In The Barn Since ’53: 1937 Chevrolet 1.5 Ton Truck

This 1937 Chevy 1.5 Ton Truck was put in the barn in 1953, that means it was used for 16 years. Today that would be the equivalent of parking a 2002 Chevy 4500 and not doing anything with it until 2084. It seems that a work truck like this would have had a longer service life than that. Possibly there was a mechanical problem that led to the truck being parked, or maybe it was just replaced with something newer. Whatever the reason, someone cared for the truck enough to store it in the barn rather than letting it rot outside. Find it here on Craigslist in Pine Bush, NY for $6,300. Thanks again to Barn Finds reader Levi for the tip!

The truck looks to be in overall good original condition, it’s a shame the grill is damaged because otherwise, everything looks good except for a missing bumper. The roof has a large dent that looks like someone sat on it according to the seller. ¬†The lights on the fenders look a little different with the covers over them, anyone know if those are original? I think the paint is probably original, it’s showing some surface rust in places but a good cleaning/buffing might bring out some shine. The seller says the truck is very original and even has the crank handle and jack still stored behind the seat.

The interior looks a little worse than the exterior, but with a little work, it would look a lot better. If I had this truck it would be kept as original as possible but still be roadworthy, I would clean up everything inside and probably recover the seat. Mileage is showing 29,701 which is probably original, I can’t see this truck rolling the odometer in the 16 years it was used but who knows.

Under the hood is an inline 6, which is most likely the 216CI, Chevrolet did use an Oldsmobile six during this time period but I think this is the Chevy unit. The seller has replaced most of the ignition system components and rebuilt the fuel pump and carburetor. The engine will fire up a run for a few seconds but the carb needs some more work, obviously, the fuel tank needs to be cleaned, then maybe the gas jug will go back in the shed so the Yard-Man mower can be filled up later. This would be a great truck to use for parades or to use around the farm, it would look great cleaned up with a load of pumpkins in the back. Hopefully, it finds a good home.

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    Looks like a cool find. Hope it goes to a loving home…

  2. Dean

    So, GM swapping division engines goes wayyyyy back.

  3. Chinga-Trailer

    Can’t be much more primitive than the ’49 I drove on the freeways around SoCal in 1969. I even drove it through my employers closed garage door one day – it made a magnificent sound doing that!!

  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    Wow, when you put it that way Scott, it’s really mind-blowing. Imagine somebody opening a barn in 2084 and finding a 62-year-old 2002 Chevy truck.

    They’ll laugh that it ran on gasoline. They’ll curse it for contributing to climate change (that old “Desert Only” AC from AMC might make a comeback). They’ll marvel at how it can’t fly or drive itself. Probably most baffling will be why a lawyer or housewife or anyone else who isn’t a tradesman would drive a pickup truck, thus resulting in the total degradation of the planet. They may even want to drive it, if they could only fit into the thing in their large oxygen suits with the big helmets and oxygen packs. 2084 A Space Odyssey I guess.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    I remember a local farmer who had one like this, and a ’38. He used them until he retired from farming in the early 70s. I’m not sure what happened to the ’37 but the ’38 went to a farm about 10 miles away and was used for a few years after that. I can still remember them going down the road with about 200 bushels of wheat in the box. By the time they got into high gear/high range, they had to start shifting down to make the stop sign before venturing onto the pavement. We thought we had it bad with a ’51 and a ’57 Binder.

    Most definitely a 216 in this beast. It wouldn’t be much different than the one in my ’49 Styleline. One thing I’ll say about this engine in a truck: they didn’t have much carbon buildup….

  6. Howard A

    Saw this one coming up, and not sure what to do with it. I guess to make it useful, the “body on a modern chassis ” is the only way to go, but some things should remain sacred, and it should be restored as original. Supply has got to be dwindling for these original trucks. Like any other antique, it’s important to show the future, this was the best they had in the 30’s. Matter of fact, most farms in the 30’s still had horses, a truck was a major investment, so if you had this, you were doing ok.

  7. Alexander

    I know it was a 1938, but hope nobody gets any wild ideas to do something like the Orange Blossom Special. I doubt the BF was left since 1953 for anything really major. If this is the original paint and the frame is not full of issues, I would bring it up to a nice driver standard and use it to advertise something on it’s huge bed/stake sides. Love it!

    • Howard A

      Cool. My ex-gf’s brother pulled with a ’38 Ford, very similar to this. He did pretty good too.

  8. half cab

    Dang I like it. Wish it were close to me here.

    Couple years ago I was coming home and before I got to the houe about two miles or so I noticed a rollback back up beside an ole abandon farm house and car shed. Lo n be hold they were pulling one these out of the shed.

    Hate to think I had been driving by it for 20 yrs. And didn’t know it was there.

  9. Ken Member

    My uncle had one of these on his wheat ranch, halfway buried in a draw between two fields. He told my cousin and me it gotten stuck in the sandy ground about thirty years before, so he left it there. We were curious to see the engine, so we lifted the hood on the driver’s side. On top of the valve cover sat two of the biggest scorpions I have ever seen in my life. I decided my curiosity had been sufficiently satisfied. (Scorpions and black widows creep me out.) My cousin later removed the hood emblems and gave one of them to me. I had it for years, until one night I gave it to a friend for a case of beer. I thought it was a pretty good deal at the time. :)


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