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08 May 2012
1946 Chevy 1.5-Ton
My Autobiography to date
From Bully :
As excited as I am about being rebuilt and getting back into service, sometimes I just wish they would leave me the heck alone. I don't know how many more bolts I can stand to have cut off or how many people I want seeing me in my current condition.
Yes, at the same time I relish the attention and know that, like anything else in life, the pain has to be endured to enjoy the gain.
In the fall of 2011 when all of this started, I was minding my own business under an open-ended shop barn in Blaine, Mississippi. Elwood Bright parked me there in 1971 after many years of hauling seed to, and grain out of the 3500 acres of rice and soybean fields of D. E. Bright and Son's Farm.
The deuce and a half Army truck bed with stake sides that Elwood had installed on me in 1965 was full of old tires. Plus, the pecan orchard that surrounded the barn was home to generations of squirrels who filled every inch of my cab with nesting material and hulls from the pecans they stored and later ate there. A raccoon had died in my seat bottom and its skeleton was part of the debris Paul Denicola and Bill Newman found during my initial clean up in Mountain City, Georgia.
In my farming days it wasn't uncommon for me to haul 300 bushels of soybeans out of those delta gumbo mud fields, and, at 60 pounds per bushel, that 18,000-pound load worked me pretty hard. I think it's pretty incredible that I survived over 65 years. Better yet, I'm about to be a daily driver again with some modest improvements that will, for the most part, maintain my character and looks but improve my safety and drivability.
Born in September of 1946 at the St. Louis, Missouri Chevrolet truck assembly plant, I was the 6808th unit to come off the line that year. My VIN is 3 OS I 07809. Elwood gave me to Paul Denicola in the winter of 2010 when Paul mentioned that he was looking for an antique vehicle to rebuild. It was Paul who nicknamed me "Bully" in honor of the years he and Elwood spent in college at Mississippi State University, home of the real Bulldogs.
My VIN also discloses that I'm a 1 1/2-ton, model 4403 "interim series" truck with a 160" wheelbase. Crosswaite Chevrolet in Drew, MS sold me new in 1946 as a flat bed to Mr. Carpenter -- a farmer in Ruleville, MS. When Mr. Carpenter retired from farming in 1965, Elwood bought me at the Carpenter farm auction.
My first heart was a "Thriftmaster" 216.5 cu. in. engine. Paul is giving me a transplant any day now with a 1958-59 modern insert, full pressure oiling, 12 volt, 235 cu. in. Stovebolt engine with an alternator. I can't wait! Now that my front cap has been removed and my cab unbolted and slid back on my frame, Paul can easily begin the removal of my engine and transmission. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
Ya done good on this first write, Bully! Glad to see you made it thus far. Looks like fine things (and in FINE hands) await you. Besides a new lease on life, you'll fine you've got friends just about everywhere you'll travel. Be sure to thank Paul for taking the time to add some fascinating titles to your pictures. Sprinkles on the cake if you ask me. The one with the penny was spot-on. Now, I'll have to hunt for a '49, '65 and '72 penny for our three! Cool idea. We look forward to your coming out partay! ~ Editor
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