21 May 2016
# 3134

 
Owned by
Paul Fritz
"52 COE"
Bolter # 41059
Maryland
 

 

1952 Chevy COE

 

More pictures of my old truck

Join the discussion about this truck

 

From Paul :

This story begins many years ago as a little boy. I fell in love with the cab over engine trucks. I would watch the COEs with the logo of the Reading Railroad Transportation Company pass the house.  Over the years, my dream was to have a COE to use as a tow vehicle for my trailer and antique car.

Many times at lunch, John Milliman (we work together at our "day jobs") and I would discuss the different trucks we liked, especially the cab over engine type -- specifically the 1949 – 1954 Chevy vintage (1950 in particular).

On the morning of 19 April 2016, John forwarded me a link on Stovebolt.com (posted by fellow Stovebolter and ODSS member, Mike B) to a Craigslist ad for a 1952 Chevy COE located in Mt. Airy, Maryland. It was for sale with an asking price of $6200.

Paul's 1952 COE is our first Big Bolt to be in the Project Journal forum. He's got a great truck to work with but it's his first TRUCK. He's done an incredible restoration on an old Corvette, documenting each step. We look forward to his progress, especially since there will be a lot of contribution about the project from the Old Dominion Stovebolt Society, who helped get this Bad Boy started at Homecoming 2016.

Be sure to check out his thread.

That night, when I got home, I called the number and left a message for the seller, Mike, and sent an email, too. No response. I figured it was gone.

Three days later, I was able to connect with Mike and asked if the truck was still available and could I see it. We worked out the details for me to see the truck ... another three days!

Arriving at Mike’s on Saturday, I was impressed with the appearance of the truck. After taking many photos and asking many questions, we got down to agreeing on the price that was acceptable to both of us. He agreed that I could get back to him after I showed the photos to John, who was not too far away at the Howard County fairgrounds for a big equipment / junk sale.

The truck was in pretty good shape, for being an East Coast truck. It showed signs of bodywork and a shade tree paint job, but you could tell the body seemed pretty sound behind it all. The floor boards, cab corners and lower door panels seemed good. The truck had picked up a later 235 engine along the way. And the frame had been cleaned and painted. It actually looked very presentable.

I met John at the fairgrounds and discussed the condition of the truck and the agreed on price. I got sick after that I was not able to get back to Mike.

Another three days, back at work, John and I were talking about what I was going to do about the truck.  My comment was it was probably gone by now. "Why don’t you call Mike and see if it is still available."

So, I did and it was! And I decided to buy it! Mike said he would hold it until I could work out the arrangements to have it towed. I gave him a down payment.

I bought a COE!

I had to coordinate with John to go and pick up the truck. He was in the throes of preparing for Homecoming (only two weeks away at this point) at the Stovebolt Headquarters (his place). He was busy Saturday. It rained hard Sunday. Monday I got a call to be in Hershey, PA on Tuesday for some medical tests.

As John had decided to take the week off from work to get ready for Homecoming and catch up on his farm work, he figured he could work in a recovery (of course, being a Marine, the offer of a 12-pack probably helped coax him into it ...) and we planned to meet at Mike’s Tuesday on my way back from the doctor's appointment. (John's note: I am still waiting on that 12-pack... Split it with Mike B. ??? Maybe .... but Dana paid me a 12-pack to get him out of the house for the afternoon ...)

So by now it was May 3. I got to Mike's first and by 1530, this old truck was mine!

Right about 1600, John and Mike B arrived in the big Dodge and the gooseneck trailer. Mike pulled the truck out from the shed so John could back the trailer right up to it. Like a couple of pros, they got the truck aligned, winched up on the trailer and chained down very quickly, efficiently and in accordance with DOT regs. It obviously wasn't their first rodeo. (John' note: Well, it wasn't exactly *that* smooth ... the fun part for me is that every old truck is different when it comes to loading. No two old trucks load or chain the same and there's always a little figgerin' to do and multiple ways to get 'er dun. Nothing big but enough of a challenge to keep it interesting.)

What an exciting trip back home with the COE sitting high and proud on the gooseneck trailer.  On the way home, we passed a firehouse with the fire truck sitting in the driveway with the crew.  It was very funny the way they all turned their head to follow the truck on the trailer. It caught lots of attention. It was very enjoyable following John towing the COE on the trailer and me following in my truck.

Enjoyable even when the driver's side door starting flapping open on I-70 ... But Mike B quickly got up there and secured it with a strap. All part of the adventure of owning an old truck, right?

Arriving at John’s place around 2000, we off loaded the COE and called it a day.

It was fun to use truck for training purposes at the Stovebolt Homecoming event. And very exciting to hear the engine fire up after all that work by Sweet, Mike B, Jim S, Billy Marlow, The Other Paul, Mario and John M. They had it driving by the end of the weekend, too.

The plan from here is to put new tires on it and redo the brake system. Once it's safely driveable, I'll get it insured and registered, and start planning a bed for it. I am considering a shop-built tilt bed I can load my antique car on to haul around to shows within the area. Further upgrades will take place as time and budget allow.

But for now, the truck is a lot of fun as is and I'll enjoy it for awhile before I do anything else major.

Paul

-30-


Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop

No parts of this site, its contents, photos or graphics may be used without permission.  


Copyright © 1995-2019 The Stovebolt Page | Mechanicsville, Maryland