The 56th Annual Portland Auto Swap Meet – The Trucks & Everything Else

I previously posted about this years “Portland Auto Swap Meet” and gave everyone a look at some of the cars I saw there. Well, today we are going to peruse a bunch of old trucks, some motorcycles and a lot more interesting old things I found on display there.

Trucks sure have changed over the years. In the 50’s and 60’s pickups were not something most people drove. They were mostly used by businesses, contractors and farmers. They were practical workhorses not luxury offices on wheels like today’s trucks.

But today, these old trucks can be bought cheaply. They are easy to work on, parts are still readily available, and to top it all off an old truck is still practical. Trips to Costco or the Home Depot could easily be handled by an old truck. You can’t get many bags of mulch in a ’65 Mustang.

Pickups like this 1955 Chevy were everywhere at this meet. The owner wanted $6500 for this truck that runs, drives and stops. Will you see this on BaT a couple years from now, clear coated, with a swapped LS V8 and modern running gear for $100K, will it get a full restoration, or will someone give it a tune-up and some new tires and some love, and use it as a handy back up vehicle? The possibilities are endless with these old trucks.

For the people that like these old trucks, it seems that some patina and a few dents are preferred over a perfect shinny body. That alone might make a classic truck a little more affordable than a classic car. This 1941 Chevy looked wonderful just the way it was.

I’m not really a truck guy. I live in a city. My lifestyle has no need for a truck new or old. But when I see something like this 1971 Jeep Gladiator, I understand the appeal of these things. Size and simplicity. Compared to modern trucks, this truck is a perfect size, and it has all the tech and sophistication of a Zippo lighter. The owner wanted $7,900 for it.

Not luxurious, but simple and effective. Manual transmission and a few instruments, AM radio and almost nothing else. Fifty years from now, you could probably make every system (brakes, lights, the heat, engine and transmission) function just like it was new.

A new Jeep pickup is better in every measurable way. But 50 years from now, will you be able to keep this truck running like when it was new? Will the navigation and infotainment still work if the satellites they count on are obsolete and out of service? Will unobtainable electronic components keep it from running? Old and complicated is a bad combination.

I love the looks of this truck. It has GMC on the grill and a Chevy logo on the fender, so I’m a little confused. But the patina gives it a salmon look that is very appropriate for the Pacific North West.

What would you do with this 1956 Chevy Panel Truck? It would be a perfect rig to haul a vintage dirt bike. It might make a cool little camper. Lots of possibilities, I didn’t see the price.

This 1951 Chevy 5 window pickup could be fun for a classic car cruise or cruising to the local home center for a load of lumber. I think the owner wanted $13,000 for this one.

Have you seen the price of used modern pickups lately? Even with 100K on the odometer, used F150s easily go for more than $25K. Then you have a truck like this 1960’s Ford F100 that the owner was selling for $7995. It looks like it has new tires. Assuming it’s not hiding some terminal mechanical problem, you could probably upgrade to modern fuel injection, spruce up the interior or modify it to your hearts content and still keep it under the cost of a used modern F150.

Here is another handsome old Ford. This one is a 1966 F250. It’s said to have only 56K miles and a new interior. You could have driven it home for $15,000.

Meet the grandfather of the new Ford Maverick pickup. This is a very rare 1962 Ford F100 unibody pickup. From 1961 to 1963 Ford made these with an integrated cab and bed. The one piece body sat on a more traditional ladder frame, so it wasn’t a true unibody design like the new Maverick is. This example could have been yours for $15,900.

I wonder what kind of mileage you could expect from this 1976 Dodge? It’s lifted, has larger off road tires, and likely still has its malaise era carbureted V-8. I bet it struggles to get 8 MPG. It looks like a cool truck, but with gas near five bucks a gallon this one is a tough sell.

This 1952 Dodge pickup might be a little thriftier but it sure isn’t subtle. You won’t be flying under the radar in this one. It seemed like a solid truck for $14,500.

I wonder if there is much interest in collecting something like this 1974 International Harvester pickup with a Reading utility box. It might make a good truck to haul a vintage race car on a trailer. Better yet, paint it red with vintage Porsche racing logos, and double your money.

I don’t know if this old Jeep would be worth doing a full restoration on, but I bet a clever person could get it in good enough shape to have some fun off road. Is this one a parts car or a viable project? I didn’t see a price on it.

A little bit of googling has informed me that this 1949 Diamond T was the Cadillac of trucks for its time. It was the truck the boss of the company would drive. I guess you could call it the original Bro-dozer. This one just begs for a full restoration, but that’s going to be spendy. The $11,500 asking price is probably less than its new paint job will cost.

Today’s trucks are huge. Most of these older trucks were quite a bit smaller, but people still found a way to make them bigger. This 1968(?) Chevrolet C30 has a Scott-Built extended cab. These custom built trucks were modified by a Chevy dealer in Oklahoma City. It looks like they simply used another set of front doors to save on the costs. This one has a Duramax diesel and a custom bed. That’s definitely not the way it rolled out of the factory.

Paul gave you a sneek peek at this C10 of the same vintage a little earlier. This one appears to have been modified by different company, with a similar goal of making it bigger. I do hope that this trend to ever larger pickups doesn’t continue. I really don’t want to share the road with giant 10 wheel pickups, with 3 full rows of seats, 20 years from now even if they are battery powered.

Let’s switch gears and take a look at some motorcycles. This Honda 1976 CJ360 with under 9K miles has been painted, but looks otherwise very original. It was marked down to $2000.

This 1973 Yamaha RT360 looks used but not abused. I bet it would still be a blast for short local trips or dirt roads and easy trails. Even after 49 years, it looks like it’s still eager to play. I didn’t notice the price on this one.

The KV75 was Kawasaki’s answer to the very popular Honda Trail 70. The Kawasaki was supposed to be quite a bit faster and handle better. Even though these are much rarer these days, Boomers with money still pay bigger bucks for the more common Honda.

You could have even bought a farm tractor at the swap meet. I know nothing about tractors, but I remember seeing similar ones on local farms when I was a kid. It looks like a machine that was built to last forever.

These oil cans were selling for $5 dollars each or $40 for all of them. I guess they must have some value to someone, but I’d imagine it might cost $40 to properly dispose of them.

I bet there are people out there that could easily identify these old consoles, but I wouldn’t be one of them. If you guessed 1964 Impala SS, 1968-69 Camaro, and 1967 Camaro you really know your car parts.

I know inflation is getting out of hand, but only sixty cents for a dash switch seemed like a remarkably good deal for a product of known quality.

There were even more vendors inside the Expo Center. You could buy everything from full hot rod chassis to antique neon signs. To truly see everything at this show would take more than a day. There was something there for anyone. I ended up buying a couple of cool old car magazines. As I said in my previous post, if you live anywhere near Portland, I believe you would enjoy this annual swap meet. I’m looking forward to next years event already.