Truckstop Classics Festival Kick-Off: The Official Curbside Classic Truck Sales Lot And 1941 Ford COE

(first posted 7/1/2011)    Here in Havana, Oregon, in addition to the Official CC Car Sales Lot we also have the Official CC Truck Sales Lot for every trucking need. Facing Hwy 99 just a mile or so past the car lot is this multi-hued patina-rich array of vintage trucks for sale. They’re ready for work, mostly; although a few might need a key component or two before they’re back earning their daily keep. But each one has a very colorful story to tell, too much so to compress into one very long post, so we’ll take them in a daily dose: Truckstop Classics. And we’ll start today with the first one, that venerable white 1941 Ford COE.

The COE (cab over engine) style truck was developed to be short in the front in order to maximize payload space. Admittedly, this old Ford carries that theme to an extreme: it’s missing just about everything from the cab back. But that’s where your imagination comes in. Mine is already in high gear: put a four-wheel drive axle in the front, and direct the (modest) power from the flathead V8 to that, and graft on a vintage airstream trailer to the back.

Looks like it used to have a stake bed back there. That may have been in its second, or third incarnation. COE trucks were particularly favored buy semi-truck users, as it allowed them to run longer trailers in the very restrictive over-all length limits of the times, especially on the East Coast.

This shows a typical “big rig” of the times, which is puny compared to the monsters crowding the right lanes.

The back might be missing, but the important stuff is still there in front. The interior lacks a few amenities, but a yard chair with the legs shortened would do the job. The flathead V8 is bound to make its presence known as you roll down the road, but that just adds to the overall appeal of feeling connected to your rig’s inner workings, and one can make engine adjustments on the go; beats texting, if you’re going to be distracted while driving.

I know; this Ford is going to take a bit more than average to get back on the road, but there’s trucks here on the lot that will suffice for the imagination-challenged. Next time…