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Leonardtown, Maryland


1948 GMC 1/2-Ton


Owned by

Gary Cahoo
"Mel Swell"
Bolter # 14292
Toledo, Ohio

09 January 2008
# 2175

From Gary :

           Here's my 1948 GMC 1/2-ton project. I got the truck off “Evilbay” about a year ago. When I was bidding on it, I asked the owner if the fame had any rust problems and if the truck rolled for loading. He told me that a plate had been welded across the frame for strength but there wasn’t any damage or rust that he could see. He also said that the truck did roll easily.

           I had to drive about two hours to pick up the truck after I won the auction (which I won for $900). When I got there, the truck had four flat tires that were rotted and wouldn't hold air. The frame had rusted through very badly behind the cab and someone had welded it back together using 1/4-inch steel plates. It was total junk!!

           I was upset that the owner had lied about these things and the fact that the truck couldn't be pushed up on the trailer like he said it could.  I was going to tell him the deal was off, but after looking over the rest of the truck, I decided that other than the frame, it was a decent candidate for a rebuild.  

           So the guy got a tractor and pushed the truck up onto my trailer. When he did, because of the flat tires, the frame twisted and snapped one of the u-bolts holding the axle to the rear spring. So now the truck leaned to the left and the bed sat weird because of the frame twist.

           All of this made the truck look even worse. My son, who was helping me, said "YOU MUST BE NUTS!!"  

           I saw more than just an old rusted hunk of junk with flat tires and a rotten fame.

           So a year later, I have fixed all the rust in the cab and found a complete frame and motor on eBay and the truck is starting to show some life again! I have gotten a lot of parts and pieces off eBay and restoration catalogs and have most everything I need to bring her back from the dead.  Its going to take a couple of years but I will be proud to say I saved it!

           The truck is a lot further along than the photos here. I hope have the motor (235 six cylinder) running this spring and most of the body done later this year. I have a site with some information also. My future son-in-law did the web site for me as a birthday present a while ago.

           My son is 28 and the truck will be his and the 1939 Chevy goes to my daughter. He's hoping the truck turns out as NICE!! He has helped me when needed, but he has a one year old and they take a lot of TIME! He is also in the Air National Guard and recently returned from duty in Iraq. So, he doesn't have much time for hobbies, but is interested what I do and wants to do a older Mustang restore one of these days.

           I'm very proud of my '39 sedan. Every time I open my garage, I get a feeling like Christmas morning when I was a kid! It was a lot of work but, worth every bit of it. After I finished it, I always said I would never do another, but here I go again with the truck! Can't keep a good man out of the garage, HUH!

           Thanks for such a great web site. I think I have looked at almost every page on your site! LOVE IT!

Gary Cahoo

           Wow, sounds like you can see beauty in the rough. And judging from what you did with the 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe -- WOW!! Can't wait to see what this 1948 will look like in a few years! What magic! Keep us posted! ~~ Editor