Dale Beeks'

1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton 4 x 4 Military Fire Truck


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20 December 2006 Update
# 1556

           (Dale sent this to us back in August and we just got a little behind ... and had problems with the pictures.)

From Dale :

Cloey’s Diary Chapter 3

           I usually have no problems with fate, but yesterday, I was in favor of it all the way. Let me back up a bit … chronologically speaking.

1:00 day 1.

           When we got to the giant auto auction south of Milwaukee, I felt pretty prepared for the trip. After seeing Cloey for the first time in person, I wasn’t so sure. Ed was there to pick up the cash for bringing Cloey down from Northern Michigan. Ed was a nice guy. He repairs and restores old Harley’s. There was a County Law Enforcement Officer there and I asked him about the fact that the truck had no license plates and the title was not yet in my name. "No problem," he said, "as long as you’re going from the seller's to the buyer's place, all you need is a sales receipt and title."

           Ed and my wife Lee Ann standing beside Cloey and Lee Ann in front of Cloey. These images give a good indication of just how big this truck is. The pictures I saw when I wanted to buy her (Cloey, not Lee Ann), the truck looked more pickup size. Note to self: get your proportional scales working.

           We left the auto auction and everyone’s head turned … and then they turned from side to side, as if thinking to themselves, “I wonder where that guy will end-up broken down,” or “OMG, cool truck! I’m glad I’m not him.”

           I crawled out of the parking lot with the straight gears whining the 235 babbitts clacking, sounding a little like a diesel, and waved goodbye to a lot full of thousands of short-lived modern vehicles -- an unfortunate, accepted technology in today’s world. We made it about a half mile to a gas station where I opened the windshield up about four inches for old-school AC. I fueled, checked fluid levels, bought water, looked at leaking seals, prayed, and we left.

           Now, getting out of a metropolitan area in a vehicle that was build before the term “zip” was probably in the English language, yet in traffic in a world of people zipping along, was an exercise in patience. Not for me, for them. But in about an hour, were a good 35 miles into the farmlands of southern Wisconsin and I starting looking at the map for the most obscure county roads shown. In the old Midwest, agriculture was the responsibility and love of farmers and families with small acreage. There was a town every 10 miles and roads between them all. These were the little used roads we sought and found. There were times when we drove what appeared to be almost one car lanes, through woods and green fields, past old farms preened and pretty, and we did not see a vehicle for miles. Then there’d be a little town, some a little worse for wear but with smiling and gracious inhabitants. It was like a novel written from a time when there was no rush necessary unless there was a farmer's cow stuck in a fence, or a hunter needed to get a deer skinned … or … Oh crap! I’d better watch the road, I just about took-out a line of mailboxes.

           Note to self: even though Cloey’s steering wheel has about 6” of play (probably a sector adjustment in the steering box), it’s OK to daydream but one must multi-function. I spit out my gum.

           I had to stop and take a few pictures of course, one of an archway with a telling sign and another with a beautiful park on the Rock River.

           By now we were four hours into Wisconsin. I praised Cloey and all her working parts, her leaking seals, the weather, my wife, and my right leg, which was getting very sore from a real strong accelerator spring. Cloey kept clacking and we just kept driving. More beauty everywhere. Big thunderheads were off to the south but perfect weather.

8:00 PM

           Man are we tired. Seven hours at about 30 -35 MPH. We stopped for gas and Lee Ann grabs some pizza and boy is it good. Cloey has used only about a quarter of a quart of oil and her temperatures and oil pressure are good. We rest about 15 minutes, talk to people who “love the truck” and we saddle up to leave. Oh Crap! Seizure! I put it in second as usual, and no way. It’s like Cloey is glued in place. Well OK. I know it’s the brakes because I drove into the station. Front left, seized up tight. I can go in reverse but not forward. My mind is really not too normal, but then I was tired, so when the thought flashed by me of driving in reverse …. it dissipated quickly. I drove across the street and ...

Cloey’s Diary Chapter 4, Our Savior

           You know what I said about fate? Well, we could have broken down and the brakes locked-up in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin. And that’s where we would have been all day. But no, we break down in a town with a gracious Casey’s Quickstop clerk who had a friend, a truck driver, who just happened to have room in his Quonset hut and is a Chevy truck collector? I’m not done yet. There’s a senior truck mechanic across the street who knows old Chevy’s like a good dream!. Good grief … bow to fate! Tim owns a trucking company in Warren, Illinois. He’s a great guy and he saved our butts. We stashed Cloey in his building and then went across the street to another shop where he showed us his beautiful '49 cabover. Well, we saw some of it anyway. It was covered with tarps.

           Tim has another project, a five window that was even more buried.

           Will Cloey have clogged brake line and need a bypass? Will Cloey’s owner need a bypass? Stay tuned.

Dale Beeks
"Dale in Iowa"
Bolter # 11338

12 June 2006
# 1556

From Dale:

           I'm afraid I don't have much of a story for this truck, "Cloey" (yet). It's a 1942 1.5-ton 4 x 4 Military Chevy fire truck (tank removed). It has 11,000 original miles and was garaged for almost 60 years. It was love at first sight!

           I bought it out of Northern Michigan last week and haven't even seen it in person yet! I love old military-style trucks. They were truly built tough as nails.

           I love your website. I have received so much useful information from fellow Stovebolters and even met a few folks locally here in eastern Iowa.

Thank you!

Dale Beeks
"Dale in Iowa"
Bolter # 11338

           Dale is trying to get Cloey home. He's posted on the site and we've sent him to Yesterdays Tractors. But he said he "may end up driving Cloey home! That's 450 ... should take about 12 hours..... (unless something breaks. I'd better take provisions, a sleeping bag, lap top, extra carb, coil, water pump, fuel pump ...... I just talked myself out of it. I think I'll keep looking for a hauler)." He'll keep us posted! ~~ Editor

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