No. 149: Bonded, Not Bondo'd

They just never stop working. A truck built nearly seven decades ago may have started life carrying produce to the market, cinder blocks to the job, hay to the cattle. But time slows even the best machines. And so this 1951 Chevy 3100 Thriftmaster has taken on an easier life: as a billboard to a bail-bonding company.

For the uninitiated, a bail-bonding company puts up money to spring people from jail. The inmate or his (really, the people in jail are overwhelmingly male) family put up collateral to a bondsman (again, almost always men) to post the jailbird’s bail. If the inmate fails to show up in court, the bail bondsman collects the collateral that the no-good bum’s family put up to secure his release. It’s a tough business.

As noted before, the Thriftmaster line of trucks debuted in 1947 — a design so different from its predecessor that the trucks were known by the acronym AD, short for “advanced design.” Chevy built the truck until early 1955. The 3100 was so well-known, so well-built, that it got a chapter in a book titled “Things That Last.” And last they do.

Or, at least, they linger.

This old truck appears as solid as the day some lucky buyer shook the salesman’s (men again!) hand and drove this thing home. If it has any Bondo, I don’t see it.

New Braunfels, Texas, 966 miles southwest of Atlanta. (Photos by Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold “Tex” Colson)

Published by oldcarguy

Sisyphus in a fedora.

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