(first posted 1/21/2012) This truck is the archetype of all pickups, in all its simple but beautiful essence. If you grew up in the fifties or sixties, these Chevys are probably as deeply ingrained into your formative years’ memory banks as they are in mine. We moved to Iowa in 1960, and these were everywhere, still hard at work on the small family farms of the time. The facts are that Chevy was the number one seller back then, and by quite a large margin; Fords, Dodges and Internationals just weren’t anywhere near as ubiquitous as these.
When I moved back to Iowa in 1971, the hippies and kids were all buying them for peanuts from the retiring farmers. At the time when Dylan and Rock was all going country, this was the cool ride to just be seen in or for hauling a load of manure to the organic garden. The placid hum of their 216 cubic inch “stovebolt” sixes was as much a part of the aural background then as Working Man’s Dead. Only once did I hear that venerable motor being abused beyond belief, and I won’t soon forget that:
When we lived a few blocks from the Pacific in Santa Monica in the late seventies, there was a rather volatile young couple who had two of these pickups as well as a small Chevy school bus of the same vintage that they lived in part of the year. They rented a garage facing the alley behind our apartment building, where they spent the winters; in the garage, that is (they were ahead of their times that way).
One night I heard the distinctive sound of a stovebolt six running wide open in first gear, its rpm only limited by valve float. I went out to the back stair landing to see the young woman repeatedly barreling the tortured Chevy up and down the alley, and every time she passed the garage, the guy would throw a piece of their furniture out in front of the truck, presumably in a vain attempt to stop it/her. The combination of cracking wood and the wailing Chevy bumping over mattresses, dressers and chairs are seared into my memory, for obvious reasons. It would make a great scene in a movie, except this wasn’t the result of a creative writer.
Eventually she tired of pounding their furniture into a pulp and drove off. I could hear the screaming Chevy for blocks, until it slowly melded into the background noise. There was quite a mess in the alley the next morning.
The point I’m trying to make is that these old trucks are hard to stop or kill, even in the most trying of domestic circumstances. And rust-free Chevys of this vintage were easy and cheap picking in the agricultural valleys of California until well into the eighties. And now: well, I’ve got about a half a dozen of them in my files, but this is my favorite one by far: just the right amount of patina and ready-to-go-to-work condition. So what made these trucks so wonderful, venerable and indestructible, even in the face of a determined hurler of furniture?
In an interesting preview of GM’s future priorities, the Chevy (and GMC) “Advanced Design” trucks were GM’s first all-new post-war vehicles. They arrived in June 1947, over a year before the new ’49 Chevy cars. And it was a dramatic improvement over its predecessor; cute as the thirties pickups were, their cabs were claustrophobic and lacked visibility. Not so with our featured truck, which has the optional rear-quarter windows. And the cabs were wide enough for three guys whose bodies still reflected a pre-Mega-Gulp diet and plenty of physical work.
They were built right through into 1955, with minimal changes. If my source is correct, this is a ’51 by virtue of having the vent windows (new for that year), but not having the push-button door handles that came in ’52. For that matter, this is a late ’51, because it has eight boards in the bed instead of nine. Not that it matters that much to me, but I don’t want to let the historians down.
Chevy’s engine didn’t need to be redone though; the venerable 92 hp 216 cubic inch OHV six had been around since 1937, and was a well-proven lump, despite endless claims that its non-fully pressurized lubrication system made it less than so.
Given the millions of Chevy trucks that hauled big loads at full throttle day-in and day-out for decades, and the fact that their buyers kept coming back for more, decade-after-decade, suggests rather forcibly that these Chevy sixes were a bit more durable than some seem to suggest.
They churned out a steady flow of torque right from idle speed, as I well remember as a ten year-old driving one a few times at the neighbors of the Mennonite farm where I spent my youthful summers. I was used to dumping the clutch on the Farmalls, and the Chevy took it just as well. It was no joke trying to give it gas and let out the clutch simultaneously while practically standing up to see over the dash and hood.
I could go on all night waxing and reminiscing about these old Chevys, but it’s already 11:42 PM. But this won’t be the last old Chevy truck I post, so we’ll save some of it for then. And you probably have plenty of good stuff to add. Just in case you’re wondering why I drive a ’66 Ford F-100 instead of one of these, look in the bed: I don’t feel like replacing rotted wood boards, or raising splinters with my shovel on them.
But in the Niedermeyer Fantasy Garage, there’s a space for this truck waiting, and in exactly this condition: enough patina to show that it hasn’t forgotten what it was made to do: work. As well as revive lots of good memories. Unless you’re the one who had their furniture run over by one.
Nice old truck theres a few of these left here most seem to have been rodded though we had mostly Bedfords from the late 40s onwards basicly British built Chevs 216 cube 6s but full pressure feed and 4 speeds and open driveshafts which will retro fit into Chevys youd like em Paul nothin flash just a work truck.
Beautiful truck. Would a 350 or 292 Six bolt in?
Back in the late 1960’s, while still in high school, a friend’s dad had his own body shop business and to think of all the cool cars I could have bought if I had money…
Anyway, his dad had a 1951 Chevy pickup. he repainted it a light purple and put a large daisy decal on each door and called it the “love truck”. Man, I wanted to buy that, but as I had no job at the time, thus no money, well, I had to make do with my 61 Bel-Air 2 door sedan.
That was one very sharp truck. Ahhh…memories!
I have a Chevy 1947 truck shop manual available to the right owner, too. 216 babbitt-beaters forever!
Family friends of my parents had a 2 ton 52. He was a body man from our town in Saskatchewan. They moved to BC for about year before they came back and during that year he found the truck in BC. He meticulously repainted it in dark green with black fenders and painted the wooden box green. The steel braces and brackets were painted black just like when it would have been new. They used this truck to move all the way from Fort ST John BC to Wynyard Sask. then my parents move down to Altona MB in August of 73 and we rented this truck after which it was used to move friends back to Saskatchewan. The stove bolt 6 never complained on all its trucks across western Canada. Sweet memories
These trucks were like Kryptonite to a young boy growing up in the ’60s and ’70’s.
If you came upon one while wandering the neighborhood, like kids did at one time, it would softly call to you.
You would approach slowly and note the faint aroma of oil and experience…take a peek into the cabin and be taken back in time. The 3 pedals, column shifter, the metal dash, so primitive and alluring.
And if you were lucky enough to hear the engine, always seeming to rev higher than it had to while the driver released the clutch. And the exhaust eminating from the magnificently simple tailpipe. Heaven…
This is one of those vehicles that makes me wonder: are its lines really that perfect? Or are we just conditioned to think of them as such because we have seen so many of these over the years. I suspect that it is some of both.
This truck really is the perfectly proportioned and styled truck from 1950 and a few years on either end. Several years ago, a local Old Navy store was using one of these as part of an in-store merchandising display. It was pained dull air force blue. I wanted it.
They have one at the Bass Pro Shops up here. I almost think it’s the same one that was in the Old Navy by us before they downsized.
At Bass Pro it’s been painted a nice medium green. I want it!
MarcKyle, both engines technically fit. However there some changes…here are a few off the top of my head:
1) The 292 six is a totally different engine, based on the 230 that was introduced in 1963, replacing the 216/235/261. I don’t remember if there are provisions for front motor mounts on the newer 6’s. You’d definitely have to change the bellhousing, but the trans should bolt up.
2) For the 350, you’d need a side-motor-mount kit and change the bellhousing. Again the trans should bolt up.
However since either engine would be vastly more powerful than the old Stovebolt Six, you’d probably want to change the tranny…which would involve changing the driveshaft and rear end, since these Chevy trucks used a “torque tube”, bolted directly to the back of the transmission and the front of the rear axle to make the entire drivetrain a single unit. The driveshaft rode inside the torque tube.
Also the newer bellhousing may require adapting to the older frame. Stick-shift Chevy trucks had their rear motor mounts on the bellhousing thru 1972 but the mounts may or may not bolt up. If you go automatic or use a bellhousing newer than 1972 you’ll need to go to the modern-day GM rear trans mount.
And you’d have to upgrade the electrical system to 12 volt.
Sounds like a lot of work but it’s a road often travelled and the parts needed should only be a few mouse clicks away.
Full disclosure: I’ve never done this particular swap but my guesstimates are based on previous experience with other old Chevies and the brand’s near universal interchangeability from 1955 into the ’90’s and beyond.
BTW Paul, I did have one of these trucks back in 1974 – a ’51 (first year for vent windows, last year before push button door handles) 3/4 ton. Never did get it running because I never could figure out the 6-volt electrical system. I’d own one today but I already have two projects: a ’57 Handyman like wstarvingteacher, and a ’68 Chevy C-10 2WD 8-foot Fleetside. Only so much time and $$…and a house to finish first. That’s my 2012 project…
MarcKyle – I think the universal swap to rid yourself of the babbit bearing curse was the 235. I know someone will correct me if I have this wrong, however:
I think it was a bolt in;
It came out in 1954 and the insert bearings added to it’s longevity;
If you wanted to go 12volt – chevy did in 55 and this was your easy way. It was around for centuries (or maybe 1963);
Clifford made 6=8 with that engine; and,
There were no issues with steering column like with the v8 swaps in early chev’s.
The 235 would bolt right in. So would a 261. They’re the same engine family. I don’t know if the 1st series ’55 used 12 volts. If it did, fantastic. Although I wonder if the gauges are the same since the dash was redesigned for ’54.
My best friend in high school had a ’55 1st series GMC (still has it, in fact) and it had a 6-volt positive ground electrical system. I know this because we had to jump start it one night and we were afraid the battery would explode because, being 17, we didn’t know the correct procedure. Turned out, we hooked it up right, but neither of us wanted to reach in and hit the starter button (floor button for the starter, and the battery is under the seat. Not the best position to be in if the battery goes “boom”)
Very nice. Grandpa Fruchey had a 1953 GMC well into the 1960s and his son (my dad born in 1954) remembers it well. A simple black truck.
My Grandpa had a ’53 3600 (3/4 ton) complete with the corner windows like this one on his farm. The shot inside the cab in particular brings back memories, but his had the pushbutton tube-type radio. The truck was still running in the 1980’s.
The other details I remember are the foot pedal starter and hand throttle. I think the that was for equipment that might be run from the Power Takeoff Opening on the transmission, like a tow truck winch or such.
Coming under the heading of more steak than you can eat:
After I retired from the Navy and started working as a civilian (harder but generally less dangerous), I found myself with an abundance of old cars and I did not live close to the cache. One of them was a 1940 IHC pickup that had been painted farmall red. Flathead six and 4 speed (3 and grandma).
It was inside but I needed to sell the house. Because it was in Kansas and I was in Texas, I was faced with a choice of getting rid of it or fixing it fast. I focused on the 57 wagon and gave the pickup to my nephew. He was local and had inside storage while fixing.
I find myself with almost equal amounts of relief and regret. Depends on when you catch me as to what you will hear. It had been my brothers truck and it’s still in the family. I still have a 63 vw beetle that’s stranded up there. If the buyer were more prompt in her payments she would have grounds to fuss at me. Don’t know where I’m going with that just yet.
Yeah but you still have the Handyman.
I’m right there with ya…my wife would like me to keep our ’91 Caprice wagon but if I do eventually I’ll want to redo it, so it’s for sale now. Great stone-cold reliable ride but I don’t see keeping it and my Handyman and ’68 Chevy C-10.
I also wish we’d have kept the ’74 “Spirit of America” Nova my wife had when we were dating. And the ’75 V-8 4-speed 30MPG Monza that replaced it. And the ’69 Camaro convertible I had before the Nova.
I agree this is indeed a very nice truck. My oldest memories (due to my age) are of my great uncles Chevy Apache pickup. But, realizing opinions are like butts, give me my new Silverado any day. The creature comforts of A/C, satellite radio and the ability to go anywhere, anytime, in any condition. Trucks have truly come a long way. The smell of the inside of that Apache is still in my mind.
On another note, my brother in laws dad had a 1974 El Camino. He traded that on a 1976? 454 Chevy Truck that had the Silverado package. We would flip the air cleaner lid over and damn would those beasts suck air. Great memories!
‘The point I’m trying to make is that these old trucks are hard to stop or kill, even in the most trying of domestic circumstances.’ Awesome sentence!
I’m more partial to the 55-56 Fords but who can put a word against this venerable machine?
One question: When Old Navy stores first opened for business there was a weathered Chevy pickup in each store. Were these real trucks or just ‘mannequins’ as it were?
ps- Paul, if you’re concern is not raising splinters w/ a shovel why not play a nice, sturdy plywood over the body when hauling dirt/gravel/whatnot?
They were Manny Quinns prepped for Old Navy. There’s an article on Hemmings about the issues of title and registration. It sounds like they were just Bondo’d up, painted and put on display.
The Old Navy trucks were real trucks, but most of them had no engines or transmissions. Old Navy hired a company called the Alan Brasington Network, which does movie props, set designs and store displays, to round up a bunch of Advanced Design trucks and paint and decorate them for display. To do this on the cheap they pulled a lot of them from junkyards. So some of them were rustbuckets, although not all from some reports. In 2007-08 they changed the store decor and got rid of the trucks. They were sold off in various ways. Some number of them ended up in collector hands, but putting them back on the road has been complicated by the fact that they have no titles and often have no legal VIN’s. Some more details can be found at http://blog.cardomain.com/2008/02/01/update-old-navy/ and http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/02/25/a-trio-of-old-navy-1950-chevys/ and http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2009/08/20/2-years-after-old-navy-truck-issues-still-hitting-our-inbox/
I thought, “That model looks very familiar,” even though I grew up after most of them finally gave up the ghost. Then it hit me.
Fred’s and Lamont’s appears older, but talk about patina.
While not certain of the model year, I can tell you that Fred and Lamont’s machine was a Ford. Looking online I am guessing that their truck was a ’52,
Right you are.
The story of the flathead six being abused by an angry, female, non-mechanically-inclined driver…gives me thought.
The OHC/OHV layout is proven, and more efficient….but not so resistant to destruction. Indeed, a tossed timing belt can destroy even the most carefully-babied engine, if engineers didn’t think to cast notches in the pistons for clearance. Add to that, all the cam lobes worn off from insufficient lubrication; all the ruined engines from improperly-torqued head bolts…I wonder…
…if there’s some room in modern design concepts to bring out a new, fuel-injected flathead design. Give it some breathing capacity with a cross-flow design (valves on opposite sides of the block)…but with that old rugged ability to toss off abuse; where when it’s overreved, the valves float – not drop; and not toss the timing belt.
Hot Rod Magazine has been there and done that, albeit with a flathead ford v8. They faced some ridicule for doing it with a flathead but I was all there. It would make a blown head gasket a piece of cake.
You are making too much sense.
Actually, the Chevy stovebolt 6 was one of the few overhead valve engines from before WWII. The other well-known one was the Buick 8.
I think that there was one such engine up until quite recently: the Chrysler 3.3 V6. An agricultural, cast iron, low stressed pushrod V6 that may be the most durable engine of modern times. Until my 99 Town and Country recently ate its transmission, my 3.3 was still using less than a quart of oil in 3K (at over 200K total miles.)
I read a story on one of the forums while I owned that car. A guy told of a neighbor with a 3.3-equipped minivan. The guy wanted a new vehicle, but his wife did not want to spend the money. So, he decided to stop oil changes so that the van would kill itself. After a long time (I forget how long) the guy changed his mind. The two neighbors drained this horrible black goo out and put in fresh oil, and the van continued running with no ill effects.
If Chrysler still made the 3.3 (or even its brother the 3.8) I would probably have bought one instead of my Kia. But alas, the old iron V6 is no more.
Chevrolet never made flatheads even their 4s from the 20s were OHV.
In the entire time I worked as a Chrysler Service Advisor, I only had one 3.3 that was blown. That was because in 60,000 km, the owner had not changed the oil even once. It was amazing and a testament to the design it lasted that long if you had seen the sludgey mess that was under the valve covers!
The 3.3 was the perfect motor for the Caravan. Good torque, adequate power and fuel economy, easy servicing and practically unlimited service life.
Oops, my bad.
While I worked with a six-wheel Chevy stake truck of that vintage. a ’51, we used it infrequently enough that I wasn’t ever under the hood. As the new kid on the crew, a small-town DPW, I hadn’t been around long enough to be honored with the Wheelman spot.
The stake truck was “The Pachyderm” – there was an industrial blower on the front, in front of the grille, ducting leading to a crude box on the stake body, and a long flexible accordian hose on a boom ending with a large slanted fitting. We used it to suck leaves, for homeowners and out of parks.
Thing really did resemble an elephant, with that trunk….
Anyway…never under the hood of it. When the battery failed (frequently) someone else would jump it. The industrial blower had its own engine and starter, but it was 12v while the truck was six…
Ditto on the Chrysler 3.3. Our eldest son now owns our old ’98 GC, which is pushing over 245,000 miles. Still not having to add oil between changes.
A ’53 just sold at Barrett Jackson for $22,000… not bad, considering they were selling for $30-$50K five years ago… and of course, Steve McQueen drove a nice, will-used, patina-infused 1949 Chevy truck… don’t know how much it sold for, but pretty cool… personally, the 1948 to 1953 are my favorites, as they changed the grille chrome in ’54…
I like almost all old pickups but if I were to pick a favorite from the 50s I’d have to go with a 55 or 56 Chevy 3100. Of course I’d probably jump on any old rig if the price and condition were right.
I’m not typically into “rat rods” but this 53 really kinda grabbed me. http://tinyurl.com/53ratrod
I have a spare early 70’s- vintage 250 six looking for a home.
I frequently see these trucks for sale, sans drivetrain for some odd reason. That 250, rebuilt and warmed over with some Clifford goodies and mated to a modern 4 or 5-speed manual transmission would make for a sweet ride.
I wonder if much of the reason why you see so many sans drivetrain is explained by MarcKyle and chas108’s comments, earlier in this thread.
People buy them and drive them until the engine dies, then decide to pull out the old Stovebolt and swap in a SBC they acquire for peanuts (or have lying around)…at which point the project comes to a screeching halt.
Too many obstacles for the shadetree mechanic, all the way from the engine bay to the rear differential.
Much of what I’ve learned over the years comes from what I’ve messed up in the past…some of those mistakes were time-consuming and expensive…
Some people seem born mechanics. I love to wrench too but not without the factory service manual or AllData DIY. The engine swap stuff might require a couple manuals…one for the drivetrain, one for the body. I consider myself a so-so mechanic but a great parts changer.
2 cool things about Chevrolet:
1) As stated above they stuck with many common parts for years and years.
2) Their popularity among car people means pretty much anything you want to do is something someone else has tried before and then blogged about it.
Not a super-easy project to upgrade the drivetrain, but not a total nightmare either.
Places like Fatman Fabrications, The Truck Shop, Classic Performance Parts, and Classic Industries sell everything needed to update the underpinnings on these old war horses. Most of them are designed to bolt in wth little or no hacking, drilling, or welding.
Oddly enough, while the Chevies were only available with the six, their GMC siblings were available with optional V8s borrowed from Oldsmobile and / or Pontiac.
As far as I can tell, while the GMC got the a Hydramatic a couple of years before Chevy, the Pontiac design V-8 did not arrive until ’55, the same year Pontiac went from an I-8 to V-8. GMC had bigger sixes than Chevy in this series.
I saw a lot of these trucks around when I was a kid too. Not only that, but I knew two different families who used them for personal transportation in the mid-1950’s. Both of them were older than the ’51 shown – one was a ’48, I think; the other a ’50, but they were both the same blue color, and both column-shift 3-speeds.
My grandfather in southern California was way ahead of most people in that respect though; until he died in the late 1950’s his only vehicle was a 1939 Chevy half-ton pickup…same color blue.
Considering that GM’s new post war trucks came out far sooner than their new post war cars as well as the fact that these trucks are known for lasting very long, my suspision that both GM bean counters and GM engineers have consistantly favored trucks for many, many decades is one step closer to being confirmed.
Still see a few of these (or GMC’s) on farms, normally with a 12-16′ tray and dual rear wheels. I didn’t pay too much attention at the time but I think I might have seen one on the weekend – I was distracted by a couple of WWII Blitz trucks & a Commer. It actually looks funny to see one with a ‘traditional’ pickup bed.
I am about to restore a 1951 3100 that I have had for 40 years. I’d like to put in a 292 with new transmission, replace the leaky torque tube, and faster rear end. Has anyone done this or put in a 292? Does a 292 go in easily?
Undoubtedly it’s been done numerous times. Here’s an excellent resource: http://stoveboltengineco.com/ Or google some more. I can’t help you with the specific technical questions.
Suburban version as seen in South London, England.
I love the 1949 and early Fifties Chevy trucks, particularly the ‘54… my baby 😊
I owned a ’49 Chevy 216 for a while and drove it daily for a year in the ’90s. 6V electrics, 100% original except the paint and seat cover. What an adventure. I really miss that old truck. 6V electrics sure are fun on a 25F morning. I rebuilt the vacuum wiper motor and the carb too. Needed king pins. Life kicked in and we had our first baby by then and it was time for the truck to go.
It was a death trap with the gas tank inside the cab. A friend used to work for one of the big three auto companies and crash tested these trucks. He said in a hard rear-ender the bed would smash into the back of the cab and rupture the gas tank. Pretty good chance the dash or battery would spark and it would be all over.
I wanted to restore our old truck but would have certainly relocated the gas tank to the bed floor. Perhaps a safety fuel tank for a track vehicle.
I saw a truck back in the 1980s that had been cut and sectioned all over. The fellow managed to create an S-10 sized pickup out of the old truck. Everything was perfectly proportioned but looking at it if you knew anything about these trucks – something – was different and it took a moment to figure it out.
An updated observation from California: there are quite a few of these still on the road here, and in fact I’ve posted a few photos caught curbside, as it were. But my memories from childhood in the sixties are that 10-15 year old Ford F1’s or F100’s were more prevalent. Don’t know if they outsold Chevy on the West Coast, or I just noticed, or later remembered, the Fords. Either way, although I like any old pickup (did someone say Studebaker?) I’ve really grown to like the Advanced Design. Especially in blue.
Those Fords were a super hot thing with hot-rodders/customizers. I remember seeing many of them too,and in other parts of the country but there’s no doubt that Chevy very substantially outsold them.
Yeah, that’s probably it. As an 8 year old I didn’t notice all the Chevy work trucks but remember the Fords with rumbling exhausts and Moon hubcaps. Come to think of it, our gardener drove a tan Advanced Design Chevy.
The short bed, wide back window ’56 Ford F-100 pickups were a big deal in the mid ’70s, in Southern California. There were clubs dedicated to that specific year and model. Just like Fastback’s photo of his black one above, but lowered a bit more.
I have a ’54 GMC 1 ton pickup that my Dad left me. I am dying to get it together and running. Not as nice to drive as the ’51 Chevy posted here, but at least it’s nice to look at.
Having relatives who farmed east of Edmonton back in the day, there were plenty of these trucks doing duty in rural areas.
Most were driven into the ground. But many survive to this day and have been restored or customized. Both of my uncles had this model and one went on to buy a 55 Chev pickup which did him duty until he bought a basic 67 model. I assume the 55 is rotting somewhere in the trees at his old homestead.
This ’53 still performs daily yard duty at a local garden centre, during the summer season. Apparently they bought it to coincide with the date of the opening of said garden centre. When not performing assigned duties, it is stationed right at the front entrance most days.
These were quite common when I was growing up. Still a beautiful design today.
Here’s a ’51 my wife caught as we were pulling into a nearby brewery nearly 8 years ago. We saw it again later in that year (up close), so that’s how I was able to identify the year.
Green on green…
Whenever I see these trucks, I think of this picture, and when I hear this song, I think of these trucks.
Here are two images of my 1952 3600 (3/4 ton) 5-window. I bought if from a gentleman in Las Cruses, New Mexico in May of 2017.
The Advance Design pickups have always been special to me because it is one of the first vehicles I can remember riding in. My grandparents owned a drug store and bought a 1951 3100 new. That was the year my father turned 15 and was able to get a Texas drivers license. The truck did yeoman’s duty for fifteen years but was sold when it no longer seemed reliable. By the time I first saw it, the truck was pretty worn but, of course, I didn’t care. My grandfather used to take me to the donut shop in it so it was just fine.
I checked the engine number and it is a 235 cu. in. six from a Powerglide equipped vehicle so it must have been a passenger car, likely a Bel Air. The first Chevrolet pickups to get an automatic transmissions as an option were the 1954 trucks but that was a 4-speed Hydramatic.
This truck has the Muncie SM410 4-speed (granny first gear) and I understand these were popular because there is a plate on the side of the case that allows for a power take off. I’ll probably never take advantage of that feature.
The truck had been converted to 12 volt electrics before I bought it but I have since had a new complete wiring harness installed so we upgraded to LED lighting and added turn signals and a second brake light. That stopped (pardon the pun) all the comments I got about a burned out brake light. I also replace the original radiator with a new aluminum unit. These trucks do not have a reputation for running hot but summers in Texas can certainly put demands on a 65 year old radiator.
Being a 3/4 ton it does not have a torque tube. The open drive shaft has an intermediate U-joint. The wheel base (and overall length) is 10 inches greater than the 3100 1/2 ton but the proportions are still great I think.
I love the corner windows also. I like the look and it makes driving in traffic easier. With no power steering or brakes I’ll take what ever assistance I can get driving in Houston traffic
Here are the images
Apparently I can upload only one at a time.
A lovely old work rig .
Indeed these were sturdy and everywhere for many decades .