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Leonardtown, Maryland


1953 Chevrolet 6400 2-Ton Dump Truck

Owned by

Phil Stewart
Bolter # 15345
Mesa, Arizona


28 December 2007
# 2160

From Phil :

My First Stovebolt

           I was sitting at the computer in June of 2007 looking through eBay and stumbled upon this truck. It was sitting in Camp Point, Illinois and had an opening price of $200. Upon looking at the photos, I noticed that this truck was 99% complete -- right down to the fan belt. It was missing the horn. Everything in the photos was remarkably unmolested and original. No butchered dash, no smashed gauges, no cannibalized engine compartment. The only thing was that the truck did not run. I took a deep breath and put in a bid of $600. I figured there’d be no way I would score the truck for that price.

           Well, I was right. When the auction ended -- I got the truck for $355!!

           One week later, the truck arrived in at our shop in Arizona and our work begun. We removed the gas tank and had it boiled out. While that was being done, we pulled the spark plugs and shot oil in the cylinders and turned the engine over by hand. We were surprised that it was not seized.

           Dump in action ~ interior ~ rear view ~ passenger side

           After installing new plugs, cap, rotor and point set, we rigged up some fuel and tried to start her up. After a few tries, she lit off. We were blown away.

           A quick check of the gauges showed that the 6 volt generator was actually charging! No fuel leaks, no water leaks. We also found the water temp gauge was accurate to within 10 degrees of our pyrometer we stuck in the radiator. 

           We found paperwork showing where the truck passed the State of Illinois DMV inspection in 1999. The inspection sticker is still on the windshield. We also have grain elevator receipts showing several trips of soybeans being accepted weighing from 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs.

           We had our mechanics at Sunland Auto in Mesa, Arizona check the brake system. After replacement of brake lines, wheel cylinders, master cylinder and a hydrovac overhaul, the old girl stops on a dime.

           While at the mechanics, we had new king pins installed, wheel bearings replaced on all four corners. Also the guys were able to remove large quantities of 50 year old gunk and goo from the rear end and replace all that yuck with fresh lube.

           The truck runs great and is street safe. We use it to make regular deliveries to our local customers. Our customers really dig our “Bolt”. I never thought it would be this much fun to own a Stovebolt!

           It's great to hear and see an old truck still out there working as that's what they do best. Good call on the mechanicals that you had done. At least it's safe and I'm sure drives like a new old truck now. Love that double ram tilt bed. Could sure use that for yard waste. I'm sure you're the envy of all when everyone else is shoveling out their trucks and you get to energize the PTO and dump away. ~~ Mike "Burgandybolt" Allen, Stovebolt Welcome (Panel) Wagon