22 September 2015 Update
# 3100

   
  Owned by
Mike Roache
Bolter # 16154
Mechanicsville, Maryland
 

 

1952 Chevrolet 2-Ton (6400)

"Dempsey"

 

If you want to read more about Dempsey, check regularly in the ODSS forum and the Big Bolts forum. Mike is not only a "regular" here on the site, but he's the closest Stovebolter to HQ

 


 

Note that the truck has a '54 grille and fenders -- Mike is still trying to figure that one out...

 

 

 

From Peggy M :

Last May, the American Truck Historical Society held it's Annual Convention in York, PA. Many of the gang from the local (Baltimore-Washington) ATHS Chapter, with a good few of them also being Stovebolters were in attendance. Most took their trucks (or several of them) and quite a few of the Chapter Members worked as volunteers at the show.

Each year, ATHS puts out a Showtime book, with great pictures of all the trucks in attendance. This year, Mike Roache not only got Dempsey's picture in "The Book" but also got a really nice story. Read it here and an additional photo to go along with the story!

Stormy Wylie, Editor of the ATHS Wheels of Time magazine, was kind enough to let us use the story to go along with Mike's Gallery page. There are more truck pictures on the ATHS website if you care to look. You may see some people that you know! ~ Editor

 


29 January 2008
# 2200

We don't always have to search for old trucks. Sometimes, they find us ...

From Mike :

           Editors' Note: Mike has the dubious honor of being the Bolter closest to Stovebolt HQ (Mike B used to have that honor but has been dethroned : )

           So there I was at Winchester (The Annual ATHS show). I have never owned an old truck (but I do have a 1985 GMC at home I push snow with). I've been wanting one and had gotten involved with our local chapter of the American Truck Historical Society and had started going to shows with my friend, Pat Guy. He is a die hard Chevy man.

           The last day of the show, we were lounging around Camp Stovebolt having some ice cream and watching all the old trucks leave. Having set up camp near the entrance / exit to the show grounds, we had the best seat in the house to watch the trucks leave. Just sitting there commenting on all the trucks parading by, we saw an old fellow driving around in an old Cadillac.

           He saw us, pulled up and he asked what a Dodge Power Wagon was worth. Of course, all the Stovebolt group are GM people. So we basically thought “go away.” Then he said, I also have an old Chevy in the barn that had been sitting for 12 years or something.

           Interest spike!!!

           I pulled him to the side (John Milliman was only 10 feet away). (Editor's note: PARTY FOUL!!)) We moved our conversation to the other side of the road so OTHERS would not hear us. After a brief story, I had to coax Pat to take me to go look at the truck. Pat and his brother, Eddie, were hot-foot ready to go to Richmond’s Fall Festival with my camper, Eddie’s 1977 Internationals (yes, two of them!) and Eddie's RV.

           An old truck is an old truck, and I convinced Pat to go over and look at the farm. Pat was thinking it was a ways away. They talked to the old guy about it and driving to the farm. The guy said, “No, it’s just right here.” You could see the barn from Camp Stovebolt.

           We took the truck to go over and look. It was already dark. We pulled up to the barn and just the headlight were on it.

           "Man! That truck is restorable!" Pat hollered.

           We looked it over with just the headlights and talked to the man a little about what he wanted for it. He said it had been sitting for 12 years IN THE BARN. The only thing off it I found at the time was that the breather was sitting in the other part of the barn and he had to get it. The old guy said 12 years earlier he had run the truck in a parade and had to bleed the brakes to do it.

           We came back to Camp Stovebolt and approached the Editor of The Stovebolt Page, my new found best friend (sorry Pat!!). John had been helping Pat and I look earlier and they all thought, “I could do better” than some of the trucks we had seen. Shazaam, I sure had!

           Pat filled John in on the details of the truck while I was hooking the camper up to leave to go to Richmond for the farm show. How much should we pay for this truck? What is a truck like this worth? Grigg joined in the discussion and offered what he knew for similar trucks out west for that price.

           Adding in all factors (going to get it, etc.), I found the truck was an excellent price. But ... I had to figure out how to get the money. My wife was understanding and wouldn’t let the truck pass us by. Much to my surprise, she didn’t hit me with anything deadly. And she even helped come up with the money … with no “honey do list” – yet …

           I called the man that night (Mr. Martin, it was his Father’s truck). His father bought it third-hand from a private contractor. He and his Father used it on the farm. Henry Fowler, one of our B-W Chapter friends) thinks it’s a potato body on the truck but we are still uncertain.

           Went back up the following weekend, took Gary Callis’ trailer and Pat Guy’s service truck. Gary gave us “the look.”

Pat: I have a 7-ton trailer.

Gary: Well I have a 7-ton trailer.

Editor's note: I have a 7-ton trailer, too... For more on Mr. Callis' contributions to Stovebolt adventures, and to understand "the look" read this). And as we all know, there is no arguing with that man unless your name is "Sally." Because my name is NOT Sally, we took Gary ’s trailer.

           When we got to Mr. Martin's place and backed in, Mr. Martin was pulling in the driveway just ahead of us. We got there right on time.

Getting it on the trailer

           We didn’t have a snatch block, so Pat rigged a chain from the opposite corner of the trailer to Mr. Martin's M-37 (remember that? It wasn't a Power Wagon after all) but the Dodge wasn't heavy enough to get it up on the trailer -- it kept sliding. We even used official B/W ATHS wheel chocks to chock the Dodge to pull it out, but the '52 had sunk into the dirt in the barn and wasn't going to be budged by the little M-37. It was dead AND stuck in the ground.

           So we chained it to the trailer and Pat's service truck (an F-550 with 4:88 axles) dragged it up and out of its ruts. We re-hooked the M-37's winch to it. The winch would pull it to the ramps but wouldn’t pull it up the ramps. We had to add a come-along to pull it up the ramps. (Editor's note: Hmmmm, John's 7-ton trailer with its mounted 18,000-lb Superwinch, might have come in really handy, huh?)

           So there we were -- Pat on the come-along, Mr. Martin on the winch and me steering. Pat stopped every once in a while to take a picture.

           “This is too much, we’ve gotta have pictures of this!” he said.

Getting it OFF the trailer

           So with chains, cables, come-alongs and people everywhere, we got the truck on the trailer and to Mechanicsville. The next phase of the adventure would be getting it off the trailer. At my house, the trailer was parked on a hill and the truck would roll backwards downhill to come off the trailer. Remembering that the truck has no brakes, Pat's bright idea was to hook a lawn tractor (Editor's Note: A lawn tractor????) to ease it off. We ended up making trenches in my yard while the truck easily dragged the lawn tractor.

           I borrowed my uncle's Farmall H tractor and we hooked it to the back of the truck to keep the truck in place while we unchained it. Carey, my wife, came out to help at this point and we hooked the '85 GMC to the front of the truck. The idea was that the Farmall would pull the truck backwards off the trailer while the GMC would provide "braking."

           Initially, gravity wasn't enough to get the truck rolling fast enough to get over the ramp hump. We had to hold it to the front until we were ready to let it go. But then it wouldn’t go. Carey (in the GMC) let a little bit of space in the chain. Pat (directing traffic) kept backing her up and she couldn’t keep it tight.

           I shoved on the ’52 and it went over the hump and down the ramp. The truck had a fair amount of speed up (thus inertia) when the braking chain (that had slack in it) came tight. When it came tight, the weight of the dead '52 rolling down the ramp snapped the GMC sideways and it ended up next to Pat’s truck (still hooked to the trailer, remember?). It never hit it but it moved towards it!! We should have had video. (Editor's Note: Mike ... That's how people end up on tv shows...)

           When the dust settled (and our knees stopped shaking), we were able finish getting it off the trailer. With ladies present, we, of course, just kept acting like it was “supposed to happen that way ”and that nothing was out of the ordinary. My wife is tough. Nothing rattles her.

           Now that we had the truck off the trailer, it was a relatively simple matter to redo the chains and tow the truck around with the Farmall. Pat steered the truck and we pulled it under the carport.

           Mission accomplished -- We were done!

Epilogue

           Since then, I got the truck running. During the course of getting it started, I found that the truck had a very loud exhaust leak. So I decided to remove the manifold to see what the problem was. Man, the manifold wasn't just cracked, it was completely broken into two pieces! I've since managed to find a replacement manifold, courtesy of another Bolter, installed it and the truck runs fine. Now for the brakes!

-30-


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