Farmers Market Special: 1941 Chevrolet Canopy Express

Nearly every weekend in towns of all sizes you can find a farmers market, expect for in the winter months. Offered by Chevrolet as a utilitarian vehicle, Canopy Express’ were used as newspaper stands, and more commonly as fruit and veggie trucks. This 1941 model hasn’t delivered any fruit or newspapers in many years, but it does deliver on a well-seasoned patina. Mostly complete, and solid enough to do something with, this Chevy is currently bid up to $1,001 with 6 days remaining. Find it here on eBay out of Bucklin, Kansas. Special thanks to Peter R for this tip!

Although a little rusty, and missing a few important spark plug wires, this 216 cubic inch inline 6 does turn over. The seller explains that the engine may have been rebuilt some time back. Taking a closer look, this engine bay looks reasonable. The radiator looks nice, and there is still paint on the firewall, and on other areas in the bay. With some fresh oil, plugs, wires, and some tinkering, this inline 6 could likely be a runner.

Inside of this Canopy Express is an interior that is a little crispy. There is plenty of surface rust present, but there appears to be no rot, which is fantastic.  The skeleton of the bench seat is still present waiting to be recovered, and even the dried up steering wheel and shift knob are useful in their current condition. The main concern with the cab is that there are cracked and missing windows.

The exterior of this Chevy is really a delight, being relatively solid with plenty of character. Surface rust is most certainly present on the exterior, along with a few minor areas of rot. The front fenders are mostly covered in surface rust, and have some dings as well. The front end has a charming appearance with some of the chrome having peeled off almost giving a “smirk” in it looks. When it comes to rot concerns, this Chevy isn’t bad off. The lower corner of the driver door has some rot, as well as the rocker region of the “bed” area. The wood in the bed section is dry and rotted, definitely needing to be replaced, and the tailgate is missing as well. What I find to be ironic is that 76 years after this truck was built, that we still have a need for fruit and veggie trucks for farmers markets. So many things throughout time have been phased out, but this truck is still useful in this current day and time. Even though this one likely operated as a farm type truck, it could certainly be repurposed. My dream would be to make this a driver but leave the patina and operate a small wet bar out of the back of this Canopy Express. The happy hour special would be a “Tetanus Shot” that would be some medley of Whisky and other high octane fuels. What would you do with this 1941 Chevrolet Canopy Express?

 

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Comments

  1. Al

    I really like this type of panel truck, but I can’t think of why I like them, I can’t think of a practical use for them. Maybe a market gardener could use it or possibly did use it.
    I hope somebody can share how they would use a canopy delivery.

    • Loco Mikado

      Growing up in NE Portland, OR in the 50’s there was an old Italian gentleman who drove a similar one around the neighborhood selling produce and other things out of it. It had slanted racks in the back that the produce was on similar to a grocery store. Strings of garlic, salamis and other things hanging from the upper rails, set of scales across the back with green plaid canvas roll up sides. All the housewives would come out to see what he had for sale and he had maybe a treat or two for the kids. Would love to go back to those days.

    • JoeBazots

      Parade truck is about as good an idea as I have.

  2. Mitch

    It isn’t a ’51, 1947 or older.

    • David Wilk Member

      It is a 41, just a typo in the post looks like, as the eBay listing says 41.

  3. Trent Poole

    Looks more like a 1941 to me.

  4. Mike Williams

    My first job was delivering groceries in one just like it, a 1941 to be exact.

  5. Alex Wiley

    It would have had a 216 ci engine originally, but it looks like it was replaced with a mid 50s 235.

  6. Steve

    Can’t upload a photo.. Oh well…

    Not exactly the most practical vehicle…Someone is going to have their work cut out for them sourcing or building a new tailgate.There was another on EBay recently in better shape, 1/2 ton, running and driving, which sold for $12,000. I recall them saying they modified a suburban tailgate to work. I’m sure everyone has one of those laying around…

  7. jaygryph

    It amazes me when old service rigs like this stay around. It’s previous owners must have taken exceptional care of it for what is essentially a tool to have lasted this long. Very unique ride. I can’t say I’ve ever seen one before.

    In case anyone was wondering where the voting system went, I’m going to guess it has something to do with the comment chain under Howard A on this thread. http://barnfinds.com/made-in-st-paul-mn-1942-ford-m20-6×6/#comments

    I can see the reasoning for the admins, if a friend of theirs got frustrated and left the site over their up and down voted numbers, I can understand why they would be inclined to remove the feature. Reddit has had both up and down results with their voting system. Perhaps it was a mistake to have the vote system. I tend to think it was interesting to see some feedback from other users we otherwise have no contact with. Perhaps my comments fell under ‘personal attacks’.

    That’s a bit of a bind to be in. If someone is consistently kvetching and slathering negativity all over things, often right at the top of new posts, what is another user to do? Complain to the admins? Ignore it? Speak up about it in a very round about way without ever saying who the issue is with? None of these seem like a perfect answer. Neither does it seem preferable to have someone trashing on everything they don’t like.

    This is probably not the best place for a discussion on human behavior anyway.

    At any rate, cool truck. Hope that one gets a nice restoration. Chevs of the 40’s sells everything you’d ever need for restoring that pickup to showroom new.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      The voting system is down because we are updating the server and the plugin was causing errors. We will try to have something back in place soon.

      • jaygryph

        Thanks for the info. As always, you guys put up a heck of an entertaining site. Thanks for what you do.

      • Mark-A

        *except not expect in the 1st paragraph? 😉

  8. Tyler

    I think it’s a 55-58 235, judging by the valve cover (no vents, oil filler in the front).

  9. Paul D (SMOKEY)

    I would restore it to use. I would haul hay for our horse farm in Ohio. Great side opening to toss hay in. HEE HAW

  10. Doug Towsley

    I really like this thing, Probably rare enough to justify a resto if you can afford to take it on (Time X Money) but personally, I think there is a good market for a restomod on timeless classics like this one for a wide variety of business’s.
    There is a wide variety of business’s that want to project a cool vintage image.
    But personally I would have the externals redone and a nice 2 tone and update the drive train and take it to swap meets, car & bike shows and pulling a trailer of similar style with all my treasures for sale.
    Billetproof would love you. (See their website for a show near you in 2017) and no lack of young ladies dressed up in period clothing who will model for you draped over a period ride like this. (Although a lot more tattoos) Future magazine cover shot?
    VERY COOL FIND, I Dont care if Howard hates it or not.

    • George

      Your idea does seem much more fun than mine, especially the part about the young ladies.

    • Howard A Member

      I don’t recall saying I hate it. I don’t recall saying anything at all, about it, but since you asked, it is very cool. Screenside panels are pretty rare. Before supermarkets, I remember my grandmother saying she used to go down to the “market” and buy food. This truck, I imagine, would be parked there with stuff displayed on the shelf, and stock inside. Very few were sold as you can see, they weren’t good for much else, being open and all. To find one at all, especially like this, is quite unusual.

  11. Steven

    WOW 😲 a restomod slap happy hamburger 🍔 on Coney hotdog wagon, set the whole body on a new late model frame with a block block cheese Chevy engine in it.. Gone Fishing 🎣! Lol 😁

  12. George

    I have sometimes daydreamed about having a good size garden in my retirement should I be blessed enough to actually make it that far (I’m 55 have chronic high bp and had a tia, mild stroke last April) and having a little shady roadside spot to sell produce. I’ve been a bodyman most of my life and I enjoy meeting people so I would use it as it more than likely was originally used for when it was much newer.

  13. Kerry Glenn

    That is a 1955-58 Chevrolet six cylinder engine.

  14. Steven

    Well this does remind me as they customized Two VW Buses on West Coast Customs show for some Mexican food guy in Mexico for Beach Combers.. Cold Beer 🍺 anyone!

  15. Rock On Member

    Man, I thought that we lost the voting system again as the posts that had votes earlier in the day suddenly had none. Glad to hear that it is just an upgrade.

  16. Blindmarc

    This would be great and unique for hauling a vintage motorcycle to a run…..

  17. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Cool looking rig. But, I need some advice. Zooming in on the E-bay photos it looks like the mini tailgates, for lack of a better term, on the sides of the box could fold in. The truck in Steve’s photo show them partially up. Do they just hinge up or not? They must have had a lot of produce to move from the look of that rear bumper hitch. Thanks, Mike. Oh, and Brian, let me know when you work out the details on the “Tetanus Shot” .

  18. Scot Douglas

    I’d run a mobile bicycle repair shop near all the retirement communities in Florida. :)

  19. Bill

    Dreams squished.. up about $4k now. I would love to do this up for a summer time “job” selling treats at car shows etc. neat project. and yeah… probably worth over $4k… just not my budget.

    • Tyler

      I agree, this would be the perfect vehicle for car shows to sell t-shirts, snacks, etc. out of.

      If I had the time, & space for another project, I’m thinking pull the 235 & go with a throttle body injected 292 or even a modern Atlas inline 6 from a Trailblazer along with a NV4500 5 speed. Nicely restored body & interior with some vintage inspired logo would draw a lot of traffic.

      It pushes all the right buttons for me. Nice find!

  20. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Hopefully someone will pedaling wares out of the back soon. Sold for $5,500.00. 23 bids.

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