Mark Gansel's

1942 Chevy 1/2-Ton Woodie

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2 May 2005

From Mark: 

      This woodie is a '42 Chevy 1/2-ton truck body. Chevy contracted during the war for them to be converted to woodies. They sent Cambell the entire frame and drivetrain, front truck section, floor and rear fenders. Then Cambell went to work on the wood.

      The wooden-bodied truck was completed in June of 1943. Cambell also made the same wood for Ford and Dodge until 1951. When the vehicle was complete, it went to the military with several others. Most were disassembled and crated and sent to India during the war. But ours was sent to the Army in San Diego for transport military officers at the train station and bring them to the base. I have a photo of her at the San Diego train station between men in uniform.

      After the war, it was sold to a man in Escondido, CA at auction and then paid off a debt of $150 in 1968. She then moved to Santa Ana, CA where she sat for 35 years in a garage. I found her and brought her home. When I got her she was painted the "Blackout Green." She is the only one that still exists according to the National Woodie Club. Most went overseas and didn't survive.

      The restoration took two years. The straight six block was cracked and the wood was bad. A small block, Chevy 12 bolt rear, new wood panels, new roof, some new wood pieces and 12 coats of marine varnish and she's purdie.

      We can't wait to put some miles on her and get some sand in her floor mats. We just got her on the road this weekend (April 23) and couldn't be happier. Look hard enough at the photo and you'll see my three year old riding shot gun ... all smiles.

      I've restored two previous woodies (all Fords) but The Stovebolt Page helped me do this one. I'll always be a Stovebolter form now on. I'm hooked.

Life is good,

San Clemente, CA

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