1941 Chevy Master 3/4-Ton

This is a continuation of Kip's stories from the original Gallery. His very first entry was 21 December 2005; followed by two updates: 06 July 2008 and 01 July 2014. So, what's been happening the last eight years?

A Little Background

My Dad was a mechanic and I have always been a “gear head.” Somewhere along the way, I acquired a coffee table book with great photos of old pickups. I decided someday mine would be either a ’41 Chevy or ’39 Fxxd.

Back in September 2005, when wandering through eBay, I found a ’41 Chev located near Minneapolis. After talking with the owner, I sent him a down payment, then flew up to Minneapolis to look at it.

The truck essentially came right out of the barn. I think maybe it was used as a small fire truck. It has "7000GVW" stenciled on the one side and the rear springs support those numbers. (I did get the old title with the truck listing the owner and an address in North Dakota. I wrote to the address asking for any history, but never received an answer.)

I asked the owner why he was selling it. He said he was afraid he could not re-wire it. (The original truck only had 19 wires.)

His Father owned a heavy truck repair garage and he arranged to have it transported on the back of a partial load coming to Detroit.

I started work on it the very next day. A friend at work told me about The Stovebolt Page, and, as they, say: “The rest is history.”

A Few Stories Along the Way

Shortly after the truck was drive-able, my wife decided that she would drive it. The truck was in the garage which faced sideways to the driveway. She learned to drive on a stick shift so getting the truck backed up straight out the garage went ok. When she tried to turn and head down the driveway, she said the steering wheel would not move. She looked at me and said “Something is wrong with the steering” and, of course, stupid me said, "Let out the clutch" (thinking she would and the truck would begin to roll some, making it easier to turn the wheel). She glared at me, called me her favorite term of endearment (cannot be mentioned here cantlook) and said, “The steering, not the clutch you (same term big_eek)." At this point, I had to very humbly explain about no power steering.

headscratchMany times, in parking lots at cruise nights or shows, 30-somethings will ask questions about the truck. Some of them want to know about the reverse lockout lever on the gear shift, the “E” brake lever, the floor mounted dimmer switch, the floor mounted starter, the crank out windshield. Almost everyone is stumped by the stoplight viewer. Some don't recall what trucks use to be like. big_eek

The best ever was at an elementary school car display just for the students. They had been given an assignment to ask a question about each car. So while sitting in the cab, each youngster asked me “What is this?” but not pointing to any of the things listed above. Of the group of kids, 90% were pointing at the window crank on the door!! Really made me feel old.

What's New

I enjoyed working on the old truck a piece at a time -- cleaning and rebuilding as I went. That plan went pretty much as I envisioned it. Then one day, I looked at it in the garage and realized: it was done except the paint. That day I changed the plan and left it in the primer finish.

(Are they ever really finished?? ~ Editor)

I drive the truck almost daily for household chores such as trips to the grocery store, hardware store, visiting friends, and auto parts stores. I attend at least one cruise night or car show every week. I do try to limit its trips to around 100 miles, round trip.

Most days, when I return to the truck after picking something up in a store, I will find a family (usually with a young child) peeking in the truck window. I always invite then to take photos with the youngster sitting or standing behind the steering wheel.

Sorry, I don't have any of those photos! After they take the photo, I try to charge them and they all run away headscratch 😊

We raise puppies for the Leader Dogs for the Blind School [leaderdog.org] in Rochester MI. No shortage of puppies around here! So, the truck is a necessity (as you see in the photos!). So I'm hauling dogs and puppies, feed, rocks to rock salt, lots of stuff from Home Depot and anything that won't fit in my wife’s compact SUV. Even hauled a load of cow pooh for wife’s garden.

Some of the major items completed over the years:

* Everything new in the breaking system except the shoes
* All of the wiring replaced, and converted to 12 volts, the starter rebuilt, and generator replaced with one from an old Buick
* All four shocks springs and shackles rebuilt
* New radiator core and hoses
* Completely rebuilt transmission
* Completely rebuilt steering gear and all end joints
* New white oak bed and all new bed supports
* Stake pockets and rear crossmember replaced or rebuilt
* Bed sides and tail gate straightened, welded and primed
* Two new door skins and all internals rebuilt
* Dash removed and rebuilt
* All glass replaced and the crank-out windshield rebuilt
* Cab interior cleaned up and painted
* Turn signals and heater added
* Six (6) mouse nests removed
* Differential changed from the original 4.56 to a later 3.90 and now a 3.38
* And I have figured out how the horn works

By the way, the old truck broke for the first time since I first got it finished back in 2010. The 82 year old clutch gave out. The replacement will "be here Monday." Well, as it turns out “Monday” was just a little optimistic. On further inspection, I found the disk spring in the pressure plate had broken. I called about 20 places that claim to do clutch repair. Half were out of business; some are surprised to learn that there is a spring in the pressure plate; and the rest said, “Just send it out” to be fixed with no idea what that entails.

The truck is still un-painted. It's mostly red primer, left (driver) side one black and one gray primer fender; right side two yellow fenders. I really didn't have a plan. I just used whatever color I had laying around in the garage.

It was red when I got it. As mentioned above, I suspect it had been a utility vehicle for some fire department. BUT under the red was white, then a really ugly green, then the original boatswain blue.

More images can be found in my spot in the Bolt Bucket [s160.photobucket.com]

~ Kip



Kip is one of those guys who have kept this site a fun and informative place to be. He's been with us a long, long time. And has provided us with a nice stack of Tech Tips:

Bolters Building the Site! Thanks Kip and thanks for the update! ~ Editor
Last edited by Peggy M; Sat Sep 24 2022 04:27 PM.

1941 Chevy Master 3/4-Ton
In the Gallery [stovebolt.com]
More images in the Bolt Bucket [s160.photobucket.com]

Born to fish, the truck is only a hobby.