Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wait A Minute Mr. Postman! 1929 Mail Truck

What a great old truck! This 1929 Ford Model A has been owned by the seller for the last 43 years. It’s showing 23,192 miles but who knows how many times it’s been around–and who really cares? It’s now in Shawnee, Kansas. The seller has listed it here on eBay, with bidding starting pretty low but there’s a reserve. Let’s look a little closer.

31 MT 11515 Verna
image courtesy of Model A Ford Club of America

As it turns out, there were a lot of these Model A mail trucks made; you can read about them at this link, and there’s a video of a nice one here. Around 1400 of these “A” based trucks were produced by Ford for the USPS, along with some “AA” based larger vehicles as well. There was also a book written in 1999 specifically about these mail trucks, so if you want to restore this one or at least check it for originality, it won’t be difficult.
Unfortunately, we don’t know if this particular Model A runs from the auction. I contacted the seller and they say it runs very well! The seller tells us that the body is all original oak; I hope if someone restores it, it’s done sympathetically and all the wood that can be saved is preserved.

As you can see, the body is still relatively solid, although obviously there would need to be some careful conservation work done. In my dreams, it starts up first try–if it does, I’d leave this one alone and preserve it as-is once I made sure it was safe to drive.

Here’s where Mr. Postman spent his time. I’ll bet that steering wheel could tell some stories! The driving arrangement doesn’t look that comfortable, with other interior views revealing that there is no backrest cushion and doesn’t look like there ever was one.

It sure looks like it would start right up, doesn’t it. Even the pipe bolted to the exhaust manifold looks new. I know I’d like this truck, and I don’t even like Model A’s that much! How about you?


1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

Though this 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix for sale on didn’t originally come with a four-speed, a) it’s what the owner wanted, b) it’s probably what a good chunk of potential buyers would like as well, c) there’s probably plenty of automatic-equipped GP’s left in the world, and d) GP’s did come with four-speeds from the factory and this one was built using factory parts. Looks like a fun, needs-nothing, Saturday night bruiser. From the seller’s description:
Factory 421 4 bbl automatic car converted to 4 speed. Frame on restored 53,000 mile car in very nice condition. Very correct restoration with a few tasteful upgrades that do not detract from the originality of the car. It has the original engine with a conversion to the Muncie 4 speed transmission with console and 3.42 posi rear. This is not a “make it work” conversion but was done with factory 1966 parts and appears as new. The correct long tail transmission and rear are from another 1966 Grand Prix, and the 3.42 posi has been correctly rebuilt to be trouble free. Transmission shifts well without gear whine or popping out of gear. The correct factory reverese light switch was installed and they work correctly. Options include tilt wheel, amfm radio with reverb, power antenna, remote mirror, 4 way flashers, and the iconic 8 lug wheels. Repainted in gold color a little bit brighter than the original Martinique Bronze, it has a brilliant look, more gold less brown. A new vinyl top was installed. Original seats were in very good condition, but the driver seat has wear and damaged piping. A new carpet was installed with a factory console. New dash wood inlays were installed. The suspension was rebuilt with gas shocks and a large Addco front sway bar. The car handles quite well on radial tires. New clutch and brakes as well as Pypes 2.5 inch x flow exhaust system with correct long branch manifolds were added as well. The correct filter adapter was used. Muffflers are quiet at idle due to the x pipe, but when she opens up, it sounds as it should, without glasspack roar and no “flowmaster” resonance. It has an upgraded camshaft for a little more performance. It is fully detailed under the hood and in the trunk, and the underside was repainted but not detailed to the highest level. Simply, I drive it so I didn’t spend the time to do that. The car was a nice original to start with very minor rust issues. It did have some minimal frame repair done, and to transmission crossmember was modified for the exhaust. The radio does not work, nor does the clock. There are some widened gaps on the front sheet metal to avoid hood damage when closing. The pot metal rocker trim has the usual pitting. The bumpers were rechromed and look real nice

1966PontiacGrandPrix_03_1000 1966PontiacGrandPrix_02_1000 1966PontiacGrandPrix_04_1000 1966PontiacGrandPrix_05_1000 1966PontiacGrandPrix_06_1000

Heavy Hauler #2: 1953 Chevrolet COE Truck

00S0S_69TvQv1cgw8_600x450If you liked last week’s “Vintage Bow-Tie Hauler“, maybe you’ll appreciate this one too. This 1953 Chevrolet COE is listed for sale here on St. Louis’ craigslist, but is apparently located an hour or so west, in Mexico, Missouri.

22The asking price is $5,000 and my first thought was that the price is too high for an “old farm truck”, but upon closer inspection, I’m not so sure. It isn’t sitting in waist-high weeds, has air in the tires, it’s not in pieces, and looks like it could be in running condition, or at least close. So those of us here at Barn Finds have to ask our readers: What’s it worth?
The seller’s eleven-word description doesn’t mention whether it runs or not, so that would probably be one of the first questions. Although for many buyers, it actually may not matter. Besides cutting the frame down and finding a car carrier and some ’56 Chevys to pull around, this truck has a number of other possibilities which will enable to continue earning its keep for the next sixty years.
With the addition of a late-model drivetrain, it would make an awesome single-car hauler, either in ‘ramp’ configuration, or with a regular hydraulically operated roll-back tilt bed installed. A race car or show car hauler. The door jambs appear to be black, or brown, which would be common for a heavy truck of this vintage, but someone long ago has painted it blue. There’s no nice way to say this, so I’m going to just come right out and say it: it has an attractive patina! Some buyers would consider updating the drive train and interior, and not doing too much to the outside.

Looking inside, I see an added-on turn signal lever, and even more interesting, what must be a factory-installed radio. How rare is that in a heavy truck of this vintage? The interior obviously needs some deep cleaning, for starters, and probably some seat cushion and cover work.

They’re only original once, as the saying goes, and it looks like this truck has probably never been apart. As the value on these COE trucks climb, the “correct”, frame-off restoration is not out of the question for it as one possible future. But again, what’s it worth, and what would you do with it?