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1950 Chevy 3800 1-Ton Long Bed

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"The Great Pumpkin"

Owned by Jeremy Vaughan
Bolter # 6869
San Jose, CA

Talking about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

24 October 2011
# 2915

More pictures of my old truck

From Jeremy :

My first AD truck was a 1947 Chevy 3100 that I rebuilt in college, right after I had been hit by a car. I had both of my legs and my left wrist broken. Out of sheer frustration of not being able to heal myself faster and the necessity of moving my dog (Roo, an Australian Cattle Dog), my cameras and myself to Boston for Grad school, I attacked my truck with a fervor that I usually had saved for my photography.

Well, Roo and I drove that truck all over the country for three years taking photos and writing. When I had to store it at a friend's house in San Francisco, so I could take care of my dying Grandfather, the '47 was stolen. I tried to find it here, but no luck.

Some 15 years after I had rebuilt that '47, I purchased this 1950 3800 with a 9 foot bed. Besides the link above, you can see the photos here before the purchase. Where the '47 rebuild was a metaphor for fixing my body, the '50 has become a metaphor for fixing my mind.

After an 11 year hiatus from traveling and shooting photos, I am hitting the road again in my truck. Me and a new Cattle dog named Splash.

I found the 3800 on Craigslist with an odd description that enticed me to go and look. It was a deluxe cab truck and all of the ticks were there to make it look right. It ran and had the original 216 engine.

After I paid for it, the previous owner came out with a pile of parts he had purchased for it. A floor mat, door trim, upholstery seat cover, glove box, door glass, and more. I was stunned at all of the new extras that he'd purchased for a project he recognized he'd ever get done.

I attempted to drive it home but after two breakdowns, I figured out that the valves had been adjusted when the engine was cold and I was on the side of the road in Oakland at 2 in the morning. This one of three times in my life that I called a tow-truck.

When I got it home, the first thing I did was sand some of the primer off the doors to see if there was any door art to help describe what this truck's previous life had been like. What I found were three child-size foot prints in red paint on the driver's door, which I have tried to save along with the original Omaha Orange paint.

The interior of the cab was a mess though there is really very little rust in the whole truck. There were mice living in it at some point and the urine has left some scaly rust mess that I had to get rid of.

The right front fender is a mottled bit of abstract expressionist sanding and painted layers of different shades of red, gray, black, yellow, and brown. It may stay that way!

Currently the truck is up and running. I have redone the whole interior except for the inner cowl panels and put a plywood bed in place for the time being. I have purchased a 261 engine to replace the 216 and I am currently trying to figure out ways to add disc brakes and different gearing in the rear end.

I will hit the road in two weeks with a canvas cover on the bed, traveling, camping and taking photos all over the US. With the demise of print journalism, I don't know where I will be selling photos but I'll figure something out.

Hopefully I'll see a few of these Stovebolters along the way!



P.S. Babe never did turn up. There was a '47 on Stovebolt that I thought could be mine but I was on the East coast (Annapolis, oddly enough) when I saw it and the '47 was on the West coast (Babe was stolen off the street in San Francisco). I no longer see that truck on Stovebolt -- I would like to find it. Still I don't know how I'd prove it was mine anymore).

Here's another shot of her.

This site has changed so much since I posted when I was looking for my stolen truck. Y'all are doing a GREAT JOB!!!


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