1937 Chevy Truck Kept In A Barn for 50 years?


Robert RothbardBy Robert Rothbard

In a garage in Salem, Oregon is a collection of old farm equipment, including this 1937 Chevy Truck. It has recently been listed here on craigslist for $14,500 or best offer. The owner’s plan was to turn this ’37 into a hot rod but now wishes to purchase property in Montana, so the truck needs to go. The story goes, the truck was found stored on a farm in a barn for the last 50 years. Once again, “the motor turns over or at least it did”. Joe, the owner states “I don’t know if it runs”.  There are some spare bumpers in the bed of the truck. The Chevy emblem is still on the truck and Joe believes the headlights are original. This is claimed to be solid, but the truck does have some “surface rust” as stated in the owner’s description.

So, what would you do? Put some clear coat on it and keep the patina or strip this down and do a respray?


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  1. Walt

    Sat. 10 Oct. I continue to be amazed at the asking prices for these
    older trucks . These prices do not leave much room for the resto
    even a mild one. This truck has been sitting for 50 years !
    This engine would have babbit bearings if original.

  2. Chris in WNC

    I think my best offer would be way south of $10K, especially if it doesn’t run.
    Brakes, steering, shocks and tires will chew up about $3000+ right away before you can drive it safely.
    And if the engine is worn out, the price for a driver keeps going up.
    Restored vehicles are 10 cents a dozen, so leave the body alone……

  3. Matt Tritt

    I was thinking $7,500. might be on the high side, but the seller seems to have rather unreasonable expectations.

  4. geomechs

    When they’re this complete they’ve got to be restored, right down to the 216 Stovebolt. That old babbit-pounder will go a long way before it gives up the ghost. Too many of these are losing their historical significance by what is often justified as an upgrade…
    I hope the seller gets what he’s asking but I have to agree with other comments here; that extra cash is going to limit what one can do once he gets it home…

    • Matt Tritt

      I agree. 216’s are fine as long as you keep the RPMs down and the oil at the full mark. Splash lubrication does have it’s limits but I still like em.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, I agree. Can only hope someone keeps it original. There’s plenty of street rods out there, but not many like this. I’ve checked out some old truck sites in Montana that specialize in trucks like this, ( usually with a dozen or more available) and non-running ones usually go for $2-3 grand, so this is a bit of a stretch. The head lights appear stock, but not the little lights. This has a neat grill guard on it, which looks like it may have saved the grill, pretty hard to find. Nice truck.

  5. joeinthousandoaks

    I was thinking 10k overpriced. Not a real value once restored and the cost to properly modify would not make it worthwhile.

  6. Robert Mix

    I have a 1937 1/2 ton Chevy Pickup, originally from Black Hills SD, last there in 1966 (now near Tulsa). It is in similar condition to this one. The most I could get for it as a whole Is $2500. If I parted it out, I think it could bring in $5K or more. I just finally switched out the 216ci Stove bolt for a 235ci from a 1948(?) Chev P.U. No way this Salem truck (where I lived too) would bring more than $3K unless parted out.


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