1946 Chevy COE 2-Ton Flatbed
From Bill :
During the summer of 2000, I had a little mad money (single and living on a small farm, working for my rent!!!) and was looking for some kind of project. I had been scanning the Antique Truck Trader and fell in love with the grilles on the Art Deco Chevrolets.
Then I saw a cab over and I was hooked!
I found the truck I wanted in September of 2000. I thought I would have a little fun with it and just get it running good and fix it up a little. The seller said it "Just needed finishing" so a deal was made and I had it shipped home from Indiana.
It didn't take long before I found out that what work had been done to it was somewhat shoddy and paint had been sprayed right over a nice layer of brown rust.
Disassembly began and to make a long story short, about three years later, I started the engine, pushed in the clutch, put it in gear and drove out of the garage for the first time. For someone who is not a mechanic and have never done anything like this before, it was the thrill of my life.
One purchase I made soon after the truck (back in 2000) was a computer and not long after that I found The Stovebolt Page. This awesome site is what made this project possible and without which, I could not have completed. I had a lot of help throughout my journey, but what a blast it has been. I have met some great people, made some true friends and also become a member of the ATHS Baltimore Washington Chapter through this site. I have had a lot of fun taking the truck to ATHS, ATCA and Stovebolt events.
I went to a car show in Laurel MD last year. It was a good size event and as the trophies were being handed out, it was evident that I may have either put my truck in the wrong category or it was just plain beat by better vehicles. Anyway, I was packing up my stuff, but not wanting to be rude and leave before all the awards were handed out when I heard my name being called ........ For a trophy! Yea, a big one ...... For Best of Show-trucks! I was blown away. They asked the winners to stick around so they could take pictures for next years dash plaques and they will be on the trophies next year. What a cool surprise!
The truck [ side view ] is mostly original, except as you may see, the paint is something I came up with. It has 235 out of a 1954 truck, 2 speed vacuum operated rear and 158" wheel base. I fabricated the bed myself after looking for a long time and not finding anything in restorable condition that was even close to the right size.
My family was in the coal business in Washington, D.C. for many years. The company closed its doors long before I got my chance to work in the business but I am proud of its history and am very fond of the family logo. Knowing this, my Mother-in-law sent a copy of the Marlow Coal Company letter head to a sign maker in New England that she had worked with before. She had the signs made that you see on the truck and gave them to me as a surprise for Christmas. She and I are both very proud of them and both feel that they add a lot to the truck.
The truck is far from a concourse restoration or even factory correct and there are even a few things that I would do differently now. But at least it isn't sitting in the woods rotting away or crushed for scrap. I have had a lot of fun with it going to shows and parades [ pix ] .
There aren't many of these trucks restored to near original and even fewer on the East Coast so I often have people tell me that they have never seen a truck like this before. Until it was delivered to me, it was the first one I had ever seen in person as well.
It's fun to drive and I get a lot of thumbs up on the road -- although I don't drive it as much as I would like. With a top speed of about 43 miles and hour, most people on the road these days don't have the patience for an antique truck slowing them up.
There are still things that need to be done and many that I would like to do over. So I guess like a lot of these projects, they are never really finished! I know this one isn't.
07 August 2006
From Bill :
Bill's "first and only" Stovebolt ... "so far ... always looking." I love the grilles on those old COE's, that is what sold me on my '46. Did a complete, frame-off restoration of this cab-over-engine truck.
When I was looking for brake parts for my truck and Jim Carter or American Classic didn't have them, I called a guy in Oklahoma by the name Tom Myers (918-542-3871). He actually had some NOS stuff and some hard to find pieces for the rear in my truck. He has a lot of old trucks that he must be parting out as well as new parts too.
Bill has been with us a long, long time (and a member of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of ATHS) -- matter of fact, his '46 is on the COVER of the B-W web site!! This is one beautiful truck and Bill is one GREAT guy. Certainly glad to have him as a friend of ours! ~~ Editors