Live Auctions

Came With The Building: 1950 Chevrolet COE

The seller of this cool Chevrolet COE truck claims to have discovered it in the parking deck of an old building they purchased! Since the purchase stipulation is “as-is, where-is” the new buyer will get to actually rescue this cool Ikey H. find! It’s located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on craigslist. The asking price is $7,500.

There has been a lot more interest in COE (Cab-Over-Engine) trucks recently, with most finds needing some sort of bed conversion to be useful. This truck already has a useful flatbed body attached with at least one toolbox built into the right side. The seller does not know the year of the truck, but a little online searching pins it down between 1947 and 1953. Perhaps a knowledgeable Barn Finds reader can get even closer? The seller explains that the truck looks better on the outside than on the inside and states the inside is rusted through; presumably, they are referring to the cab floor. I’m surprised to see the glass intact and tires that inflate, implying that it hasn’t been exposed to the elements for a while.

On to the all-important questions for you, the readers, to answer: Would you keep the patina or go all out with a restoration? Or perhaps a custom trailer hauler? Or even build a ramp truck? The possibilities are endless, along with your imaginations (I know you, folks!)  Please share what you would do with this terrific building find in the comments!


  1. Howard A Member

    It’s a nice find, too bad the seller is a bit off. Just shows how twisted it is, $7500. No vent windows, has to be a pre ’51 and gas filler on right side, I think started in ’49. I believe this was a truck for hauling cars, like an early “roll-off”, and it is cool, blank slate for something.

    Like 22
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I had a feeling you’d know more, Howard, thanks for narrowing it down!

      Like 9
      • Robert White

        Howard has driven everything except the Space Station and Hubble Telescope.


        Like 23
      • Dave

        He may not have driven the Shuttle, but the legend around the Cape is that he did pilot the crawler transporter!

        Like 10
    • Kiki

      There IS a vent window. I thought I could see it, so I enlarged it and it is there. If I could afford it, I’d make it a car hauler. Alas, without winning that redneck retirement fund, it’s just a dream.

      Like 9
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Kiki, you are right! I got distracted by the mirror struts. That zeros in on a ‘51 model. These trucks were so close, from ‘47 to ‘53 that it took a good sharp eye to spot the differences…

        Like 7
  2. IkeyHeyman

    Strikes me as an unusual truck for the time period. If I were interested in buying this, I’d make a counter offer of: “I’ll take it out of your building and not charge you anything.”

    Like 27
    • BigDawg

      I’ve entertained the idea of what kind of RV one could make out of something like this

      Like 1
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    The guys on Counting Cars have one of these with an aluminum tilt bed on it. Great looking when restored and painted. Price on the moon for what needs to be done with this one.

    Like 10
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m going with ‘49. I like the deck! If I had my will with this one it would be a complete restoration, deck and all. If you wanted to do some upgrades to the powertrain a 261 will fit with few modifications. This one has either a 216 or a 235, either of which will do everything I need. Like I’ve said numerous times before, so many of these sacrifice their cabs and it bothers me to see that. However the buyer/owner has the right to do whatever he wants with it. And, as I did with the election, I might mutter a few things but I’ll otherwise keep the peace…

    Like 16
  5. Nomader 55

    I think I see a vent window at least on the pass side. And it’s open !!

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      By golly, you’re right( even got past geomechs!) Vent windows on AD trucks came out in 51, and push button door handles in ’52, so I say a ’51. As per Wiki, good catch.
      AND, while I’m at it, I haven’t driven the space shuttle or the crawler, but I bet dollars to donuts, I’ve operated more machines than most here. It was my job.

      Like 14
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      You got my attention but if you look at the vertical line you’ll see that it goes up across the window frame. I also didn’t think the wings were that big. Just the same it would be nice to see some more pics…

      Like 5
  6. Dave

    Anyone who buys this is going to have to deal with the labyrinthine process of getting a replacement title here in PA. This truck is pretty much in my back yard as far as distance goes.

    Like 5
  7. Doug Crawford

    Too short for a hauler. I’ll bet it had a wrecker rig on it that was removed and installed on whatever replaced this truck.

    Like 7
    • Tsk

      The bed looks like a late model 1980s? wheel lift tow bed with the boom removed! Front Side boxes would open the full width of bed to accommodate the straight axles for tow dollies.

      Like 2
  8. Ron

    Love it, and brings grand memories growing up in early 50’s my neighbor friend a couple years younger than I and myself spent many days playing one of these. His father was a wood hauler that had a fleet of 3 of these along with parts truucks at home that we played in. He hauled pine stumps which he pused up or dynamited from the ground to a plant in Miss where they extracated the sap for use in making related medicinal, products and gun powder. He did this for a lifetime hauling from all over Ala, Ms. and Fl. He preferred them I think because the frame wheel base wes longer and he could get quite a bit more load on one than a conventional cab. I would love this one for a car hauler. Wish had bought one before they were all chopped up and when they were sitting everywhere to be drug home for 500 bucks. Another day late and 2 bucks short

    Like 5
  9. Nomader 55

    Howard A. I had to use a magnifying glass to see it. ( 79 year old eyes. )

    Like 3
    • Frank Gallina

      I really enjoyed the conversation here on this truck. Very cool that people care and respect this rolling history.

      Like 5
  10. Wayne

    No way is that a “flat bed”! It is a hauler or as Doug Crawford said a wrecker/tow truck body. It is cool, and will need tons of work. In “most” states when a vehicle is abandon on/in a piece of newly purchased property. The state will allow a new title to be issued. So the negotiations should include a “new” title for the price.

    Like 3
  11. Bobby Davenport

    Yah I think it was a wrecker bed to it kinda looks like wrecker bed on the wrecker

    Like 1
  12. gaspumpchas

    came with the building BUT instead of making a reasonable price they jacked it to the moon. Good luck and happy bidding!

    Like 3
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I do believe the person who bought the building is a business man who flips real estate. As such it’s their plan to list at the highest possible price and then negotiate.
    I have a friend who has a truck similar to this he uses to haul his front loader to and from jobs.
    I would do the minimum on this, new floor boards, brakes, tires and whatever is needed to make it run then use it for anything I might choose to haul.
    God bless America

    Like 4
    • Roger Jones

      I knew the twin truck to this Coe. It had a wrecker body on it n I helped with the resto in Trenton, NJ .I was doing my 1953 Chevrolet 2ton Flatbed at the time of restoration. Almost the same paint colors. The Garage was called Wideman Garage of Trenton NJ

      Like 1
  14. J D

    I grew up with one of these on the farm.
    I thought they were called cab forward, not cab over.
    Find a Chevy motor home with big block and auto trans and do a frame swap.

  15. Nomader 55

    Geomechs. What am I, a nobody? I called attention to the wing window six hours before Kiki, yet you give Kudos to him/her. I feel age discrimination.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi, Nomader 55. So sorry I didn’t respond to your comments. So many times I check BF out on my cellphone and simply don’t see WHEN someone comments. I DID read your comments and fully realize that you caught the detail on the vent window before I did. I actually had to check out the pics on my cellphone to see the details. But one of the things I like about this site is the objectivity of the readers. In all the years I’ve been a mechanic, then retired and am now in the antique truck supply business, I’ve had to learn to eat crow, and it sure is a lot easier going down while it’s still warm. Take care…

      Like 2
    • Kiki

      Him/her, is a her and you can have the kudos. LOL I saw your comment, after I’d already made mine. What’s that they say about great minds……? You wouldn’t think it was age discrimination, if you knew mine! LOL

      Like 5

    Ramp truck on a new frame and drivetrain. Repair body and paint.New custom interior w/A/C, new bucket seats, carpets. Man oh Man!

    Like 2
  17. pixelpusher

    Vent windows, 5 window cab, and turn down door handles. I think the end of turn down handles was ’50/’51…

  18. Carlos Ruiz

    Just bought my first COE and its a 52 from all the history I’ve read! Thank you! Thank you!!

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