Howard Hughes’ 1959 Chevy Viking?

1959 Chevy Viking

This morning my mother, of all people, tipped me off to this 1959 Chevy Viking! It is located in my hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming and has a well worn look about it. Most intriguing though is the claim that it was once owned by the famous Howard Hughes. He was well known for his aviation interests and film making efforts. He may have been a little strange, but he did make an impact on history so I’m sure there are more than a few people who collect items once owned by him. I have my doubts, but the seller does mention that they have some papers and receipts to back up the claims so it might be worth a look.

350 V8

If the ownership claims turn out to be false, at least this truck could easily be used as a work vehicle since much of it has already been gone through. Apparently someone was using it for hauling duties not that long ago. The paint has obviously been resprayed at some point, as evidenced by the color difference in the door jams. The paint has worn thin since that time leaving a nice combination of blue and rust which could only look appropriate on an old work truck like this. With a newer 350 V8 under the hood it runs and drives and is ready for a few more years of service.

Viking interior

Someone has obviously spent some time detailing this old truck. The wheels have been painted and the exterior has either been waxed or clear-coated to make it shine like that. Inside I see new upholstery and the bed outback has been redone with a functional lift gate. I have a feeling though that the owner is basing their asking price of $7,000 more on the celebrity status of the vehicle than on what it really is. Something this large is going to require a specific type of buyer and honestly they may just find one there in Wyoming if they price it right.

Hand painted Hughes

This is a tough old work truck that would be at home on a ranch or in the back lot of a warehouse. It’s too big to store away in a garage and it is not valuable enough to justify a restoration. I tried to convince my father that he needed it, but he wasn’t so sure. It may be visually appealing, but it does present a conundrum. What do you do with a huge old truck that was supposedly once owned by Howard Hughes? If you have a plan though you can take a look here on Sheridan Upcycle where you can contact the seller.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RickyM

    Jesse, I love the way you have received the tip from your Mum and then tried to get your Dad to purchase it !! Brilliant. Really like this lorry – it has a really great look and I would keep it just the way it is.

  2. J.W.

    When I bought a house in the country I worked part time for a Co/Op across the highway, I drove one of these but the bed was a grain box dump, I hauled grain from one grain elevator to storage bins to make room at harvest. I bought the truck from them to haul gravel for my drive way and dirt to my 3 acres. It constantly over heated while at the Co/Op but they didn’t fix it so after I got it the motor gave out after a year. Got it cheap so I just scrapped it. Except for the motor issue it was a decent truck. The Howard Hughes story is an interesting one I must admit.

  3. Mark in Medford

    The cab interior color was the way most if not all the Chevy light trucks came from the factory. Look in the engine compartment and you will see it did come green from the factory.

  4. jim s

    nice old work truck, as long as the frame is good the rest is just replaceable parts. i am not sure about the price or history but it would be a great workout driving this. make it safe and have fun. great find

  5. Bill Graham

    Howard Hughes’ father made his money making oil drilling bits. That adds a lot of potential to the claim. This may have been a company truck used in the oil fields.

  6. Clay Bryant

    Hughes Tool Co.(the drilling bits)owned dozens,if not hundreds of trucks.

  7. Chebby

    Very likely to have been owned by Hughes Corp, probably doubtful it was driven by the man himself.

    I read an interesting biography about H.H. that said he bought Impala sedans by the dozens and had drivers stashed all over Los Angeles to give himself or his people rides, and run errands or interference at the drop of a hat. While some companies started people in the mailroom, Hughes auditioned you as a “Chevy driver”.

    Also read that he periodically forgot where the cars were, and just bought new ones…..

    • jim s

      does that mean that there are some impala barn finds owned by H.H. waiting to be found?

  8. Woodie Man

    I’m wearing tissue boxes on my feet as I type this. I see Dagmars everywhere also..

    As Mark in Medford said, and I agree, the door jambs seem to reflect the typical Chevy truck interior of the era. I’d venture the firewall color is oem.

    A great truck with loads of character and limited utility except out on the open range. The rear end must be geared lower than a limbo pole. I wonder if it would do 40 in third or fourth?

  9. DT

    I remember in the 1970’s one of his cars selling at auction,It was a Chrysler New Yorker with a complex air filtration system.I just read that when they X-rayed his body for the autopsy,they found 5 broken off hypodermic needles in his arm

  10. geomechs geomechs Member

    If something like that came around I wouldn’t care if it belonged to Howard Hughes or not. I’d fix it up and use it. I might like it better if it still had the original engine (I’d guess it had a 235 as original equipment). It would be great for retrieving/delivering stuff.

  11. cory

    Howard Hughes would not have owned it. it was very likely owned by Hughes aircraft company, (that logo is correct for Hughes Aircraft) but so what? Hughes himself was pretty far removed from the operations at that point and likely never even saw this truck. it is and was an old work truck. not very collectible, but interesting.

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