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Working Trucks

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Canadian Ton Panel Truck

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Owner: Don Welsh

What a rare find!  Don Welsh of Kansas City, Kansas is the proud new owner of a 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton panel truck used by the Canadian Army to transport troops.  Its data plate even is stamped “Army” as well as “Made in Canada”.  By its appearance inside, it was used to haul soldiers and the long bench seat is on both sides of the interior.  Now that’s really close quarters!

Note:  The 1300 emblem on the hood side.  This is the Canadian designation for a 1/2 ton.

1946 Chevrolet 2 Ton with Thornton Drive

Monday, July 8th, 2013


Owner: Howard Jones

During the recent annual convention of the American Truck Historical Society in Yakama, Washington we noticed that among the 813 registered trucks there was a Chevrolet that may be the only survivor of this design.

The vehicle was a 1946 Chevrolet 2 ton with a Thornton dual rear drive. How unusual! This non-General Motors accessory allowed all four rear wheels to give pulling power. There is no disconnecting two wheels when on a highway!

This was featured in the 1946 “Chevrolet Silver Book” which has pages of accessories that were not dealer or manufacturer’s products. Sorry, the pages from this book are so small in the Thornton photos. A few other photos taken at the convention are also included.

The owner had made an opening in the new bed so there was a good view of the differential by the general public.

This particular Chevy with Thornton drive is said to have carried a D-6 Caterpillar dozer off road in the 1950’s to clear the right of ways for local power lines. It also had a large water tank mounted to the front of the bed.

The odometer reads 15,775 miles. It will reach a speed of 40mph on level ground.

More details on the Thornton Drive and its current owner will be with our August 2013 Feature Truck of the Month.

A Real 4 X 4!

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1958 GMC Model 350 2-1/2 Ton Stakebed

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Owner:  John “Grizz” Hulbert


This was purchased from an eBay ad, here in Illinois. It spent all of its life under shelter as a farm truck. The old farmer couldn’t start it one day and took it to another, local farmer who does mechanics work. When the mechanic told the owner that the 336 Pontiac engine had sucked a valve, the owner told him to junk it. Not on his watch, the mechanic/farmer found a 316 Pontiac as a replacement. I got in it after I bought it and drove the 300 miles home on back roads and averaging 50 mph. Overall, the truck is exceptionally clean and is definitely a head turner, even though it’s not a hotrod pickup. The dump bed lifts and it runs straight. I just have a fuel gauge, speedometer, and rear seals to work out.

1937 Chevy Car Hauler

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013



When you want to transport your rebuilt 1937 Chevy coupe to more distant shows, what do you use?

Barney Hobbs of Damascus, Oregon decided pulling a trailer for this was not acceptable. That feeling along with Barney’s talents in a few restorations resulted in an 18 month project that created this one of a kind car hauler. Just imagine a 213 inch wheel base 1937 Chevy truck for moving his 1937 coupe! It even requires two carrier bearings to keep the long drive shaft in place.

His idea started when he saw a 1986 motor home with an un-repairable body. It still had a good frame with 4 wheel disc brakes and all wheel air bag suspension. The length was more than adequate. This just might work!

Sitting in the background in the photo of his modified 1937 Chevy coupe is the 1937 1 ½ ton truck that he combined with the motor home chassis about 3 years ago. During the creation of this special truck, the original 1937 frame was cut just behind the cab and grafted to the motor home frame side rails. Barney was amazed how nice the 1937 frame rails slid into those of the larger motor home once it was narrowed. The result gives excellent frame support.

The remaining front of the 1937 frame was boxed (reinforced) to hold a Cummins V-8 5.9 diesel engine and automatic transmission from a 1993 Dodge truck. Of course, an updated front cross member was placed in the 1937 frame to hold the inner cooler, radiator, and core support. All these modifications compliment the skills of Barney Hobbs. His experience in mechanical repair, a large fully equipped home garage, lifts and owning the many specialty tools made this job successful and all being done during his retirement years.

We would consider him a genius at what he has been able to create by normally working just by himself. Barney’s comment is: “I did the work myself. This included painting, all electric work, welding, sand blasting parts, installation, etc. I mean, I did it all! Even the aluminum billet grille I created and installed. The only things I did not do were the cab interior and the air to air inner cooler and radiator which were substituted for a more efficient core.”

Other specifications are a 5 speed overdrive transmission and 3.73 ratio differential, 19.5” tires, 14.5” disc brakes.

Two of the more difficult tasks were adding 2 ½ inches width to the front fenders. This increased the size so the large tires could turn under them. The other very big project was adding 11 inches to the back of the cab to make more room because of the additional space for the 5.9 Cummins diesel engine.

You can contact Barney at bthobbs@hevanet.com.

This surely is the only one left!

Friday, March 1st, 2013



A totally restored 1937 COE 1 ½ ton on a 131” wheel base truck with attached Holmes #485 tow body from the late 1920’s. Most unusual about this Holmes #485 is the original hand crank system for lifting the cars for towing. There is no PTO on the transmission. This rig was operated by a driver with more muscle than the average person. It was an unusual operator that could crank this rig beyond 50 years old.

The owner is John Kesey from McMillan, Michigan. Email: keskeyj@yahoo.com

A Pair That Stops Traffic!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012


1956 GMC 1/2 ton

My 1955 GMC 100 was locally purchased in 1995 immediately after buying the ’62 Airstream which resided for decades in a Minnesota field. As these trucks were designed, developed, and built to be work trucks, this one would continue to be so. A few months were spent designing the Jimmy so that it could be a strong, safe, and reliable hauler to pull the Airstream, a kind of Wanderlust Hotel, anywhere in North America at anytime, weather permitting.

The Jimmy’s frame was excellent, the body mostly good, but all the external and much of the internal trim had been stripped and was gone. My other vehicles at the time were working GMC pickups as were their predecessors, but the ’55 would be a special work truck capable of safely running with the big dogs while towing. All sheet metal but the cab came off, and all electrics were replaced as was every moving and non-moving part (except the nylon odometer worm gear which just broke…who knew?).

The Blue Chip GMC pickups were low volume production and very, very few reproduction parts are available. Most of the difficult to find original replacement parts were scored from Old Chevy Trucks with Jim Carter personally pulling trim items from one of his Missouri yards (it is a rare circumstance to work directly with a company’s owner for help, not once but many times). One of the key and very tricky safety items is the telescoping side view mirrors which came from a Chevy/GMC tractor of the same generation (1955-59). These were cut down and chromed so that vehicles behind the Airstream could easily be seen while using the original door mounting holes.

The rebuild took two years before undergoing a flawless 1300 mile test drive to MN to retrieve the Airstream, another two year project. Since 1999, the GMC has averaged 13,000 miles/year, a testament to a great working truck.

Hunt Jones, Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

1939 GMC Panel Truck

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Owner: Paul Flammang

It’s another era in our country. We were just coming out of the Great Depression. Employment was on the upswing and car sales were better than since the 1920’s. Families with a little more income began to move away from the downtown centers and new neighborhoods were developing at the edge of cities.

Public transportation began serving some of these new housing areas; however it was often not convenient for the new residents to walk to the bus line. They would need to ride to the original mid-town, return home with a supply of groceries, clothing, hardware items, etc. There was only so much a person could carry on a bus or street car.

Thus, the large numbers of small family-owned and operated neighborhood stores began to emerge. These quickly became important to the woman of the house. The husband would drive the family car or take the bus to work. The housewife remained at home, usually with the children, and was the purchaser of groceries and related needs. Neighborhood stores soon realized to be successful, they needed to take groceries, and laundry items to the customer.

With the above being said, the following describes one of the best examples of an all original grocery delivery truck of the last century. This little 1939 GMC panel truck was discovered over 16 years ago by the present owner, Paul Flammang.

He found it in a small garage behind what was once the Laura’s Family Grocery Store in Jewell City, Connecticut. The store was typical for the times, a two-story building on the corner. The shopping area was on the first floor and the owner and his family lived upstairs. Over 50 years ago this building was converted to an upper and lower duplex as the growth of large supermarkets put an end to the family-owned grocery stores.

The delivery truck, used by this grocer was locked in a back garage and had remained there over the years. The family still owned the property.

Paul, a local resident and old car enthusiast, had only heard rumors of the stored delivery panel truck. One day he found a family member with access to the garage and he asked if he could see the panel truck. He could not believe his eyes! It was just like when parked there in the 1950’s. The store logos were still readable on the sides and a few unopened grocery items remained inside undelivered. The log book in the glove box showed the last delivery in 1951 as well as addresses of many regular customers in the neighborhood.

A small ice box was still in the back by the double doors. It held meat on customer deliveries. The water from the melting ice ran through a drain hose in the factory hole for the spare tire clamp and then onto the street. Adjacent to this ice box was a small chopping block and scale.

To Paul, it was love at first sight! He owned a handmade furniture business and wanted the panel truck to add to the character of his company. Negotiations were successful and other than removing the ice box equipment, the panel truck was left as is. Our photos taken in 2012 show how it was found 16 years ago and after it was placed in storage in the 1950’s.

Paul immediately used it to deliver his furniture to New York and Boston twice each month, about 100 miles away for many, many years. Yes, a few motor changes occurred but the exterior has never changed.

We recently met Paul Flammang at our Midwest store with his 1939 GMC panel on a drive from Connecticut to Arizona. He is now retired and will spend his winters near Phoenix. It will be his daily driver there.

The current engine is a Chevrolet 216 six cylinder. Who says low oil pressure babbitt bearing engines can’t stand up to long hours of use?

If you wish to contact Paul Flammang by email: flammangwoodwork@gmail.com

 

Chevrolet 1-Ton Truck with Low Gear Differential

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Owner: Unknown


Chevrolet 1-Ton Truck with Low Gear Differential

Look what a 1 ton pickup can do with the help of their original low geared differential!!!

1946 Chevrolet 2 Ton with a Tag Axle

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Owner: Unknown


1946 Chevrolet 2 Ton with a Tag Axle

1946 Chevrolet 2 Ton with a Tag Axle

1950 Chevrolet 2 Ton Delivery Truck

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Year/Make 1950 Chevrolet 2 Ton
Owner: Coca Cola


1950 coca cola delivery truck


Coca Cola’s big yellow delivery truck can been seen for a long way.

1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton Moving Van

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton
Owner: Unkown



1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton Moving Van

1953 chevrolet 2 ton

1953 chevrolet 2 ton

1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Listed on Ebay during April 2010.
It sold for $3,495.00…
What a bargain for this piece of American History!

1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl


1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl

This is a very unique one of a kind 1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl style Carnival Amusement ride. This vehicle was used back in the day to go around the streets of New York to give rides for 5 cents to the kids who could not afford to go to a regular carnival or amusement park. Unbelievable history for what this truck represents. Basically it rode around and stopped for kids just like the ice cream trucks of today do.

This is a very rare vehicle that less than a handful were produced with only two that I know of, exist today. This is the true collectors vehicle. A one of a kind!!! Based on a 1951 Chevy Chassis with a 15,000lb GVWR this truck was built to be safe. Powered by a 6cyl straight engine and a manual shift transmission. The truck is in non running condition. This truck was stored for years and never started. The drivetrain will need to be completely gone through. The Ride portion is an actual amusement type Tilt A Whirl style ride with 6 cars a canopy, fence with an entrance and exit. This unit is 100% intact and fully operationable once the truck is running again to engage the PTO. The ride portion is in great shape and will need painting to put it back into shape. The truck itself will need to be restored to its former condition. The truck itself is very solid but will need some patches, repairs and mechanical work. The time, effort and money spent on this investment will pay off.

This truck is a true part of American history and is a sure bet high dollar collectable when completed. A true one of a kind….Everything is complete with the truck it will just need totally redone. The tires are all new, balanced and sealed holding air with no issues. If you are in the market for a rare one of a kind collectable look no further…A real head turner…

I believe the right person or Company could restore this vehicle relatively inexpensive. It will be more labor than anything. A very solid truck that is all there. Seems this could be a heck of a vehicle going across the Barrett Jackson Block…I truly had full intentions of redoing this vehicle. It could only bring fond meemories, smiles and happiness when completed and that is all few and far between today. The sky is truly the limit with this truck….In the right hands, redone this really could be the buy of the century!!! It would be impossible to measure the exact value of this collectors vehicle when completed. I have seen nothing like this to date. I believe restoration should be relatively easy, just bulky. Once the ride portion is removed you are looking at a cab and chassis to redo. the ride is 100% and will needs some repairs to the outside construction but the ride itself is all there and ready to function. It truly would be wonderful to see this vehicle up and operating once again….This world does need some joy and hapiness and nothing is like old times!!! This vehicle is 9’2″ tall 8′ wide and 24’10” wide.

1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl

1946 Chevrolet COE

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Year/Make 1946 Chevrolet COE
Owner: Billy Marlow


1946 chevrolet coe

1946 Chevrolet COE

1946 Ownerd by Billy Marlow Dayton, MD

By Billy Marlow

Although my family was in the coal business in Washington,D.C. for many years, and for a brief time I drove a tow truck for a living, my truck passion didn’t bloom until after I restored my 1946 Chevrolet Cab-Over (COE) and joined ATHS (American Truck Historical Society).

Always a bit of a gear-head and into anything with a motor, I saw the 1946 Cab Over in a truck trader publication in September 2000 and fell in love with its Art Deco grill. The truck reportedly spent much of it’s life on a farm in Oklahoma, most likely with a grain body on it. I bought the truck sight unseen and had it shipped to Maryland with the intention of fixing it up a little and having fun with it.

As many of these stories go, the next thing you know the truck was in a million pieces and a complete restoration had begun. I felt that it would be kind of nice to see this truck restored to near original condition. In doing so, however, I knew this would limit travel speed and distance. The chevy has the famous 235 inline stove bolt 6 cylinder engine. It is a 2 ton truck with a two speed vacuum rear, with 6.03 and 7.99 ratios, which means it tops out comfortably around 43 miles an hour.

I’m not exactly sure how I came up with the color combination, but I knew that is what it was going to be before I even took delivery of the truck. The paint scheme is definitely not stock, but folks seem to approve of my choice.

I am a building engineer at a country club near my home in Dayton, MD. and have worked there for 28 years. A lot of what I do from day to day helped in my first attempt at truck restoration. I did a lot of restoration myself, but had a hand with the engine, paint and body work. I spent many hours in front of the sand blast cabinet. Some of my best memories of the restoration were the days like the first time we started the engine, the day we set the cab back on the frame and the best of all, the first time I eased the clutch out and drove the truck out of the barn.

1946 Chevy coe

Right after the truck came home I realized I was going to need every resource I could to learn about my new project and to locate parts. One of my first tools I bought was a computer, and without the internet I don’t think I could have finished the truck. There are some great websites out there and folks who are more than willing to help.

I quickly learned that there are many parts on a cab-over that are shared with a conventional truck. After a little time on the keyboard, I was finding parts and pieces all over the country. Finding the grill bars proved a challenge. It took about two years to find enough to make a fairly straight set.

The truck was almost done around the summer of 2003-and six years later it is still “almost done” – when John Milliman twisted my arm to get me to come to an ATHS Baltimore-Washington Chapter truck show in Waldorf, Maryland. It was my very first time out with the truck and I had a great time. I filled out my ATHS membership application that day and also joined the chapter. I felt a little out of place at first among all the bigger trucks, but all that changed after our chapter hosted the ATHS National Convention in Baltimore in 2006. That was the first really big truck show I ever attended and it left a lasting mark on me.

I have had a wonderful time taking my truck to many shows, and have even brought two more trucks that I am working on now: a 1972 GMC 9500 and a 1964 B-61 Mack. My wife, Jennifer, is a huge supporter of my truck hobby, and I couldn’t enjoy all these fun events without her.

Jennifer brought her mother to the convention in 2006, and she was overwhelmed by the passion that the truck owners had for their beautiful vehicles. My mother-in-law is also a big supporter of my little hobby, and is responsible for having the beautiful signs made for the truck. The signs were made from the original Marlow Coal Company logo and letterhead, and its history is very dear to my heart.

People always ask me if my truck is for sale. After all the fun I had restoring it, all the fun I have had taking it to different events, and all the great people I have met becuase of it, I don’t think I could ever sell it. I guess there are some things you just can’t put a price tag on.

1946 chevrolet coe

Billy Marlow’s 1946 Chevrolet Cab Over is almost unrecognizable from the rusty hulk that he bought in 2001. A member of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter, Marlow brought his truck to the ATHS national show in Huntsville this past May.

1947 chevrolet coe

What started as something to fix up a little and have some fun with soon turned into a complete restoration. Billy Marlow saw the 1946 Chevrolet Cab-Over truck for sale in a trucker trader magazine and fell in love with its Art Deco grill. He used his skills as a building engineer to do much of the restoration work himself. (photo above by John Milliman, photo below by Kurt Lengfield)

Wheels of Time July/August 2009
www.aths.org
American Truck Historical Society

 

1937 Chevrolet Logging Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Year/Make 1937 Chevrolet
Owner: Unkown

Look what a 216 six cylinder can do with a low speed rear end!

1937 logging truck

1937 Chevrolet Logging Truck

 

1951 Chevrolet Wrecker

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Year/Make 1951 Chevrolet
Owner: Jim Carter

Jim Carter, Independence , MO

1951 Chevrolet

Life for this 1951 Chevrolet Model 5100 began at the GM assembly plant in Kansas City . Soon after, it was delivered to its new home at a small Chevrolet dealer in Lydon , Kansas . About this time it was also equipped with a new wrecker body (manufactured by W.T. Stringfellow and Co., Nashville , Tennessee ) and made ready for duties as a GM dealership tow truck.

This dealer use is probably why it has survived and remains as a solid example of an original style 1950’s tow truck. Whereas, most wreckers are used continually by tow companies, an auto dealership is more limited in the needs for moving vehicles. Usually they are only needed for bringing in customer’s cars for repairs. They are kept nice to give a good dealer image.

Possibly because of its good condition, it appears that the second and third owners also gave it more respect during its occasional use in towing. It was purchased in 1992 at a swap meet by Jim Carters Antique Truck Parts Co. and is currently their mascot. This rig is sometimes taken to antique auto shows as well as just cruising on a Saturday night. Its short wheelbase allows it to easily maneuver in traffic and park in a standard space.

She is referred to as the ‘Blue Hooker’ and can match the power of any 2 ton wrecker. She has and can ‘Hook’ the best.

1951 chevrolet wrecker blue hooker

1939 Chevrolet Tow Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Year/Make 1939 Chevrolet
Owner: John H. Sheally II

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet

What do you tow your Morgan with ?

Story and Photographs by John H. Sheally II

So you wish to hear about my 1939 Chevrolet, grain bed, ton and a half tow truck. Well folks it is what I call a ‘REAL TRUCK’. This baby was built to work and be tough. Quality was important to vehicle builders of the pre-war era. Trucks of that period were built to be strong and simple. There is no plastic parts or paper fender wells held in with paper clips in this machine. Plenty of nickel was used in the steel bodies thus they did not rust out and as a result trucks like mine can be rebuilt, restored or refurbished very easily. Mine was a one owner (same family its whole pre life) from an estate sale in Charlottesville , Virginia . It was a very ugly faded green (original color) and had been worked hard all its years on that farm thus it was an 80% restoration for me. It started with bodywork, paint, new interior, engine work as well as brakes on all four corners and enclosed drive-shaft joints.

My ‘Heavy Chevy’ has been on the road since that restoration 15 years ago, I have done some 10,000 miles a year with it towing to 30 to 40 competition events per year as well as meets and concours. I have competed with several different Morgan Models over these years as well as Cobra, Saab Sonett and two formula cars which have been towed with this dependable machine.

This truck quite often is also entered in shows and wins along with the Morgan being shown for a double header at the show or concours.

The truck is perfect for the job it does. Most of these big Chevy trucks were built as Stake body or flat bed models but mine was one of the rare grain bed model which is like a big pickup bed truck except the beds were built to haul grain and not spill out through openings in the bed. As a result I can carry my tools, spares, tires, air bottles, jacks, generator, etc. The addition of a Tonneau makes it all come together for a nice competition tow package.

The engine was a ‘stove bolt’ straight 216 cubic inch six cylinder referred to as a Thriftmaster Six. When I went to rebuild it two years ago I realized that I would like to have a few more ponies coming out of it because when I hit the mountains with it I would have to really work the four speed gearbox to pull up the steeper slopes. As a result I rebuilt it to a 261 stroker which amounted to a larger bore, longer rods and I drilled a couple of extra weep holes in the head for more cooling. The final package ends up being a Jobmaster Six with 24 more horses on the bottom end resulting in great torque and I can forget the gearbox when I hit the mountain ranges.

The Chevy is sprung stiff and required no special springs or helper shocks as it was built to handle heavy loads when built by the General Motors factory.

I cruise at 55 mph all day long and can hit 75 on a down hill run. I have put Carbon-Kevlar brake shoes on it on four corners and it stops well. It’s a great truck with great working ability and a firm ride.

This black beauty just became a Movie star, making her film debut in the Steven King feature ‘Hearts in Atlantis’, which is produced by Dreamworks.

There is something special about driving a sixty-two year old truck, which was built with purpose and pride four years before I was born.

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1939 Chevrolet Tow truck

1936 Oil Tanker

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1936 Oil Tanker

1936 Chevy

The truck (a 1936 1/2 Chevy high cab) was the very first truck that Mr. Hess himself drove around Woodbridge, NJ in the early days. In those days it was not gasoline he hauled, it was primarily heating fuel oil. The truck remained in service up into the early fifties at which time it underwent a partial overhaul. When I met the truck it had spent the last twenty something years in the HOVIC (Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp) plant in the US Virgin Islands being used as a prop. The unit, as a result of being subjected to years of salt air and a hurricane or two (one being Hurricane Hugo), was in EXTREME disrepair to say the least. The engine would run, however the poured rod bearings were knocking very bad. When we pulled the truck into the shop for disassembly the windshield and part of the cab just fell into pieces. This was a complete overhaul right down to cutting the rivets, splitting the frame rails, and hand riveting them back together. I feel this is one of the finest restoration jobs I have ever been involved with and I am very proud of it. The truck (fully functional) is now destined to be displayed at the Hess headquarters in Woodbridge, N.J. and could haul fuel today.

Bill Tabbert

1936 Chevy Oil Tanker 1936 Chevy Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker 1936 Chevy Oil Tanker
1936 Chevy Oil Tanker 1936 Oil Tanker
1936 Chevy Oil Tanker 1936 Chevy Oil Tanker
1936 Chevy Oil Tanker 1936 Chevy Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker 1936 Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker 1936 Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker 1936 Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker
1936 Oil Tanker

1947 Laundry Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1947 Laundry Truck

Its early 1947 and the U.S. has been struggling over a year to get factories back to producing domestic goods for the new post World War II economy. Car and truck hungry customers are expecting a year’s wait for each new vehicle ordered.

In Lowell , Mass. , the Centralville Laundry is struggling with the daily use of their seven year old pre-war ½ ton panel truck. Unexpected break downs and parts shortages create havoc with necessary daily pickup and delivery of their customer’s laundry.

The laundry business was good. Since the U.S. entered the war in 1941, a large percentage of housewives entered the job market both for financial reasons and keeping the factories producing. For the Centralville Laundry Company, this was great for business. After working eight hours at the factory and managing a family, the last thing the lady of the house needed was to come home to hours of laundry. Home automatic washers were almost unheard of and most of the clothing was washed by hand.

On a March 1947 Saturday night, Jim Nigzus, the laundry owner, spotted the back of a shiny panel truck through an open door of the town’s Chevrolet dealer’s rear storage building. He called the dealer at his home at 9:30 p.m. ‘What have you got in that building? Is it for sale?’

What a surprise! The local furniture dealer had just rejected this new panel truck because it was a 1 ton and not the ½ ton that had been ordered the year before. Jim Nigzus couldn’t believe his eyes. He not only could buy this panel truck, but it was new. He cared less about it being a large body 1 ton. His company needed a panel truck now. The vehicle was bought verbally on the phone and the Centralville Laundry had a new panel truck the next Monday afternoon.

That day began a relationship with this 1 ton that has lasted 55 years and over 500,000 miles! Jim is now retired but keeps the old company panel looking just like in its working days. A coat of company blue paint, some bodywork and new side business logos have helped slow the rust that is so determined to keep attacking this worker of over 40 years on Lowell, Mass. city streets. The truck has its original 17′ split rim wheels and an optional passenger seat. Extra lights were added 50 years ago to make the panel more visible in the evenings while delivering during the shorter winter New England days.

This one ton has had almost no modification and is powered by the proper low oil pressure 216 cubic inch six cylinder in front of the correct non-synchronized 4 speed transmission. The panel truck’s size and extra hauling capacity proved to be an instant advantage over ½ tons in the needs of the early laundry business. As money was limited during these years, families would save a great deal by having their wash delivered wet! The laundry was then line dried by the customer and ironed at home. The heavy weight of ‘wet wash’ deliveries made a 1 ton a success not only on weight capacity but more stops could be made for each run from the laundry building.

1947 Chevrolet Laundry Truck

1947 Chevrolet Laundry Truck

1947 Chevrolet Laundry Truck

1947 Chevrolet Laundry Truck

1947 Chevrolet Laundry Truck

1948 Chevrolet Dump Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Year/Make 1948 Chverolet 6100
Owner: Herb Bliven

1948 chevrolet dump truck

This is my 1948 Chevy 6100 Series, 2 ton short dump truck. I used it for remodeling business in Ledyard, CT. The truck has been in use by me for 8 years. After purchasing it, I have sought to keep her looking as original as possible. This is a long term project. This truck has earned its keep and then some. I love the attention my truck attracts ever where I go. I have purchased many parts from Jim Carter Antique Truck Parts. Thank you for helping me keep this work horse on the road where it belongs.

1948 chevrolet dump truck

1948 chevrolet dump truck

1948 chevrolet dump truck

1946 Chevrolet Dually 1 1/2 ton

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1946 Chverolet 1 1/2 Ton
Owner: Jim Carter

1946 Chevrolet Dually 1 1/2 ton

1946 chevrolet 1 1/2 ton

1953 Chevrolet Ambulance

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Owner: John Heller
South Pasedena, Ca

1953 chevrolet ambulance

1953 Chevrolet Ambulance

Almost unchanged in 45 years! The second owner repainted the two doors to cover the town lettering, then added the “Moblegas” decals. Yes, the hubcaps, bumpers, and grill back splash bars are still the correct gray color due to 1953 Korean War shortages.

An Economical Ambulance

This 1953 Chevrolet Suburban was bought new by the City of Lamont, Illinois and was used as their fire department ambulance. It was for occasional medical emergencies but was usually found inside the town fire department building. This unusual work vehicle was taken out of service five years ago and had logged only 23,000 miles during its 45 years.

The original ambulance conversion in 1953 consisted of painting white over the original Juniper green, removing the middle and rear seats, adding red lights and a siren, plus attaching miscellaneous small extras that are part of ambulance necessities.

The Suburban interior (dash, front seats, side panels, headliner, floor mat, etc.) is probably the finest example of unchanged originality. This is the way General Motors sent it out from the assembly line. Inside storage and limited use has kept the interior colors just right including the maroon plastic handle knobs. Note the original tan floor mat to match the interior. (This colored mat was discontinued by GM’s parts department about two years later.) The dash lacks the stainless glove box door and trim as was normal during the Korean War shortages. Even the inside window frames (painted separately from the body) are a different shade and shine.

In May 2002, this gem was purchased from the second owner by John Heller of South Pasadena, CA. He recently completed the trip to his California home after driving it from Chicago on the famous Route 66.

His plans are to keep the excellent interior and mechanics unchanged. Only the ambulance white color will be removed. John is historian and curator of the once 1,200 mile Pacific Electric Railway Company that served Los Angeles communities in at least the 1940’s and 1950’s. Therefore, he will paint the vehicle railway colors (red with black fenders) and letter the doors just like in company pictures of the 1950’s. It will appear as a work vehicle just like you would have seen during the classic times of the Pacific Electric Railway. You will almost see a work crew being taken to a job-site in the Los Angels area

1953 chevrolet ambulance

Passenger jump seat including original brown floor mat and rear floor linoleum covering.

1953 chevrolet ambulance

Original untouched five piece headliner. Note: Rear dome light is the same as above the drivers seat.

1953 chevrolet ambulance

The 1953 dash! Red brown paint and gray brown steering wheel paint are just right.

1953 chevrolet ambulance

Minor damage for almost 50 years as a work vehicle.

1967 Chevrolet Heavy Hauler

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967 Chevrolet Heavy Hauler

Wow! Now this is a real work truck. Used almost daily, it was bought from the original owner in 1985. This 1967 Chevrolet 1 ½ ton is a true heavy hauler. It’s original 283 V-8, 4 speed transmission, single speed rear end, and high output heater remains in place.

Home has always been Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s first owner, a masonry contractor, used it for transporting bulk sand. Garaged in the winter, it stayed out of the snow.

Then 18 years later, it’s current owner, Mark Weidner., bought this 28,000 mile truck to help be part in his earth, rock and snow removal business. The truck was then given some upgrading to add to it’s appearance. This included new 8.25×20 oversize tires, new wheels, a replacement metal bed floor, white ash bedsides and fresh red paint of the original color. It then looked like new and nicely represented his company.

Mark’s company continues to use this 1967 on almost a daily basis. During about 8 months a year it hauls dirt, gravel, old concrete, etc. This truck becomes a snow hauler during the harsh Green Bay winters. The snow from cleaning local parking lots is loaded at night and dumped at a distant location.

The odometer has gone from 28,000 miles in 1985 to the current 156,000. It still looks great after the 22 years with Mark’s company. The secret is maintenance. Every 2 weeks it is water sprayed on the underside. On a 30 day schedule it gets a hot steam cleaning to remove more salt and road dirt. It’s original 283 V-8 has been given one rebuilding.

1967 Chevrolet Heavy Hauler

1967 Chevrolet Heavy Hauler

1967 Chevrolet Heavy Hauler

1942 Chevrolet Deland Fire Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Our 1942 1 1/2 ton Chevrolet Fire Truck Was delivered to the DeLand Naval Air Station, February, 1942.

Served during WW II as the crash truck during navy pilot training. When the war was over, it was given to the City of DeLand, Florida. It was painted OD green and had about 3,000 miles on the odometer. It ran as a first line truck for City for many years and then was parked at the airport in a an old hanger. It was in pretty bad shape by the time I got evolved. We raised money to have it restored by the auto shop at the local State Prison. They did a beautiful job and is now used in public relations and giving local children rides during the Christmas parade and during the annual Veteran’s Day Parade. The mileage today just topped 11,000 miles. The engine has NEVER been apart and runs just about as well as it did when issued. The system has been converted over to 12 volts. The fire department has maintained ownership and we all try to keep up with the overall maintenance.

After the great fire storm of 1998, my wife and I were invited to the Daytona International Speedway to participate in the appreciation day and make a blazing lap round the 2.5 mile track at 40 MPH.

Thanks for looking.
Dave Sutherland / Captain
City of DeLand Fire Department
n4gmu@bellsouth.net.

1942 Chevrolet Deland Fire Truck 1

1942 Chevrolet Deland Fire Truck 2

d1942 Chevrolet Deland Fire Truck 3

WWII Cab Changes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the US entry into World War II, trucks were quickly modified to be successful for military use. Pre-existing cabs, frames, and mechanical components were altered to be more usable when in everyday work duties or in battle.  NOTE:  The Chevrolet cab remains almost the same as those on civilian trucks.

WWII Cab 1
This photo shows a large military truck that was built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors about 1941.  The items of much interest are the changes made for use overseas and when the truck was in the field.

WWII Cab 2

The horn button is of a very heavy duty basic design, not like on most civilian trucks.  Only the civilian ‘cab-over-engine’ body carried this style horn button on non-military vehicles.

WWII Cab3

Note: This is a civilian Chevrolet cab with many modifications. The windshield frame is operated differently. Its hinges are on the outside for easy repair. There is no crank-out assembly that is known for their short life. The frame is opened manually much like the trucks before 1936. The crank handle hole is not even punched in the dash panel.

WWII Cab 5

The crank handle hole is not punched in the dash panel.  The windshield frame is secured in the closed position by a simple wedge handle.

WWII Cab 6

The cab rear window is well protected with an exterior steel grill. We suspect many private owners would have liked this extra on their domestic trucks.

WWII Cab 6

The inside door and window handles are not die-cast due to the war time shortage of zinc. They are made of a steel stamping covered with a dull Bakelite molded material. This usually shrinks and cracks within a few years.

WWII Cab 7

The removable hood side panels are of extra thickness to protect the engine from enemy rifle fire.  The Chevrolet lettering was removed after 1941 to stop extra advertising.

WWII Cab 9

The windshield and hood have exterior hinges for easy accessibility if damaged overseas.

1953 GMC Farm Truck

Saturday, May 1st, 2004

Owner: Rob English

1953 gmc truck

I note the absence of GMC participation on the featured trucks so I though that I’d send in some photos of my current project: a 1953 GMC 400 series with livestock body and twin double telescoping hoist.

I bought this truck on eBay last year and was skeptical that the stated original miles were 5,000. Upon receipt of the truck, I was amazed to find that it was indeed the correct mileage.

This truck was in service as a fire foam truck at American Cyanamid’s chemical plant in Bound Brook New Jersey from it’s original purchase in 1953 until the early 90s when the plant closed up. It was then sold to a local nursery at auction and the new owner pulled the fire apparatus off the back and then installed a livestock body and hoist off a larger 500 series GMC truck that he found in a farmer’s field. The larger 500 series had a shorter body by a few inches and also had a Clark five speed transmission. While GMC did not offer the Clark 5 spd in this model in 1953, the owner found it a lot easier to simply fuse the 500 series transmission, body, and hoist onto the 400 series than to try to make the existing SM420 4 speed and pump work. The result is a truck that will pull down a 300 year old oak and can haul up to 20,000 lbs. of weight but will not win any speed contests.

This truck is set up to carry a big load with 20′ Dayton wheels normally found on larger trucks. The original 270 GMC engine pulls this beast down the road. I use it as a manure mover on my horse farm and for general hauling. It’s been converted to 12 volts which always bothers me because my experience is that people convert to 12V because of slow start cranking, and the problem is battery cables ‘ not the six volts pushing the starter. The ID plate is the key to understanding what your GMC truck is and the serial number is the single most important piece of information a vintage GMC owner can have for identification. I have an extensive GMC serial number decoder on my website at www.oldgmctrucks.com

I have relied on Jim Carter Antique Truck parts for all the needed parts for this truck, as I have in the previous five GMC projects I’ve done over the last 15 years or so. Thanks to Sheba Queen and Jim for being there with those parts that we could never find in a lifetime of searching. I wonder if anyone at Carter has ever tried to calculate how many old GM trucks have been born again thanks to your parts?

1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck

1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck

Chevy & GMC Work Trucks

Thursday, June 1st, 2000

This section of our website gives honor to those Chevrolet and GMC trucks which earn their place by performing various duties. It is not limited only to larger trucks. Both large and small trucks, through the years, have provided continued service for their owners. They have towed, hauled, advertised, delivered, used as the family car, and even been a home away from home.

We would like to feature your restored Chevrolet or GMC working truck on this page. If you have used parts, acquired from Jim Carter Antique Truck Parts, to restore your working truck and would like to share your experience with other Chevrolet or GMC truck owners, we can do it here.

All we need is a few paragraphs about your experience, along with color photos of your truck. Try to keep it at 500 words or less. We can check spelling and grammar. The information may be sent by regular mail or you can use e-mail. If you wish to have your photo returned, please include a postage paid, self-addressed envelope. If we are to receive your photo by e-mail, send it as a jpeg (.jpg) file.

Please send your photo and information to our web master:

Steve Cox
5501 Cheshire Dr. #101
Ft. Myers, FL 33919

e-mail:
webmaster@oldchevytrucks.com