Parked in 1960: 1937 Chevrolet Pickup

This 1937 Chevrolet ½-Ton Pickup has belonged to the same family since new. The owner says that his great grandfather purchased the vehicle to use as his workhorse when he was working as a carpenter, and parked the car in a garage when he retired in 1960. It has remained in a garage ever since, but has also been meticulously maintained for all of those years. Barn Finder Ikey H referred this original classic through to us, so thank you so much for that Ikey. The owner has decided that the time has finally come to part with the vehicle, so has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. He has set a price of $15,000 for the Pickup but does say that he can be a bit flexible on this. One point that he is quite insistent on is that he wants the old Chevy to go to someone who will either maintain it as is or will restore it. He has no interest in selling it to someone whose intention is to turn it into a rat rod or custom.

The overall condition of the Pickup is pretty impressive, especially considering the life that it would have lived. There is a dent in the roof from a pump falling on the vehicle, but this damage was inflicted at some point in the 1940s. Tradesmen’s vehicles have almost always had a tendency to become pretty beaten-up, as this is just part of their way of life. Some tradesmen treat their vehicles and tools with a lot of respect, and that appears to be the case with this one. It remains completely original, right down to the original timber in the bed. It would be very tempting to restore it, but my own instinct tells me that it would be more fitting to leave it all original. The Pickup spent its working life in California and only relocated to Colorado at some point after the original owner’s 1960 retirement. The California climate has really been quite beneficial, with the old Chevy having no rust issues.

The interior of the Pickup is showing its age a bit, and once again, I would really wrestle with my conscience here. There’s no doubt that it would look very nice if fully restored, but I would be tempted to simply fit a new cover to the driver’s seat, and leave the rest untouched. My initial thought was to simply throw a blanket over the damaged seat, but I think that the padding might be prone to deteriorating quite quickly, so a new cover would prevent this. The only other thing of note is that there is something a bit strange going on about halfway down the steering column, and it’s something that I would probably want to investigate and address.

For the 1937 model year, Chevrolet introduced the 216ci Blue Flame 6-cylinder engine into its range, and it was the only engine available in its Pickups for that year. While it was no powerhouse, its 78hp, which is sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission, was capable of carting some pretty impressive loads. Chevrolet was keen to prove just how tough this combination was when new, so loaded a new Pickup identical to this one with 1,000lbs of cargo. It was then dispatched on a 10,000-mile road-trip. During that trip, the Pickup averaged 31mph, and fuel usage was just shy of 21mpg. Oil usage was documented at 7 quarts (including that used for an oil change) during the 2-month odyssey. Since this Pickup was parked in 1960, it has remained properly maintained and is said to drive as well today as it did way back in 1960. It has received a recent full fluid change, new tires, and a new master cylinder.

I have a real soft spot for this 1937 Pickup, and I really hope that someone buys it who will appreciate it for the incredible survivor that it is. To find an 82-year-old workhorse in an original and unmolested condition that is as clean and nice as this one is a rare treat. Part of me really hopes that someone buys this and restores it to its former glory. A bigger part of me hopes that the next owner simply preserves this survivor exactly as it is. Which way would you go with it?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Ikey H., you find the coolest sh—, uh, stuff! This is an amazing find, replete with the old school registration cert spring holder on the steering column. Repair the seat cover, varnish the wood in the bed and drive the snot out of it. A whole lot of money, considering there’s no underside pix or anything decent of the RF fender area, but niggling nuances aside, what a find…
    I’d love to restore something like this is-a dream for many of us, but attainable on a rare occasion….well written,Adam.

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is truly a gem. From what I see I would preserve this as much as possible and use it. Definitely redo the seat! I remember the seat in my ‘47 Ford pickup was in the same condition. I couldn’t afford to do anything at first so I had to improvise with a piece of green canvas. Then I found a set of seats from a VW. Big mistake! My head hit the roof. Found some green pebble finish vinyl for the original seat. It was actually closer to teal but it served me well until I decided to restore it. Someone obviously liked it because one day it disappeared and I had to scrounge a replacement. A friend of mine suggested that it was stolen to prevent me from reinstalling it.

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  3. Evan

    I dig that the seller want the truck to remain as original as possible but once a person sells a thing, it’s no longer theirs to decide what to do with.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’ve seen a number of ads in recent years requiring similar things. I saw where the buyer had to prove he was an active member in good standing of a legitimate antique car club and he had to provide references. True that even if the buyer met the requirements he cannot be put to task; it is now HIS vehicle.

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  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    As an old beat-up carpenter myself, I can say that I’m one of those guys who has taken car of his tools and his vehicles. My hat is off to this guy’s great grandfather; I’ve lived the same life, and am still having fun doing it, but this truck looks better structurally than this old body feels!

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  5. TimM

    So cool but in my opinion if there in this good shape I would never chop, channel or replace the motor in a vehicle like this!! If it were an old rust bucket with half or more of the original parts missing that would be a different case all together!!! Something this well preserved should stay that way!!

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      My sentiments exactly. They are only stock once, and preserving them for the next generation is something that I, for one, try to do. Sometimes you can’t achieve that goal but a determined effort is needed…

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  6. Rich D

    That’s a document holder wrapped around the steering column. Used to hold the registration and such. Most were leather backed and had coil tension springs to affix to round steering columns

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  7. JerryDeeWrench

    Love those babbit pounders. Pull the pan and clean the oil screen and enjoy it. Great find in great condition.

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  8. Dave

    Lakewood CO. is part of Denver, pretty dry climate there too! Maybe that thing on the steering column is padding for his knees?

  9. Stevieg Member

    This website is like a drug to me, as are a lot of the vehicles on it. I wish I had extreme wealth so I could purchase & preserve a lot of the vehicles seen here, including this truck. But alas, I am lower middle class at best lol. Plenty of debt to repay, no space, so on.
    I would love this truck! Redo the seat, possibly upgrade the brakes to a front disk system if it can be done subtly, and drive it.
    If I were the seller, I wouldn’t be a seller.

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  10. Ken Carney

    Just cover the seat, put new wood slats
    in the bed, and enjoy it for what it is– a
    great old truck that begs to be driven.

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  11. Comet

    Spruce it up a bit, leave it original and enjoy it! What an honest, well preserved old truck. Although it’s the next lucky owners prerogative, I’d hate to see it chopped up into a trendy rat rod. Does anyone know the details on the box/shelves on the left running board? Perhaps a locking tool box?

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  12. lbpa18

    So much to love here. Not common to find the original wood in the bed. I wouldnt varnish it, Id oil it. We used to oil our farm truck beds with used motor oil. It obviously added a dark tint to the wood but they were black painted when new and it helped preserve the wood. Yes, it attracted dust for a short while but it was a work truck and it quickly got rubbed off and soaked in. And, it’s good for the wood. It’ll last a long time still and stay looking original. Add a correct cover on the seat, KEEP the registration cover on the steering column, and wash it and drive it for years just as it sits.

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  13. Joe M

    This truck appears to be actually, ORIGINAL, unlike most so-called ‘original’ antique vehicles I see that have had practically every bolt and gauge changed with a little original sheet metal remaining LEAVE THE TRUCK AS IT IS–except for repairing the seat and drive it..

  14. steven wessels

    very nice truck keep it the way it is and drive it mantain iy

  15. Roger

    All Ready Gone

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Good ones never last.

      1
  16. Del

    nice

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