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Sunny San Francisco California.
I grew up with my dad, who is 84 years young and still my best friend and fishing buddy, going fishing and sleeping in the bed of his '54 Chevy pickup. I bought this truck about 25 years ago and did my first ever, frame off restoration...took me 14 years. I hot rodded it to the era with the original 235. Ported and polished the head, bored it out, dual Offenhauser intake manifold sporting two single barrel Rochester's from a couple of '49 Chevys, Fenton headers, 3/4 cam, bowtie tips on the dual pipe exhaust, and changed rear end gearing so my top end is about 75, but I'm happy keeping it to about 60 mph. Original color was Juniper Green, but I wanted to make it look newer to today's colors. So fun to drive the 4 on the floor with the original granny gear.
Hi all, this is my 1937 Chevy 1/2 ton pick up. I acquired it out of California about 5 years ago. It had been in the same family since 1941. And the family wanted to ensure that it went to someone who was going to keep it as original as possible. I had spent more than a year looking for an original 1937...most were hot rodded or rat rodded, so a deal was made. I live in Ontario, Canada, so I took some time to arrange customs clearance and delivery. When it arrived, the fuel system had become cluggled with rust shaken loose from the gas tank during the long haul and multiple moves on and off transports. I didn't get to drive it until the next spring after thoroughly cleaning the fuel system and installing a new gas tank in its original location...under the seat.
This past summer I offered a good friend the use of the truck in his daughter's wedding. After spending a week cleaning and polishing, I drove the newlyweds from the church to the reception at their farm house. They then drove it to special place for photos. The couple has said that the truck was the highlight of their wedding. Quite a tribute!!!!!
Now stored for the winter, I hope to sort out a few electrical issues and other minor maintenance items. The truck is fun to drive and gets loads of attention wherever I go.
It’s a Long Road!!!!
When I was 15 years old I was crazy about any old car. My father was a fanatic car buff and still is to this day in his 80s. We had may interesting muscle cars in the 60-80s.
So this story is about my first truck. It was a 1959 Studebaker half ton. I was riding my bike one day and noticed it tucked in someone’s garage. I went knocked on the door and low and behold owned it some weeks later. It was a dream come true for me. I never did finish that truck, sold it and regretted it for years to come. I always had it in my mind to get another after other car ownerships.
So I decided to look and found one in Oakley Kansas. Myself and my friend drove my Honda CRV and made the trip from Northern Ontario Canada. A trip and a half for sure about a weeks round trip towing a 53’ Studebaker half ton truck home on the back of a CRV. Not one issue along the road. Slept in the open air at rest stops with perfect weather.
We now enjoy this original truck in the summer loading it with gear to go to our local beach. It is a dream come true again, not only for myself but my 9 year old son. He too is now old car crazed. Pretty sure I know where he comes by that from 🙂.
My Dad purchased our 1942 Dodge WF 31 on October 18, 1980 at a Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) auction. Having been in the trucking business himself for 30 years at that time, he bought it because it reminded him of his grandfather's first truck which replaced a horse.
Dad brought the truck home that day rather than take to our company garage. He then asked me to take him on an errand in the truck. I had little experience with a manual transmission and none that required double clutching as the Dodge has a non syncro transmission. I learned very quickly as my Dad gave a push every time I made an error in the shifting process.
What I remember most is that when we were out that day, while waiting in an intersection to make a left turn, another Dodge truck of the same vintage as ours was coming down the street in the opposite direction. That driver stopped dead in the intersection, rolled down his window and yelled: They don't make them like this anymore. How right he was.
We found out that the truck was built for the Army Quartermaster Core on June 2, 1942. It was assigned to Mitchell Field in Milwaukee as an emergency response vehicle in 1942, a job the truck continued to do until 1980. The truck had just over 11,000 miles when Dad bought it. It now has about 12,500 miles.
The Dodge was painted "County Yellow". It was not very good looking to say the least. Dad had it repainted red with black fenders to match the original colors. He replaced and finished all the wood on the stake body himself.
My Dad has been gone now for 34 years, but we still have the truck. We have put the Dodge in parades and car shows and have gotten many thumbs up while driving it around. We have many good memories with this truck.
My 1963 Willys Jeep 4x4 Utility Wagon. Located near Athens, Ga. I am surprised when I drive it to town that so many people flock to it with the question “ cool ride, what is it?”
Maybe Hagerty can do a story on one in an upcoming issue of Hagerty Drivers Club magazine.
Growing up I loved the Lil Red Express trucks of the ‘70’s. They seemed like instant classics to me checking all the boxes of performance, uniqueness, and style but I was never in a position to buy one.
One day in 1992 I happened to drive by a Dodge dealership and saw a Lil Red Express Dakota sitting in the lot. I had to check it out...
The truck had 48 km on the odometer, and the salesman said it was truck #4 of 32 being produced. I had to get it.
Nearly 30 years on, the truck now has 180,000 km and it’s as much fun to drive now as it was then.
Welcome from sunny Southern California.
This is my 1951 Ford F1 pick-up I purchased at 17. Yes, it's unrestored, but new glass, wiring, and a water pump here and there. I purchased /saved it from below a billboard that had 2 inches of pigeon nuggets for $50. Towed it home and began unearthing what I had purchased in 1979. I was also able to purchase one of the three studio trucks used in the Sanford & Son TV series (red one on the trailer in the photo), as living in a city that movies are made, this was parked behind a set builders garage. It had no engine or trans (studios tended to cut up the mechanicals to get a running vehicle for filming), and the frame was cut away for whatever power plant they had laying around that ran. I subsequently sold it to a coworker who wanted a project.
As life gets in the way and raising a family becomes priority, it was parked in 1982, so I could attend college full time, then purchasing a home and getting married.
Fast forward to 2017, it was time to stop pushing it around the yard, and put it back on the road. This was the convincing story of a close friend whom just finished a 3 year restoration of a 1966 Mustang. So we dug in, and did all the basics, boil out radiator, gas tank, flush the flathead V8, lubricate all the zerks, go thru the brakes, etc.
Today it has much more "Patina" than it did in 1979, but it gets a lot of attention, because it's unrestored. At one show, a little 5 year old girl walking with her dad, asked, "If I touch it will I need a Tetanus shot?"
Its a lot of fun to drive, even though it doesn't exceed 50mph, it brings me back to my youth.
I do get asked when I'm out driving it, if I'm going to restore it, I say, "No, it original like me!" I get more thumbs up for it being original, than restoring it. That we be left to my son, who it will be his toy to do as he pleases when I'm long gone.
I have always been a car nut, when I was little I had a fleet of Matchbox cars instead of Barbies, and my walls were plastered with Countachs, Testarossas, and fighter jets (not cars, but still very cool.) I was fortunate that my father was a backyard mechanic, and also willing to teach me maintenance rituals. I performed my first oil change at 8, brake pad replacement at 10, and carb rebuild at 13. Cars are part of my DNA.
Through college I had an '83 1300 Civic, it was a fine car but it never sang to me. My parents helped me get the Civic when my previous car was demolished by a guy running a red light, and at that time I pretty much begged them to find a Toyota pickup. They said I needed a sensible, reliable car, hence the Civic. The obsession with Toy pickups probably started with Back to the Future, I always thought Marty's Toy was epically cool. At this time in life I had some friends who moved to Boise who owned this (pictured) red '82 Toy pickup, and I always told them if they sold it, they needed to call me first.
As luck would have it, just a few days before I was flying out to see my Boise friends the Civic threw a rod. I was wrestling with putting a motor in it, but it was a Civic...not special. My friends in Boise were actually thinking of selling their truck, and it was a match made in heaven!
Well, almost. On the drive back from Boise, the transmission gave out due to a worn seal between the transfer case and the transmission in Ogden, Utah. I then had the most terrifying experience on the back end of a tow strap, going 80 on the highway behind a "friend" who thought that was a smart move with me 3 ft off his bumper. We got back to Denver, but I had the shakes for days from the adrenaline! I also no longer called that person a friend.
The Beast an I were inseparable from that point on! I ditched the topper, put a roll bar on, and away we went. I messed up my shoulder once and couldn't swing myself into the drivers seat, so I had a bucket on a string for a few weeks that I'd stand on then pull into the cab after entering. And there was the black ice incident, where I did not one, but TWO full pirouettes on a highway bridge, without incident. The Beast looked out for me!
The sins of the many previous owners started to catch up though, and there was a lot of rust issues I was going to need to deal with eventually. In 2015, a family member with a repair shop had the inside scoop on a one owner, 120k original cream puff '81 pickup, very similar to mine but without the factory lift kit. I immediately jumped at the opportunity, and got to work transferring all the good parts off my truck onto the new Desert Beast. Between selling the vintage camper top that came with the Desert Beast and then rehoming my red Beast to a 4x4 shop who fixed the rust and turned him into a rock crawler, I created a near perfect original and also made a tidy profit!
My other 3 cars are vintage Fiats, and it's funny because I think the truck was my first sportscar...it's just a ton of fun to drive, makes folks smile, and looks cool while doing it! I've had a Beast in my life for over 20 years, and I don't see that changing over the next 20!
Everyone should get the opportunity to own their dream car at least once. I am grateful everyday that I do!
And here are the Fiats, because I know you are wondering...
my wife and i have 1968 fj40 toyota land cruiser acquired in
a real estate transaction the previous owner was doing a restore and lost interest. we found it as a barn find, it was an answered prayer. we had been looking and did not any luck. all we did was ask if included in the real estate deal we would purchase! wow the owners said yes - and now we are the new owners!
I located my 1952 Dodge B2B pickup about 2.5 years ago as a non-running, but almost all original example found on a farm. Last State Inspection sticker was from Pennsylvania 1978 so who knows when it last ran. Along came Covid and the inspiration to get this project functional.
Two stuck valves, new complete fuel system, full brake system rebuild, full cooling and exhaust systems later, and it was roadworthy....except it had 2 mis-matched rims and 40 year old tires. I sourced two original rims, had all 4 wheels powder-coated, added 4 wide whitewalls...and I now have a fully functioning, if slow, 35,000 original mile pickup. I’ve chosen to keep the truck as original as possible, and cannot drive a few blocks without comments, thumbs/ups, and hundreds of questions from folks of all ages, some who have truck memories. I love how fast this truck makes my other cars feel!
In 1956, my uncle, living in Huntington Park, CA, went a few blocks over to Sopp Chevrolet, the local Chevy dealer, and traded in his 1951 Chevy pickup for a brand new Model 3104. It was the 12,710th 1956 3100 produced in Los Angeles and was Cardinal Red with the New "wrap-around" windshield—a truck industry first—and optional wrap-around rear window. No radio or heater. He used this in his profession as a construction tradesman, mostly in housing, primarily in plastering, painting and stucco.
Our family is from the east coast and in 1972, my family flew west for a visit and I remember taking rides with my uncle in his truck. Being 17 and just getting my driver’s license, this made a major impression on my memory. “Let me know if you ever sell this truck” I often said over the years.
In 2005 and 2006, my new job gave me reason to travel to our site near Long Beach and 9 miles from my aunt and uncle in Huntington Park. When I would visit, I would ask about the truck, which was covered in the garage and not often used due to my uncles’ failing health. He passed in 2006.
Forward to 2012 and my family were helping my aunt move from that CA house to the community my mother lives in here in the east. In dealing with all of the details, the truck was just towed over to a shop near my aunt’s house to be dealt with later. It was gone from the house when I picked up my aunt in December 2012 and flew with her back east to her new home.
Through a series of events much too long and probably much too depressing, the truck had been worked on sporadically at the shop in CA over 3.5 years. Initially, living on the east coast and having a truck restored on the west coast did not register as a big deal; wrong. Finally, I gave up on that shop and had it towed to Chimera Motors, where I now wish it gone to originally. Top-notch restorations in Huntington Beach. Except for the engine, which had sat too long with water seeping through the head gaskets into the pistons, everything was original and only in need of cosmetic attention. The direction was to keep it all as original as possible. A same era rebuilt long block was sourced from United Engine Specialists in Kansas. It was and has been a good choice.
When Chimera finished up in a few weeks, they helped me arrange its transportation east. Regrettably, due to the long delay at the first shop, my aunt passed before its arrival. That is when I found out it was my aunt’s wish that it be given to me.
So the last family member from CA has left and joined us here to enjoy a pampered life in its golden years. Here it is today, having left home after being born, used, close to dying and being restored in LA. 60 years young and now for the first time in its life, out of Los Angeles. Time to go cruzin’ down to the ice cream shop!
Dan & Rebecca Kjonegaard, Jamul, CA
Our truck is a 1948 Ford F-5 cab over engine body, mounted on a shortened 1 ton Ford van chassis, with a custom built bed. When we travel it pulls an early 60' Sears clamshell luggage trailer equipped with a dropped axle and 15 inch wheels. It has a 351 Windsor, c-6 transmission and gearvendor overdrive. From January 2017 through January 2020 we've logged just over 10k miles, not a trailer queen.
Here's my 1952 Chevy 1.5 ton that was in a shed for a long time. It has a 1954 model 235. Basic maintenance got the engine running very well, and it's been yard driven, but it needs the brakes gone through. I haven't sourced a cheap option for the 6 wheel cylinders that it needs.
Since the title of this mentions delivery vehicles, I thought I'd include my 1971 P30 also. It had been parked 15 years and after a couple of weekends of going through the carb, starter, etc. I was able to drive it home. It has a 292 and a 4 speed, and pretty cool 19.5" (not dually wheels) on the standard 8 lug GM/Ford pattern. Plans may be to mesh these two trucks together.
Low & Slow & Noisy
This is the Fracking Truck, so named because I obtained the stock, disassembled truck from a guy that was selling oil field fracking equipment around the world.
Sheetmetal and lettering is stock. I have a folder that goes back to the original purchaser, a farmer in MS.
Frame is custom with Jaguar IFS and IRS. Power train is a stock Mercedes OM671 turbo diesel with same day throttle response.
Literally my shop truck.