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Trio Of Panel Trucks!


I was surprised to come across three panel truck finds today! The 1955 Chevrolet may have been an ambulance, and was possibly in or near a fire at some point, but I think is still solid enough to fix up if you’re interested. It’s located in Pearl River, New York and is listed here on eBay. The 1961 Dodge may be a bit of a challenge as it’s missing some important things, but is unusual enough that it may be worth saving anyway. It’s located in Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada and is up for auction at no reserve here on eBay. Finally, the 1963 Chevrolet, arguably the most solid of the three, is in MacArthur, West Virginia, and is for sale here on eBay.


The 1955 Chevy has been off the road since 1976. The seller believes that it was a Bayside, New York ambulance based on some faded lettering on the side of the truck. The inside of the truck looks like it might have smoke damage, and some of the lenses have melted, so it may have been near or in a fire at some point. The inline 6-cylinder engine is said to turn freely by hand, and is attached to a three-speed manual transmission. While there’s certainly some rust on this truck, there are some solid points as well, and it doesn’t appear to have had accident damage.


While the 1961 Dodge looks relatively solid apart from those rust traps at the nose of the front fenders, it has some other issues. It has a rebuilt/reconstructed title (it would be nice to know why) and is missing a pretty major component: the engine! I’m not sure how easy it would be to come by an original engine, or even if you would want to. Perhaps this one is best as a candidate for a modern engine swap? Someone with a sense of humor has attached a Buick emblem to the glove box (I’m sure there’s a story there!) as well.


The most modern truck here, the 1963 also benefits from a V-8 and automatic installation that probably isn’t original based on what I can find. The mismatched paint has me thinking someone has replaced some of the panels, and the extra door among the debris that used to be an interior adds to that belief. The seller also states there’s an extra steering column included in the sale, and adds that they have not been able to open the side doors and do not have the keys, despite having a signed over clear title. Based on the inspection sticker, this truck has been off the road since 1988. Of these three, if you had to choose one, which one would you pick as a project truck? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Avatar photo Skip Goulet

    The panel trucks were very popular as ambulances in the early ’60s here in West Texas. I worked at a funeral home that put in a then-new ’61 Chevy Apache panel as first out ambulance, and it outclassed everything we had ever seen because we could carry four stretcher patients. Everyone else was still using station wagons then.

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  2. Avatar photo JW

    The 1963 Chevy IMO looks to be the best deal of the bunch.

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  3. Avatar photo Mark S

    I’d take the dodge it’s by far the coolest and it’s a 4×4 you could probably reuse the axles and wheels the rest of the drive train is begging for an upgrade engine, trans, and transfer case out of something 80’s or 90’s. This truck being 3/4 ton would even be able to handle a cummins turbo diesel. With the rest of it going to a stock restoration. What an awesome beast you’d have, and it’s one of my favourite dodge body styles. Great find Jamie.

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  4. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    Hmmm, can’t seem to decide. Looks like I’ll have to take all three. Of course, in the real world, that would be impossible. They’ve all got something to offer, except for the headers on that SBC; I don’t know why people want to install headers anyways. To me they’re just something to superheat the engine compartment. But that’s just me. If I had the ’63, it would be built with a stock V8, maybe a 327 but likely a 283. If I had the Dodge, I would try to find a Poly V8 and matching transmission from someone who wants to upgrade theirs to a fully modern engine/transmission. The Poly head engine has got all the power I’d ever need. The ’55 Chevy would be restored to stock and used as a panel truck should.

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  5. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Without a doubt, the Dodge. I think it would be the most versatile, being 4 wheel drive ( I’m surprised that wasn’t mentioned anywhere, unless I missed it) It has a hydraulic brake lock on the dash and what appears to be a hydraulic clutch. Didn’t know they had that in ’61. The ’55 is pretty shot ( front cab mounts) and the ’63 just not that interested, but clearly, all there for someone.

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