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This 89 Year Old Runs: 1928 Chevrolet Truck

This old truck listed on eBay appears to be a mostly original survivor. Chevy had been building trucks for 10 years and improving them with every model. Ford’s truck, the “TT” was still based on the Model T until 1927, so Chevy was way ahead with features like 4 wheel brakes and a 3 speed transmission. This Chevy truck has been kept inside and is still running. It’s in Cochrane, Alberta, near Calgary, eh? The opening bid of $1,000 does not meet reserve.

It looks mostly complete and original inside except for the contact paper, of course.

That’s Chevy’s 171 CID 35 HP engine. With a good cleaning, it would look pretty good.

Chevy sold these trucks as just a chassis with drivetrain, fenders and hood, so the cab was built by others and they tend to be very basic. It looks like it’s all there and ready to go to work. There’s not really much use for a truck like this excepting for things like marketing or parades. I hope someone will preserve it.


  1. Red'sResto

    What a minimalistic engine bay. The shape and design of that engine (self enclosed) looks more like a tool or lunch box that was left under the hood. Perhaps Chevy was way ahead of the times, given how little of the engine you see under the hood of a modern car.

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    • geebee

      I thought exactly the same thing, about the engine resembling a tool box!

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like this truck! I have to admit that I did a double-take when I saw the four cylinder motor. I expected to see a six, but then, it’s a ’28 model so it’s going to have the four. Looks like a fun truck to have. By the looks of the wood, there’s little doubt in my mind that whoever buys this one is going to have to give it a major restoration.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, some research shows, this was the last year for the 4 cylinder, which put out 21.7 hp SAE ( it’s that .7 that gets you over the hill) and 35 brake hp. What surprised me, was I thought there was just a cover over a flathead motor, but this was an OHV. Here’s da’ business side. http://www.shannons.com.au/library/images/auctions/AA254F72DFVXB9AE/1600×1066/1928-chevrolet-national-tourer.jpg

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. In ‘The Chevrolet Story 1911-1966’ Chevy talked about how it brought out the OHV in 1914. It also featured the ‘blue flame’ combustion chamber, which was made possible by the better scavenging from the overhead valves. I don’t think there were a lot of changes to the motor between ’14 and ’28 except that the tappets and rocker arms were covered a bit better. I find it interesting that Chevy went to OHV so early (followed by Buick) and the rest of GM took its sweet time.

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      • SortedCorty.com

        Hi geomechs. Buick had OHV from 1904 – or as it was called “Valve-in-Head”.

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi SortedCorty. I knew Buick went to ohv but I thought it was later. Thanks for the informaion. one of the things I love about this site; you get to share a lot of info and there’s always something to learn….

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  3. Rod

    I really like this. Can see it in parades or just tooling around town, car shows etc. This would actually be a relatively easy one to fix up if you desired to do so. Either way it could be lots of fun and generate interest. If I didn’t already have one project on the go I would go after this providing the price was right.

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  4. Rustytech Member

    I think this would make an interesting street rod, or resto mod. Add a smal block Chevy and modern running gear. Leave the body as original, and build a wood flatbed with stake sides, maybe add a dual rear wheel setup. I would keep the 4cyl as a display in my garage.

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    • Clinton

      I like your idea. Not sure why all the thumbs down. At least with something more modern drivetrain-wise, you’d be able to drive it around town…maybe even use it as a truck.

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  5. Z1rider

    I too did a double take but for different reasons. The grille shell is NOT a 28 but after looking at the engine shots I can attest it is a 28 due to the one year only 2 port exhaust manifold. Even with the earlier shell I still think it was factory built since it’s a truck and not a car. The cars got longer hoods for 28 with the expectation of a 6 that would not arrive for another year. The use of the updated 4 required a fan shroud to bridge the gap to the radiator. Carrying over prior year sheet metal for trucks would have made sense and avoided the need for the shroud. Trucks also continued use of wooden wheels. Do you suppose people didn’t trust those newfangled all steel disc wheels the cars used? I suppose that’s a possibility.

    Previous years allowed the pushrods and rockers to be exposed. This one has tin covers for both giving it that toolbox look. And no oil supply to the rockers. You had to take care of that with your squirt can.

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  6. Tom

    I own a 1929 Chevy truck it always get lots of thumbs up when I take it to parades and car shoes, but to be honest its not very much fun to drive. But I have to keep it for quite a few more years as my grandkids love riding in the back during parades.

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  7. Wm Lawrence

    I believe these engines had the push rods exposed. I’ve seen them painted like barber poles and rotating as the engine runs.

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    • Z1rider

      Not 28’s. While I don’t know what year Chevy implemented the sheet metal cover for the pushrods I’m quite certain 28’s had them. I know because I own one.

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  8. Dickie F

    I would have loved to have heard the history of this truck and how it eventually landed up in the tall grass.
    The engine runs?
    As a 7 year old, I sat for hours daydreaming in a ’38 parked in our back yard – now that I think back, that ’38 was driven out of there.

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  9. Jerry HW Brentnell

    if you are going to buy this you had better start raiding old age homes for a good cabinet maker as the body frame work is all wood thats why most of them fell apart with age dad used to call them termite wagons

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    • Ed P

      I think any knowledgeable wood worker would be capable of rebuilding the body framing. The big expense would be the wood, that is not common lumber in there. My guess would be ash or oak.

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  10. Rustytech Member

    Thanks. Clinton. I’m not sure either. Some people just get stuck in the “it’s gotta be as it was built” mode. I try to be flexible, some vehicles ( like this one ) will just cost tool much to restore to OE specs. So if those guys want to spend $40k to restore a truck that will then be worth $25k it’s their money. By updating the running, and safety equipment one might recoup the investment. That’s my opinion, and I’m not going to apologize for it.

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  11. David James Cumberland

    Hi All
    Yes I now own this truck and am restoring it
    Unfortunately the engine didn’t run I found a mouse nest in cylinder 2
    I can confirm it is a
    1928 Chevrolet National AB 1 Ton Truck
    Covers over the push rods are correct
    Yes I’m an old school cabinet maker with a healthy interest in vehicles

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