You know that feeling that hits you in the pit of your stomach when have to do something you know you really don’t want to do. If you put it off, it will just grow a little every day. This is the feeling I’ve had for a couple weeks, and I finally made the decision to list one of my cherished possessions for sale. I know that much worse things can happen, but for a guy who has collected some of the coolest and rarest trucks it hurts to see a special one go. As you can probably guess, we decided to offer up the Big Chevy you see pictured here.
I bought this truck a couple years ago, and had grand plans of building her into the Big, Heavy Hauling Show Stopper that she deserves to be. In essence returning her to her former glory. Someone now has the chance to buy her, and fulfill my vision. I’m sure this truck will be running for many years to come.
In 1959, Chevrolet made numerous changes to everything from piston and valve specs in the engines to adding many options to the cabs.
There were three options for larger trucks, which would be known as the Apache, Viking, and then the largest being the Spartan.
There were three trim packages in the cabs which came as Standard, Deluxe, and Custom.
The variations and combinations between all of these are endless, but I think this truck has some of the best.
This Spartan came as an LCF (Low Cab Forward) version, which shortened the nose and increased visibility. This one also came with a Custom cab, which was the highest option available. The Custom Cab came standard with an all new checker board pattern fabric on the door panels, chrome metal knobs throughout the dash, and could be ordered with options like a cigar lighter, and an under dash AC unit, which I think was just a glorified evaporative cooler. The Custom Cabs are easily distinguished by the bright and shinny stainless trim around the outside of the windows and doors. This cab also had a big back window. If you step back and look, you’ll see that this cab is almost wrapped in solid glass. There’s not much for blind spots here.
One more cool piece of trivia: If you ever see one of these coming down the road and you spot that big wide “V” under the Bowtie in the center of the hood. That means the truck you’re looking at is sporting one of two V8 engines for the 1959 Model. The straight six options were little torque monsters, but what could be better than possibly having a 348 V8.
This truck not only got the job done, but it looked good doing it. I believe this truck shows pride of ownership, and the original owner stood tall when he was with his truck.
This truck might look out of place today, with the tall cab, and short nose. But in 1959, trucks like these moved America. They are a rare sight today, and most people have never seen one on the road, much less all fixed up at a show. Every vehicle has a story, and I’m glad I could be a part of this one.
She’s available for sale today. But don’t hesitate if you’re interested. This one will not be here long. We keep looking forward to the next Awesome truck and the next fun story.
Over the years, mail has been delivered using a number of different vehicles. I’m sure the first popular motorized vehicle was the Ford Model T, and everyone knows the different versions of the Jeep that have traveled the city streets across America. But rural mail delivery is a little different. You know the saying, “Neither Rain or Snow…..”? Well, rural delivery can also include mud, high water, steep hills, ruts and so on. Mail gets delivered to the country folks the same as in the city. Every day, no matter what the condition. After making this statement, I do remember a winter in the late seventies when we were snowed in at our farm for about a week at a time, and the only thing that opened up the road was a large snow blower mounted on an even larger John Deer tractor. But that’s another story, and lets just assume that rural mail gets delivered every day, no matter what the conditions, even where we are in North Dakota.
As you also probably know, the first rural roads that cars had to navigate were not really meant for high speed travel. Cars needed to be light and agile, with high clearance for the ruts that developed. In the winter, there were no snow plows clearing the way, and no weather alerts for cold fronts sweeping down from the Arctic.
People came up with ingenious ways of solving everyday challenges, and delivering mail to the country presented many challenges. The Model T was a very versatile little car that was light and nimble. It had a fairly high clearance, and its’ tall skinny tires were not much different than wagon wheels, and made their way through deep mud and ruts much like the wagons had before them. Ford, and probably many aftermarket companies designed tracks, skis, and all kinds of other modifications to help them get through mud and snow. Compared to the next generations of cars that came after them, these cars must have seemed primitive. But they got the job done.
The Model A was big step up from the T. It was larger, more dependable, and had a few more creature comforts. The Model A had heat, if you want to call it that. There was an optional exhaust manifold with cast fins on top. There was a cover over it, and as you drove, the air would be drawn through the cover, over the warm fins, and into the car. This can barely be called heat, and you had to be moving to get the air, but it was fantastic for someone in North Dakota.
As the years passed, cars became bigger, faster, and heavier. The roads were improved, but there was no such thing as mass snow removal in the country. It was every man for himself, and the mail carrier was no exception. These guys still needed a light, agile delivery vehicle that had high clearance, but the new vehicles were getting heavier, and lower every year. As time went along, the Model A’s were still being used, and someone started modifying them very specifically for travel in snow or mud on the rural routes of the northern America. The biggest modification involved putting larger wheels and tires on the cars, and fabricating fenders to match. Each one is a little different, depending on the materials available, and the different challenges that had to be overcome. Often, the larger wheels were just welded to the outside of the original Model A wheel. This new stance gave them a distinctive look, and the ability to climb up and over snow drifts, ruts, and through ditches.
This 1931 Model A was used up into the forties, and maybe longer. It’s a great example of using the materials at hand to overcome challenges and get the job done. You can see the larger front wheels are welded around the smaller original rims. The rear end is from a truck, and the large fenders were added. I’d love to know where this car has traveled, and the sights its’ seen. Every vehicle has a story, and how fitting that this old girl is once again sitting in the snow. Someone is going to fix her up and love her like the original owner did many years ago.
Last week, a friend called to say he was going to bring some various things by and see if we had any interest in them. He lives a couple hours away, and about as close to Canada as you can get without being Canadian. From what I understand, he has many acres of vehicles and parts spread out amongst the trees. He’s one of those happy-go-lucky kinda guys who always likes to do a little horse trading.
Without hesitating, I told him to load up some good stuff and come on down for a visit.
He showed up around noon on Friday, with his truck and trailer loaded with several cool items. He hadn’t seen our place since we filled it with parts, so we took him on a little tour, and he rattled off a few things he might be in the market to trade for. So, we unloaded what he brought, and we were able to make a deal that both of us are happy with.
As you can see, he brought us a couple good front clips that fit ’42-’47 Ford trucks, some hoods, fenders and a few other things. One item in particular is really interesting, and we decided to do a little more research to figure it out. My friend seemed to think it was a suicide drivers door from a Hudson Terraplane. Now say that ten times, or better yet find another one. My question is, “How did this rare door end up in the woods near Canada?”
My next questions is, “How could a fella ever figure out which year or model this door came from?” Of course Google is a big help for a lot of things, but pictures alone can’t determine some specifics. But in this case we have a tool that’s better than Google. If you read my posts regularly, then you might remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the Simpl-Filer Box we have that is full of flat glass patterns for most American vehicles produced through 1959? And now the light comes on. We measured the length and width of the glass opening on the door window to determine the block size needed for a pattern. Then we went to our book and looked up Terraplane, which was only produced between 1936 and 1938. We can quickly rule out all trucks, or the station wagon. (Which is a bummer because that would make this incredibly rare) because the block size was smaller than what we had. Then we found that there was only one pattern that was large enough to fit this door. We traced the pattern and sure enough it fit!! Now we can narrow our year to either a ’35, ’36, or ’37, two door, five passenger, Sedan Brougham. We also had a trunk lid that needed a year and model and coincidentally, it looks like it fits a ’36 Terraplane two door Sedan Brougham.
In conclusion: I am going to say that in all likelihood, this door is probably from a still very rare, two door Hudson Terraplane Sedan Brougham. How did it end up laying in the trees in North Dakota near the Canadian border? That’s for someone else to figure out, because every vehicle has a story, and hopefully these pieces will live a long life on another Terraplane. Adventures like this are what keep me awake at night, wake me up in the morning and draw me back to the shop every day, because you never know what might show up at Angry Auto Group.
Back in 2013 I was doing construction work in the Bakken oil field in Western North Dakota. I had been following the website for Dick’s Auto in Minot, North Dakota for a couple years, and had vowed that I would someday purchase something from him. I saw this 1938 Dodge and thought it would be a great truck for my first rat rod. I saved for quite a while and at the end of the summer I decided to make the three hour drive to pick up my first truck from Dick. There was no way I could ever imagine where this trip would take me.
My parents were living close by, and I knew my Dad would love to see what I was buying, so I had him and my Mother come along with me. I was excited the whole way, and as we made the left turn and pulled into Dick’s yard, it seemed like the gates of heaven opened up to reveal the promised land in front of us. This was truly a small slice of car and truck heaven. We pulled in and just parked our 40’ trailer right in the middle of the driveway, surrounded by a couple hundred of the coolest cars and trucks I’d ever seen assembled for sale in one place.
It was only a couple minutes before Dick came cruising up on his golf cart. By this point I had totally forgotten about the Dodge truck I had come for and was wanting to run up and down the rows of vehicles to look at everything.
I’m not sure why Dick took a liking to me, or maybe he just realized I had a pocket full of cash. But he let us look around for most of the day and every once in a while he’d come back to check on us as we wandered around. At some point, he even offered to let us use his golf cart, which was super cool, and I’ve never seen him do that with anyone else.
At the end of the day, I ended up taking the Dodge and another truck home with me, and arranged to purchase two more. Based on the money I spent that first day, I think I ranked up toward the top of the list as one of his better customers. The greatest thing is that day was the beginning of a great friendship that has grown over the last few years. I’ve now bought most of the extra parts that Dick had and we are now working from a property right next door to him. It’s awesome to have our vehicles next to his, and we work to help him sell his inventory as well as ours.
But back to the Dodge. I have no idea where this one came from, except I bought it from Dick’s Auto in 2013. The grill and hood are straight, and overall it’s a good little truck. I have a connection with this truck, but I’ve purchased quite a few since that are more special than this one, so I think it’s time to let it go. Please click the following link to view the listing on our website https://www.angryautogroup.com/product/1938-dodge-truck/
This was my first purchase from Dick, and the biggest part of this deal is that it opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities, which pushed me toward accomplishing my dream of building a great business providing quality vehicles and parts to those who will build them and love them as much as the original owner did.
I’ve always had fond memories of the first truck my Dad built. I seem to remember it being a 1950 Chevy, and as you can see by the pictures, it looked pretty cool. He’s passed on now, and I wish I had asked more specific questions about it. I’m pretty sure it had a small block Chevy and a four speed. I know the bed had nice wood in it because I spent a lot of time riding back there when we would go somewhere as a family. Since our other family car was a 1967 Oldsmobile 442, and knowing my Dads’ need for speed and performance, this truck was probably a real runner. This picture was taken in 1976, and I’d say it looks pretty cool. I’m very proud to say that we were cruising in a cool truck long before anyone else thought they were cool.
My first truck back in 1988, was a 1969 Chevy C-10. It was love at first sight for me. I remember seeing the ad in the paper on a Saturday morning, and later paid what I thought was a lot of money ($700). It sat on big steel 16” rims with tall skinny tires, and factory white hubcaps. It had a 350 / 4 speed, with a 4bbl carb. It ran great, and I learned to throw that long truck shifter really well as I did burn outs and raced anything I could. It had the custom interior, dealer installed AC under the dash, and a factory tach. It came with all the documentation from the first owner in Wyoming, including all the service records, receipts and the Protect-O plate. I didn’t do too much to this one except add dual exhaust, rebuild the top end of the motor and lowered it all around just by installing 14” wheels with wider tires. The 6 lug to 5 lug adapter plates widened the stance a bit, and made it look a little meaner. Those smaller wheels meant that the motor screamed everywhere I went and sucked an enormous amount of gas. But I didn’t care one bit. I just got a second job to pay for the extra gas. At the time, I knew my priorities.
My daughter, used her eighth grade graduation money to buy her first truck. She’d gone back and forth trying to decide what she wanted for a few years. I thought she was going to settle into either a 67-72 Chevy, or 47-53 Chevy. Then we were at a Barrett-Jackson auction and she fell in love with all things 1955. From then on that was all she wanted to look at or talk about. She started making a list of everything she was going to do to her first truck as I was mentally adding up the numbers. At car shows I would find her asking very direct questions of truck owners about how they did this, or how they did that. She was crawling under, over and around every 1955 Chevy truck she could find and built a dream list that eventually filled her I-Phone memory.
My daughter is just seventeen now, so her first truck story is far from over, and once she gets it fixed up, she may never sell it. Keep checking back, and we’ll keep you updated on her progress. It will be a fun journey for sure.
For Christmas 2018, we fit all the pieces on Carli’s ’55 pickup. We then pulled it outside and took some cool pictures so I could blow one up for a poster. I thought this would be the coolest Christmas present for Carli. What could be better than waking up every morning to see your first project waiting for you to get out of school and get to work. This is what I call motivation.