy a common interest, a love of special interest and restored cars and trucks.

As the day continues spectators are outnumbering the vehicle owners 3 to 1 as they stroll among the special cars of all early ages and marquis. However, it is obvious that one vehicle is attracting more than the usual passing interest. A constant flow of onlookers are staring at a large blue car or is it a truck. We wait for a place to get a better view of this “large people hauler”. It’s a beautifully rebuilt 1948 Chevrolet Suburban! The color, workmanship and engine bring most people to a stop as they are walking by this display.
The owner is Jerry Rivers of Independence, Missouri. The interest from the crowds prevent our questions but Jerry agrees to allow us a later interview for pictures and questions.

In a week we are at his small antique Chevrolet parts store with all his attention. The more we looked and discovered the truck’s special features, the more it was important to place this vehicle as our monthly truck of the month section.

Jerry bought this Suburban 13 years ago from the original owner in North Missouri. A friend was hunting and noticed the tired body in a back field along a fence row. Rusted out floors, broken glass, and a totaled engine was the package. Jerry saw the great potential plus he had always wanted an old Suburban. He is a retired body man, so to him the challenge was not so threatening. He began the rebuilding after a total disassembly. His parts business requires much time but he allowed himself one night each week for Suburban duties. Thus, thirteen years for restoration! It’s unveiling was June 2010.

He wanted an original appearing 60 year old vehicle but added many special accessories plus additions to make it freeway friendly. Jerry has no concerns about driving a long distance. It’s built as a driver but, of course, it gets extra care as one would with a collector vehicle purchased from a new car dealer.

Jerry provided us two pages of extras he carefully added during the 13 year rebuilding. These are items you may not notice as you view the final product. We list them here as he did for us.


  • Guide back-up Lamp and Shift Box Switch
  • 15″ Wheels
  • Wheel Trim Rings
  • Bumper Guards
  • AM-FM Radio
  • Oil Bath Air Cleaner
  • Right Hand Rear View Mirror
  • Right Arm Rest
  • Glare Proof Inside Rear View Mirror
  • AC Oil Filter
  • Rear Turn Signals
  • Guide Traffic Viewer (prism)
  • Fulton Outside Sun Visor
  • Right Hand Inside Sun visor
  • Guide Turn Signal Switch on Steering Column

New Old Stock Parts

  • Left Front Fender
  • Both Inner Fenders
  • Front Lower Grill Baffle
  • Core Support
  • Hood Emblem
  • Complete Hood with Center Strip
  • Upper and Lower Hood latch
  • Rear Splash Apron
  • Front Splash Apron
  • Upper Gate Hinges
  • Right and Left Latches
  • Inside and Outside Door Handles
  • Steering Wheel
  • Radiator
  • Shift Box
  • Misc. Mechanical and Suspension parts

Up Grades

  • 1954 “261” Engine
  • HEI Electronic Ignition
  • Alternator
  • All 12 Volt Electronics
  • 3.55 Differential (replaces original 4.11)
  • Radial Tires
  • Tinted Windows
  • Custom Rear Lower Tailgate
  • Bucket Seats
  • YF Carter Lean Burn Carb
  • Heavy Duty 10 3/4″ Clutch and Pressure Plate
  • Electric Wiper Motor
  • Rear Dome Light
  • Seat Belts
  • Air Conditioning and Heater Combo
  • Special Paint Color Combo in Centari Acrylic Enamel

Parts Suppliers

  • Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts
  • Bowtie Bits Truck Parts
  • Tom Myers Truck Parts

We should note three very special extras that make the Suburban even more of a real show stopper.

The Tailgate opens to the side and operates as if GM did it. (This is a Jerry Rivers Creation). No leaning over in the rear just to reach the body.

Its Power Plant is a pure 261 six cylinder from 1954. They were originally in school buses and 2 tons only. It was a drop-in and moves the Suburban easily to 70 mph. (Of course the high speed 3.55 ring and pinion helps too) Many don’t know this 261 engine even existed. It really steps out in today’s traffic!

Cold Air Conditioning? Certainly. The custom made system is for the 1947-53 Chevy truck with a 261 engine. No cutting on the body. Note the concealed two control levers in what was once slots for the original factory radio speaker. Yes, it keeps the large body Suburban comfortable during Missouri days of high humidity and temperatures.
Jerry has had the Suburban completed and at car shows for only three months. Two trophies and so much public interest! It attracts so many he calls it his “Magnet”. His last show required a 400 mile drive. Did he have any mechanical problems? Of course not! He made it to be a new 60 year old Suburban.

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Here He Comes! Custom Tailgate Accessory Back-Up Light Jerry’s Grand Daughters
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Factory Dash Smooth Headliner Accessory Taillamp Prism
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
261 Engine Power Plant A/C Items Bucket Seats with New Covering
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Pickup Dome Light New Carpeting Interior There He Goes!

1946 Chevrolet

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Owner: Jim Adams

1946 chevrolet

The owner is Jim Adams of Pleasanton, California! He has carefully rebuilt this 1946 Chevy 1/2 ton as one that would have been seen in the 1950’s. The big difference is that he created it as a high-performance vehicle of 50 years ago during his high school years. For the few that had money in those more difficult times, this is what many wanted to build.

This little 1/2 ton spent its early life in Hayward, CA as a fruit and vegetable delivery truck. Jim, about the fourth owner, bought it six years ago in a storage lot mostly as a cab and chassis. The tired bed nearby had numerous removed parts of questionable value.

At the beginning of the restoration, stock and reproduction parts were not too difficult to find. It was the high performance equipment that was the real challenge. They were gradually found with much time researching.

A few era additions used during the complete rebuilding  are: A 3″ dropped front axle, Edmonds water warmed intake manifold, Fenton headers, 1957 Chevy 235 engine with 1/4 race camshaft, chrome valve cover, two Carter YF carbs, and a high speed ring and pinion. Jim went modern on the brakes using disc on the front as well as a vacuum power brake booster under the floor. Even the seats are in a black vinyl roll and pleat design with a correct rubber floor mat.

The completed package is just right., an excellent restoration, early year high performance, and modern stopping ability. If it was in the 1950’s this little pickup would surely not take second place among any 6 cylinder or flathead V-8 cars or trucks.

When in any car and truck show, this truck is the one that gets the crowds! It is so unusual in these days of modern V-8’s and high tech add-ons.

1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet
1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet

1949 Chevrolet Suburban

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Owner: Roy Asbahr

1949 Chevrolet Suburban

One of Roy Asbahr’s most special and unique vehicles is a just completed 1949 Chevrolet Suburban. After a 1 1/2 year restoration, it looks showroom new. Roy is a perfectionist in vehicle restoration and this is one of his best yet! The body and paint work was performed by Larry Swiggart.

This Suburban brings special childhood memories to Roy as it is like the 1949 his father bought-same year, color and accessories. It was the family car for many years and was even driven a few times on fishing trips to Canada and the Yukon.

Roy watched for many years for a restorable Suburban that could be made like the original family vehicle. He discovered this Suburban several years ago in Sioux City, Iowa. The prior owner had reached the age of 92. Little had been changed from the factory except a bargain paint job years before. Amazingly it was rock solid, rust free, and only 55,000 original miles.

Nothing was spared in the body off restoration. The factory exterior colors for Chevrolet Suburban’s, 1947-1949 was Channel Green-lower body and Fathom Green- upper body. This is just the colors of Roy’s father’s Suburban when new in 1949.

The seat upholstery is the ‘real thing’. It was carefully removed from the cushions, dyed, given new padding, and then put back in its original place. The seats now look as though they are just out of the factory!

Lucky for Roy the windlace surrounding the two doors was in excellent condition. He very carefully removed it, dyed it the color of the back side (never exposed to daylight) and placed it in its correct position. It appears new and with the unique Suburban only color. No tears or cracks!

The five piece headliner was not torn but had sagged and faded. This too was removed, re-dyed, and contacted to a piece of formica on the back side for strength. All were put in place with a new appearance.

There is gloss black paint on the inner fenders and upper radiator sheet metal. The shine in this area is often debated during a complete restoration. Roy remembers cleaning his father’s new 1949 regularly and has no doubt that it was gloss black, not flat or semi-gloss. However, all other items painted black are semi-flat black.

A final decision was made to add two hidden changes during restoration. To increase the speed on modern highways, Roy replaced the 4.11 ratio ring and pinion with a 3.55 gear ratio. All outside appearance is unchanged, except radial tires.

To also give extra highway speed, Roy installed a 1958 Canadian Pontiac inline 261 six cylinder which has hydraulic lifters and the 848 higher compression head. It is an excellent fit and even uses the same motor mounts. The original 216 valve cover is added on top to give an authentic look and an adapter was used to enable an early style 1954 water pump to be installed. The engine is the correct grey color and even the spark plug wires have the unprotected metal ends.

Little was ignored in this ground up restoration. Dealer installed accessories include fresh air heater, grill guard, radio, and rear turn signals lights, running board step plates and a GM locking gas cap.

This Suburban is an excellent addition to Roy’s fine collection of restored vehicles.

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 Chevrolet Panel

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Owner: Udi Cain

1949 chevrolet udi cain

1949 Chevrolet Panel truck

I am Udi Cain, a war veteran from Israel. I love the USA and feel that Israel and USA are like one.

I was born in 1949 and loved drawing cars since age almost zero.

I bought a 1949 Ford F1, renewed it and drove it daily until the head of the Tel Aviv museum bagged me to donate it to the “Post Museum” in Tel Aviv museum, as it was used as the first post car in Israel. http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/main/site/index.php3?page=24

After giving the vehicle to the museum I searched for another nice car to use daily.

I found the 1949 Chevy Panel that someone in the past had opened windows in it to make it function like a suburban and it was red which I didn’t like.

It took few months to renew it, and I’ve ordered many parts from the US through eBay; until I bought few parts from Jim, and here I am.

1949 Chevrolet Panel 1949 chevrolet udi cain 1949 Chevrolet Panel

1949 Chevrolet Panel truck 1949 Chevrolet Panel 949 Chevrolet Panel truck

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Owner: Unkown

1948 chevrolet suburban

Finding a forgotten 60 year old stored vehicle to restore is very unlikely in today’s world. They have been already found and junked or are in the hands of a new owner. The most unusual exception is our feature truck of the month.

This 1948 Chevrolet Suburban has been setting behind a storage building or machine shop so long it is buried to the axles in dirt and sand. No garage! The dry air of the area has slowed weathering, though a light surface rust film has developed. No dents and most original parts still remain. Note the GM grill guard, spot light, and optional rear signals.

What a find for a serious rebuilder. Most experienced restorers know the year or more to obtain the parts for this series of Suburban. Here, most all is in place even down to hubcaps and seats. Covered on one side with sage brush, photos on the one open side could be taken to show the detail.

As soon as we begin to say this is just too good to believe, we found it is. The owner states “It’s been in my family since new and I am going to fix it up someday”. Have we ever heard that comment?

The person that recently found this Suburban is also hoping to buy it sometime. Therefore, he traded me these pictures for the promise I would not mention any contacts including him. Sorry!

1948 chevrolet suburban 1948 chevrolet suburban 1948 chevrolet suburban

1948 chevrolet suburban 1948 chevrolet suburban

1946 Chevrolet

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Owner: Tommie Jones

1946 chevrolet

I am glad that you have shown an interest in my pickup. It was purchased from a local theater in 1964 they used it to carry a billboard in the back. After purchase it was used to carry feed and seed on the farm. After purchase of a newer pickup my Dad’s employee used it to carry fuel and supplies to a bull dozer until the engine was beginning to fail. At that time it was parked on blocks with wheels removed in about 1970. Had thought about working on it on and off occasionally, but never did. I retired from the Texas Department of Transportation in 2007 after 26 years. Did some fence building, built a hay barn and added a room on my shop which was useful when I started on the project.

On the first of November last year put two of the tires that had been originally on it when parked and brought it to the shop. Spent about a week taking it apart and checking the condition of the parts. Saw that all the brakes and drums would need replacing. Had read it was best to get the frame and body worked first so removed everything from the frame and started sand blasting. After sand blasting everything was treated with Ospho and primed and stored inside. The battery box was replaced and the front springs which were broken. After this was together and painted checked the engine out. It had frozen where it couldn’t be repaired so decided to go with a 235. Didn’t find one, but did find a useable 261 from an old truck. Carried the head to the machine shop to be worked. Ordered parts and did the other motor work myself. The head was the only thing that I didn’t do myself. Had worked on the farm and Highway Department so experience on mechanical work. Now started on the body, had to replace windows, door handles, fuel tank and floor board. Only rusted out places were where varmints had piled dirt between front fender and cab. This was my first major body work and painting so that was a learning experience. Fenders were rather rough so had to do quite a bit of work on them. Looked at bed kits, but was in Home Depot one day and saw some wood I liked so bought. Cut to fit and grooved for bed strips. Had joined a local car club the first of this year and they were having a car show the last of September. Was close, but was able take it to it. Wanted to use original Chevy colors so checked paint chips and found the Suburban colors I liked. Left the grille painted because it was originally and chrome was so expensive. The colors are top Airedale brown and bottom Cireassian brown and interior the hammered tan. Again want to thank you for your interest for it was a very interesting project. All parts were purchased from Jim Carter except a few on e-bay.

Tommie Jones
401 CR 115
Comanche, TX 76442

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet 1946 chevrolet

1947 Chevrolet Suburban Woody

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Owner: Don Bryant

1947 chevrolet

During the 1940’s and 1950’s a few body companies created their own design of truck not offered by the chassis manufacturer. In this case the Campbell Co. made their own “station wagon” body to fill a need of a small number of buyers. its all wood construction and 3 or 4 side doors made a very attractive package. It was similar to the GM all metal Suburban with 2 doors.

It this example the Campbell body was built for a Chevrolet or GMC truck. GM would provide the 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton chassis with factory front sheet metal and windshield plus rear fenders to their dealer. Campbell offered a completed wood body as an exact fit. It could be shipped to a specialized body instillation company and then the local Chevrolet and GMC dealer would have it installed.

Campbell’s body was a replacement for the GM all metal Suburban body. It offered more accessibility and better seating for passengers. Thus, the extra cost was not a factor to many buyers. The Campbell fitted GM truck was perfect to transport people to and from airports and train stations, for school bus routes, hotels, country clubs, tours, camps, etc.

Below is a 1951 ad from the Mid State Body Co. in Waterloo, NY. Shown are the three different Campbell bodies that was available at that time.

This month’s feature is one of these rare Campbell/GM trucks. Few (even rare when new) have survived. This classic like new restored example is on a 1947 1/2 ton Chevrolet chassis and owned by Don Bryant of Oakland, California.

Don bought his 1947 Chevrolet cab and chassis totally restored in 1997. It even included the correct Chevrolet color, Windsor Blue. However, the Campbell body was not rebuilt. He states the “wood was in a large, gnarly pile”. A hunt began for a specialist in older body restoration. Recommendations led him to Ron Heiden in Encinita, CA. His good reputation resulted in Don waiting a year before his turn arrived.

It was in Ron’s shop for 10 months for this procedure! The next step was for even more fine detailed work at the Moonlight Woodies Restoration Shop in Cambrea, CA. The finished product is now for “show-and-go”. Its a work of art that is part of history. Don now drives the Campbell wagon on rare occasions up to about 75 miles from home. Of course, no rain allowed!.

His eamil address is: dbryant@barnesconti.com

1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody

1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody

1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody

1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody

1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody 1947 chevrolet suburban woody

1946 GMC

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Owner: Charlie

1946 gmc truck

Charlie has owned this truck for over 30 years, since he was 12 years old. He bought it with paper route money. His parents said “What are you gonna do with that truck” he said “gonna drive it”. And he did just that after scraping out the oil pan and replacing the fuel tank.

Message from Charlie:

This truck drives like a dream, goes down the road straight, I sure am glad I took the time to redo the king pins spring bushings and bearings also it likes to roll with the tires I got they look like narrow original but are radials. At first I had a little trouble using the lousy gas of today it cleaned all the varnish off the floats that looked good which made them sink. Not a big deal quick trip to Napa and $14 dollars later ol red purrs smooth.

1948-1949 COE & Chevrolet 1/2 ton

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Owners: Bill and Ken Wedelaar

1948 chevrolet coe 1949 half ton

What a traffic stopping combination! When this pair hits the road, even the non-truck enthusiasts take note. The proud owners are Bill and Ken Wedelaar in Midland Park, New Jersey. Bill and Ken have a local auto electric shop and the restoration of these trucks has been their hobby when time became available.

The little black 1949 1/2 ton is one of the best examples of how they left the factory as it shows only 11,000 miles. Bill has owned it 15 years with almost no repairs needed except cleaning and detailing. It had been repainted when Bill found it and he added the whitewall tires. If you want to know what a pure 1949 was like when new, ask Bill or Ken.

The 1948 Cab-Over-Engine (COE) is a piece of artwork. Bill and Ken even bought another COE to get the best parts and then restored it to almost all authentic specifications. A 1954 Chevrolet 235 six cylinder is about the only update that was added. This 2 ton has been his for 25 years. Before his purchase, it hauled a large dozer to construction job sites.

Bill and Ken are obviously enthusiasts and artists in truck restoration.

They can be contacted by email at: kensautoelectric@gmail.com

1948 Chevrolet 3100

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Owner: Scott Scheibner

1948 chevrolet 3100

Years ago when I lived in Washington State, I had a 1950 Chevrolet 3100 that I restored/rebuilt customized from the frame up. It was my hunting and fishing truck and I loved it. During a time when I was getting ready to build an addition to my house here in California, I got talked into selling my 50. Never felt such pain as I did watching it drive away. My wife hugged me and told me that someday I could get another one. That day finally arrived about 10 years later when I saw my 1948 Chevy 3100 online for sale. It was someone’s project and had a few things done to it that were what I had planned on doing to a truck. I bought the truck and began the long process of re-doing many of the things that were done half assed. It has turned out to be a very special truck even though I’m still working on it.

As with all of my vehicles that I have had and those that I still do, I seem to continually turn to Jim Carter for those parts that aren’t always the easiest to find. I also check with Jim Carter and compare prices because most often his prices are better and he doesn’t gouge you on shipping/handling. I want to thank Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts for always being there with advise, parts and great customer service.

1948 chevrolet 3100 1948 chevrolet 3100 1948 chevrolet 3100

1948 chevrolet 3100 1948 chevrolet 3100 1948 chevrolet 3100

1948 chevrolet 3100 1948 chevrolet 3100

1948 Chevrolet

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Owner: Roger Darrow

1948 chevrolet

* 1948 Chevrolet
* 6 volt system, all original, floor starter
* 1972 blazer wheels (so I could run radial tires)
* Factory 4 speed

1940 Chevrolet

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Owner: John Buhr

1940 chevrolet

This truck has been in my family for nearly fifty years. my dad purchased it from a local GMC dealer in our hometown in western Wisconsin and we are the third owners. The truck was purchased new by the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, next by a farmer in a neighboring community, and then by my dad. We used it on our small farm, hauling can milk to the local creamery, trips to the feed mill, and in the fields at planting and harvest time. It worked well as an all around work truck. We quit farming in the mid sixties and my dad turned the truck over to me. I then used it as a daily driver for about 10 years. During that time I pounded out a few dents that came from the everyday work on the farm, sprayed some paint on it and always kept it out of the weather when not in use.

In about 1975 I started taking it apart, overhauling the engine and replacing the clutch and brakes. It was stored, torn apart, for about 25 years. In 2001 I decided to get going on it again, first doing the front fenders, box, and rear fenders. I did the mechanical work myself and with the help of my cousin, who has a body shop, we finally finished it in 2007.

Over the years I picked up some replacement parts from Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts, and also found some parts at swap meets. The body was pretty much rust free, the running boards were rusted quite badly, but I was able to find a pair in western state that were in very good condition. The rear fenders were a challenge. I had the grille and bumpers re-chromed. Did the bed floor in red oak.

John Buhr

1940 chevrolet 1940 chevrolet 1940 chevrolet

1940 chevrolet 1940 chevrolet

1949 Chevrolet

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Owner: Steve Jones

1949 chevrolet truck

In the search for unusual trucks to place in our monthly feature, we came to a stop when we found this 1949 Chevrolet ½ ton. Though not restored original, it looks on the outside much like what would have been seen on the road in the early 1950’s.

The owner and restorer is Steve Jones of Manawatu, New Zealand. Steve says this over two year project finished even better than planned. The following is a basic summary of what became a very large project. For further details, contact Steve at: Chevytrucks49@e3.net.nz

Locating this type truck to rebuild was difficult on the islands of New Zealand. The country is ‘down under’ (below the equator) and finding this GM body style became Steve’s challenge. He began to feel lucky if he could just find one for sale.

Finally, Steve found a 1949 Chevy ½ ton with no motor or transmission and an excess of cab rust. With little negotiations, the truck was bought. Steve knew it would be just what he had in his plans once the rebuilding was completed.

The long frame rails were not altered in this rebuilding and all the sheet metal is like it left the assembly plant in Petone, New Zealand in 1949. Yet, the hidden changes are many! The engine is a GM 350 V-8 and the automatic transmission is an overdrive turbo 700R4 from a 1993 Holden (GM in Australia). Also, from that car is a 3.08 ratio differential with disc brakes. The total package gives good vehicle speed at lower engine RPM.

The front rack and pinion assembly comes from a later model XJ6 Jaguar sedan. Steve was quite surprised to find the complete assembly fit the 1949 with very little alteration. It provides disc brakes with four pistons on each front rotor. A vacuum booster for the power brakes is bolted to the left frame rail. The original steering wheel with upper column remains 1949.

Steve used two u-joints and special brackets where he cut his original column just below the floor. In this way the lower Jaguar column can be connected under the hood and out of view. Even the accelerator pedal is pure 1949. He made skillful cuts, bends, and welds to keep the early accelerator pedal assembly which moves the four barrel carburetor linkage of the GM V-8. Remember, this little New Zealand ½ ton has always been right hand drive! The accelerator linkage must run horizontally from beside the right inner fender along the outside of the firewall through brackets to reach the left side of the carburetor throttle rod. Quite a design even for General Motors!

After these difficult mechanical changes, Steve began with the sheet metal. He knew it would be difficult to locate replacement metal in New Zealand. The excess rust would require all fenders, replacing the rusted front cowl panels, and adding a new bed. These items would have to be imported from the United States.

Many items on this New Zealand right hand drive 1949 are unusual to owners of US made Chevrolet early trucks. The most interesting area is the dash. See photo. Not only are the gauge position reversed but look at the top. There is no openings for a radio! Even the speaker grill is without slots for the radio sound. (It is actually a glove box door cut shorter. ) The holes for the ignition switch and cigarette lighter are the same, however the use is reversed.

When you think your GM truck restoration project is requiring more work than you expected, think of Steve Jones in New Zealand. His ’49 is now near show quality and probably one of a kind in this smaller country. Steve’s comment: Never give up!

1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck

1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck

Far Right: Similar Truck Owned by Graham Stewert, Wyndham, New Zealand

1941 Chevrolet

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Owner: Jeff Lewis

1941 chevrolet truck

When I purchased the truck 3 years ago the engine had been rebuilt ( a 1960 235 inline 6) and installed and a feeble attempt had been made on the body work. The interior had to be completely de-rusted. The bed sides that came with the truck were not usable in my estimation so I purchased new bedsides, bed front and tailgate from Jim Carter.

The bed wood came from Jim Carter and is yellow pine stained with lampblack and linseed oil as the originals were. I did use stainless bed strips which are not original to the truck. I painted the truck myself and quickly found out that there is a steep learning curve on the painting but I stuck it out and it came out pretty good. I bought a used HVLP system but if the truth be known, other than the cab and the bedsides everything else was painted using the disposable PreVal sprayers!! They work great.

I worked three winters on the truck. I had to replace the brakes and lines and opted for the stainless steel brake lines. I purchased a few items on eBay but the majority from Jim Carter. I was fortunate in that I live about an hour from Jim Carter and was able to make several trips there and develop a relationship with Mike Taylor. Mike would let me roam around in the basement where all the used parts are, and there were times when I would spend practically the whole day there. Mike went out of his way to help me find difficult to find parts that are not available reproduction. Most people don’t realize the Jim Carter has much more than what is shown in his catalog. They have a huge basement and several yards filled with cabs and used parts. People should check with him first before bidding on eBay for used parts!

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1941 chevrolet truck 1941 chevrolet truck 1941 chevrolet truck

1947 GMC COE

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Owner: Steve Neilsen

1947 gmc coe

Having grown up in a family that always had delivery trucks, usually sedan deliveries I have always loved trucks. The first truck I remember was a black 48 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery. Ten a 50,52,54 and than we went to wagons. Still working for my folks in the 70s I found a 48 Chevrolet like my dads and restored it with the exception of installing a 327 and powerglide I got out of a wreaked 68 Impala .All black with white walls and gold leaf sign. After leaving my folks Florist business I eventually ended up in the remodeling business. I always loved COE’s and finally I decided to replace my new cube van with a truck that didn’t go down in value.

After looking, and running some ads I found my truck in Montana. It spent it life as a wheat truck. It now out of retirement and goes to work with me if its not raining. We’re both semi retired. I mounted the body on a 1980 Chevrolet 1 ton chassis. I installed a Chevrolet 350 crate,350 Turbo and 1990 Chevrolet van steering. The box was off a Ryder Rental truck. The wings on the box I got off a 1947 GM school bus used to store parts in a wrecking yard. I finished it up and after years of building cars this gets the most wows so far.

Happy Trucking, and thanks for the great parts,

Steve Neilsen
Red 47 GMC COE

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1946 Chevrolet COE

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Owner: Jim Fassler

1946 chevrolet

I found this truck in Fall City, WA and it is now in Soldotna, Alaska. I shipped the truck From Tacoma Wa to Anchorage Alaska on Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE). I have driven it about 500 miles since I bought it.

Jim Fassler
Soldotna, Alaska

1946 chevrolet truck 1946 chevrolet truck 1946 chevrolet truck

1941 Chevrolet

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Owner: Jim Arrabito

1941 chevrolet pick up truck

In Feb 2005 I purchased my 1941 Chevrolet pickup off web site DealsonWheels.com. The truck was located in Sacramento, California. I live north of Seattle so I purchased a one way plane ticket to California. Upon arrival, two days later, I finally get to see the 41, stuffed in a small garage with boxes all around. Oil checks good, fill up low front tire, shake hands & turn over $$$. The previous owner shows me what is what. I’m now sitting in the seat, asking myself ” what just happened ? Oh yea, drive me home. I’ve got AAA”.

On the road in California I couldn’t ask for a better ‘ American Graffiti ‘ weekend. I got the value of the purchase price in that 1st Road Trip, plus the bed was filled with spare parts and boxes of parts. 1200 miles NO Problem, except that 80 mph speeding ticket ( “80 in a 41 ‘ really means something). back home I’ve spent the last year, fixing everything, from re-welding suspension, new bushings, shocks, radiator rebuild, ADDING wipers, bumpers, Cragar wheels, relocating battery, gas tank and Painting.

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1941 chevrolet pick up truck

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1949 Chevrolet Thrift Master Panel Delivery

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Owner: Mark Esposito

1949 chevrolet thrift master panel delivery truck

The attached photos are of my 1949 Chevrolet Thrift Master Panel Delivery Truck. It was restored/ modified about twelve years ago but still looks pretty darn good thanks to the quality parts that Jim Carter supplies. This truck sits on a Chevelle front clip and differential. The engine is a Chevrolet crate 350 with 330hp and the trany is a TH350. She rides on 15″ steel police style chrome wheels. The interior has comfy gray tweed to match the Chrysler dove gray exterior paint. Within the interior there are classic “bow ties” to honor the Chevrolet heritage.

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1940 Chevrolet

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Owner: Clyde Johnson

1940m chevrolet pick up truck

Featured this month is a rare 65 year old truck was saved from an unknown destiny almost 35 years ago. The survival rate of this style 1940 Chevrolet pickup is very low because they are rated 3/4 ton. Heavier demands were placed on almost all non-1/2 ton pickups and most were just ‘used up.’

This beauty still lives because it was first owned by the Walnut Grove, Missouri Volunteer Fire Department (near Springfield) and saw duty during occasional fires in the small community. Much of its life it set in the town fire station ready for emergency calls. This is probably why only 26,000 now show on the odometer. It carried ladders, hoses, and related fire equipment as well as firemen. Usually it followed near the larger town fire truck.

The person responsible for the rebirth of this classic older 3/4 ton is Clyde Johnson of Independence, Missouri. He purchased it un-restored from a neighbor in the 1970’s for $200. It was to give his 16 year old son, Larry, something different, dependable, and ‘not fast’ to drive to high school. It came to be Larry’s main local transportation for several years. But then Clyde got it back after graduation. A total restoration was always a consideration but family responsibilities kept it on a ‘someday’ to do list.

It was over thirty years later that Clyde got serious about giving the little 3/4 ton the ground-up restoration it so badly needed. His four children were on their own and he had just retired after many years as a machinist training instructor.

Once the restoration began, Clyde averaged 20 hours per week, 25 most all was done by him personally. He disassembled it to the bare frame and then began building it back and restoring each piece. To make it look less like a fire truck and more as a civilian truck, he removed the spotlight, siren, ladder brackets and a very large steel plate rear bumper where fireman stood on the way to a fire.

It now looks like a 1940 Chevrolet truck as it left the factory. The correct red, black fenders and running boards plus rebuilt mechanicals and new chrome makes it a real ‘traffic stopper.’ It still has it’s 216 six cylinder engine, 4 speed transmission and ¾ ton differential. Yes, 55 miles per hour is about its limit.

Clyde’s enjoyment with his little red truck has increased even more since the restoration three years ago. He has become very active in the local Kansas City Genuine Chevrolet/GMC truck club. He and his little red truck are seen regularly at local shows, driving events, and cruise night drive-ins.

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1940m chevrolet pick up truck 1940m chevrolet pick up truck 1940m chevrolet pick up truck

1940m chevrolet pick up truck 1940m chevrolet pick up truck 1940m chevrolet pick up truck

1940m chevrolet pick up truck

1946 Chevrolet

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

Owner: Denny & Bonnie Wegemer

1946 chevrolet pick up truck

Our 1946 Chevy Truck looks stock from 50 MPH or 50 feet away. My husband (Denny) did all of the fabrication and modifications and designed the chassis to comply with the air ride suspension. We moved the gas tank from under the seat to the rear of the chassis. The 305 with tune port, 700 R4 trans, steering box, rear end, and tilt column are all from a 1986 IROC. The front clip is from a 1971 Camaro. I t has front disc brakes. Our choice of wood for the bed and the inside cab area is Honduras Mahogany.

The 1947 Teardrop Trailer we worked on together. We stripped off 5 layers of paint and made it to compliment the Chevy Truck. I know you don’t do trailers, but this get up is a team. Denny did all the metal fabrication here also. We rebuilt the frame and put it on air ride also. The inside body was also reinforced with the tubing. It is now all insulated throughout. It is all aluminum and is riveted together. The size is 4 x 4 x 10′ long. The Honduras Mahogany really makes the inside cabinets look like the old vintage boats. I (Bonnie) made all of the inside cabinets and table and the cabinets in the kitchen area as well.

It helps to have a metal fabrication shop and a woodworking shop at your home.

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1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck

1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck

1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck 1946 chevrolet pick up truck

1946 chevrolet pick up truck

1946 Chevrolet Suburban

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

Owner: John Hart – Albuquerque, NM

1946 chevrolet suburban

I bought the un-restored Suburban in 1996 from a Kansas source I found in Hemmings Motor News. It must have been home to a thousand mice for 20 years or more; most of the stuffing from the seats was above the headliner, in the glove box, in the doors, etc. Where the mice had nested, the nearby metal was badly rusted from long term contact with urine; the shell was beyond recovery. Fortunately, I was able to find a solid Southwestern parts truck only about 20 miles from home.

The parts truck is a panel; it is identical to the Suburban except for the rear windows and seats. In fact, I checked the production codes and both trucks rolled out of GM’s Kansas City plant only one month apart. I cut the rear window panels out of the original Suburban, did the same on the panel, and welded and bolted the window panels into the panel truck shell. I turned a panel truck into a Suburban. The seats, interior window frames, fittings, and the like from the original Suburban were for the most part in fine shape.

I rebuilt or replaced everything down to the steering balls and spring shackles. It took me over a year, but I found 16-inch artillery style wheels. The engine is a rebuilt 235 with Mallory dual-point distributor and high performance coil. I installed Patrick’s 3.55-to-1 ring and pinion gears in the rear end and a Saginaw 4-speed transmission using Patrick’s adapter kit. This allows the use of the original torque tube drive shaft by shortening the shaft 2 inches.

The color is GM original Hollywood Tan with cream wheels and waistband. Fenders and running boards are black.

Many of the parts were purchased from Jim Carter. I have had it on the road now for about two years and it is lots of fun to drive. One thing about a pickup, you can’t fit too many people. With the Suburban, you can take the whole neighborhood.

John Hart

1946 chevrolet suburban 1946 chevrolet suburban 1946 chevrolet suburban

1946 chevrolet suburban

1948 Chevrolet

Thursday, May 1st, 2003

Owner: Mike Klepp – Wichita Falls, TX

1948 chevrolet pick up truck

I bought my 1948 Deluxe cab 3104 in 1995 and have done a complete on-frame “restification.” Everything is stock appearing, but closer inspection will reveal the upgrades I have made in the name of safety and performance.

The drive line is a 1954 vintage 235 that is totally rebuilt. It is disguised with a 216 valve cover. Behind the engine is a 1965 3-speed overdrive coupled to a 1959 open drive rear axle with 3.90 gears. I still have good acceleration, but I can cruise at 65-70 mph all day.

The front and rear suspension as well as the steering are totally rebuilt. To stop the beast is a Nova dual master cylinder connected to upgrade Bendix brakes with new lines and hoses. Radial wide whitewall tires, gas tube type shocks and a panel truck sway bar complete the handling package.

Inside the gauges are rebuilt, seat covered in gray tweed material, steering wheel restored, and new headliner and floor mats added. It was a granny four speed originally, so I collected and installed stock column linkage to shift the newer 3-speed OD.

Outside the body was quite rust free, but 50 years of dents and dings took their toll. The body was stripped, straightened, and painted. Much of the bed is reproduction metal, but all four fenders and both doors are connected to the original cab. Since the truck was black originally, I decided to keep it that way.

The truck does very well at local shows: several firsts, a couple bests of show, and a best paint awards. What I like most is the looks and thumbs up from others as I go down the road. It is a blast to drive.

Mike Klepp
Wichita Falls, TX

1948 chevrolet pick up truck 1948 chevrolet pick up truck 1948 chevrolet pick up truck

1941 Chevrolet

Friday, March 1st, 2002

Owner: Tom Bollinger

1941 chevrolet pick up truck

I have begun to restore my 41 Chevy 1/2 ton with parts from Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts, An oldie but a goodie, I worry that I will do harm to the value by changing things too much, The shop manual I ordered from Jim Carter has proven to be a valuable asset to the restoration of this truck. The sale of this truck will be applied to the mortgage of my house. Then again by the time I finish the truck I may have the house paid for and have to take a second mortgage to pay the truck bills. All is well that ends well, and a shinny 1941 Chevy Truck will be on the road again and cruising down the highways of Americas Heartland.

1946 GMC

Thursday, March 1st, 2001

Owner: Eugene Von Gunten

1946 gmc pick up truck

This is my 1946 GMC 1/2 ton pickup. It is designated Model EC-101. I purchased this truck two years ago from the man who restored the truck with the exception of the bed. He had built a wooden bed from pressure-treated pine. Fortunately, he had the original metal bed, which has its original all-metal floor; and it was in surprisingly good condition. I had a body shop sand blast the bed and my local vo-tech school did the paint work. I was given several old Jim Carter Truck Parts catalogs with the truck and found out quickly that Jim Carter is an amazing resource for owners of these trucks. I purchased the rear fenders from Jim Carter and they are clearly the best fiberglass parts I have ever seen.

The truck was featured in the May/June 2000 issue of “THIS OLD TRUCK” magazine. It is quite rare by comparison to the ’41-46 Chevy trucks it closely resembles. Happily, Jim Carter caters to both Chevy and GMC. I drive the truck frequently during the warmer months of the year. The 4-speed transmission requires double-clutching which is a skill that takes some practice. The tires are 6.50 x 16, which were an option to the standard 6.00 x 16. The result is a little better highway speed. I am considering the newer rear end gears to change the 4.11:1 to a 3.55:1. Of course, Jim Carter offers the parts.

The pictures were taken with a digital camera. The little ‘Rug Rat’ is my younger son Alex, who at age 2 1/2 is just in love with daddy’s ‘Red Truck’. Of course, the lack of seat belts means excursions around the yard are all Alex gets! I talk occasionally with other owners of ’41-46 GMC trucks. They can e-mail me at my home: gvg@infi.net

1946 gmc pick up truck 1946 gmc pick up truck 1946 gmc pick up truck

1946 gmc pick up truck

1946 Chevrolet Truck

Monday, January 1st, 2001

Owner: Bruce Pile – Rogers, Arkansas

1946 chevy pick up truck

I bought this 1946 Chevy truck after it had served for many years in the Bell Telephone System, the prehistoric internet that Bell Labs would later upgrade. After helping with the creation of the net, the truck was in pretty sad shape. The guy I bought it from had overhauled the 216 motor and was starting a restoration but wanted to sell it. Unfortunately, he had no antifreeze in the water, and, when we started it up as we were discussing the sale on a January day after a cold snap, it formed a boiling cloud of steam from the exhaust and a river flowing down the street from a geyser spewing out a crack in the side of the block. We discounted the price to $150 and my dad and I towed it home.

First, I dealt with the boat anchor I had for a motor. I disassembled it to the bare block, had the cracks welded, put it back together, put in some powerful stop leak; and to my amazement it ran just fine. Then I proceeded to the treasure hunt – finding the various body parts. It has original steel for everything, plus several items I ordered from Jim Carter. I painted it blue and black and drove it and showed it that way for several years. I loved the way it looked, but the running gear was just a little slow and weak for modern cruising. I had no trouble with the busted up motor, but the other things were becoming a problem. So 14 years ago I did a makeover. I had it outfitted it with a Chevy 305 V8, automatic, and an A frame assembly on the front from a ’75 Chevy pickup, which will bolt neatly to the frame with a pair of 3/8″ steel shims and provides power disc brakes and power steering. I repainted it the Swift’s red (now that it was so swift) and kept the body and interior as close to factory original as I could; there is no law that says you must deviate from the natural beauty of these trucks just because you put in a V8. You can certainly improve how they drive, but, in my opinion, you can’t improve much on what the staff at Chevrolet thought out for how their trucks should look. It was restoring the body and interior to factory original that was the most difficult part of the entire project. Finding the parts was not easy, and Jim Carter’s was the ace up my sleeve there; but far more difficult was finding reliable information as to what was factory original. It was here that Jim Carter’s proved to be a unique resource. I inquired at salvages that are highly regarded for specializing in antique trucks, and got either “I don’t know” or contradictory information. I e-mailed the AACA in Hershey and got “We don’t know. Try these three organizations.” I e-mailed the customer service arm of Chevrolet, which is supposed to be able to answer all your questions about models past and present, and got “We have used all the resources at our disposal and can not answer your questions.” I asked Jim Carter’s and they either gave me answers immediately or said, “We’ll check and e-mail you an answer”, which they did. After having received so much contradictory information from other sources, I was not convinced. I hunted down some old photos of Chevy trucks fresh off the assembly line and some with no restoration or refinishing done, and hunted down several trucks in salvages, examined them very carefully, and got a few answers as to what parts and colors were original; and they were the same answers Jim Carter gave me. If I ever do another project with a GMC or Chevy truck, I’ll not bother with any other source of parts or information besides salvage yards and Jim Carter’s Antique Truck Parts.

I’ve been driving my antique for 14 years and am still pleasantly embarrassed by all the head turning it gets. I still have a “to do” list of 7 items. I’d also like to add a license plate holder that reads “Prehistoric Silverado”.

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1946 chevy pick up truck 1946 chevy pick up truck 1946 chevy pick up truck

1946 chevy pick up truck

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