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1952 GMC 1/2-Ton

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" Black Lightnin' "

Owned by Ken Yanko
Vancouver, British Columbia

13 February 2009
# 2530

More pictures in Photobucket

From Ken :

Hello to everyone at Stovebolt! (Well this will be my third attempt at getting this letter off to you without deleting it somehow.)  

I've been enjoying the web site and checking out all the trucks, and so here is old "Black Lightnin'" -- my 1952 GMC 1/2-ton. This truck was built in Shaw Ontario and the stamp on the back of the speedometer is Oct 1951.

Like many others, this Advance Design GMC truck spent its working life on a Saskatchewan farm. (I found  wheat kernels in the sediment bowl when I first got it). It was one of three found in barns and shipped out to the coast on a flatbed railway car, ending up in Sidney, Vancouver Island.

When I got it, it was rough but running and pretty much rust free. So in a cloud of blue smoke, I boarded the B.C. ferry and headed for Vancouver. I got a temporary permit and decided to take it up to Penticton B.C., where I knew an old master mechanic named George Kroeger, who had helped me with a 1950 Chevy fastback I once owned. George was a governor of the Vintage Car Club of Canada, South Okanagan Chapter, at the time, that was 21 years ago! He had a 1929 Chrysler Roadster and a 1948 Chrysler Coupe at the time.

A bit of a surprise when it started raining and I discovered the wipers didn't work, but I kept going. I eventually got pulled over by a Mountie outside of Princeton. He told me to park it for the night -- but the truck wouldn't start. I will never forget that constable. His long yellow raincoat flapping in the rain as he ran behind pushing for all he was worth. Definitely beyond the call! (And the truck did start!)

The truck is still pretty much original. It has the 6 volts with a lot of the original wiring (getting a little frayed). There were two "Automatic" radios under the seat and between the two, we got one working when it wants.

The truck was painted about 20 years ago. I'd like to get it  totally restored one day. Just waiting for that lottery ticket. For now, I guess it's kind of like me, vintage but functional .... with the proper maintenance.

Some photos: engine :: rear view :: side view :: interior :: bed

Thanks for the web site ... it's like having a lot of old friends I haven't met

Ken Yanko

Sweet ride, Ken!! Great story, too. Thanks for the comment on the site. Now THAT's a quotable quote! ~ Editor


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