1951 Chevy Maple Leaf Flatbed
07 May 2007
From Daniel :
Hey Guys! I have a 1951 Chevy truck. I think it's a '51! The plates are a bit "had it," so I'm not sure on the year. I will have to create an I.D. to get it registered. I'm not sure if 1951 is accurate. Need to figure the differences between the years that might help me tell. I had a badge (not attached) that came with it which said Maple Leaf 1600. I did work out from the Tech Tips page that it means it was built in Australia. I still don't know what size or weight or year.
But the story on the truck goes like this. I bought this big bolt about five months ago. I was dropping of a load of top soil for work and across the road from the drop off, I noticed a huge shed with a couple of trucks under tarps. I had no idea what they even looked like, but I could tell that they were older. As my Dad had just recently bought a heap of junk he calls a '76 D5n Dodge (absolute basket case), I decided to go back after work to see what parts this fellow might have to help my Dad out. It appeared that he didn't have anything newer than around 1960. So was out of luck -- or should I say IN LUCK!
After counting over 75 vehicles, I inquired what he did with them. He said he just likes to look at them. If he sees an old truck just sitting in someone's yard, he'll just buy it. Well, I had just about fallen in love with this old girl once the tarp had come off and asked what he would take for it. It was his brother's truck -- the last one he had bought before he died. It wasn't for sale but he said it was mine for $2000 -- what he paid for it. As it was running, had a working tipper, and all parts there, (minus the plates -- neither he nor I knew which year exactly -- he thought maybe 1951). I came back the next day with the money and a tow truck.
At first, it sat in my yard a couple months while I had no idea what I wanted to do to it (restore or rod). i have a wife and two kids with another one on the way so my decisions need to include them. But after finding this web site last week, my mind was made up. Specifically, after seeing Mark Frances' 1948 Chevy 1/2-ton Extended Cab (check it out if you haven't seen it), I instantly knew that's what I needed to do if I wanted to be allowed to keep the big bolt.
So after alot of looking at it, I got stuck into it this week. (For the record, I work as a bus body builder and can weld. I don't suggest trying this if you have no experience with a lot of measuring and careful cutting.) Here's a pix from the passenger side with a good shot of the flat bed.
The roof and floor already needed to be replaced after the dreaded curse of rust. So I wasn't too worried about going at it. I don't have any updated photo's of it as I left the camera at my parents' place. But it is now in pieces on the floor of my shed. Here is a shot as I've started taking her apart. I will update the pics as I go. Here is a picture of the interior.
PTO, Nasco Trojan Hoist and tray. Then replace with 350 or bigger and a custom built timber tray. I'm also going to remove both axles and diff, shorten the chassis a little bit and put axles form a smaller truck / 4x4 that will handle higher speeds a bit better, and take a more moderate load which will also reduce my trucks weight category. Hopefully all works out.
Thanks Mark Francis for your inspiration.
Bolter # 14515
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