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1949 Chevrolet 1300

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Owned by Ken and Lorna Beckman
Bolter # 17184
St. Andrews, Manitoba
01 February 2008
# 2213

From Ken :

          Here is a shot of our 1949 Chevrolet 1300 4-speed. My wife and I bought the truck in the early spring after I was asked by one of her friends / coworkers to “have a look at it and give an opinion of the value of a deceased uncle's old truck.” I was gobsmacked when I looked at it in an equipment shed at their farm! It only had 20,000 original miles and was free of rust. It had not been used since 1972. Obviously a mutually satisfactory deal ensued and it didn't escape our clutches.

          It is as tight as the day it was made! It can be casually driven down the middle of the road one handed after a re-shoeing with Coker Nostalgia Radials. The fuel system was a mucky disaster but my extensive antique motorcycle / car / tractor experience and a 30 litre ultrasonic cleaner dealt with that. The rebuilt Huck brakes accurately arched by my secret method (that I will reveal under duress of any sort) work like a charm.

          That's the original paint, laboriously polished by my wife, Lorna. The resolution of the photo is sufficient that you should just be able to see the original “GM Bodies” stamp just forward of the door gap. I was surprised to find that the wood in the Canadian trucks was likely to be just about anything handy. Even one plank might be made of three scarf-jointed pieces. There was probably a shortage of good wood after the war even in 1949. Although, it could well have been Canuck cost cutting.  

          The estate still has the original bill of sale and the Executor thinks it can be found with a little digging. Even without that, I reckon the truck is a fairly rare find. (In November, Ken had this update: "Thought you might be amused by this recently located original bill of sale for our 1949 1300 Chev. I particularly like the optional front shocks! And I had no idea that the chrome grill was an option.)

          One thing that proved difficult (for me at least) was finding an illustration of the original exhaust system from one end to the other. Even in the factory manual, I couldn't find a reliable reference. So, I ended up going with an educated guess.

          The rider is a red Australian Cattle Dog named Domingo and threatens seppuku if he is not allowed to go on any of our frequent drives.

Ken and Lorna Beckman


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