Dave Wilker's

1941 Chevy 1.5-Ton

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30 June 2005

It all started with ...

From Dave: 

       Hello all! This is a big ol' Chevrolet truck my Father dragged in and put in my backyard. Initially, as near as I could make out, it was built sometime between 1941 and 1946. It came with no paperwork and a license plate that was last registered in 1985. The ID plate is worn almost smooth, just a few numbers and letters stamped into it survive. It looks rather odd, as it has a 160 " wheelbase, but only a 12' bed. The bed ends just aft of the wheels. The tires are 7.50 X 20 and there are six of them (dually).

       As it belongs to my Father, I haven't had much interest in it. I have another project that I have been involved in (1941 Buick Super), but I was thinking this could be a nifty tow or carry vehicle for the Bu'.

       Let me know what ya think!

Dave C. Wilker Jr.

       We posted some of the pictures in the forums for Dave to get the gang working on identifying this old beast. And sure enough. Great response. Seems a renewed hope for the old gal. ~~ Editor


The story continues ...

       Glad I found the site, and very happy I was able to post my dumb questions and goofy pics! I am looking through the Gallery now, and have noticed that a lot of '42s have auxiliary round lamps on top of the front fenders, as mine does. Is this a '42 thing, or just a fluke?

       This great old truck was someone's project, a long time ago. The brakes were stripped out and never replaced (the backing plates are quite naked). The doghouse was removed. The floorboards are long gone, too. There are few heartbreaking things -- like the instrument cluster being broken and rusted -- that make one wonder if it is worth trying to restore.

       I am guessing it was once a school or city truck. The construction yellow paint and the numbers on the door (does anyone have any ideas?) make it look like a fleet vehicle.

       By the VIN, it is a 1941 1.5- ton, 160" WB truck with duallies and a 12' bed. (The bed stops just aft of the back wheels.) According to the casting numbers, the engine is a 1955-57 235 CID. I like that, as it means full oil pressure!

       The bed contains many old/spare parts including a spare hood, doors, intake/exhaust manifolds, 2-bolt valve cover and an oil filter canister. I don't think I will be needing these, so if anyone wants them, they can go to the Save the Beast fund!

       All the glass is either cracked, separated, milky or all three. The seat has a hole in it, of coarse, but the upholstery is still there and hard as a rock.

       What we need most are a few parts and a little information. So far, a floorboard, generator and instrument cluster (complete with glass) top the list. The bed is three pieces of plywood, but building a bed will be a labor of love for a wood butcher like me.

       Here are a couple of pics of odd things (to me, anyway) on the truck. The first one is a device screwed through the cab at the upper corner. It appears to be some sort of keyed device, but with no other parts or wires. Here is a pic of a device on the firewall that has a large vacuum line from the manifold, and the other line goes to a device on the right frame rail, which looks a lot like a power brake booster! The last pic is a sticker on the dash, exhorting riders to buckle up. Sorry the pics are so poor, but dang it, it is stickery under there! And there are a few yellow jackets, just to make life exciting.

       By the way, it did NOT run when it was parked. Lord knows if it ever ran. When my Father dropped it off (I wasn't here), he was steering it off the trailor. Well, without brakes. He got a longer ride than he thought he would. Drove all the way down the street!

       I have visions of this old dog, all prettied-up and hauling my OTHER project, a 1941 Buick Super! Thank you for basically building a webpage for my truck. I will be sending more pics today. Would you like some of the Buick?

Dave C. Wilker, Jr.
Waterford CA

       Thanks to all who helped Dave get this old Bolt identified. It looks like he'll be around the site for a while -- wouldn't you think! Good luck, Dave and welcome to our Virtual Garage ~~ Editor

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