Sad Remainder: 1928 Chevrolet

We recently featured a Chalmers on Barn Finds that was a pretty sad reminder of a fine car of the past. Here is another one. This is a 1928 Chevrolet Touring car. Well, it once was a touring car, then sometime during the Great Depression, this car was made into a truck, something that was done frequently by farmers and others to save money when times were tough and money was tight.

There’s not much of this old car remaining, and plenty of rust on what is there. What is left of this car is for sale now on craigslist in McDade, Texas, east of Austin, with an asking price of $1,500.

The seller says he has owned this car since 1969, and provides a picture that is probably of himself when this car was still a driver. I can’t help wondering how it went from the way it looked in the late sixties or early seventies to the pile of rusty parts it is today. It seems pretty sad. I do like those artillery wheels, though it seems likely anyone buying this “car” will be using the body and selling off the rest for parts.

The seller says the motor is not stuck, but of course this car has not run in years.

There is no back seat and no front seat.  Aside from what you see in the photos, the seller also has the fenders and says they are in good shape, along with the rear spare tire rack, front light bar, and the radiator. I think there might be enough here for a talented and imaginative builder to make a hot rod out of it, if the body is not too far gone. At least there’s a clear title, and hopefully the seller has some good stories to tell about this car after 45 years of ownership. I could not find a breakout of Chevy production numbers for 1928, but the made a total of 786,670 cars that year but it’s not so common to see one in touring car form these days.

Photo from

Here’s a version of what you might do with the car for sale here. Do you think this is at least a decent deal, or is this seller asking too much for what he has?



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  1. jaygryph

    The ad isn’t terribly well done, but I have a feeling this may not be a terrible buy. This is the sort of find that you’ll have an interesting time learning about the car, and the buyer, as you’re digging all the various parts out of wherever they’ve been stashed.

    Though it’s not shown, I’d wager that most of that thing is still there. There weren’t really many parts to one of those cars, probably a pickup load at best, so this would be a great canvas to work with. It’s for sure the car in the photo, the faded rectangle where the old stickers on the cowl used to be can still be seen.

    If it were closer I’d sure have a look, and would see what else the old guy had.

  2. Howard A Member

    Man, we’re really scraping the “bottom of the barrel” with these frame/engine block only cars. It was not uncommon to re-purpose vehicles like this into sawmills, or turn a belt off the rear wheels as a stationary rig, but to put this back on the road? C’mon, just silliness. If this is what it’s coming to, all the good ones are gone, and frames and an engine block are all that remain as projects, and it will happen, the old car hobby, as I know it, has truly gone.( finding plausible projects for cheap)

    • jaygryph

      My dad had an old flathead six car based saw mill when I was a kid. Terrifying thing, two foot across blade bolted up to the short driveshaft right behind the transmission. About the most idiotically manly piece of farm equipment I’ve ever seen.

      I don’t think all the good deals are gone. The things you like may have dried up, but that does not mean that there are not any deals or good buys left.

      Really this is all I can think about when I see comments like this:

      If you want to teach someone your hobby, it’s probably best not to tell them how terrible it is now, and that they’re doing it wrong. To do so will only leave you wondering why you feel so alone in your interests.

      • Dave Wright

        You guys were pikers……we used to have them with 6′ blades and 100 lb flywheels…….they would bring the hair up on the back of your neck if you got close while they were running. Carbide inserts would come off the tips like bullets is they hit a nail or something hard. It was never a problem convincing workers to wear hard hats and big face shields.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi jaygryph, I can finish that clip ( huge Simpsons fan) Young Homer , looking into mirror saying, ” No way, man, I’m gonna keep rockin’ for ever,,,,for ever,,, for ever”, then it shows Homer an old guy looking in a mirror sadly, saying, for ever, for ever, and realizing, he doesn’t rock anymore.
        I realize, one can’t use 1970’s values today. These hulks sat in fields for years because nobody wanted them. I’m not sure how many restorations you’ve done, but it’s usually best, to start with something that at least resembles the end product. Even then, it’s a huge job. That’s why you see so many projects come through here with a new coil, fuel pump, or “got ‘er running” or all stripped, because the folks ran out of steam ( or resources) and THAT’S the difference right there. Believe it or not, in the 70’s, you probably could have found a yard that actually HAD 1928 Chevy parts. And cheap. I just don’t see that happening today with this. It just needs too much.
        Lastly, thanks to this site, I know I’m not alone in my interests, that’s what’s cool about this site. But you’re right, I’m not passing any of my knowledge on,,,,partly because no one around me cares.

      • Dave Wright

        Call Jerry Turner……Turners auto wrecking near Fresno…….he has parts and is quite reasonable.

    • Mikey MO

      Thanks Barrett Jackson and other TV shows along with the recent history of high Scrap price that plunged and this is what you yet

  3. Mark S Member

    There might not be much there but there is potential here. I’d restore frame and drive line, cowling hood, fenders, etc. Then I’d build a boat tail body with stainless steel sides and a cedar strip deck covered in weave fiberglass and clear apoxy resin. It would be a two seater car with a period drop top. I’d paint the front cowling and hood olive green and paint the fenders limousine black. The interior would be done in a dark tan leather. Because there is not a lot there of the original body this kind of build would not upset the purest to much and you would have a very stylish car.

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I guess it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Some look at this as a great custom build with an old car flair while others look at it as nothing more than a challenge. It’s too far gone for me but I know of some who wouldn’t think twice about taking on a project like this and taking it right to the end. Some may have already heard me talk about this but I know a guy who is restoring a 1915 Redcliff truck. He started out with far less than this and he’s about ready to drive it out the door. He had to take a year off the project for a hip replacement and other health issues but he told me that he’s putting the coveralls back on and finishing the job this winter. I’ll have photos when he drives it out….

    • Dave Wright

      Used to be what the hobby was about.

      • jaygryph

        How has the hobby changed?

      • Dave Wright

        I think there are fewer guys that do what they like with little consideration for the cost/value that we talk about so much here. If a person commits to a long term project like this, no one can predict what the value will be when it is complete. I think it used to be more about the journey and less about the destination.

  5. Anthony

    The difference is in the old day that pile of potential would have been close to free not 1500 dollars. Same problem with a lot of the projects seen on this sight. Everybody thinks they are sitting on a goldmine rather then letting someone do something with it. My first car was a ten year old 63 Bel Air i paid 25 dollars for. I bought another wrecked 63 changed out all four doors patchef the floors and quarter panels got it painted and drove that car gor two years. Today a 63 bel air in that same condition is likely a 7000.00 car

    • Dave Wright

      Have you seen the kind of money that is floating around these days. We sold a pretty typical house in the east bay 5 years ago for 750,000……my wife had bought it 30,years earlier for 70,000……today it is worth 1.75 mill. That is an average price for houses in that neighborhood today. You expect things to get more expensive over time but the last 8 years have been insane…….we looked at a new Denali for my brother last month, a nice one was 75,000….by the way…..the guy that spends 1.75 on that house today has a year property tax bill of 20,000 makes the numbers we talk about here pretty skinny.

      • Howard A Member

        We’re doomed.

      • Dave Wright

        I think that is a function of life Howard..we are doomed from the moment we are born……… the 1860’s a fair wage was 1.00 a day and bunkhouse with food…..when my folks were first married in the late 40’s dad had a very good wage of 600.00 a month…..a lot of money then….he and my uncles built the house they lived in at the sawmill over a few weeks. Do you know any modern women that would live like that? My USCG helicopter rescue man son is married to a nice young woman with about the same education as my mom had when she was married…..teacher…..I am sure they have an income close to 8,000 a month between them. They have 4 cars, 4 motorcycles, an airplane (I bought them) and they are 29 years old………they are perfect kids and if you need rescued, he is the one you want to come do it……. times change as much as they stay the same.

  6. Clay Byant

    Over the last 55 years while I’ve been traveling the country I’ve talked to a lot of guys that started projects like this and had no problem finishing them out. People are different today and what they drive relates to how much money they spend. If you have pride in your workmanship that so overrides big buck expenditures. A good trip to Hershey ,Carlisle or any big swap meet and doing some asking around, a little networking and you’ll be surprised the people you find that either have or know of someone that does the parts you need.(and you have a fun couple days doing it) Incidentally, a lot of these cars had the back cut off during the war as they could be titled as a pickup and get a better deal on gas rationing stamps. That was a smart move the owner did on storing the car on paneling. Kept the moisture from coming up and dried things out faster being out in the open………….

  7. Jake S.

    This what i’d want to do with those pieces!

    • David Wilk Member

      Cool ride, Jake, can you tell the story behind this build? Similar era Chev? Thanks for posting this.

  8. Jake S.

    Unfortunately I do not know much about it other than it’s a picture I saved off the great interwebs for inspiration someday. A little internet sleuthing seems to indicate it’s a 1925 Chevrolet owned by one Mark Garcia. It appears to retain the original cowl, hood and radiator, as well as the original running gear. The seats and rear look custom. My point was simply that the afore mentioned pile of genuine Chevrolet has plenty of potential for the ambitious hot rodder! The look is something of a pre-war speedster, and such a car would likely be welcome at such evens as the ‘Hot Rod Hill Climb’ or the “Race of Gentlemen.
    Thank you for the reply, Mr. Wilk

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