12 May 2016
# 3136

 
  Owned by
Mike Gramann
"69Cuda"
Bolter # 40939
Washington

 

1955 Chevy 2nd Series Two-Ton Flatbed Truck

"A tale of three trucks"

More pictures of my old truck

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From Mike :

I found this 1955 Chevy Second series (Task Force) 2-ton Task Force truck on Craigslist in October 2015. The owner (Dave) was in Genessee, Idaho - about five hours away. I talked to him on a Monday and told him I could not get over till the weekend but that I definitely would buy it for his asking price of $500. He said he would hold it for me till that Saturday. It was about a five hour drive from our home.

My wife and I went to pick it up. We went to the Eastern border of Washington, onto a dirt road and went around a few corners. We turned a corner into Idaho and on to his farm!

The previous owner told me he had a guy that had been calling him all week and offering him $1,000 if he would sell the truck to him. He gave me the guy’s name and number and told me I could call him when I got home if I changed my mind about keeping the truck!

This truck is probably one of the best I have seen over in the Washington state area as far as rust. The PO was an older guy and had done nothing with the truck. It didn't have any brakes -- only the parking brake. He bought it from a neighbor about three miles away and to get it home, just drove it up and down over the rolling hills through the fields to his place! He never drove it on the road.

We pushed the truck on to the trailer with Dave's backhoe instead of trying to get it to start.

We started for home, pulling the trailer with our 1959 Chevy Suburban 3100 (some pictures in the Photobucket) and for various reasons (like only 35 psi in my Suburban tires, and no weight distribution bars on the trailer hitch), it towed horribly! It swayed a lot and would start wagging if I got much over 40 miles per hour. It was about a 10-hour grueling drive home -- twice the amount of time it took to get over there to get it!! 

Soon after I got this 2-ton home, I brought home a 1958 Chevy 2-ton with a dump bed. The Suburban brought her home, too.

When we got the '55 home, I spent about two hours cleaning the inside and doing a quick rebuild / clean out on the carb. The truck fired up and I drove it off the trailer.

Since then, I cleaned out the gas tank (not bad at all, actually), fuel lines, and put plug wires on it -- just because I had a cheap set I got from somebody. It started right up again.

No rust was great; no brakes was not so great. I smashed the left front fender (that's the picture above) running it into the back of the other 2-ton -- if only I had the brakes. I was running it down to the shop and I knew it had no brakes. I turned if off and put it in granny gear to use that as an extra brake if the parking brake wouldn't slow it down. The rear end kicked out of gear and so, pulling the parking brake did nothing and neither did letting the clutch out! The '58 2-ton was in the shop with the front up on jack stands. Fortunately, the '58 stopped it and I didn't end up in the shop with a second 2-ton.

I sold the bed off it. It was a flat bed that was all wood with the metal rim. The guy who picked up the bed came in a newer Chevy truck with just one ratchet strap to hold the 12’ bed on! I figured as soon as he went down the driveway, he would lose the bed so I gave him another strap.

I am eventually going to sell the engine (235, starts right up and runs great). We are going to make an extended cab out of the '55 and '58 and use it as a tow rig for our 1951 Royal Spartanette (35 foot travel trailer). I will use the cab from the '55 for the front of my extended cab truck.  (Here's how I envision it will look ... the magic of computers.) I will probably use the frame and bed off the '58 but may end up using this frame since I know it has not been worked near as hard as the '58. (I have weight slips from the grain elevator showing the '58 weighing in at 25,995 pounds!)

Mike

P.S. Sunday after I got home from picking up the '55, I noticed I had lost my wedding ring … BUMMER. I am sure it is somewhere in the middles of Dave’s field!


 

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Mike is not new to wrenching (as you can tell from some of his detailed work) and he recently agreed to co-moderate the Big Bolts forum. He's got three Stovebolts under his belt: a 1959 Chevy Suburban 3100 1/2-ton Task Force; a 1958 Chevy Viking 60 2-Ton Dump Truck; and a 1955 Chevy 2-Ton Flatbed. (Check his Photobucket album: those Task Force trucks make a impressive line-up.)