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Ex-Pat Project: 1946 Chevy Panel Truck

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When we think of American classic cars and trucks, it’s easy to forget that there is an enthusiastic following for these vehicles overseas. Just as we may dream of importing some oddball grey market vehicle, gearheads on the other side of the pond look at our chrome-covered specimens much the same way. This 1946 Chevy panel truck here on eBay UK was imported by the seller for restoration, but he’s since decided he won’t be getting to it anytime soon.

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In a way, it makes me a little sad to think of this classic Chevy work truck ending up overseas. You can still make out the heavily weathered lettering on the doors, which indicate it once did duty for a fine foods company. Who knows if the descendants of the company founders are still around, and if they are – would they like to have this truck back for posterity’s sake?


The driveline is said to be original to the van, but no insight is given as to its mechanical health. I suspect that if the truck were a running, driving example, the seller would have mentioned it. The big plans the seller had for the truck included removing the sheet metal around the front end to replace it with the nose from a COE truck. Thankfully, it remains stock and not as some half-finished conversion.

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Overall, this truck looks like it’s crying out for a mechanical restoration while preserving the perfectly aged body. Pop out a few dents, rechrome where necessary and perhaps drop the stance a bit with some widened steel wheels out back. Do you think its worth trying to bring this old girl back home, or is she destined for life overseas?


  1. JW454

    In the U.S. this truck could easily find a home. However, in the U.K…. I’m not sure how strong the market would be for a project vehicle that will be a challenge to say the least. I hope it doesn’t get scrapped.

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  2. joop

    sold one this year in the Netherlands europe

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  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I wouldn’t even venture a guess as to how much it would cost to ship it over here but from what I see it might just be worthwhile to do that. This one needs a full resto, no wide wheels, no big motor; just a driver quality restoration and enjoy it. If you need to go for more power, a later model 235 or 261 would be a worthy substitute. No P-word, a valid paint job and have fun.

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  4. Van

    Have it restored for your European grand tour.
    Add surf boards and be obnoxious.
    I’d turn on loud rockabilly, the obnoxious I’ve already got, I’ve been saving up.

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  5. Skip

    I love the old panel trucks. One of the first I remember was a 1948 two-tone blue Chevy panel that served Ellis Funeral Home in Midland, TX as their ambulance until 1950, when it was replaced with a 1951 Chevy sedan-delivery. I guess Ellis really liked panel trucks. In 1953 the sedan-delivery was replaced by a ’54 Ford wagon and it, in turn, by a 1959 Ford wagon. For the first time in 1958, Ellis added a second ambulance: a 1958 Chrysler New Yorker wagon; but in 1960 it would be replaced by a 1961 Chevy 1/2-ton Apache Panel, which would become first out, making the ’59 Ford wagon second-out. At one time or another I got to drive both the Chevy Panel and the Ford wagon, as I worked at the funeral home when I was in high school and just out of high school, as well. The ’61 Panel was unique because it was rigged up to handle up to four stretcher patients. It had two gurneys in the back, with the right-side gurney replacing a squad bench or attendant’s seat as seen on some panel ambulances, and later on Suburbans. The truck had a 6-cylinder engine and was standard shift. It would be the last emergency ambulance operated by Ellis, as they exited the ambulance business permanently c.1966. It was sold to a local fellow who had opened a private ambulance co., and it moved with him to Sweetwater in 1968. That’s the last I ever saw of it, but I understand that the Sweetwater Fire Dept. ended up with it in the early ’70s. I’d love to find the old beast, even now.
    I guess the panels had their effect on me, as when I had my ambulance service for many years, I had my share of Suburban ambulances.

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  6. billy bob

    I don’t see the submit finds button on the web site. Where is it please?

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  7. waynard

    Here’s mine. Been working on this for like ever. 1 ton chassis. 1946. Running and driving.

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  8. waynard

    Well, can’t seem to get a pic posted. Sorry.

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  9. Wayne Thomas

    She should come home but two big problems:

    1. British pound to Dollar conversion favors the Brits far more than us

    2. Shipping cost would be more than worth it

    The only way #2 won’t be a big deal is if you know someone who can get you a deal for shipping.

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  10. Doug Towsley

    Run you about $1500 to ship if you can arrange a friendly person on that side. I have a few friends over there. If someone got serious and WAS shipping to the west coast, I would be willing to help a bit in exchange for a vintage bike stuffed inside it from the UK to a west coast port. I have several friends in Europe who visit the US often and ship stuff back to Europe.
    One of them buys a large American truck, stuffs it full of motorcycles and then sells the truck over there and pays for the shipping, truck purchase and part of his flight. A shipping container will run you right around $2500 so you find some other people and go in on a container is the other option.

    As to exchange rates they typically are 1.65 pounds. to the dollar. Today its actually low. 1.45 to the dollar. Depending on what happens with Brexit will shift the tables one way or another.

    As to whether the purchase is worth it or not is best summed up by my friend in India,,,

    “Do whatever your heart tells you”

    But panels and sedan deliverys are rare and cool but depending on location they can still be found.

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  11. Dave Wright

    Many people don’t understand exchange rates……..they think because the number is bigger than the US dollar things are more expensive……you have to see what the real cost is in whatever currency you are used to dealing in…….this truck at today’s exchange rate is just under 10K. Many times differences in markets have more of an effect than exchange rates.

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  12. Doug Towsley

    When I was in Germany in the 1980s Ronnie devalued the dollar and what was a very comfortable lifestyle for a lowly GI suddenly got very expensive. More so for the GI’s who had financed their luxury dream cars off base as their payments nearly tripled.

    Early 2001-2002 the Australian economy burped and for a while people were buying up classic British bikes and shipping to the US for WAY below market value. Some amazing deals! Yet I know Aussies who troll the US and ship tons of stuff back, cars, bikes etc. Fill up containers. Look up a website in New Zealand. Called TRADEME! Its their version of ebay. Pretty cool really. Start doing comparisons for known vehicles to US prices. (KACHING $$$$$) If you can manage the logistics, You can make some coin.

    I know a number of people in Europe who troll US markets and ship back to the UK and other countries (I dont tell them where all the good stuff is, but I have worked with a few from time to time.) Markets go up, and markets go down. You have to know your market and product.

    As to this Truck, nearly 10k is a bit rich for my Blood IMHO,,, but it IS super cool! My buddy in Germany bought a 64 Chevy truck a while back in Eastern Washington Then shipped to Germany (Stuffed with vintage bikes) Selling it at Europes largest vintage vehicle swap meet Vetterama,, he made enough to cover shipping of the Truck, the trucks purchase and his round trip airfare. People went NUTS over it. However he then picked up a 65 Chevy suburban 4×4 the next year which I thought was super cool, He had a hard time unloading it and took a loss. “Was ist Loss? Nicht Gutt!” So, it can vary from vehicle to vehicle.

    Keep in mind, Sellers and buyers outside the UK dont have to pay VAT.

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