1948 Chevrolet Thriftmaster 1/2-Ton
20 December 2005
I've been following your page for a while now and I thought I may as well send you a picture of my 1948 Chevrolet Thriftmaster 1/2-ton. I'd wanted a truck for some time to replace my little Japanese mini truck. While it's served me well (in fact I'm still driving it), the Mitsubishi has 212,000 miles on it and is on it's last legs. But most important, I wanted something without electronics.
A few months ago, I was driving around just a few blocks from home one bright Saturday morning and this truck was parked on the street with a "for sale" sign in the window. I pulled over and dialed the number and a moment later a 17 or 18-year-old kid comes out to talk with me.
The truck was his project and he was the one that painted it metallic black, had it reupholstered, put in a new bed, new tires and a few other things, but it didn't run. He swore up and down that he had it running, but I was dubious. I couldn't get the fan to move when I pulled on it. It seemed his family was moving on Monday (remember this was Saturday) and his Dad told him he didn't want to tow that thing to Palmdale.
The kid went back inside and came back out with his Dad and a box of additional parts. After a few minutes of dickering, I wrote a check on the spot and felt like I got a tremendous deal. The Dad and kid even towed it over to my house and helped push it up into the driveway.
She's still got her original 216 and three-on-the-tree. Fortunately, the motor wasn't seized, just the water pump. I fixed that just by cleaning out the rust. I put the rest of the instruments back in the dash, finished hooking up the new wiring harness, fixed a fuel leak, put in a new battery, and she started right up. I've been driving her all over town ever since.
The only break down I've had was early on when I snapped the drive line u-joint clean in two. That kept me off the road about two weeks -- mainly spent finding the part.
Since then, I've just been doing things to improve the drivability and reliability. I did a complete brake job, new muffler, replaced all the weather-stripping, got the vacuum wipers working again, and a bunch of other little things.
It's so much fun driving around town because I get smiles everywhere I go. I didn't care much for the color when I got it but it's been growing on me. I may repaint it in the stock black and I'm definitely going back to the stock interior.
Thanks for your very useful web site.
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