Vintage iron, particularly trucks, is in Pat Jacob's blood. Seventy years classic workhorses have been near and dear to Pat's heart. Don't take my work for it, take Pat's...
"Over the last 7o plus years, I have worked on, and played with old cars and trucks, but what a ride it has been! Seventy years ago I did not ever expect to see the interest in old trucks that you see today. Your April 15th issue got me to thinking about the old trucks I have had, and worked on over that period of time. My first truck, well, a half interest in a '29 chevy, began in '49 or '50, and there have been quite a few since. The only ones that I have pictures of, I thought I would tell you about.
In '68, I bought a rather tired '56 Chevy half ton, for a work truck; mostly hauling debris to the local landfill, as I was clearing a lot to build on. In '70, a co-worker had a car to sell that I wanted, and he wanted the pickup, so we worked out a deal, and afterwards, he offered to GIVE me a '47 Ford 1/2 ton, stake bed pickup. Truly an unusual model; I don't think I had ever seen a 1/2 ton stake bed. Sorry, but I can't find a "before" picture, so I will describe it. All original paint, in dark blue, with clearly visible logo and information of a Seattle fuel company on the doors. Jim, the guy that gave it to me, had the seat recovered, in authentic material, and had the distributor repaired so that it ran well, but he said would often stop, for no reason apparent to him. Brakes were bad too, so I did a partial brake job, sufficient to drive it home. Making an inspection there, I stepped onto the stake bed, and promptly fell threw! After some consideration, decided to do at least a cosmetic 'restoration,' not planning to keep a Ford in a GM garage! I removed all the rotten wood, and then had the body and chassis sand blasted. They forgot to protect the radiator behind the minimal grill, and it leaked like a sieve when I drove it the short distance home. I primed every thing while the radiator was gone thru, and then painted it in the original blue, with the cream accents on the grill. Then, rebuilt the stake bed using all the old hardware. However, I just couldn't resist the desire to build the sides out of straight grained fir, with a stain and varnish finish, instead of the original painted blue. So attached is the picture I took before selling it to a neighbor that was bugging me to sell it too him. I sold it too cheaply, but did make a little money on it. Oh yes, the 'engine stopping' problem, I figures it was the coil, and sure enough, one day while giving it a test drive, it stopped. I lifted the hood, grabbed spark wire, and using the starter button on the starter solenoid, cranked it over, and, no shock. Once it cooled off, drove home, and replaced the coil.
The second truck, with a few pictures was first my daughters. We had restored a '66 Mustang while she was in high school, finishing it during her junior year. Looked great, but she wanted a truck. A co-worker had told me they had an old '56 GMC they wanted to sell, so we looked at it. It ran fine, was very rough, and had a really bad differential, but the price was right, so it came home with us. It was given a good differential, but that was all I did for some time. She was going to do the restoration, but somehow, nothing ever happened. During her freshman year in college, she had me sell the Mustang, and bought a Porsche the next spring. At that time she needed the money back out of the GMC, so I bought it, and again, decided on a "cosmetic" restoration. The only other mechanical work I did was brake maintenance. Then body work to deal with dents and rust, and repainting the heavy rear bumper. Polished out all the chrome, what little there was, and did a hand restoration of the hub caps. It ran great, and was easy to sell, so we both made money on it!
It is hard to contemplate the prices such trucks now will bring!"
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