Owner: Roger Sorenson
Such a rare 1/2 ton! It was made during the “Great Depression” when new vehicle sales were extremely low. Only a small percentage of the population could buy a new truck or car. About seven years later when our country became involved in World War II, most all vehicle assembly plants were changed to war material production and there was almost no truck and car manufacturing. Pickups like this 1935 just kept being used!
After the war they were mostly worn out and had a very “pre-war” appearance. The large amount of wood that was part of the early cab construction had begun to deteriorate. The non-hydraulic cable operated brakes were ready for some major upgrades. Beds, rear fenders, tires, and mechanicals needed much to bring them to useable standards. Money was in short supply! The popular choice was to try to drive the old truck until it just couldn’t keep going. Then it was usually junked for a popular post-war truck. Financing a new model with more modern upgrades and an updated cab design was often less expensive. Thus, few of these 75 year old trucks remain.
The owner and restorer of this 1935 Chevrolet 1/2 ton is Roger Sorenson of Lacrosse, Wisconsin. He found it in pieces December 1999. The remaining cab wood was not restorable and the mechanicals were locked in place. Even the bed parts were not repairable. It lacked a dash, seats, bumpers, braces, and so many small parts that were lost during the years of disassembly.
Roger considered it his challenge in life to make it like a new 1935. The four years in its restoration consisted of so much research and locating restorable 75 year old GM parts. He became an expert of 1935 Chevy pickups. Older books, the computer, talking to others, and even time spent in a library prepared him with the knowledge to do this intensive restoration. All items except the bed components are original GM, either new or restored used. Bedsides, wood, tailgate, etc. were reproduced as these items were not obtainable in even fair condition.
Finally this labor of love found Roger the owner of a “new” 1935 1/2 ton. It’s like it was at the factory and before it even left the dealership or driven on a 1935 road.
Once completed, it was now time to see if it was done correctly by the most professional judges. The restoration was completed July 2011, just in time for three of the more detailed judging shows in the Midwest. Roger’s little ½ ton scored as follows in the truck class:
July – Vintage Chevrolet Club America; Gundee, MI, received First Junior.
July — Vintage Chevrolet Club America; Flint, MI, received First Senior.
September – Antique Automobile Club of America; Oak Brook, IL, received First Junior.
Quite an accomplishment for the first three months out. In each show Roger received the highest award available for a first timer!
Jim Carter’s Truck Parts is proud to have this rare original pickup as our feature truck for October 2011. In our 30 years we have not had the opportunity to find a 1934-36 high cab Chevrolet truck in this new condition. Roger states he will be happy to help anyone with their technical questions in the restoration of their early Chevrolet truck. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.