Still Ready To Work: 1946 Chevy Farm Truck

Chev Truck side front

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Old farm trucks are pretty cool and almost always, at least for me, irresistible. This 1946 Chevrolet 2 ton flatbed is a great example of a working truck that looks pretty solid, complete, and almost ready to be driven. It still has its original engine and 4 speed transmission (with that super low granny gear, this 4 speed works more like a 3 speed though). Located in Hadley, Massachusetts, which even now has plenty of working farms, it’s for sale here on craigslist, but unfortunately, as nice as it looks, the asking price seems well out of range at $7,000. I’m thinking less than half that amount is closer to the “right” price.

1946 Chevrolet 2 Ton Truck

Even though this truck looks solid and very original, it will need alot of work just to put back into running condition. The seller states that the 216 flat six turns over, but that’s all. It’s been stored in a barn for an unknown period of time. So we have to assume the brakes will need to be completely rebuilt, rubber pieces replaced, gas tank drained and boiled out, new tires (not cheap either, you’ll need six of them!), and who knows whether the electrics work – we all know that mice love to chew on old fabric covered wiring. And doing cosmetic work on this truck will make it an even more expensive proposition.

1946 Chevrolet Truck Interior

When I was 19, I worked on a farm in southern Oregon, and got to drive a twin of this beauty. It was hard work to drive, with a massive wheel and turning circle, and shifting up or down usually meant double clutching every time. Driven without a load, it bounced around like crazy, and top speed was never more than about 40 miles per hour. When we drove the truck through town, we left behind a mixed fragrance of unburnt fuel and horse manure, not very much welcomed by the local citizens. When I drove that truck, even then an oldie, I understood what it was like in the era when trucks did not have creature comforts of any kind.

1946 Chevrolet Truck Bed

I hope someone does buy this wonderful example of American iron but I don’t think the seller is going to make the huge profit he is looking for though, maybe a realistic offer will take it home (bring another big truck and trailer to take it home with, however!)


Here’s a beautifully restored example to show what this truck could look like if money is no object.

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  1. MountainMan

    Yeah, the seller is way to proud of this even though it is pretty cool. There’s one down the road from me that is priced much more down to earth and is actually usable now that I would prefer over this one

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  2. Jim

    Now that’s a truck!

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  3. randy

    These old trucks are coming in to their own. Just the right age for the old retired guys to want what their dad may have had. I predict he gets his price, as long as the truck is in as good shape as it appears.

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    • Bob

      I love the Look of these old truck. Wish I had one of each.

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  4. Jason Houston

    Ahhhh, nothing strikes a quiver like a nice, old, straight, original, unmolested farm truck!

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    • randy

      Hello? How are you?

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  5. Matt Tritt

    I had a ’42 version of this very truck. The 2 speed rear end allowed a useable highway speed of about 50, once you got there, but it would climb seemingly straight up. The big hydrovac brake booster helped to easily lock the brakes so it wasn’t a big deal driving in traffice. I have to point out that a Chevrolet 216 is an overhead valve engine just like all Chevy engines were from day one. Good truck 3X too much.

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    • David WilkAuthor

      You’re right – I wrote flat six when I should have typed “straight” six. I’ve worked on those old Chevy engines and should know better.

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  6. 1969Deuce

    Us old (and should be retired) guys who get their arthritic knuckles cracked breaking rusty bolts like that also usually watch what we pay for entertainment. I tend to think that this price for a non-runner is a tad high, though it’s a very nice starting point.

    It would be a shame if a good buyer who would give it a bright future was put off by the number and no room to get it down. It might end up as a rat-rodded, repowered car hauler.

    The renovated one is gorgeous, but i’ve gotta wonder if it would market for the $ invested. There I suspect that it’s pride of ownership and fix-up, as well as an apparent business ad. Many times it is.

    I’m gonna take a flyer and guess that turning A into a reliable B will be about $25 – $30K unless you’ve got the time and resources to keep the cost down.

    As for the truck’s stock speed — it’s fine. I did 90 miles in the Deuce last weekend chasing the Toys for Tots Train through southern Orange County. About 2.5 – 3 hours of drive time. Better than 50% was on hilly, twisty country backroads. Probably 35 mph average, and on the 4 lane up and back, 45. It was a blast.

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    • randy

      I missed the part that said it was not running. I rescind my previous value statement.

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    • Levi Carwile

      sadly nowdays so many of those old trucks do get rat rodded it makes me sick i want to modify something like this but all i’d do is drop a cummins in and a new tranny to help it keep up with today’s speed standard

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  7. Terry J

    Lots of those trucks on the Eastern Oregon farms in the 50’s and 60’s. Those low gears were useful in the fields. We often let the old trucks idle along in granny gear while we all (including the driver) threw bales of hay up onto the truck bed. :-) TLouisJ

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    • Dave Wright

      Many are still here…….this is a city guy price. The larger trucks like this have never had the value of a comparable pickup. But nice old girl.

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  8. StrayHorse

    Thanks to BarnFinds I purchased a running “Big Bolt” last month (Here was your original link The seller’s listing was a little off—it hadn’t been titled in some 40 years. After some research I seem to have purchased a 1949 6400, 2-ton. I haven’t played with it much: the brakes are shot, but it starts easily, runs pretty well, all gears work, and the winch works powerfully. All-in-all, I feel am happy with the purchase. I have been seeing more activity on these heavy duty trucks recently, but I think the price on this ’46 is too optimistic.

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    • StrayHorse

      Here is the picture of mine that I was trying to upload.

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      • StrayHorse

        Browse/Upload image doesn’t seem to work for me. Does anyone have any suggestions? Does BarnFinds have any sort of FAQ section?

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      • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

        Hi, StrayHorse! I’ll try to help. Generally problems uploading seem to come from one of two things: 1) the photo file size is too large, or 2 and more common), someone is trying to load a file that’s on the Internet rather than on their own hard drive. When I first started here, the “browse” had me thinking that I could load a file from the Internet — it’s actually looking for a file that you have stored yourself. Let me know if that helps, and if not I’ll try to help some more. And I’m really pleased that someone that frequents this site bought the truck; I’m the one that wrote it up and I had to convince myself that I had no reasonable way to get it home before I didn’t bid!

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  9. packrat

    I remember that a boy at my high school bought a ’46 stakebed painted bright blue, and he paid all of 400.00 for it–and drove it off the guy’s property! Yeah, that was 30 years ago, so tag another zero on it I guess…

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  10. geomechs geomechsMember

    That restored one is sure nice. What’s nice about the feature truck is that it seems to be all there. It’s extremely difficult to find missing pieces and the cost of them is often astronomical. I’m inclined to think that the vendor is a little out of reach but then it’s a lot easier to come down than to go up…

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    • HoA Howard AMember

      Hi geomechs, the restored one does look nice, ( and the 8N in the back, even better) however, the down side to that, is everybody with a rusty old farm truck sees that and figures, “ka-ching”. Don’t get me wrong, I love old trucks, but it will be a nice day in Wisconsin before I pay 5g’s for something like this.

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      • geomechs geomechsMember

        Hi Howard. You are dead right. Too many watching BJ’s auction on TV… I like some of those guys trying to sell a truck and as soon as you start talking to them the price goes up and keeps going up until you’re at the complete restored unit price.

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  11. Texas Tea

    Cool! However not worth much money.

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  12. Ed P

    With a full load, that Chevy 216 would have been working mighty hard.

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  13. alfred

    it would be worth buying just to see the look on my wife’s face when I handed her the keys to her new grocery getter. she has a bad habit of hitting cars in supermarket parking lots

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  14. Mark S

    I think that the body and chassie should be restored. I also think that a duramax diesel and Allison 5 speed should replace the old oil slinger under the hood now. In the front, disc brakes and power steering should be fitted. I would also add A/C to it to keep the cab nice and cool. A set of air ride seats would be needed as well. The split rim wheels would also need to go, I’d Keep the flat deck maybe add the hardware to make it a dumper. Finally add side rails to the deck. Now you would have a highway capable truck that can actually go to work for you. Leaving the old engine and trans. In there renders this truck useless for today’s roads.

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  15. Matthew

    “Too old to need a title” I haven’t tried *that* particular line at the DMV yet.

    Like 0

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