Live Auctions

1948 Chevy Panel Van: Singer Service


Who doesn’t love an old work truck that still bears the clues to its commercial past? This old Chevy panel van here on eBay is said to be a ’48 or ’49 model (the seller can’t confirm, can any of our readers?) and has the remnants of its former duties still pasted to its rear panel and doors. What a perfect rat-rod this could be!


Singer is most famously known for its sewing machines and other household appliances. Not too long ago, there was a Chevy C10 panel truck on eBay, also emblazoned with the Singer logos and lettering. There’s even die cast models from the UK showing the Singer name on British-market commercial vehicles, so Singer certainly made use of a variety of vintage workhorses.


Although there’s not much here to work with, there’s at least some foundation of an engine. I doubt it’s worth much more than a paperweight, however, as engine swaps were common to keep a truck running in fleet duty. Still, there could be an outside chance its matching numbers – but the seller clearly is not interested in doing that research for you!


$1,400 isn’t an awful price for what could be a very cool project, but given the panel van is in Michigan, I’d want to make sure that the rust is only skin-deep. The lack of wheels means shipping will involve more work than simply strapping it to a flatbed, but perhaps the seller will help with arrangements if you’re serious. Would you preserve the patina or restore it back to new?


  1. Rick

    Its a ’51 or ’52, has wing windows on the doors (first appeared in ’51), but no push buttons on the door handle (first appeared in ’53)

  2. Jason Houston

    WHY does it always have to be a “ratrod”?

    • Pamela

      Why not? Without even discussing the issue of restomods, what’s wrong with the occasional rat rod ? There are plenty of options for a beauty like this so why not have a little fun with it?

      Jason, I’ve read through this entire thread and I can see that you have no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t think the exact way you do. I get the sense that you have to be right in every situation, no matter what…a “my way or the highway” mentality. I also noted that you enjoy running off at the mouth and cutting down others by comparing them to people such as drug dealers and prostitutes.

      I’m sure a man of your “extreme” education and knowledge could argue like a gentleman but when your arguement runs on a one track mind, it must be tough to keep the engine going. Yes, that was a pun in case you need help identifying that little joke.

      For someone of your age, I would have expected better manners. That being said, you’ve proven to me that old dogs obviously can’t learn new tricks. Please continue to enjoy your original restorations and do the rest of us a favour by allowing us to do the same with our restomods or any other fun we’d like to cook up.

      With complete sincerity,

      ps: though I’ve no doubt you know the truth, I wanted to remind you it’s Boyd Coddington…not Cloddington. :-)

      • Jason Houston

        If it were “my way or the highway” I’d have all your low riders, hot rods, restorods, street rods and other eye pollution impounded and put into the nearest crusher. My ”objection” (sic) is what you call “having a little fun” is like soldiers raping the enemies’ women and children in time of war, then bragging to each other about it. If you went into an art museum with a felt pen, you’d probably scribble a moustache and eyebrows on every painting you could find with a facial image. “We’re just having a little fun…”

        The problem is your generation has no respect for automotive history. If you did, you’d have read a brochure on your favorite car, and learned what they looked like when new; what colors, options, running gears they came with; the clothing and architectural styles of that period. Instead, you have no directed interest, so you carve this stuff up and call it art.

        Old cars are endangered species, partly because folks like you destroyed them when they were dime-a-dozen on every street corner of America. Now, what few are left you want to “have fun with” by making tasteless graffiti cartoons out of them. Sorry, but that’s not what “restore” means. It leaves nothing to posterity but a blatant misrepresentation of what cars were like in earlier times.

        But, hey Pamela, don’t you worry one little bit. You termites are winning the war. In another few years, today’s generations will have no clue that a silly ratrod didn’t come like that from the factory. And you can smile and slap each other on the back.

        And if you can’t see where drug dealers and prostitutes come in, just turn on any one of your favorite “car cutting” shows and look at the deadbeats who work this trash over. It’s purely disgusting.

        Be lucky you live in America, where you can take priceless artifacts, like old cars, historic buildings or priceless art and trash it up any way you wish. In many countries, American cars that are too far destroyed will not be admitted for registration.

        Yeh, I know his name was “coddington” but the purists have – appropriately – renamed the ugly punk ‘Cloddington”. Yeh, I know, he’s your worshipping hero…

  3. Mark S

    Could do a resto mod.

  4. Jason Houston

    Why not just drop it into the nearest crusher and celebrate with a 6-pack an a pizza?

    • Mark S

      I new I’d get your typical over reaction Jason do you even know what a resto mod is?

    • mike young

      That’s funny!! Best laugh I had all day! Come on guys… Let’s lighten up.

  5. Stephen

    Not hard to find a ’54-62 full pressure 235 to drop in.

  6. Smart Aleck

    What year does the title say? What? No title? That could be a problem.
    P.S. It’s definitely a ’51 as first commenter said.

  7. jimbosidecar

    Resto Mod all the way but clear coat the body as is

  8. Jason Houston

    The word you want is “knew”.

    Yeh, I saw you coming with that.

    ‘restomod’ is term created by the model kit industry to resell updated versions of 50-year-old kits whose baby-boomer novelty has worn off. They appeal to the prurient interests of gullible young minds to persuade them that a popular car that has been “modernized” with circus wheels, juvenile paint jobs and the like are the “new way” to enjoy the antique car hobby. Fortunately for these potheads, including goons like Chip Foose and Boyd Cloddington, Hollywood climbed on board with TV shows that endorse the desecration of any type of car under the guise of art, from a nice, original 1963 Comet convertible to a ten-year-old worn-out Chevy Suburban headed for the recycler’s. Drug dealers, whores and low-lifes participate in these shows, and give credence to the new theory that a stock car is just an unpainted canvas just waiting to be f****d over by some automotive graffiti artist in the name of “creative talent” or some similar BS.

    OK, how’d I do, Teach?

    • Mark S

      WOW now that’s an over reaction, Jason your in league all of your own. Sorry to see that your SO narrow minded. I’d love to see something that you have restored cause I have clearly been bested by a master restorer,

  9. Jason Houston

    Sorry, but “I jus’ calls ’em as I sees ’em”! Sorry you don’t agree, but as long as you identify with this ilk, you wouldn’t agree anyway.

    I have owned over a thousand cars since I was 14, 90% postwar Ford products. Most have been collector cars; perhaps half or more were parts cars. Oldest car I ever restored was a 1949 Ford station wagon (probably ”woody” to you) and the newest a Plum Crazy 1970 Challenger. Have never owned a single foreign car, nor have I ever destroyed a car by doing what you call ‘restomod’ bull****.

    Years ago I bought a nice original ’57 Sunliner that the jerk had put mag wheels on and ’65 T-Bird bucket seats. I told him to keep his seats and wheels, otherwise they were going by the side of the road. Before taking delivery of the car, I brought my own wheels and a sedan front seat and left his custom crap on his front lawn. He didn’t believe I was serious. But it was fun.

    Besides my lifelong study of automobiles, I also write political satire, am a singer and song writer, enjoy gourmet cooking and camping and hiking. I’ve had a long association with the Ford family since I was six, pursued a career with Ford, only to change to the legal profession.

    Not exactly your typical ‘restomod’ cup of tea… right?

    Don’t worry – you restomod termites have taken over and all but destroyed the traditional vintage car hobby.

    I’m not going to ask what you’ve restored for obvious reasons…

  10. Marty Member

    Please troll elsewhere.

    • Jason Houston

      Why not YOU “troll” somewhere else? Or are you better than everyone?

      Can’t you grow out of your “restomod” shell and act like an adult?

  11. Wayne

    Children Please behave, and act like adults. I know the old saying, “that men never grow up, they just learn to behave in public”, but you two cant even do that. This is not what this “forum” is about.

  12. Marty Member


    With all due respect, the notion that every car should be “restored” and that none should ever be “restomodded” is completely absurd. That’s only one of a number of things you’ve said so far that is downright silly.

    • Mark S

      What you have said Marty i AGREE with, I would also like to add down right offence. Jason just because I want to change some things on an old car DOES NOT make me or anyone else on this site a beer slogging drunk or dope smoker or some one that hangs out with prositutes I’m pretty sure that you have offended a number of people on this site. Jason if you hate the ideas and visions of how other people would handle there hobby cars why are you on here. I’m pretty sure that most of the guys on this site are family men that just want to talk about there cars with out being insalted because they don’t agree with you. Seriously lighten up man.

      • Jason Houston

        Wrong again, Smart***. I’m not going to further dignify your asinine accusations peppered with your drunken, 4th grade writing and spelling. Go make your slanted, tipsy case. You buttered your bread, now sleep in it.

        And don’t bleat about offending others when that’s what you set out to do with all your idiotic restomodding BS.

    • Jason Houston

      Nothing is more silly, stupid or absurd than suggesting that all remaining old cars should be “restomodded”. That’s all I’m hearing from you poor souls – restomod this – restomod that. Restomod every car that comes along – all it needs to qualify is that it not be in running condition, and it should be “restomodded”! Is that the only tune your broken record player knows?

      Do you even have a faint clue what it means to restore a car? It doesn’t sound like it…

      Do you have a fave car? Did you ever bother to read the original literature on it and see what the car had to offer when it was being sold? Or is research too much trouble?

      And WHY do you have to attack OLD cars? What wrong with restomodding all those 1980s and 1990s foreign cars out there? Put your goofy circus wheels and late model engines in those. Nobody will miss them.

      What’s disgusting is that you show no more respect for automotive history than to suggest every remaining old car be permanently disfigured. If that’s the way you show your respect for old cars, go exhume your dearest loved one’s grave and redress the cadaver in Goth, for crying out loud.

  13. Marty Member


    Chip Foose, whether or not you like his cars, does a lot of work with charities for disadvantaged children. Have you done a lot of that kind of work, Jason? Which one did you say he was, a lowlife, a whore or a drug dealer? Could you be a little more clear on that?

    BTW, the “nice, original ’63 Comet convertible” they did on Overhaulin’….I saw that one. Wasn’t that the same car that they had to add a piece of rectangular tube steel underneath the body because the floors were so rusty the car no longer had structural integrity? Maybe they should have left that “nice original” car alone, so we could have watched it break in half.

    • Mark S

      Well Marty you might as well give it up there is no way that we are going to get through to this guy. We’re wasting our time he’s not going to change his position.

      • Jason Houston

        Likewise, I feel like I’m polishing brass on a sinking ship, trying to draw reason from intellectual vacuums.

    • Jason Houston

      Chip Foose is nothing but an overpaid, blowhard of a backwoods blacksmith. Even he and his arch enemy Boyd Cloddington fought like cats in a bag over their rights to be narcissistic. Only difference is Cloddington got caught falsifying DMV documents in California, and Foose didn’t. But I like your analogy – even corrupt churches give to children and charities – it blunts their otherwise public image.

      You’re referring to a different 1963 Comet convertible. The one I saw was on what’s probably your fav show, “Pimp My Ride”. They trashed the entire perfectly good interior then stuffed the trunk with a bunch of big, stupid, worthless speakers. On another installment, they went after a beautiful, original 1950 Ford Club Coupe and diced it up for dog food.

      Meanwhile, open your mind: maybe if they spent that much money destroying the Comet, they could have covered the cost of that tube steel you say they needed, instead.


  14. Tundra/BMW Guy

    As stated in one of the parries, this is just a bunch of car lovers, of ALL types, that like to look at and toss out their thoughts and ideas. I have found this site to be extremely educational what with all different intellects involved in this hobby.
    Personally, I think if a vehicle is too far gone for a factory preservation and it’s only option is the crusher or someone that is willing put the blood sweat, tears, and money into bringing it back to a “restomod”, then in all actuality they HAVE saved that particular vehicle. Just maybe not to everyone’s tastes.
    Keep up the comments, opinions, and education!!!!! I for one, appreciate most of them.

    • Jason Houston

      If a rusty car be ‘restomodded’, it can be restored. In fact, there’s nothing that cannot be restored, if someone is just talented enough or dedicated or both.

      Personally, seeing what someone did to a customized car is like watching it go through the crusher in freeze-frame mode, but that’s just me.

  15. JimmyinTEXAS

    I think I have read some of Jason’s writing before, an example…

    “I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On
    weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago, I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But I have not yet gone to college.”

    Sorry…. Apologies to Hugh

    • Jason Houston

      Sorry, but you’re quoting someone else. That is not my writing. I don’t use toaster ovens, have never been in bullfights, dealt with origami, jumped off cliffs or anything else you’ve attributed to me.

      Maybe you should learn how to research something first before breaking into print, ya think?

      Thank you.

  16. Michael

    1949 was the last year of the fuel filler down low. 1950 was the first year when the fuel filler went higher up on the body

  17. geomechs geomechs Member

    Once again, a nice van project to get me thinking about adding yet another project to my already overstuffed shop. I actually thought ’51 when I first saw this. For me this isn’t impossible to restore to original but I sure wouldn’t object to someone pushing the envelope a little bit and putting in a more modern powertrain. I have big problems with someone taking a complete original car/truck and butchering it beyond recognition but I have seen a lot of resto-mods that were very well done.

    I have big issues with patina because so many people don’t understand what patina really is, and that’s rust; oxidization; metal decomposition. If you insist on keeping the patina then the only thing you can use is ‘Weasel Pee,’ WD-40 or equivilant. Clear coating it drives the decomposition inward and speeds up the process. Myself, I prefer preservation but if it’s as rough as this unit, I would tend to restore it, not to trailer queen standards but to a reasonable driver. If I could NOT find an original vintage 216 to drop in the engine bay, I would look for something newer to get me going but I wouldn’t stop looking for a Stovebolt. That’s the hobby the way I see it.

  18. RoughDiamond

    These kind of back and forth jabs take the fun out of this site.

  19. moosie Craig

    Jason,,,,,,,,,,, Really ?

  20. Marty Member


    “Nothing is more silly, stupid or absurd than suggesting that all remaining old cars should be “restomodded”. That’s all I’m hearing from you poor souls – restomod this – restomod that. Restomod every car that comes along –”

    Well, yeah…..except nobody here said anything like that.

    • Jason Houston

      No, not much. Learn what it means to read between the lines, Marty. It will do you good.

  21. Mark S

    Jason you totally did not get what Jimmy in TEXAS was trying to say, he was suggesting that you are nothing more than a blow hard know it all. I think that your main goal for being on here is that you are an agitator, you like to cause trouble. Your ignorance is over the top. Congratulations you have succeeded in stirring a few of us up. You have a good now.

    • Jason Houston

      Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a holy **** what jimmy in Texas says or thinks. Doofuses like him are a one-man, self-propelled ego machine running on adrenaline, whose brain matter consists of tapioca pudding. But, hey – if he’s your kinda guy, more power to you both. You probably need each other anyway.

      As for who’s the agitator, have you looked in your bathroom mirror? You do use your bathroom don’t you, or are you still sneaking out at night and using the neighbor’s lawn?

  22. Marty Member

    Jason, again, man: no one in this discussion said or implied anything that remotely resembles “all cars should be restomodded”.

    It’s not in the lines, and it’s not in between the lines. No one said it. No one implied it. Ok?

    • Jason Houston

      You remember what Alice Kramden used to say when Ralph when was blow-harding himself?

      “Aaaw, SHUDDUP!”

  23. Marty Member

    Good thinking. Go ahead and get started on that right away.

    • Jason Houston

      This is your bar fight, so you lead the way and I’ll follow.

  24. Marty Member

    I’ve been trolled for long enough, thanks.

  25. Jason Houston

    And thank you, too, it’s been educational at the very least.

  26. Mark-A

    Just remember that Opinions are like A**holes, EVERYBODY has one! What I like isn’t necessarily what you like but I’m not going to miscall you because that’s your opinion & you’re entitled to it!

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