CC In Scale: Old Ford and Chevrolet Pickups

A story first, to set the scene.

After my father recovered from his jukebox business going bust at the end of the fifties, he returned to being a salesman, as he’d done before the war. He teamed up with a small commercial refrigeration manufacturer, and became their roving sales rep, checking out new shops and following up leads, trying to explain why a custom-designed and specced ‘fridge or cool-room was better than a standard model from a big company.

This often involved going to the Queen Victoria Market (‘Queen Vic’ to Melbournites) to meet with the country growers before they got busy with customers. I remember us leaving home at three or four in the morning, driving through dark streets, and stopping at red lights when there was no other car on the road – and asking that typical little kid question: Why?

Queen Victoria Market. Photo from Wikipedia.


The best memory I have of those times is wandering the aisles and looking at the trucks the growers brought down from the river country – dusty old Fords, Dodges, Fargos, Inters, Chevys, and Bedfords mostly. Wow! They were so different from the delivery trucks that supplied local shops. These ones at the market were usually banged-up flatbeds, but occasionally a pickup. Nobody seemed to have a new truck; these were definitely workhorses. Aussie pickups were different from their US counterparts; ours typically ran a deeper bed, usually up to window height, to contain more load, if not necessarily carry more weight.

There were some big truck-based utes too; I remember ’41-8 Chevys had an integral bed and cab down here, and some thirties and forties Dodges, possibly others. But later trucks seemed to revert to the simpler separate bed style.

’46 Chevy Ute. Photo from the web.


School holidays often had me accompanying Dad on trips to towns several hundred miles away to chase up prospects. Visiting farms, looking at country shops, staying upstairs in little country hotels, after traveling mile after mile on hot and dusty two-lane roads, with perhaps a lemonade at the end of it.

But back to trucks. Let’s start with one that had the greatest impact on me, the ’53-6 Ford. There was something neat about the integration of hood and fenders that appealed to me, with the lights and grille bar linked together in a single line. What a good idea;

It seemed almost every American model company did these Fords. Above we had the AMT kit. Here’s a Monogram custom-only ’55;

And a Revell ’56, originally multi-version but later custom-only;

I did see one earlier Ford, but there didn’t seem to be others of this era left. Worn out, I suppose;

I don’t remember seeing any prewar Fords, but here’s a ’40;

And a 37;

Most of them were probably in this state, or worse;

By contrast, most of the Chevys I saw were the ‘Advance Design’ generation and looked ancient. It was years later that I found they were a similar vintage to the Ford. Occasionally there was an older Chevy, this one doesn’t have the local integral bed;

Another Chevy? Okay…

Later Chevys were uncommon, as though Holden weren’t actively marketing them. Perhaps they were pushing the British Bedfords instead… empire preference, and all that. That’s not to say I haven’t built later Chevys, uncommon as they were. Here’s a ’57 Cameo;

The occasional prewar truck looked like a museum piece, rather than still being a serious piece of roadgoing machinery.

Sorry, there aren’t any Dodges from this era, or Internationals at all.

We’ll take a look at later pickups another time, including my take on Paul’s CC truck.