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Old 06-16-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
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Anyone here ever own a classic pick-up truck from the 40's/50's/60's? Just wondering what your experience was, good or bad, and things to look out for when in the market for one. I've been looking at some mid-60's model Chevy and Ford p/u's, preferably with an auto transmission. Wondering how costly it would be to maintain one that's already been overhauled. Availability or existance of after market parts? Likes, dislikes, common problems, things to look out for etc?
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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My closest experience would be a '67 Chevy half-ton I owned back in the mid 80s. It had the 327, with a PowerGlide. Incredible engine.

I probably can't offer too much advice here, because I rebuilt it for the purpose of hauling wood for our wood stoves - not as a show truck.

At that time, all the parts were readily available and inexpensive.



Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Longtime owner of a 1965 GMC half-ton. Experience is in general good, most wear parts are available through local auto parts stores. Here in the Intermountain West, and in the South, these old rigs are not uncommon, many are in original service.

Not certain why you would want a slushbox, you can certainly find them but they cause the truck to both be slower and burn more gas, and detract from the "charismatic and engaging" experience that a vintage vehicle should deliver IMHO.

Pick up a copy of Hemmings Motor News, you will find many vendors that cater to vintage pickups.

The one thing that I don't much like about the '65 is it does not have the collapsing steering column, nor any seat belts, due to the non-collapsing column seat belts would not help much, so, just don't wreck it. I think '67 was the first year for the "safety" steering column.

I think you are in rust country so that could be a problem if you want to keep the truck in decent shape, and you have to worry about structural damage to the frame even on the older trucks.

The 40's and 50's trucks tend to be 6-cylinder engines of pre-war design, and the trucks tend to be geared quite low (high numerically) so they tend to be really slow in stock configuration. If you are OK with slow, they are even simpler than the 60's trucks.

Making predictions is always risky, particularly predictions about the future - but in general I would expect your maintenance costs to be low.

Don't haul heavy loads on old tires or dodgy cheap tires. If you don't run the truck much a good set of tires will last you the full 6 years that they are warrented for, probably more but after year 6 you are on your own, the mfg won't back them against blowout etc.

I think you will find GM parts easier to find than Ford, but I'm not sayin' the Ford parts are that tough.

Get one, have fun, you won't be sorry. And if you want to sell on, if you buy a good rig and don't over-pay, you will get at least most of your money back, and, depending, may get more than you paid for it.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Southern NH
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I see them at car shows all the time. It would be fun to have one as a toy. I suggest you go to some local car shows and talk to the owners. You meet the nicest people at car shows. There are many online forums for classic car and truck owners (ex. www.chevytalk.com is great). I have heard that the shortbed trucks are much more popular (and expensive) as classics than the full size long bed (although I like the look of the full size 8' box behind the standard cab). You can see a lot of the trucks on ebaymotors.com. Naturally it is best to try to find something down south or out west....
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Never owned one but have always wanted to. They were simple in design and very robust. But I believe they also had issues with dirt finding little pockets to hide in to start rust issues. Also some of those old trucks had the gas tank behind the rear seat, might be ok for some but for others I'm sure get queasy....especially if they smoke.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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I grew up riding in the back of a 1956 Chevy pickup, on our farm.

235 ci in-line 6. 3 on the tree. Push-button starter on the floor. Dark green, with a red wooden livestock box.

It was a beautiful pickup. I would love to find one exactly like it to restore.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:10 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
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Ah, I learned to drive in a 56 green Chevy with the 6 cyl and 3 speed. Great memories.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Great Plains
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They are a lot of fun. Parts should be easy to find. Thinking along the lines of C6's. It can be an expensive hobby if you want. Yes if I had the opportunity I would be on it like flies on stink.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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If you go out of your way to buy a bad-condition truck and then pay someone else to restore it a bit at a time, you can have a bad experience, but otherwise I don't see much downside, except the safety issues previously noted, and/or the fact that the older models tend to be pretty slow in factory trim. But for older GM anyway, there is Patrick's who sell a little taller ring and pinion...

Seriously, go for it, the old say pre 1970 pickups are pretty much all good vehicles.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,595 posts, read 35,277,819 times
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Default I love them old trucks!

I sold this 27 Roadster Pickup last August. Was fun but only went 35 mph.


Recently replaced it with this killer 38 Plymouth Pickup


I've owned this 68 Chev going on 20 years. It's built like a tank.
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