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Jim Thornley's

1936 1.5-ton Chevy Flatbed

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05 September 200

     This is a great story from Joy and Tony Pascarella - a real truck story, that we featured in the September (USA Labor Day) issue.

     About this time last year, a friend of ours named Jim Thronley made a one man trip from California, to his home in Cape Cod, in a ton and half '36 Chevy flat bed. Jim, who is 45 or so found this truck on a business trip and had to have it. The truck is a decent orginal, except for the engine which had been swapped for a later 261.

     He looked at the truck and decided that a new set of tires was all that it needed to drive 3000 miles back to Cape Cod. Jim flew home for a year or so before he was able to find time to drive the truck home.

     Of couse a machanic who Jim hired to look over the truck, found lots of stuff to repair. Minor things like a cracked block, water pump, fuel pump, $1000 worth of tires.

     Finally, the day arrives to head back east. By the time he is in Utah, the brakes have started to drag. An overnight repair gets him back on the road, but the brakes continue to be troublesome, dragging and overheating whenever he used them. Jim used the brakes as little as possible.

     You have to keep in mind, that this is a '36 flatbed Chevy and even with the new 261, the top cruising speed is 48 MPH. A couple spare gas cans strapped to the flatbed increased the trucks range to about 200 miles(10 MPG).

     Since Jim was going to stop on the way through, we were expecting him to give us a call. We got the call allright!! Jim first words,"It doesn't look good." Ninety miles away, South of Buffalo NY, the truck's radiator had been clipped by a fan blade. If that wasn't enough a pushrod broke, so now we have puddles of coolant and 5 cylinders.

     We quickly drove out, armed with pushrods and radiator sealant. When we found Jim, we were in for a shock! The "confidident man of the world look" was gone. He had a bandaged arm from burning it adding water to the radiator somewhere in Kansas. He was tired - seven days on the road in that old truck was exhausting.

     We cobbled it up so we could get it back to our house. Over the next couple days, he worked on it, getting it ready for the 350 miles left to his house.

     We felt privleged that we where a small part of his cross-country adventure. Oh yeah, 10 years ago, Jim made the same trip in a '46 ton and a half, towing a '36 Chevy pickup.

     The last time we spoke, he was talking about a '40 something Chevy ton and a half in California that was for sale!



Joy and Tony Pascarella

     Come see their three stovebolts: a 1937 Chevy 1/2-ton, a 1945 Chevy 1.5-ton, a 1950 Chevy 1/2-ton and a 1951 Chevy 1/2-ton ~~ Editor


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