Absolute Beast: 1958 Chevrolet Viking 40

Before you nay-sayers jump all over me about how useless a truck like this is without modern gearing (i.e. it will be slow and need to rev like crazy) keep one number in mind: $2,000! That’s what it takes to buy this running, driving flatbed truck with a clean title that the seller says you can drive home! It’s listed for sale here on eBay with that $2,000 buy it now price (although you can even make an offer below that — would that be insulting?) and is located in Edmunds, Washington despite having an Idaho title. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Local Sheriff for submitting this really cool find!

For local runs, this truck would be extremely functional. Combine the big three-year-old bed and lots of character to equal fun! You can find out pretty much anything you want to know about the Viking 40 Series and all the other Chevrolet 1959 trucks at this link to the original engineering brochure courtesy of the GM Heritage Center. As a side note, it is seriously cool to me that GM has discovered this sense of history about their own products.

How could you go wrong with this much truck for this little money? If it were in NC near me, this would be an “Our Vehicles” post instead, because I’d have it at the house. Not sure what I’d do with it other than drive it in parades and tow to LeMons races but I want it!

In case you didn’t click on the GM link, the Viking 40 was the smallest of the “mid-duty” 1958 trucks and was offered with one of two six-cylinder engines. Those are dents you see in the fender, but face it, don’t they add a little “character” in this case? It also gets you out of having to “restore” the truck — people will excuse some character in a case like this. Hey, Jesse & Josh — does Barn Finds still need a company truck? It would go well with the helicopter!

As you might expect, the interior is extremely functional. That l-o-n-g shift lever is connected to a four-speed manual transmission.

We’re told this is a swapped in 235 cubic inch 6-cylinder engine. Other than the placement of and choice of fuel filter, there’s a lot to like under here with some obviously newish parts. The seller even states the brakes are good. I can’t see any drawbacks to picking up this find as long as you’re willing to be speed-limited by gearing — what do you think? Or have you already clicked on the buy it now?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    This truck has my vote. Looks like it’s got a single speed axle so it will be a stump puller. You’ll be limited to 50 mph but you won’t have to deal with a vacuum-shifted 2-speed axle, which took some practice, especially down-shifting going uphill. As is this truck would look great hauling the antique John Deere D to the threshing show…

    Like 10
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Hmm, I never had a problem shifting a 2 speed axle,, just put a “Brownie” behind the regular box, you’ll get triple digits out of it,, :)

      Like 3
  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    If this were my truck I’d be putting a more modern gm diesel in there as this engine is way to small for this beast. I also put in an Alison 6 speed trans and re gear the rear axle to make it more rode worthy. As for brakes, discs are a must at least up front with a hydro boost To help them as well. GM truck so I’d keep all upgrade parts GM as well. Now I know there are naysayers out there so put your mind at ease I have no use for this nice old truck and I don’t want it, so I won’t be bidding.

    Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      You know, for all the miles you’d be putting on this, just dropping in a V8 wouldn’t be a bad change. A TH400 transmission would be acceptable. Disc brakes? The brakes you already have are big, and you’ll already have a booster. There’s a lot of things you could do with this truck and still keep the original look…

      Like 13
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        You absolutely right geomechs.

        Like 3
      • Brent

        Geomechs, I be thinking a 366cid or maybe a 427cid out of a Bluebird bus would go nice in this truck. They used a lot of them in their buses, shouldn’t be to hard to fine one. Maybe use the auto tranny too. Sound proof the cab, add some tunes and A/C. Be a cool truck to tow your junk to the flea market. What do you think?

        Like 4
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Brent. A 366/427 out of a big truck would be OK but those are High-Deck blocks, made to accommodate 4-ring pistons. If you were slanting toward a Rat Motor, a 396/402/454 would be a better choice. Lots more goodies available. Myself, a 348/409 would be more suitable, as they are more period-correct. However, those ranks are disappearing. As much as I would hate being a ‘Belly-Button man,’ for this app,, an SBC like a 350 would drop in. Lots of goodies available for cheap. Even with a Quadrajet you can dress it up to at least appear stock. Run a TH400 and you’ve got something that’s nearly bulletproof.

        Like 7
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Actually geomechs I used to work on school buses for about 6 years. I know of the engine you speak of. We had a whole fleet of 366’s and your right that would be an excellent choice, with an Alison 6 speed bolted to it. Those engines were great torque monster they had to be to pull a 66 passenger bus loaded with kids up a hill. Our entire fleet was on propane which as you know brings with it it’s own set of problems. But we still got respectable life out of them. Now there almost all gone in favour of 72 passenger diesels. I think most have been scraped after all it’s been more than 20 years since I worked on buses.

        Like 6
  3. bobk

    Damn, that’s tempting. I could use it to move a lot of my belongings from KC to ABQ when I move there next year. But,…. the idea of 750 miles (I-35/US-50/US-54/I-40) at 50 mph (15 hours actual road time) and having to stop and empty my kidneys every 100 miles and stop to fill the truck’s fuel tanks every ??? miles. As I recall, the grain trucks from my youth didn’t get much in the way of MPG’s?? Well, I guess that someone else will enjoy this truck.

    Plus, by not telling my better half that I’ve decided that we’re moving ourselves, I get to keep my better half happy. A very good thing.

    Like 4
  4. Ken Carney

    Just right for my BILs to use as a scrap
    hauler. And it runs too! I like the idea of
    putting a 454 in the truck, but.not right
    now. Just drive it as is until the 6 gives
    out–whivh would be never! The old church bus I worked on as a kid was a 235 that was a cross between a Timex
    watch and the Energizer bunny–it took
    a lickin’ and kept going and going and
    going…

    Like 7
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Energizer? Just don’t put the batteries in backwards…

      Like 3
  5. local_sheriff

    I’m sure BF staff sometimes get fed up with my tips as I may ad close to a dozen submits when I’m first at it. However they’re mainly budget-friendly (less than 10k) for not necessarily show car builds rather starting points for Average Joe or new-to-the-hobby weekend cruisers.

    I’m not really sure how this Viking could be utilized, car hauler is of course first that comes to mind unless its payload rules that out. If available, a Gear Vendors unit might help on the high rev issue. Otherwise there are those that build static WW2 tank or aircraft engines to show them off (and rev them up!) at respective shows where a vintage heavy duty truck would make an impressive and stable platform to bolt up that Wright Whirlwind!

    Always liked the look of 58-59 GM trucks, the heavier they get the more aggressive they look.And that proportionally tinyer cab in the middle…

    Like 5
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      What? No way, keep ’em coming, local_sheriff! A good-looking vehicle for the price of a brake job on a daily driver?! That’s a winner all day long.

      Like 7
      • local_sheriff

        OK Scotty, you’ve asked for it! 👍 I think there are still plenty of cool buildable project vehicles out there that won’t necessarily break the bank(but you can if you want to!). We all just have to broaden our horizons

        Like 7
    • Don H

      Got that right😁

      Like 4
    • Dave

      Speaking for myself, you find some interesting cars and trucks. I vote to keep ’em coming!

      Like 5
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I assure you, we don’t get tired of tips like that! Thank you!

      Like 4
  6. JOHN Member

    That is cool!!! I’m glad I live in the SE, I would probably guy this and then figure out what to do with it.

    Like 3
  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    Ok, we’ve been over this and over this, with your 454’s, diesel conversions, disc brakes ( that would be an improvement) and such, set your sites other places, this is an old farm truck, designed in the 50’s, and you can’t get blood from a turnip. I know some of you “bottomless pocket” types would love to make this into some sort of hot rod, but it’s never going to be that, and one should enjoy it for what it is. Transform an AD pickup, but this is so nice as is, I’d leave this alone.

    Like 8
  8. BR

    Only one step up from a 1 ton pickup.

    Like 1
  9. bigdoc

    With a truck like this you would probably be surprised how much you could find to do with it.

    Like 2
  10. Butchb

    Drove these type of trucks on the farm in my youth. The 6 cyl engine would haul a full load of corn up a hill or haul 1000 gal’s of water with no problem. Plenty of power with the gearing.
    I also drove a 1966 Chevy C60 with the 235 truck 6 cyl (the truck 6 has a taller cyl head) cross country. It had the 2 speed diff and cruised fine at 55 mph, 65 was pushing it.

    Like 5
  11. JimmyinTEXAS

    “No longer available”, someone got a deal. Sweet looking truck. Keep them coming…

    Like 2
  12. Rj Keenan

    Ideal local truck that will do most any chores around the the property.

    Like 2
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What Rj said……

  14. Patrick Huot

    yup. came down yesterday (8/24)
    $2000. still.
    Not even a competing bid on it.
    Great deal for someone.
    I would have to say like some of you other guys said: just get it home and figure out later what to do with it.
    I would like to see a diesel with stacks maybe.
    Some kind of sleek / or period styled streamlined camper on the back?
    Update the suspension and drive.
    Fit it w/ a snowplow??
    Could be real cool.

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