Posts Tagged ‘half ton’

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

1936 Chevy Half Ton

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Owner: Pat O’Brien

 

 

 


This rare little ½ ton survived its 75 years mostly because it stayed with one family; it probably never ventured beyond the city limits, and was used mostly by a mechanic that lived in an area of dry air that discouraged metal rust. For the trucks first two years, it was driven by Virginia Swaim to high school each day in Prescott, Arizona.  After graduation her father used it as a shop truck in his auto repair business until he retired. Then, Virginia kept it mostly stored in a backyard garage until she passed away in 2002.

The new owner and restorer is Pat O’Brien also of Prescott, Arizona. He discovered it in the same closed garage where it had spent all of its later years. Virginia sold it to Pat several years after he discovered it by accident as he drove by the garage door that was open for a few minutes. Maybe this second ownership was meant to be! Pat was even given the pickups entire history in receipts from the day it was purchased. A box of so many receipts; from tires, gasoline, batteries, radiator hoses, and any other little repairs that needed during so many years.

Of course after all those years as a shop truck and many more sitting in the daughters garage, it was in need of so much more than a surface cleanup. Pat was ready for this challenge. His goal was to have his 1936 look bone stock on the outside with a change to most of the running gears that only the more knowledgeable truck person would recognize. Keeping an inline six cylinder was a must! He added a 292, the larger of the 1963 through 1972 design. The 4 speed was replaced with a Chevy car full synchronized floor shift 4 speed from the 1960′s. This floor shift system was almost a natural for the 1936 pickup.

The differential rear end was a great find. Removed from a 4 x 4 S-10 pickup, it matches the original 6 bolt wheel pattern and the distance between the rear wheels is just right for this 1936 ½ ton. Pat only moved the axle saddles slightly to the side and the original 1 ¾  wide rear leaf springs connected perfectly!

Keeping the 1936 front axle was important. He wanted it to keep the non-lowered original appearance. The front end difference is the hidden 6 bolt disc brake system fitted to his 1936 axle. Yes, the original 1936 lever action shock absorbers were rebuilt. They really are an excellent shock – just expensive!

The real creation was keeping the new dual chambered master cylinder under the floor between the original clutch and brake pedals.  Most people give up here on 1936-46 brake modifications and attach swing pedals to the firewall. Not Pat! He did it like the 1936 design. A bracket to support the pedals was attached to the transmission case much like GM did it. The opposite bracket on the original frame rail could then be utilized with the pedal shaft as from the factory.  Even the hand brake lever is attached to the newer 4 speed transmission like it was in 1936.  It comes through the floor in the correct position.

The 6 hole wire wheels are another eye catcher. To keep it like GM made it, Pat found these new US handmade wires to look original. Not cheap! They really help it keep its 1936 look and hold the radial tires well at any speed.

Pat O’Brien has created a total package that is one of a kind. We call it his little original speed machine!  No, we didn’t say inexpensive.  People are drawn to it at car shows or just moving in traffic. Virginia Swaim and her father would be proud!!

To contact Pat, email at: professorpat@hotmail.com

 

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?

1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton Pickup

Monday, February 14th, 2011

WILLY THE 36 CHEVY


I found my 36 Chevy pickup in the 1980′s on highway 41 somewhere south of Chicago. It was running but had a big crack in the block, so to drive it I had to carry a bucket of water with me.
1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton Pickup
My love of the 36 pickup goes back to 1948 when I was four and my dad (just home from the Navy and WW2) was working as a tenant farmer in east central Illinois. The owner of the farm had a 1936 Chevy pickup which my dad was allowed to drive back and forth from our house to the main farm. It was the “first” pickup I remember riding in and the fascination I had for that old truck stayed with me. Needles to say, when I saw old “Willy” (named after my dad) sitting ‘for sale’ along Hwy 41 many years later, I had to have him.

At that time I lived in Terre Haute, Indiana and had a concrete block company and an excavating business. My intention from the beginning was to restore old “Willy”. However as some of you “old timers” might remember, the early 80′s were tough years for the building industry and a lot of old “Willy” projects got delayed.

In 1986 I packed up my family, a few pieces of equipment, old “Willy” and moved to the Charlotte, NC area. The economy was much better there and by 1988 I started an auto detail and wreck recovery business. Old “Willy” finally was getting some attention. When the work crew had some extra time, we took old “Willy” to the frame.

Another hick-up in the 1989 economy put the project back on hold and old “Willy” was destined to become a “pile of parts”. We had to shut the shop down. A sluggish economy, a divorce and two daughters in college paved the way for old “Willy” to remain a pile of parts for several years.

Not until 1999 did I seriously get back on the project. All the chassis parts were examined and many were rebuilt. New brake lines were installed, king pins, bushings, spring pins; any part worn was replaced. The passing of time and moving things around caused a number of parts to get lost. We found a parts truck in Wisconsin and had it shipped to North Carolina. This provided an engine, transmission and a few other needed chassis parts.

In 2005 I contracted with a small paint and body shop to start painting the sheet metal and body parts. There were some real challenges to return a fairly rough and rugged bed, cab, fenders, doors, hood, etc. to “like new” condition.

In 2009 I was finally able to again open my own shop and begin the reassembly of old “Willy”. After all those years “Willy” was about to be complete. I thank our crew, Chuck (manager), Whit (mechanic) and Steven (painter) for doing a super job getting our beautiful ’36 in show condition.

We also want to thank Jim Carter’s Old Chevy Trucks for helping us with several technical questions we had in the reassembly. We were able to get a number of new and used parts from the Jim Carter catalog.

PS: Over all these years, old “Willy” has finally successfully evolved from a truck in a box to a beauty back on the highway of pride.

1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup 1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup 1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup
1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup 1936 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Owner: Jim Brallier

1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton

The total restoration of this 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton came to be because of a “match made in heaven”. Jim Brallier of Clearville, PA has this special truck because several things came together just right. He always had a desire to restore an older truck. He was retired after a full career specializing in vehicle mechanical repair and welding. His son is a professional auto body repairman and painter. There was now extra time to peruse his long dream and all came together at the right time.

Jim discovered this factory deluxe pickup (with all the trim) only 60 miles away in the rolling hills of South central Pennsylvania. This was known for coal mining many years ago and for some reason the little truck had been stored in a garage 30 years ago and appeared related to the coal mining business in this area. The garage saved it from years of bad weather however the first 20 years of being in the past coal mining area was not kind to the truck and 65 years of summer humidity, even in storage, added to major body rust. But was a more rare deluxe pickup with the extra rear corner windows!

It took Jim Brallier no time to know this was to be the truck he had planned for during his many past working years. It was too deteriorated not to be disassembled down to the frame rails. The motor was locked after its 30 year storage and most body panels were showing rust holes.Jim knew this would be a challenge but he refused to stop when all the pieces were removed. It would have then only been salvage scrap metal! He was retired so this 1 1/2 year project was his challenge. His years as a mechanic and welder could now be placed again to good use on this otherwise total loss rusted little pickup (he even replaced the outer door skins where he discovered an interesting ink pen stored inside*). The attached photos verify the pure deluxe features of this top of the line 5 window model. The Cape Maroon color is correct for 1950. Stainless window trim, chrome grill and bumpers. Jim added chrome mirror arms and taillights. The deeper 6 bolt wheels are about 1969 Blazer that allow for radial tires. Polished stainless steel strips greatly add to the appearance of the 6 foot bed. The results are now appreciated by all that see it. Two local car shows and two trophies!

AND THEN IT HAPPENED! Jim heard about a distant 1952 1/2 ton at the right price. Maybe his experience with his 1950 would make this a much easier second project to be a daily driver. (don’t these old Chevy trucks get in our blood!) The price was so good. It was in an old storage garage and deeply covered with everything on the cab top and along and in the bed. Without seeing little more than the truck front and no accessibility to the side or cab, Jim still bought it. The next week he was back with his trailer and removing the storage to gain access and then hauled it home. Once in his garage the overall condition check was made. What is that? What’s that box in the drive line behind the three speed transmission? It certainly was not like his 1950. He cleaned the grease and dirt from a sheet metal plate on the case. It was a Truckstell Overdrive! Even the operating cable under the dash was there. What a find! Almost unheard of in today’s world and Jim now owned one. Of course, he had to have it in his 1950.

This changeover project was the most exciting in all his restoration. To have this aftermarket option in his show truck would be the ultimate accessory. He totally disassembled the unit and it required only new grease seals. Its problem had been a frozen under dash control cable. The outer metal wire covering and non-metal insulation tube were replaced. The actual inter cable was still ok. The total drive shaft assembly was exchanged with his 1950. It was always necessary to shorten the closed drive shaft torque tube system in the early years to make room for the over-drive gear box. The differential ring and pinion gears came out together but no trade was needed in axle housing, axles or brake system. Jim totally restored the overdrive including cleaning the Truckstell ID plate and painting the case the original orange color found in a few spots.

This overdrive has changed his 1950′s total driving personality! The little 216 engine now cruises 60 MPH on the highway instead of 45 MPH on the slower country roads. The overdrive can be used in all 3 gears and has a “hill holding” feature. It doesn’t roll backwards when starting on a slope at stop signs. Jim feels this is the best thing one can add to a 1/2 ton. Why did GM never offer this option in the early years? It appears the Truckstell Overdrive #101 was available for the Chevrolet passenger cars and 3 speed 1/2 ton pickups from about 1946 through 1955. By then Chevrolet offered their own optional Borg-Warner overdrive with the introduction of the open-drive shaft system. Click below to see the original sales literature offered by Truckstell in the late 1940′s Truckstell Brochure.

When Jim removed the door skin for replacement, he found an ink pen in the bottom. It was lettered U.A.W. United Auto Workers. No doubt, it was placed in the door by an assembly worker during assembly in 1950. this is his souvenir of the restoration. NOTE: If you have an interest in Truckstells, we found another person with a collection and most related literature. Contact KB at his email address telekenfun@ak.net.

1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive


1953 Chevrolet

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Owner: Colin Murphy

1953 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet

A recently restored 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton! This is a perfect example of a “good old truck”, brought back from the dead. The owner is  Colin Murphy of Summerset, South Dakota. he had an interest to restore an older GM pickup for years. It all came together when a friend offered Colin this little 1/2 ton that was setting behind a storage building in Cheyenne WY.Because of the dry air in Wyoming, even an older vehicle never in a garage has limited body rust. The picture of when he found his truck, six years ago, shows it disassembled but its solid cab had great potential. Colin says he still found two other pickups to use as parts donors.  We might say three made one!

His many, many hours in the evenings paid off. It really turns heads in his town. The original 216 engine, 4 speed transmission,  and closed driveshaft rear end, makes it perform just like GM designed. Colin comments are ” I think it is pretty well done, so here it is. After six years and a gazillion dollars, I have a truck that tops out at 50 miles per hour. I have enjoyed working with Jim Carter Truck Parts on this project. Now, all I have to do is find another one…”.

1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet

1971 Argentina Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



During a recent trip to Buenos Aires, this Argentina built 1971 Chevrolet ½ ton was seen beside a downtown street. Its unique features causes us to take a strong second look. The more we observed this clean little shortbed, the more we saw features that were special to this South American Chevy.

The driver was not available so we just took pictures and studied the differences. It appears the GM plant in Argentina used parts from the earlier series of Chevrolet trucks to save much money. This helped make the vehicle more affordable for the local buyer.

Some of the more obvious differences are as follows:

  • Note the clear park light lenses. (Amber color lenses have been a federal requirement in the U.S. since 1963.)
  • The wing vent handles were on U.S. trucks in 1960-67 and the total assembly in the U.S. is 1967 only. Why change tooling if the prior design serves the purpose?
  • The unique Posi-Traction differential emblem was placed on the right fender, not the left.
  • Check out the economy heater panel. It consists of a rectangular plate and three pull or turn levers that operate the re-circulator heater. The knobs control temperature, fan speed, and defroster. This system is similar to the basic heaters offered in the mid 1950′s in the U.S.
  • The bed is the most noticeable difference in the Argentina ½ ton. It’s tailgate was used in the U.S. in 1958-66, however, it has been modified for the South American trucks. Special latches secure the gate in the closed position. By modifying the bed sides and the older heavier tailgate, limited new tooling was required. Yes, to save costs it even uses tailgate chains!
  • The wheelwell tubs are also produced with no tooling. Forming, bending, and welding create this finished product.
  • The metal corrugated bed bottom does not have the same spacing as the US produced pickups. Thus, the floor was produced locally to save production and shipping costs.

A real money saving technique is the use of 6 bolt wheels. See side mounted spare tire in attached photo. In the US, 1971 was the first year for disc brakes and 5 bolt wheels. In Argentina, a big savings was to keep the 1967-1971 non-disc brake system. Therefore, we see the 6 bolt early wheel on this 1971.

In this 1971 Argentina example, the fenders and bedsides are without marker lights. (These were required in the U.S. by 1968.)

Check the tail lights! These are 1960-1966 on U.S. produced Fleetside pickups. This truck even had the red bow-tie molded in the red lens.

Note the resulting sheet metal differences in the rear of the bedsides. There is not any metal contours for the U.S. style, 1967-1972, tail light to fit. There are no back-up lights and using earlier light assemblies lowers production costs.

Yes, this feature truck had been repainted in past years but it is doubtful if the tail lights were added to give a custom touch. In Argentina, pickup trucks are used for the purpose they were designed ‘ as a worker. There, trucks are not Sunday drivers and aren’t given appearance changes that would require the owner’s disposable income. They are valued in their ability to haul merchandise!

1971 Chevrolet truck

Wheel well tubs made without tooling (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

The full back view (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Clear park light lenses (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Note: basic heater lever panel (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Posi-Traction fender emblem (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Tailgate latch holds older gate to bed side (above)

1937-1938 Australian Half Ton

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The Australian 1937-38 Chevrolet trucks are much like those in the U.S., however on close observation, one can certainly see unique differences. This United States relative is obviously GM but not quite the same.

These Down-Under truck’s final assembly point was in the Holden plant in New South Wales, Australia. (Holden is a branch for GM in that country.) Much of the sheet metal was stamped at the GM Canadian plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Most all the GM trucks in the 1930′s and 1940′s that reached overseas assembly plants were from this Canadian location but unassembled.

In Australia and even in nearby New Zealand, local governments required a certain percentage of truck parts to be manufactured in those countries. This provided jobs for the local population. Parts supplied in Australia would be wiring harnesses, glass, tires, seats, a different design bed, etc.

The current photos we have of Australian 1937-38 1/2 tons are these furnished by Luke Randall from auto gatherings in Eastern Australia. He owns a 1938 to be restored so he has an interest in others of this design. You can contact Luke at lukerandall@hotmail.com.

Items of special interest on these 1937 and 1938 Australian trucks are:

  • The 3 stamped ribs on the can roof
  • A different bed design
  • The wide horizontal panel below the door
  • The double stamped belt on the cowl and door stop near the handle (In the U.S. the belt continues around the cab behind to the rear under the window)
  • The windshield is two a piece not like the one piece 1937-1938 in the U.S.
  • Doors are more rounded at the top
  • Right hand drive

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 2

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 3

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 4

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 5

Luke and passenger

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 6

Luke’s 1938 to be restored

It’s finally complete! Luke’s many hours has paid off. What a special “one of a kind” 1938.

As the beds from the Australian factory were usually a flat deck to lower retail costs, Luke added an all wood bed in the shape of a US designed bed. Very nice!

White Wall Tires

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Prior to the 1960′s, trucks were used as work vehicles. On Friday nights, most were parked for the weekend and the family sedan was the transportation vehicle.

It was a conservative era when you bought only basic necessities. A $5.00 grocery purchase was more than most could carry. Finding white wall tires on a truck would have been a rare sight, indeed. Very few cars, except for most luxurious models, would have had white walls even as an option. It should be remembered, that most roads, except highways and those in the main part of town were gravel, dirt, or sprayed annually with tar.

Of course, a dealer would have been happy to install aftermarket white wall tires, if the customer made a specific request. For a price, the dealer would provide any option to keep a satisfied customer and make a few dollars.

On GM trucks, white walls became a factory option in mid-1955, partially because of the introduction of the Chevrolet Cameo and GMC Suburban carrier and also due to more roads becoming paved. These very deluxe pickups, as well as several of the other well appointed 1/2 tons justified a white wall tire for those wanting it all!

Almost none of these deluxe models would have been given their second set of white wall tires. By then, the pickup was older and being used more as a hauler, not for appearance.

Buy Parts for 1934 to 1946 Trucks

 

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

GM Vintage 1950 Overdrive

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Chevrolet’s 1/2 ton and car overdrive 3 speed transmission was optional equipment installed on the assembly line during the 1950′s. The reduction of engine RPM’s in high gear resulted in less wear on the drive train as well as additional speed on level roads. Today, this is still important but of increased importance is better fuel economy.

The standard 3 speed transmission gives a 1 to 1 ratio in high gear. The overdrive is rated .7 to 1. The case and main gears are identical in both transmissions. The difference is in the rear extension tail. Here, the Borg-Warner gears electrically drop the RPM’s in the output shaft. GM’s wisdom created the 3 speed overdrive to be the same overall length as their standard transmission. This makes transmission exchanges very uncomplicated. There is no modification in the shift linkage rods or drive shaft.

With several basic tools a person can remove a standard 3 speed and add his overdrive in an hour! No problem if you don’t have the factory dash levers. Simply connect two insulated wires from the solenoid to a small dual position flip switch you add to the end of the shift lever. (It can be bought tat a local auto parts store and taped in place.) The driver can then shift in and out of overdrive using his thumb.

These overdrives were Chevrolet optional equipment from 1955 through the early 1960′s. Though they are becoming difficult to find, they do surface at swap meets, older salvage yards, and from owners totally modernizing their older vehicle. Find one and give your car or ½ ton a different personality!

Exploded View of GM 1950 Overdrive Transmission…PDF Click Here

1957 Chevrolet from David Cross

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Owner: David Cross

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

1957 Chevrolet

Have you ever crawled under a pickup for sale looking for damage? You then turned it down because some rust was coming through the floor. Well, check this! David Cross of Stillwater, Minnesota found this 1957 Chevrolet 1/2 ton and ignored the signs of major rust. What is now a show quality truck would normally have been crushed by a recycler.

This 1957′s life began with the highway department of the state of Iowa. When it was retired many years later it was sold to a local farmer who used it only on his property and never titled it. Thus, David can honestly say he is the second owner of record.

When the farmer used up what life was left in the pickup, it wound up in a ravine with occasional flooding and an infestation of mice, snakes and other varmints.

A used car dealer pulled it out of the mud in 2000. His later ad said “The truck is all there and runs”. David, a new person to the truck hobby, drove it home five miles with no brakes, a leaking gas tank, and water running from the radiator. It’s little 235 engine was struggling. We wonder why!

It is now restoration time. David refused to yield to its many problems. Admitting to a mistake was out of the question. David and this body and paint person took the truck apart. They found it much worse than they ever imagined. The small rust holes grew gigantic when even taped with a little hammer.

David’s body and paint person is Kevin O’Brian from O’Brian’s Paint and Body Works in Afton, Minnesota. He did all the metal work and paint. David provided most of the mechanicals and assembly. Kevin is one of the best body persons in the state but he admitted this project stretched him into new territory. David and Kevin saved the frame, running gear, cab, and hood. The rest of the 1957 just was not repairable!

Saving the body was major since the front body mounts were gone. Kevin built a jig to align the cab with the frame. This was necessary while the floor and cab mounts were constructed. The strip across the windshield top was rusted out. New metal had to be shaped and welded in, a major task. To fit the new windshield, the cab had to be just right. No errors allowed. The metal body steps would not hold a person without bending. This total area was taken out from the remainder of the cab.

The following pictures will show the finished product plus what David and Kevin had to work with. The restoration of this derelict 1957 pickup is clear evidence that given time, money, talent, and loving care anything is possible.

You can contact David at davidlcross@yahoo.com.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

What we started with. Looks much better than it really is.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Bed intact but ultimately useless; fenders creased and serious rust everywhere

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Really ugly rust thru inner and outer cab top, big concern about windshield opening.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Cab bottom. ugh! lower hinges not attached to anything solid. door pockets gone, floor boards rusted through. Front cab mount badly deteriorated. Cab corners, inner and outer rusted through.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

End panel rusted through but note spare bracket in good shape

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Another view of cab doors useless and discarded

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Alignment frame to position what’s left of cab on frame. Now the welding can begin.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

New cab corners welded in place

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Sandblasted and repainted frame before spring and axle assemblies were removed and rebuilt.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Cab bottom with new floor and steps in place. Saturated with POR-15 and seam sealed

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Rebuilt cab in primer. Door step and quarter panel is double thickness to stiffen cab

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Engine reassembly paint and detail

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Engine accessories installed. All hookups done and wiring completed

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Out of the paint booth

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Bed wood during installation.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Painted. Assembled and ready to push out of shop

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Interior installed

1937 Chevrolet from Tim Koch

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Owner: Tim Koch

1937 Chevrolet

This mid-Missouri 1937 Chevrolet 1/2 ton is owned by Tim Koch of Jefferson City. He chose this restoration shop to do the total project because of their reputation for quality as one of the best! The name Herrons Customs Paint is mentioned at so many local shows, it was worth Tim Koch talking to the owner and viewing his shop. The vehicles under rebuilding convinced Tim this was the company to do the restoration of his 1937 Chevy truck.

The following pictures show an excellent step by step procedure from the frame up! You can contact the shop at www.herroncustompaint.com or the truck owner at 573-636-5678, cell 573-619-3104.

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 chevrolet pick up truck

1937 GMC from Eddie McElrath

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Owner: Eddie McElrath

1937 GMC

This is my latest project a 1937 GMC 1/2 ton pickup. Not exactly original but a personal preference. The previous owner had owned the truck for over 30 years and finally parted with it. It had been restored many years ago but was in need of a lot of repair to shoddy bodywork and I have added many upgrades. So far the frame and drive line are in place and currently doing the body work. I plan on doing all the work myself. Have not selected a color as of yet. Leaning to either black or a metallic red . The truck has a 350 chevy with a B & M blower with 2-4 barrels (and it all fits under the hood) , 350 turbo trannie, 12 bolt rear, mustang II front suspension and a 4 link in the rear. Should be an head turner when finished.

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1937 gmc pick up truck

1957-1960 Hubcaps

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early years of GM truck production, many examples exist which relate to their vehicles being designed more for work. Changing a trim part for appearance reasons was usually secondary if it resulted in unnecessary expense. Often parts were used that had already been on GM automobiles. This eliminated expensive new tooling costs and kept GM truck prices in line with the competition.

An excellent example of this type thinking is shown with the 1957-1960 hubcaps. Even though the 1960 pickup was a totally redesigned vehicle, GM carried their older hub cap on this new pickup. The reasoning goes back to keeping truck prices low. The 1960 1/2 ton wheel was to be the last carrying the inside spring clips to secure the hub caps. As truck hub caps were used several years, it was not likely a new 1960 design would be created for only one year. GM held off from using a redesigned hub cap until 1961 so that it would fit on the new non-clip wheel. To stay with tradition, this new 1/2 ton cap was then used three years.

To keep the 1960 3/4 and 1 ton hub cap appearances similar to the 1/2 ton, GM again retained the earlier style. This occurred even though the larger truck inside clip split rim wheel design was basically unchanged between 1946 and the late 1960′s.

Chevrolet and GMC each had their own different hub cab design during this time, however, they both changed styles at the same time. A full Chevrolet or GMC wheel cover was unavailable for the deluxe 1957-59 truck models. GM simply chromed their standard caps that were otherwise painted white. An optional chromed GM wheel ring could be added on the 1/2 ton series in 1957-1959 Chevrolet but not during 1960. These trim rings were stock on the 1957-1958 Cameo but dealer installed on other 1/2 tons.

In 1960, a full wheel cover was introduced on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Package. Actually, it was from a 1956 Chevrolet Belair car and 1956 Chevrolet Cameo. Once again, GM used this stamping from five year old tooling and saved production costs.

1957 1960 hubcaps 1

1960 Wheel Covers (above)

Stainless Steel on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Pickup. 15″ Wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 2

1957-1959 Wheel Rings (above)

Chromed steel wheel rings that blend with optional chrome hub caps to give appearance of full-chrome wheels. 15″ wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 3

Wheel Striping

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the 1940′s through 1950′s placing pin stripes on automobile wheels occurred on most all brands. It was an inexpensive touch that added a little flair to the appearance of a new wheel. The stripe could be added quickly with a machine on a rotating wheel. The factory didn’t need a human as on the body stripes.

GM was no exception. They had been striping most new car wheels for almost 10 years. Beginning with the 1947 Advance Design trucks, this striping even was used on ½ tons that had the deluxe package (not the standard models). This extra was continued through the 1947-1955 body style.

The attached photo shows a used original never repainted 16″ 1/2 ton deluxe wheel. Note how perfect the 3/4″ stripes are applied. With the addition of the small chrome hub cap, the wheel drew attention

wheel striping 1

wheel striping 2

Artillery Wheels

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The term artillery wheel is a nickname adapted from a scalloped type wheel often seen on US military vehicles in World War I. The similar appearance at a distance to GM’s scalloped steel wheels quickly gave them the name artillery.

On GM trucks, this style was first used during 1934-36 as a stock six bolt 1/2 ton 17 inch wheel. It was much stronger than the existing wire style wheels due to it being less susceptible to bending when hitting a large pot hole or sliding against a curb.

Though this 17 inch unit was discontinued on 1/2 tons for 1937, a redesigned 15 inch artillery began as GM’s stock wheel on that year’s 3/4 ton truck. It was stronger and wider but was still a non-split rim design. This remained the GM 3/4 ton wheel through 1945. By 1946, six bolt wheels on trucks were limited to 1/2 tons. The 3/4 ton would now have 15 inch 8 bolt split rims which remained stock into the 1960′s.

Today, we sometimes see 1947-59 GM 1/2 tons equipped with these early 15 inch artillery 3/4 ton wheels even though they were not placed on factory trucks after 1945. To many, they provide a unique appearance on the later 1/2 tons and will still hold the trucks current hub cap.

atrillery wheel 1

Regular 16″ Wheel (above)

artillery wheel 2

1934-1936 17″ Artillery Wheel (above)

artillery wheel 3

1937-1945 15″ Artillery Wheel (above)

After Market Wheels for Older GM Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

From 1934 to 1959 GM 1/2 tons came from the factory with a tie rod assembly that extended side to side to almost touch the front wheels. With everything stock, the tie rod sits about 3/4 inch from the inside of both original six hole wheels and all fits just right.

A problem exists when someone attempts to add a more modern wheel. For example, the mid 60′s and newer 4×4 wheels have this 6 hole bolt pattern but their width causes them to contact the end of original long tie rod. Changing from the approximate 4-1/2 inch original to at least a 6 inch width just won’t work.

Solutions for adding a more sporty wheel are very limited with the original suspension. One almost unknown method is to replace the original GM multi-piece tie rod ends with the more modern knuckle ends introduced in the 1960′s. There are currently available and are 3/8 inch shorter on the outer end giving that much extra room for a slightly wider wheel. (It is not recommended that flat washers be placed over the stud between the wheel and drum as this can cause breakage.)

This GM six bolt pattern is also shared with several Japanese pickups. Some very attractive more narrow aftermarket wheels have been produced for their imports in past years.

Unique GMC Hood Ornaments

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The big news for GMC in 1936 was the introduction of their first 1/2 ton pickup. Though GMC now shared cabs with Chevrolet trucks, the visual exterior differences were mostly noticeable in front of the hood.

The GMC grill was totally redesigned and did not resemble the Chevrolet truck. This unique grill was modified little between 1936 through 1938 but the top grill ornament was changed with each of these years.

Watch for these ornaments at swap meets, antique shops, and older vehicle trade shows. They are extremely rare! Even locating the real thing for the following photos was very difficult.

1936

hood ornaments 1

The first year for the newly designed GMC 1/2 ton (cab shared with Chevrolet trucks) and the last year for the exterior radiator cap. This example of flowing artwork rivals even nicer automobiles of that year.

1937

hood ornaments 2

hood ornaments 4

The hood must be raised to reach the hidden radiator cap but a fixed die cast logo (similar to 1936) remains the focal point at the top of the grill.

1938-1946

GMC extends the smooth front hood hold down upward several inches and eliminates the die cast letters. This chrome extension (not like Chevrolet) can be just as rare as the early style. Once off the truck at a salvage yard, it soon becomes mixed with scrap iron because of no identifying GMC letters.

hood ornaments 3

Rear Axle Bumpers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The placement of rear axle bumpers by GM on 1/2 tons proved to be an important feature. Owners can often load cargo over recommended weights, their shock absorbers may lose their resistance, and there is the existence of uneven road surfaces. All this can make axle bumpers very important.

During the hauling of freight, these bumpers occasionally stop metal to metal contact between the frame rails and the axle housing. GM placed them just above the rear axle.
See photos.

rear axle bumper

1947-1953 1/2 ton (above)

In 1954 GM increased the depth of the 1/2 ton pickup bed from 15″ to 18″. To do this they lowered the frame rail arch above the rear axle. This shortage of space caused the bumper to be placed at the side of the frame but still above the axle.

rear axle bumper

1954 1/2 ton (above)

Early Leaf Springs

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Leaf spring width on 1/2 ton pickups remained at 1 3/4 inches until the introduction of the two inch width on the Task Force 1/2 tons in mid 1955. The early narrow springs worked well considering the engine horsepower and weight limitations of the 1/2 tons. The two inch springs became standard equipment on the rear of the 3/4 ton in 1946 but their fronts still remained the smaller size. This is because the increased weight carrying ability of the 3/4 ton is mostly felt in the rear. Only 1 ton and heavier were totally without the 1 3/4 inch springs.

With the abuse given pickups in the early days (poor roads, overloading, and almost no lubrication), the springs have held up well. Most mid 1955 and older 1/2 tons continue to operate with their tired original narrow springs.

In today’s world a new variable exists that puts even more demands on these small springs. It is the increased horsepower of later model engines. No problem if these trucks, converted to more powerful engines, are driven as if they still have their original six cylinder. However, problems arise with jack rabbit starts with or with a heavy freight load. Most of these Advance Design 1/2 ton’s with transplanted V-8′s have had their original closed drive shafts replaced with open systems. The replacement axle housings are clamped to the 1 3/4 inch rear springs. When heavy acceleration is forced on these modified trucks, the axle housings try to rotate due to the extra torque. Much of this movement is held in check by these narrow springs. They just weren’t designed for this. Breakage and permanent bending can occur.

Don’t push your 1 3/4 inch rear leaf springs beyond their limits. If you demand fast acceleration with your V-8 1/2 ton, convert to later model 2″ or 2 1/2″ springs. Check specialized suppliers, including Jim Carters Truck Parts (part # HP580), for add-on kits.

Low Cost Front Suspension Upgrade

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The straight axle ½ ton GM pickups (1959 and older) were built tough! They served their purpose as the best in work vehicles for over 30 years. Other than an occasional kingpin replacement, they were almost ‘bullet proof’.

In today’s world, the reasons for owning an older truck, has generally changed. Most have been retired from work responsibilities and have become ‘fun trucks’ driven with care on smooth streets. Hauling merchandise is far down the list of their use.

The resulting demand for a smoother ride and better braking is the reason for many suspension options available from supply houses. For those willing to compromise on originality for an easier ride, one of the most proven and less expensive upgrades is the front suspension of the AMC Pacer. The price is right and the results are excellent. This coil spring rack and pinion front suspension assembly gives passenger steering and ride qualities.

A specialized adapter plate (available from the catalog on this web site, HP127) allows for the connection to your ½ ton truck. Instructions explain parts to remove from the Pacer assembly before the plate is welded in place. The total assembly is then bolted to the truck front cross member. No cutting on your truck! You can even trim the Pacer coil springs to get a lowered level on the total vehicle.

The adapter plate is not expensive. The main project is locating a good Pacer front suspension. This AMC vehicle was produced between 1975 and about 1982. The later years even had disc brakes.

low cost 1

AMC Pacer (above)

low cost 2

1947-1953 Advance Design (above)

Early Rear Axle Bumper

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Mechanical components on trucks were usually kept for many years by GM. Unless an improvement was needed, there was no need to change a proven design.

early axle 1

An excellent example of this is the rear ½ ton axle bumper. The design was used from 1929 through 1946 on Chevrolet and GMC ½ tons. A rubber bumper is held down on the rear axle housing by a metal cover with two ears. These ears are firmly secured by the two u-bolts that connect the leaf spring to the round axle housing. If the truck is overloaded or the shock absorbers are worn, the rubber bumper prevents metal to metal contact between the axle and frame rail.

Two of the attached photos show an original used retainer with bumper in place. The black bumper (now reproduced) is how the rubber part looks when new.

early axle 2

early axle 3

early axle 4

early axle 5

Suburban Seating

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

suburban seating 1

An original drawing of a 1949 Chevrolet Suburban from their sales brochure. Shown with its rated seven passengers. NOTE: The lady driver emphasizes that it does not drive like a truck! (The hotel employee is probably wondering how he will place the suit cases and golf clubs in the space behind the third seat)

Suburban Seating

With the increased popularity of the Advance Design Suburbans (1947-1955), questions are often asked in regards to the proper seat arrangement. This eight passenger vehicle was the only GM “people hauler” on a truck chassis and still remains a popular carrier for the family.

This body style was only produced on a 1/2 ton 116″ wheelbase chassis (the same as a pickup except for 4 riveted right angle brackets to better support the body). The extra weight capacity and stiff ride of a 3/4 ton was not necessary for a vehicle carrying passengers and expected to do almost no towing.

Two seats at front consist of a 3/4 unit for the driver which can be adjusted several inches front and back. The far right non-adjusting jump seat is designed to tip forward and allow passengers access to the rear seats.

The middle unit is also only the 3/4 size. It has the same size cushions that are used by the driver, however, the framework does not adjust. It must be this 3/4 width to give room for passengers to reach the rear seat.

This back seat has full length “crowded” three passenger cushions. In today’s world, it is the rarest seat! Though all Suburbans originally had this back seat, many were removed to give more loading capacity for merchandise. They were probably put in storage or used as a seat in the barn and then forgotten years later when the Suburban was sold to the second owner.

suburban seating 2

suburban seating 1

1936 Side Mount Spare Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1934-36 half ton Chevrolet truck body style always placed their 17′ spare in the right fender. Even the Chevrolet car normally used the right side when only one side mount was added.

In mid 1936, GMC entered the ½ ton market for the first time. This light truck shared most all sheet metal and chassis components with Chevrolet except for the engine, hub caps, grille and tailgate lettering.

One of the more visual differences between the 1936 Chevrolet and the new GMC 1/2 ton is the location of the side mount spare. The GMC is on the left, not the right as with Chevrolet. This was done with little expense as the mounting brackets will fit the right or left side.

Why did GMC place their spare on the opposite side? The answer 70 years later is not known. We only assume it kept the two marques more individual with no extra expense.

1936 side 1

1936 Chevrolet (above)

1936 side 2

1936 GMC

1936 side 3

1936 GMC

1936 side 4

Mounting Hardware

1947-1955 Optional Wide Running Boards

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One of the most unusual and rare options for the 1947-1955 1/2 tons are ‘wide running boards’. The adjacent picture is from the 1949 Chevrolet Salesman’s Data Book. The photos below are of used original boards recently found at an Oklahoma swap meet.

They consist of ‘short’ running boards as used on all flat bed ¾ and 1 ton trucks plus a matching wide rear board extensions. The splash apron is totally redesigned to properly fill the different opening between the board and bed. See photo.

GM marketed these optional boards to allow more standing or foot room near the front of the ½ ton bed. Normally a person can not place his complete foot on a stock running board in this area. This option gave more comfort to the person spending much time on the running boards moving merchandise at the front of the bed.

1947 1955 optional wide running boards 1

1947 1955 optional wide running boards 2

1947 1955 optional wide running boards 3

The King

Monday, February 8th, 2010
The King ATHS Logo
Its the annual convention of the American Truck Historical Society. This year, 2010, it is in Pleasanton, California. Over 700 trucks of all sizes and makes gather at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.In a far grassy corner is a  sub group of local early GMC owners. Most seem to be acquainted and use this show as a reason to renew old friendships. There are few “trailer queen” trucks in this group, just dependable daily drivers. Most owners know how to repair the occasional problems that are a part of driving a 50 year old truck.

A crowd begins to gather late afternoon on the second day of the convention in this GMC truck cluster. The attention is not so much on the 1958 GMC stepside 1/2 ton with its Pontiac V-8 plus three factory two barrel Rochester carbs and correct large air filter. The interest is on the contents of the bed.

Here, only heard of by most GMC enthusiasts, is a real inline 302 cubic inch six cylinder engine from the late 1950′s! It has all the aftermarket high performance options of 50 years ago. It sits on a special frame with no body panels obstructing the view. All is there to touch and feel.

The owner is John Christ of San Francisco, CA. He has built this 302 just like it would be for racing in the late 1950′s. John located a new engine about 5 years ago and since has been hunting GMC speed parts so he could build it just like the race track engines of 50 years ago.

This is the first time the 302 has been seen by the general public and almost never had John tried to make it start. He had planned for this moment at the ATHS convention for a long time.

As the crowd grew and watched, the battery beside the engine was connected. The small nearby temporary gas tank was attached to the fuel line. The foot start linkage was pressed by hand and engine began to turn. It does not start and fuel drips from line connections. Yes, John has a good size fire extinguisher.

A water pump drip is not repairable at the show but John climbs into the truck bed with the engine to stop fuel drips at joints and makes several other adjustments. He tries again.

The engine belches flames from the human skulls covering the Stromberg 97′s. Still no action. More adjustments are needed.Now the engine fires a few times. With no exhaust pipes this may get loud!!. John has a friend push the starter linkage while he turns more screws and then off it goes. It is running on all six and the sound is probably heard through most of the convention. Its almost like it is saying, “Where’s the race track?” Applause was heard from many in the crowd when they are not covering their ears. The King
A few of the items John has collected over the years makes this 302 just right:- Venolia Pistons, These very light weight aluminum racing pistons raise the compression ratio to 9.5 to 1. John had them custom made for this engine. Yes, premium fuel is a requirement.

- Howard intake manifold. Allows the use of five Stromberg 97 carburetors. The progressive linkage uses number 2 and 4 carbs when driving normally. Carb. 1, 3, and 5 are waiting to operate when speed is necessary. Fuel economy, are you kidding!

- The engine was totally balanced to prevent any vibration at higher RPM.

- The bee-hive oil filter beside the block cools the oil as much as it cleans it.

- A 40 year old Wayne valve cover and side plate are almost impossible to find. They  have never been reproduced for the GMC engine.

- The special high volume aluminum oil pan is a necessity when racing on the track.- Fenton headers. These lessen back pressure. Exhaust gases leave the engine much quicker under acceleration.

- A highly modified camshaft is a must! Getting more fuel and air into the combustion chamber adds to the available horse power.

A stock 302 GMC six cylinder with this equipment is why so many small town dirt tracks had to ban vehicles using truck engines in the 1950′s.

The local hobbyist racing a car engine couldn’t win a race against a built up 302. They wouldn’t spend the money to register if a high performance GMC was allowed. To keep the dirt track’s popularity, a sign was often posted “No Truck Engines” but secretly it meant no 302s.

The King
The King
John Christs’ future plans for his 302 is placing it in a recently purchased 1940 GMC pickup. It may be an easy drop-in but this little truck will have a real awakening when its time for performance! John can be contacted on the club website at www.oldgmctrucks.com under the name Big bad swing daddy.
The King The King The King

1938 Chevrolet

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Owner: Don Cotrona

1938 chevrolet

Now, this is just like they used to be!

A 1938 Chevy 1/2 ton rebuilt, beginning with the bare frame and made to look as it was on the dealer showroom over 70 years ago.

The owner and restorer is Don Cotrona of Wallinford, Connecticut. Almost no compromise was made to keep it like it was when driven off the assembly line in 1938. Don even uses the rare 1937-1938 16 inch wheels with the eight slots. Note the correct Brewster green paint, oval bumper bolts, and black front and rear window frames.

This little 1/2 ton was bought 37 years ago when Don was 16 years old. Even though well used it was ‘love at first sight’. He had personally saved $300.00 and thus could make the full purchase.

The disassembly and removal of six layers of paint began immediately. This was the inexpensive part! Putting it back together for regular use on a schoolboy’s budget made it a much more time involved project. It finally became his daily driver after straightening all fenders and cab plus using locally found paint and upholstery. This 1938 became Don’s to school driver. He even dated his future wife while it was his only transportation!

Then came college, marriage, a new home, children and more college. Don kept his little pickup in storage knowing someday it would come back to life. He collected parts for many years from collectors, swapmeets, and answering ads in car magazines. Even the new old stock grill was found in two halves over several years.

So now the rebuilding is complete about 36 years after its initial purchase. Don has made it as the Chevy dealer would have sold it in 1938. Note the snow tires. A necessity for a New England pickup when sold new in the winter. It came with the hand built trailer hitch formed to fit the rear bumper braces. The installation of the new mirror arms is due this month. The old 6-volt radio (see antenna) was required by a teenager that drove the truck in the early years. The little 216 six-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission couldn’t run better. One difference now is that it never sees rain. Water occurs only on washday!

Don Cotrona can be contacted by email: don@hammelny.com

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1951 Chevrolet

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Owner: Jim Streeby

1951 chevrolet

I was volunteering for my church, working the graveyard security shift, at a fireworks tent. The 11pm-7am shift was an opportunity to visit with a couple of men from our church, share a few stories etc. We got to talking and I told my new friend I had been searching a long time for a specific, Chevy, truck;.After several awkward moments of complete silence, he looked at me and said, I know where one is, but I don’t think he’ll sell it! 4 weeks later My new friend Aubrey had traveled 7 hours west, to the far southwest corner of Kansas. He called me on his sell phone, was driving the truck, and excitedly told me how wonderfully preserved it was;’If you don’t buy it Jim I will’ he said. That was good enough for me. He even delivered it!

I bought this 1951 Chevy ½ ton in the summer of 2007. I travel the state of Nebraska and Kansas for a living and had called on or looked at many trucks ;so I was picky. This truck arrived in September of 2007, I immediately put new tires and brakes on it, tuned it up and drove it to a few cruise nights. In October my friends encouraged me to enter it at the Midwest National Truck Show. It took 1st place in Original, Un-restored Class. I brought it home and the next day began to completely disassemble the truck.

Over the next 21 months I completely became obsessed with the total frame off restoration. With the constant help of many friends I did a complete frame off restoration. This truck was exactly like the one my grandfather taught me to drive when I was 12 years old. I touched, cleaned, replaced or repaired every nut, bolt, spring, cotter key;.you get the picture;anything less would have a disservice to the impact he had on my life.

I had all the metal including the frame bead blasted. The frame was powdered coated and all other metal was prepped, etching, primered, and a professional paint job was done by a good friend who doesn’t wish to be named. The motor ran fine, but I took it all the way down to the block, replaced the necessary parts, installed hardened valves and made it burn unleaded gas.

The pictures enclosed tell the rest of the story;My goal was to preserve history;.I love this truck and because of my strong desire to do artfully anal retentive job, I have many people to thank. Ken McCarty was with me every step. His vast teaching ability and help was invaluable. My friend Rod Adams artfully crafted the bed wood, Jack Crawford and I installed the 3.55 ring and pinion gears. And last but not least, Mike Taylor and the rest of the staff at Jim Carters were invaluable sources of information and support. Thanks to all! Jim Streeby

1951 chevrolet 1951 chevrolet 1951 chevrolet

1951 chevrolet

1957 Chevrolet Panel

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Owner: Ralph Wescott

1957 chevrolet panel

Regular readers of this section know we tend to give credit to trucks that are the more unusual. This month is no exception.

Our truck of the month is a 1957 GMC 1/2 ton NAPCO Panel. No doubt this type truck was rarely seen even in 1957. When you consider the factory options, it may have been almost one of a kind 52 years ago!

Why was this panel truck ordered with so many extras? The owner either had very special needs or the GMC dealer wanted the best for display in their showroom. Money must not have been a consideration.

This 1957 Panel truck has its third owner – Ralph Wescott of Largo, Florida. Its working days (may have never existed) are now over. It is kept in Ralph’s temperature controlled garage with several other classics.

In viewing this vehicle you will see the same options that are on the dealer invoice including a 347 Pontiac V-8, 4 speed Hydramatic transmission, power steering, electric windshield wipers, radio, turn signals, passenger seat, white wall tires, fresh-air heater, chrome grill and bumpers, clock, chrome dash knobs, two-tone paint, higher speed 3.07 differential, etc.

The Denver, Colorado GMC dealership then had a local NAPCO dealer add the 4X4 system. Thus, the total package with freight and handling was over $4,000. Quite a heavy price when you consider a base 1/2 ton was less than $1,500. You couldn’t carry $5.00 in groceries in 1957!

This panel truck was restored ground-up by the second owner, in Michigan, 15 years ago. He then placed it in storage as he did not like the feeling of the hard transmission shift. When Ralph bought it last year, the shifting problem was on the top of his list. It was carefully adjusted step by step with much detail. The Hydramatic now operates like new.

Note the 2 tone on the 1955-58 GM panel trucks consist of the white section by the door windows. This was to give local sign painters more success on adding a customer’s logo.

The attached photos show what a special panel Ralph has purchased. The original colors and loaded with options!

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

Note: The new battery caps. Ralph found the 1950′s screw style so he redesigned the battery to fit them.

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

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

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

1953 GMC

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Owner: Jerry Willis

1953 gmc

This 1953 GMC 1/2 ton is certainly one of the more special trucks we see at today’s shows. It not only is of interest to people now but would have been a definite attention getter in the 1950′s. Jerry Willis of Independence, MO bought this farm truck un-restored in 1995 and is the third owner. He found it in South Missouri so it had not experienced winter road salt. It was a great candidate for restoration.

Jerry personally restored the truck including the body work, final paint, and refinishing of the bed wood. Its many little extras were added to make it look like a more custom truck you would have seen 50 years ago. Therefore, the transmission, brakes, and rear end are just like they left the factory. Even the “bullet-proof” closed drive shaft system that operated so well during its working years is still in place.

The mint green custom color of the 1950′s, louvered hood, Fulton sun visor, carpeting, cloth interior, and deluxe 1950 car steering wheel were also added by Jerry. The new 18″ chrome wheels and radial tires are one of the few items that is more modern.

Soon after the GMC was purchased, a connecting rod of the original 228 engine came loose from the crankshaft and cracked the block! During his hunt for a replacement engine, Jerry discovered that the larger 270 GMC engine of the late 1950′s was an exact fit in his 1/2 ton. The rebuilding cost was about the same but the horse power would be greatly increased. For better engine breathing, a pair of Fenton exhaust headers were also added.

The total package is about what your would have seen in custom auto magazines and in auto shows during the 1950′s and 1960′s. The greater power is also like performance GMC’s were built with 50 years ago.

You can contact Jerry Willis at email: jjwilli5@aol.com

1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck

1957 Chevrolet Cameo

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Owner: Ken McCarty

1957 chevrolet cameo

This months feature truck is one of the better examples of a correct 1957 Chevrolet Cameo. Its a limited production 1/2 ton that was sold four years in the 1950′s. They are now rarely seen. GM added many extras to their 1/2 ton pickup and came up with this very deluxe truck. This “Boulevard Truck” drew customers into dealer showrooms and yet could be used by a new owner for light hauling.

This Cameo is owned and restored by Ken McCarty of Lake Lotawana, Missouri. It was discovered about nine years ago through a friend of a friend that knew what was under a car cover in a distant neighborhood. It had been beside a house 30 years in storage and was not easily seen by people passing by. Ken must have talked to the owner just right to make the purchase. It was almost as if it was meant that Ken was to own this Cameo.

The vehicle was restored piece by piece during five years. The longer restoration time was because Ken developed an illness during that period and his medical recovery took much time. He is sure this Cameo restoration is responsible for him being alive today. Planning on the next steps of rebuilding kept his mind occupied while he waited to regain his strength.

This Cameo is just about the way it came from the factory. Ken removed a later V-8 and added a more original early 283 cubic inch engine. Its optional overdrive column shift transmission saves engine RPM’s and gasoline plus allows more highway speed. Even a generator keeps the battery charged! The frame and ID plate numbers match.

The original painted valve covers and oil bath air cleaner are in storage when he wants to add an original touch. The Cardinal Red and Bombay Ivory exterior paint is just as it would have come from the factory. Note the optional white wall tires. The width of the white is pure 1957 vintage.

Ken’s Cameo is now a new truck! It is seen regularly at local car shows and always stops traffic. You can contact Ken McCarty at 1-816-578-4032.

1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo

1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo

1955 Chevrolet Advance Design

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Owner: Marty Bozek

1955 chevrolet truck

This month we feature one of the most unique eye catching Advance Design 1/2 tons in the country. On daily runs it is a real traffic stopper. At car shows it is surrounded by curious admirers and trophies seem to be a regular occurrence.

This little 1955 1st series ½ ton is the creation of Marty and Jean Bozek near Tampa, Florida. It was bought from the second owner in 1983 after starting its life in 1955 near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The potential of this truck in primer with no prior restoration became a challenge. Almost all restoration and upgrades were done by Marty in the evening at his home near New York City. His goal was to keep it original in appearance yet add modern updates that would look different only to the expert. The result is a 1/2 ton that turns heads and puts out the performance of a V8!

Marty has given his truck a 261 six cylinder (big brother to the famous 235) a 4 barrel carburetor, Howard cam, Fenton cast iron headers, electronic ignition, aluminum radiator, and ‘old time’ Smitty glass pack mufflers.

The transmission is the very popular 5 speed overdrive once found in Camaros and Firebirds in the 1980′s. It’s overdrive 5th gear performs just right on the open highway but gives the low speed power Marty wants for in town performance.

Even the differential has 3.55 gearing. This was by adding a complete 1973 Chevrolet Blazer rear end assembly. The rear tires fit the wheel wells just right. No rubbing the fenders on rough roads.

Now retired in Florida, Marty keeps improving his creation. He often thinks about modifications and has added a few additional items to his little ½ ton. He does it in his own way so that it is just right for this type of truck. A few recent additions were adding the 5 speed overdrive transmission and cold air conditioning. (No it doesn’t run hot in Florida summers.) Even the doors, firewall, top, floors, and rear cab wall have been sealed with hidden insulation!

This Chevy 1/2 ton may not out run a telegram but the race is close. Marty says ‘It idles like a sewing machine and goes like hell. Why would I even consider a V8?’ It is ‘the’ eye catcher at any auto show. Trophies have been many but some stand out more than others.

In Tampa, FL a large monthly cruise night gives a best of show honor at the end of the year. All the monthly winners compete for ‘Best of the Best.’ Yes, this little yellow pickup received the top award. They don’t get better than this!

Marty painted this truck in 1994. Several years ago it received the ‘Best Paint’ award in a show with hundreds of participants in Northern Florida. How’s that for non trailered vehicle that was painted about 10 years ago?

In 1999, at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania ‘All Truck Nationals,’ this truck received a second place trophy in the older truck class.

If you wish to talk to Marty Bozek about his special truck, the email address is: eng261@aol.com. (You must identify yourself as a truck person so you don’t get mixed and discarded with the junk mail.)

1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck

1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck

1971 Chevrolet 1/2 ton Cheyenne

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Owner: Martin Hall

1971 chevrolet truck

I purchased my 1971 Chevrolet 1/2 ton Cheyenne in the spring of 2002. My intentions were to do a patch up backyard restoration. I soon discovered that not only was it going to be a full restoration but a frame off restoration due to a lot more unforeseen rust and body damage.

My son and I did a complete engine swap starting with a bare 350 block and worked our way into building a super modified 383.

  • 350 bored .30 over
  • Hipo cast heads
  • Elderbrock aluminum intake and carb
  • Comp cam
  • Roller rockers
  • J.E. pistons and rods
  • Pete Jackson gear drive ‘soon to be blown’
  • Many other modifications as time went on

Months later I purchased a refurbished bed and began the long hard process of body work. During this time a good family friend who was well educated in bodywork helped guide us along while lending a hand to end a 2-1/2 year part time process. We shaved the trim molding along with the marker lights, added a billet grill, custom louvered tail gate with custom lighting, complete 6′ lowering kit, American Racing Outlaw 15 x 8 and 15 x 10 wheels. The paint scheme is ‘Alderson ‘ black with metal flake; Metallic Blue Ice trimmed with Ultra violet purple pin striping.

I showed the truck with incomplete interior at the 2006 All Truck Nationals in Riverside, Missouri hosted by Genuine Chevy GMC Truck Club of Kansas City. In the spring of 2007 the interior was completed with black and silver flamed interior and custom audio.

After much blood, sweat and tears shed through the entire process I’m proud to say she is not a trailer queen but not a daily driver.

Special thanks goes to Jim Carter, Mike, Sheba, Julie, Lynn, Wayne Alderson, R & S Upholstery, and my family for allowing me to spend the time and MONEY on my project.

1971 chevrolet truck 1971 chevrolet truck 1971 chevrolet truck

1961 Chevrolet Deluxe

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Owner: Greg Scott

1961 chevrolet deluxe truck

Have you ever seen one of these? Few were produced, almost none have survived.

This 1961 Chevrolet V-8 1/2 ton is one of a small percentage that came equipped with the deluxe trim package. Though most pickups at that time were standard work trucks, GM realized there was a small growing number of buyers that had a desire for a little extra on their truck.

This deluxe package not only included the unique stainless steel side trim (only available in 1960-1961) but also a stainless windshield molding, chrome bumpers and hub caps, plus rear cab trim panels behind the door window. Chrome dash knobs, right and left inside sunvisors, and a deluxe steering wheel added to the package.

Our feature 1/2 ton is owned and was mostly restored by Greg Scott of Independence, Missouri. The reason it was ordered new with such deluxe features was the needs of its original owner. A combination funeral home and cemetery operation in California used it for 30 years. They wanted the best appearance in the truck they used. The original paint was light blue and white. Greg kept the two tone paint division lines just like the original, but changed the truck color to red and white.

He purchased the truck two years ago from the second owner in central Missouri. This person had thrown away all the trim, but at least the attaching body holes remained. The long search for this trim leaves only one piece now missing. The horizontal right door strip has still not been located. Can anyone help? Yes, he knows the correct 1961 hub caps are needed. They are still on his want list. Greg says he has personally spent over 80 hours repairing the used stainless trim he found from various sources. While watching television in the evening he slowly removed dents, did surface sanding and polishing. The results are great! The photos show he placed this trim in just the right position.

The bed was removed and only the bare cab remained on the frame. All was sand blasted and then the slow assembly began. Fortunately, its 30 years in California had prevented body rust. It was like putting together a large model kit that lacked some of it’s parts.

Owner: Greg Scott 1-816-836-0960

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Owner: Don Lowrey

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 Ton

This cab and early fleetside bed combination was available only during 1958 and 1959 but to get the bedside trim you had to wait with the last year. This was a time when trucks were usually bought for work and styling was far down the priority list. Therefore, one can appreciate the rarity of this month’s feature truck.

This 1959 Chevrolet deluxe ½ ton is owned by Don Lowrey of Lindsay, Ontario. He purchased it over 25 years ago during a visit to the U.S. Though at the time he did not realize its rarity, he knew the various deluxe features and color combination (Tartan Turquoise and Bombay Ivory) made for a very attractive package.

Shortly after the purchase of this, then 20 year old truck, Don decided to bring back the original shine by giving it new paint and re-chroming the bright metal. He was careful not to alter the original color or add extras that were not Chevrolet approved accessories.

The upholstery was kept without any replacing. Thus, we have a perfect example of the fabric Chevrolet used in their most deluxe pickup. Unlike the standard model, matching seat cloth was also placed over the door panels.

Note the untouched wood bed bottom. It still has much of its original black paint on yellow pine. NO, the manufacturers did not sand and varnish the bed floors!

Along with the many features that are standard with the deluxe package, this little ½ ton also has a few dealer installed accessories. The bumper guards, radio, heater, sunvisor, and wheel rings could have been added by the Chevrolet dealer.

Don has a certificate from the State of Pennsylvania that the 12,000 miles on the odometer (at his purchase) is correct. The truck runs like new and is used to drive to occasional Ontario car shows. It has not yet logged 1,000 miles since its purchase 25 years ago. If a show is two days long, Don uses his ½ ton to pull his travel trailer! The stock 235 six cylinder and 3 speed column shift transmission does the job.

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1957 GMC Palomino

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Owner: Ralph Wescott

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

You can’t get more unusual than 1 of 1. This is how Ralph Wescott of Largo, FL describes his 1957 GMC Palomino. General Motors built only one! It was produced to draw attention to their truck display at the New York Autorama show in 1957. Fortunately, its prior four documented owners recognized it as special. It has been mostly in storage and only a few recent car shows have had it on display. The Palomino now has 9,350 miles and almost no restoration has been done. Even the original custom leather seat is free of age cracks. The engine sounds like new as it slowly moves out of its enclosed trailer. It occasionally may be driven in the neighborhood or at a car show.

Gm designed this special 1/2 ton around a fully optional assembly line model. This includes a deluxe cab, Pontiac V-8, Hydramatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, radio, deluxe heater, Cameo style bed, windshield washers, etc. The manufacturer then added additional features that set it apart from the others. In the following photos note items such as (Palomino only) gold paint, custom leather seat and door panels, script trim panels over the front edge of the bed and gold floor mat.

One of its more unique items are the U.S. Royal Master tires. Ralph states GM requested U.S. Royal to produce 5 with this unusual rubber sidewall. After 50 years they are still in on their original 15′ rims! When not at a show the Palomino is in temperature controlled storage out of the sun to protect the leather interior, it’s original paint and bed.

Based on Ralph saying his Palomino is not for sale at any offer, we will refer to it as ‘priceless.’

2012 NEWS FLASH UPDATE

Ralph at 75years old finally decided to sell some of his most prized low mileage show trucks at his own auction that was nationally advertised. The Palomino was given a value by the last bidder. It brought $197,000.00 by a west coast buyer. WOW! See what happens when you have the only one GM ever made.

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1961 Chevrolet Apache

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Owner: Bob Rhea

1961 chevrolet apache

Here’s a recent photo of my 1961 Chevy Apache 1/2 ton, 98% on-frame restoration. Original 235 6cyl “Blue Flame” engine, Power Glide tranny.

1935 Chevrolet

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Owner: Ed Brouillet

1935 chevrolet

During the early 1930′s the US Army strongly encouraged General Motors to develop a light weight people hauler for their military needs. GM’s answer to this is what they called a Suburban. The finished product was placed on a ½ ton truck chassis. This allowed GM to use most of the existing items from their pickup. New tooling was only necessary for the body and seats keeping engineering and production costs low. The new Suburban had a wood framed skinned over sheet metal body. The doors, cowl, front fenders and front floors are all 1/2 ton.

As with the other earlier 1935 Suburbans a lift gate was not yet available. A canvas drop curtain was factory installed. The top is black oil cloth over wood bows which caused an early grave for these Suburbans. Once a top leak developed years later and more and more patches were needed, the interior began to stay wet longer. Rust and wood rot soon took over.

The featured early 1935 Suburban has been owned by Ed Brouillet of Fairfield, CT for about twelve years. It has been restored as new. Ed states it is the ‘first’ oldest Suburban. The other five 1935 models known to exist are not this low of ID number.

It is restored with a Swifts red body and black fenders. An original 207 cubic inch six cylinder is in place with a 3 speed floor shift transmission. It has most all details correct and looks as great as in 1935.

Fortunately, Ed enjoys showing his piece of history. It is seen at several shows in the New England area each year. His personal collection of antique hand operated house vacuum cleaners are displayed in the back. Ed always stays with his Suburban at shows. He loves talking to people about this first Suburban and his vintage vacuum cleaners. It can be a very memorable experience!

1935 chevrolet 1935 chevrolet 1935 chevrolet

1935 chevrolet ”1935

1972 GMC

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Owner: Johnny Patterson

1972 gmc pick up truck

Maych is a 1972 GMC Sierra Grande 1/2 ton pickup. He is named for my father, Martin Hamilton Patterson. I was 2 years old when my father died in an automobile accident, so I never really knew him. But for as long as I can remember, when friends or relatives spoke of my father they would always call him Maych. It was not until I was a teenager that I learned Maych was not my father’s given name but was what a youngster heard when his initials, M. H., were spoken with the sweet southern accent of my youth.

Maych has won numerous awards including “Best Chevy Truck” — what can I say, they didn’t have a trophy for “Best GMC Truck”. Maych even has his own web site (http://www.pattson.com/maych) where I’ve chronicled his restoration from day 1 until the present, including costs.

One of the first items I purchased when I began Maych’s restoration was a set of new seat covers from Jim Carter. Even though they were practically the last item to be installed, the seat covers were such an exact match to the originals, I wanted to have them on-hand in case Jim Carter decided to quit carrying them.

1972 gmc pick up truck

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1950 Chevrolet

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

Owner: Tim Kane

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

This is the restored 1950 Chevy 1/2 ton, 3100 series, my grandfather bought to use on his farm. It now has just over 15K original miles with the factory Firestone’s still on the truck. Everything is as it came from the dealer, with the exception of the wood in the bed, the exhaust system, and the paint.

Original Owner — Arthur J Kane – Colon, MI
Current Owner — Timothy J Kane Jr. Battle Creek MI
216 C.I. — 6 cylinder
3 Speed manual transmission
15,365 original miles

1950 chevrolet pick up truck 1950 chevrolet pick up truck 1950 chevrolet pick up truck

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 Chevrolet Apache

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

Owner: Don Wyatt

1959 chevrolet apache

This 1959 Chevy 1/2 ton step-side pickup was purchased in Santa Barbara, California from an estate containing 20+ cars and trucks. It was found sitting behind a 1955 Chevy “business coupe” with cement and old rubble in front of the garage door which had to be removed with a tractor. It was stored for 31 years and has 24,996 original miles on it. The truck was completely restored “off the frame” and is now in perfect showroom condition. It is as original as it gets, with the six cylinder 235 Chevy Engine and 3-speed on-the-column transmission making that “rapp” sound that only a Chevy Six can. The only modifications which have been done are an aluminum head cover, Fenton headers and very nice dual exhaust system. New wheels, stock with Chevy hub caps and mono leaf springs give the truck a much better stance. All of the chrome has been stripped and re-dipped. The truck is an eye-stopper and a jaw-dropper. You won’t find a more pristine Apache with this originality.

The interior is completely original, seat covers and floor mats. The radio head unit has been temporarily removed and replaced to give a new sound but the original radio as well as a few other parts will accompany the truck upon its sale. If you are an old Chevy truck fan, you know this is a real gem.

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1956 Chevrolet

Sunday, February 1st, 2004

Owner: Denny & Bonnie Wegemer

1956 chevrolet pick up truck

This is our 1956 Chevy 1/2 Ton pick up. We parted out an 1988 Iroc for the 305 TPI motor and 700R4 Transmission. We used 71 Camaro clip disc brakes and 72 Trans Am disc brake on the rear. This is truly, a home built HOT ROD. All design, fabrication, body work and paint were done at home, in our garage, by the owner. All handles and emblems were shaved. We used one piece door glass-power windows. The dash was filled with a custom gauge panel. We also used a custom grill, front roll pan, hard bed cover, custom rear pan, hidden hitch. The frame is C notched and boxed. A flip front hood was also installed. It is painted Prowler Yellow, the bugs love that car! This is Denny’s daily driver.

1956 chevrolet pick up truck 1956 chevrolet pick up truck 1956 chevrolet pick up truck

1956 chevrolet pick up truck 1956 chevrolet pick up truck

1956 Chevrolet

Saturday, November 1st, 2003

Owner: Greg Sanders

1956 chevroloet pick up truck

Here is my 1956 1/2 ton Chevy. It was a three year project. The truck was a complete frame off restoration. Frame has been powder coated as well as all the suspension pieces. The engine has been bored 0.030″ over, Milled the block and head to get 9:1 compression. It has Fenton split exhaust manifolds, Valve cover and tappet cover. It took two and a half trucks to get enough usable steal body parts to build this truck, But it was worth it.

I am now in the process of building a 1953 C.O.E. 5700 Chevy. I intend to use make a car/truck hauler out of it.

Parts are harder to find for this truck, however. Jim Carter trucks has helped me on some of them though. Here are some pictures of them.

Greg Sanders

1956 chevroloet pick up truck

1956 chevroloet pick up truck

1950 GMC Longbed

Tuesday, July 1st, 2003

Owner: Dusty Destler

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

This 1950 GMC longbed 1/2 ton was restored by Dusty Destler, 17, and his father, Dave. Dusty’s first vehicle, he bought it when 14, and he and Dave restored it this last two years. Dusty drove it to high school his senior year, and now is off to college. It’s his daily driver.

The truck runs a 235 ci six from a 1955 model, has been converted to 12-volt, higher rear end ratio. Steering, suspension, and drum brakes are all stock. Wheels are 15″ Panthers, 8 inch and 7 inch, with BF Goodrich T/A radials. Interior has been done in grey tweed, fully insulated throughout with DynaMat Xtreme (rides quiet as a Range Rover), highlighted by lots of chromed trim. Bed is fitted with high gloss oak wood, with stainless strips and hardware.

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

1935 Chevrolet Light Delivery Pickup

Monday, July 1st, 2002

Owner: Jim Johnston

1935 chevrolet pick up truck

Hi Jim,

Enclosed is my 1/2 ton 1935 Chevrolet Light Delivery Pickup as they used to call them. It is a truck found in a barn outside of Eugene, Oregon. The chassis was outside and the rest of the truck was in buckets and/or hanging on the walls and from rafters. I hauled the rusty stuff home and began the beadblasting, sanding, powdercoating, painting, and mechanical restoration in May 1995, and had the front of the truck running by September 1995. And with Jim Carter’s help on many mechanical, and chrome parts in addition to others from Canada to Texas it is now a great driver.

Thanks Jim Johnston

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.

1950 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Tuesday, May 1st, 2001

Owner: Don Forbes, Sterling CO

1950 chevrolet 1/2 ton pick up truck

I bought my truck several years ago and have been using Jim carters for parts since then. We bought the disc brake kit from you as well as the wood for the bed, and a few other parts here and there. The truck has a 350 Chevy motor power disc brakes with a 79 olds cutlass rear end. We have won two second place trophies so far. I still have a ways to go though.

I have always had great service from Jim Carters.
Thanks Don Forbes

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

1953 Chevrolet

Wednesday, November 1st, 2000

Owner: Bob Tucker

1953 chevy pick up truck

This month we feature a very special truck. It is no doubt one of the few pristine examples of a pure 1952-1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton in the U.S. today.

Owner Bob Tucker of Prairie Village, Kansas resisted all temptations during restoration and demanded that the body and trim be just like the showroom models in 1953.

What makes this truck stand out in a crowd is Bob’s attention to detail in keeping the trim painted as original and not chromed. During the 1952-53 Korean War years, copper (an important component for quality chrome plating) skyrocketed in price. Even shortages occurred. To keep costs down, GM eliminated most chrome plating on their trucks and the copper that went with it. Thus, this featured truck’s bumpers, hub caps, and grille back splash bars are Thistle gray. Even the front hood emblem is stainless steel and not chrome plated steel as in earlier years.

This truck’s unique appearance is also reflected in the interior. As is proper for 1952-1953, the chrome die cast knobs were replaced with maroon plastic. This includes those on the window cranks, wiper switch, and ash tray. The two radio speaker horizontal dash trim stripes and glove box door are changed from stainless to painted steel.

Today, very few 1952-1953 GM trucks are restored like the almost one million produced during those years. They are given non-original chrome grilles, deluxe wheels, stainless bumpers, varnished bed wood, carpeting, cloth seat covers, etc.

Our featured commercial red truck is a correct example of how we would have bought a new Chevy truck during 1952-1953. GM dealer installed accessories are the radio, fresh air heater, and right taillight. Congratulations to Bob Tucker for recreating a 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton “just right”.

Owners Note:
I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Jim Carter and his staff for their patience and help in walking me through the Chevy parts minefield. Without them and Jerry Rivers, Owner of Body Shop 352, the completion of this project would have been unlikely. Do to the fun I’ve had and overwhelming response to the truck, I’ve decided to offer it for sale and undertake restoration of an earlier model. If interested, feel free to call me at 816-471-1050.

As a side note, the pictures displayed here do not show the visor, which I have and will be installing shortly.

Sincerest Regards and
Good Hunting
A.R. Tucker

1953 chevy pick up truck 1953 chevy pick up truck

1508 East 23rd St. Independence Mo. 64055   |   Phone: 1.800.842.1913

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