Sign Written: 1948 Dodge Panel Truck

I’m not always in favor of leaving a vehicle cosmetically “as-is”, especially if it’s really dilapidated. But it will really be a crime if someone covers up the original sign writing on this 1948 Dodge panel truck, listed for sale here on eBay! It’s located in Pahrump, Nevada. There’s only a buy it now listed, and that’s $4,500 as of this moment.

While it looks like the front bumper got hooked on something, I think you could bend it back and with some careful metal working replace the section of tube that is bent as well. Unfortunately, that would mean painting it as well. The seller tells us that they purchased this truck from the original owner’s son in California about five years ago, drove it onto their trailer and headed back to Nevada.

That California reference makes sense, because “CL” was a phone code used prior to 1958 in central Los Angeles, and I found several references to Joe Konkel in the Fresno Bee and California business journals stating that he started an electrical business quite early, possibly before WWII, and that by 2006 had been “lighting up the Valley for more than 80 years.” Wouldn’t it be neat to be able to connect the dots and find out information about the original owner? There’s a Joey Konkel that currently owns Cal-tech Electrical Construction, Inc.–perhaps it’s the son mentioned in the listing?

The seller mentions replacing the inner fenders, and you can see some slide hammer marks in this shot. Okay, maybe it’s bad enough to restore, but please duplicate the original painted sign writing if you do!

The seller also sourced what is claimed to be an original driver’s seat. Pretty plain interior–you can tell this was a work truck!

The floor still looks good enough to hold a load! Clean it up and let’s go!

Finally, here’s the engine. It’s good to know someone else uses painter’s tape to record spark plug numbers! It has been converted to 12 volts (what else would you expect from an electrical shop truck?) and the seller last had it running five years ago. I’d love to pursue this one, but it’s too far from me and I have too many other irons in the fire. Would you paint it, or leave it as is?


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  1. Rustytech Member

    I remember those phone #’s ops giving away my age! I love this old truck, there’s definitely something to be said floring doing a mechanical only restoration, but that west coast lettering would seem out of place here on the east coast. I’d do a complete restoration and use vintage style lettering for my own business. Maybe even with some light patina left over. So many possibilities here!

    Like 1
    • rando

      How is this “west coast lettering”? Having been in the sign business for 31 years now, I can say that this kind of hand lettering was used all over the country until computer-cut vinyl lettering came along in the late 80’s/early 90s. Race cars and work trucks were lettered this way for years and there are still sign writers ou tthere that do hand lettering with One-Shot and quill brushes.

  2. Mike Williams

    I doubt it will sell at that BUY IT NOW price of 4500

  3. JW

    I love old panel trucks and being a modifier this truck would be super to have but the purists would hate me.

  4. Drew V

    Local guy has a ‘ Dodge Panel, grafted the frnt half f a ’77 Chevy 1/2 tn truck to the original frame and added a tunnel rammed sm.blk Chevy. Nice lking rod but I would have kept it all Mppar…

    Like 1
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like it a lot. ’48 to ’50 was my favorite for the Pilot House trucks. I have to admit that I’m glad it isn’t very close to home. Too many projects although this one is still tempting. Of course if it did come my way, it would probably get a driver status resto. If the motor is OK I’d drive it but it the motor was shot, I might be tempted to drop in a 251 or even a 265 so I could go a little faster than 50; maybe as fast as 55. The larger motors fit–sorta.

  6. MrF

    Get it running, but leave otherwise it as is, I sez. (Well, maybe bend the bumper back…)

  7. waynard

    ‘CL’ (Clearbrook) was also used in northern Illinois suburbs in the late 50’s. Not sure for how long.

    Appears to be missing it rear fenders. Reasonably certain it had shallow fenders.

    • Joe W Konkel

      I’d be interested in purchasing this vehicle if someone could please tell me who purchased it from this seller

  8. Rustytech Member

    The sellers add says “bought from original owners son in CA”. I think it’s safe to assume the lettering is advertising a CA business. Therefore looking out of place here in PA.

    • Joe W Konkel

      He did not buy it from the original owner FYI. My grandfather was Joe Konkel. It was sold 34 years ago. My grandfather died 16 years ago

  9. stevee

    Clean and paint the wheels. Install good appropriate tires (maybe dog dish hubcaps) to the new owner’s taste. Straighten and paint bumpers. Polish the stainless + chrome. Just put a nice “frame” on a beautiful piece of Dodge art!

  10. Clay Byant

    Said he has no time to work on it as he has 2 years of shop work to get caught up on. Glad I’m not last on his list………………..

  11. Joe W Konkel

    This was my grandfathers truck. It was sold 36 years ago. I used to drive this truck is a kid . As well as my brothers

  12. Rich konkel

    That was my grandfather’s he had about 10 of thoes when i was a boy, his company was in fresno cal

  13. Michael Brown

    I am currently restoring a similar 48 dodge panel truck in Kingman, Arizona that I picked up in Grants Pass, Oregon, a month ago. It originally was from Cathedral City, Ca. Mine has the rear fenders and more complete interior. I am enjoying learning auto restoration as I go.

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