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1949 Chevy 4400

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Owned by Sam Johnson
Bolter # 17967
Gardner, Kansas

Talking about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

07 September 2009
# 2662

More pictures on Smug Mug

From Sam :

My first big Bolt. This vintage farm truck is another find that I picked up. It's probably the last purchase for a little bit as I need to get the 3800 and this 4400 in better working order -- and some new paint for both, etc.

I got this classic truck off eBay for $901. It has the early 235 as an option. It has a Badger Omaha bed with harsh hydraulic hoist for dumping the bed.

Early in the morning (6:30), me, my wife and brother I left from Gardner, Kansas. We drove 3.5 hours up to Adams, Nebraska where this truck was residing.

I am the truck's fourth owner. The truck had been originally purchased by a farmer at the Chevrolet dealer in Beatrice NE. He gave it to his son, who kept it in a barn. From there owner #3 picked it up from the son's barn and moved it to Adams -- his intent was to restore the truck. That was two years ago. He PO said the truck ran then but needed a new water pump.

When my brother and I got to the truck, we installed a fresh battery. We re-installed the water pump. We connected the belt and did some other initial inspections. We then hit the starter to turn it over. It turned over, fuel pumped to the carb, but no spark.

The distributor timing was way off so we re-timed the distributor. We still had no spark and ran a few of the wires down. No luck starting.

So we used the winch on the trailer to load the truck up. We had to drive the pickup and gooseneck down a really narrow dead end alley, and it took a lot of spotting to get the combo out.

So with the truck loaded, we headed for home. We had a late lunch at the Pizza Hut in Tecumseh NE where the truck, trailer and '49 were right outside the window so we could stare at the latest purchase.

We then hit the road. About five miles south of Auburn NE we had one of the trailer tires blow out. Figures -- they were old tires. So I changed that tire and the spare needed air. We pulled into the next farm about 1/2 mile south of where we got the flat. We were hoping to get some air from their compressor. No one was home, and their driveway dead-ended. So more fun driving practice -- on a half full spare and the rest of the tire looking very questionable.

So we headed back to Auburn to get some air and then headed back south. This time about four miles south of Auburn, the spare exploded. We pulled over and prepared to use the truck's spare -- which would fit, and carry the weight -- but the jack was in no mood to be overworked.

We called my Dad and had him start internet searching roadside service providers.

Meanwhile, I sat enjoying the view of field corn growing right before my very eyes. Kind of blocks that nice, refreshing afternoon wind on a warm July day.

So the cell phone rings. Cunningham Tire Service out Nebraska City NE (30 minutes north) wanted to know how he could help. He said that he has the ability to change tires on the spot and he can find tires as well -- even "after hours" on Saturday (currently 5 pm on a Saturday). So, I tell him the tire size and after playing phone tag, he finds a set of four that will fit and carry the load.

Around 7 pm, he shows up with the tires in his pickup. Using a gas engine-powered compressor and HAND tools, the guy changes out all four tires, fills my truck spare up to spec, and charges me $745. That's for four Firestone radial trailer tires installed on a Saturday at 7 pm on the side of Highway 75. Great service from Cunningham Farm Service.

So we get on the road, making it home at 11:45 pm. Our eight hour trip turned in to 18.

The truck is close to running order. It needs a water pump and --refreshening. I plan to overhaul the engine and repaint both the engine and the truck. Mainly, I want to make it a nice work / fun truck just like all the others.

I will leave the interior paint alone. It is actually in very good shape. It will be swift red with a silver pin stripe as it had originally.

Enjoy the pics. There will be some updates as I work on it.



Another great score, and a great story as well. This makes four nice ones for Sam. ~ Curator

Sam has a nice collection of 1949 Chevy trucks: a 1949 Chevy 3800 Ranchmaster, a 1949 Chevy 3600, and a 1949 Chevy 3100 3-Window.


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