1954 Chevy 6500 2-Ton
11 June 2007
From Scott :
A friend of a friend knew I was into old Chevy trucks, especially the big ones. He suggested that my friend and I come look at a 1954 Chevy 6500 that he just acquired as a partial trade for something. This guy is just a wheeler-dealer, you never know what he's gonna end up with. The problem with the truck was that some vandals took out some glass. I asked if it was the windshield. I eluded to the fact that these windshields were only made for a year and a half. If it was now broken, it would bring the price of the truck down. We all know they're being reproduced.
We went to look it over one lunch hour and found it to be a mixed bag. It had a freshly rebuilt 261 in it with a new carb and fuel pump on it. The starter system was converted to 12 volts. It also had a solid dump bed with a good floor in it. I'm in need of another truck with the larger wheels, not widow maker style, that will accept the 8.25 X 20 tires I have. The rears already have new radial traction tires on it -- bonus!
However ... under the shiny paint was rust, especially the lower "A" pillars. So, as a starting bid, I threw out an offer of $500 saying it had some good usable parts for some of my other trucks. He gladly accepted. I paid and a few days later I was off to fetch it.
Now the saga begins. Not for me, but for my wife. I take the usual set of hand tools, a spare battery, several quarts of oil, a can of gas, spray lube, brake fluid, etc. over to the truck to see if I could actually drive it the 35-40 miles home. I do my check overs while my wife and daughter sit in the car (they're going to follow me). Everything checked out but the rear lights.
My plan was to avoid the major interstate and highways and take very back-back roads home. So we go for it. I drive it around some side streets and it ran fine and actually stopped fine, too. Off to the gas station we go.
As we cross a set of tracks on our way to get gas, the exhaust breaks loose from the manifold on one side. So now it's very loud without tail / turn / stop lights. I pull into the station and put $20 in while a police officer sits inside drinking coffee. I walk by him and pay for the gas without a second look. He didn't care in the slightest. The wife thinks I'm busted before we even get started. But I'm not.
We head down through town and get stopped at a light. Another policeman pulls up right next to me. He has to see my windshield. We take off from the light and he falls back and forces himself between me and my wife who's following me. I lose him behind the big grain bed this thing has, so I pull into a gas station assuming he saw enough and wanted this thing off the road.
My daughter (who just a few months ago got into some driving trouble) is about sick to her stomach, and my wife (who is beside herself) are wondering how much trouble I'm in. As soon as I pull in, the cop just drives on by, turns the corner, and is never seen again. So I pull back out and get out of there.
I get all the way down to another section of town and meet a cop car head on. Surely, he saw the big hole in the windshield. Nope, dodged another one. I then get to a major intersection that I needed to cross and ended up pulling up behind another cop car which just turned and took off ahead of me. We pass another head on, no problem. Then get to this small suburb that we have to get through before heading down the country roads for home. These cops are notorious for being harda$$es. I get all the way through it to the turnoff to get us out of town. As soon as I turn the corner, there he was. My wife about fainted, especially when he just drove right on by me.
I got the old girl home without a hitch (or a tail light).
I through it some and found it still had the Owners Manual in it, an inflation chart for all of the various tire sizes and a sales brochure from 1954 with every conceivable model of truck available that year. It had been wet at one time and all of the pages were stuck together. I wanted to look through it real bad since it had a picture of a 1954 COE showing on the front page (I also have Bubba, a 1955.1 Chevy COE). I put it in a pan of water for two days and the pages all came apart. I laid them all out on some towels for another two days and you can't tell they were ever damaged.
I am now rounding up parts for it to fix it up enough to use (thanks to Curtis Sutherland for the windshield!) and should be hauling rock with it in a few weeks (if the rains ever stop). It looks good from a distance but the lower part of the cab has rusted away making it just a working truck to me. I've got plenty of others to restore.
Stovebolter # 4443
Center Point, Iowa
Yes, Scott does have a few to old trucks here : -- a 1955.1 Chevy 6500 series with an additional 2 foot frame stretch; a 1963 Chevy K-20; a 1948 Chevy 1.5-ton Loadmaster; another 1948 Chevy 1.5-ton Loadmaster (double your pleasure ); a 1951 Chevy 1.5-ton Dump Truck; and acquired from a Stovebolter "Bubba," the 1955 1st Series Chevy 5700 COE; a 1954 Chevy 6500 2-Ton; a 1953 and a 1956 Ford F800 -- something to plow with (and I bet he has others ) ~~ Editor
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