“His wife’s name is ol’ ” — but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. GMC trucks, like their nearly identical cousins at Chevrolet, rolled out a radically different machine in the spring of 1955. Gone were the billowy fenders and tiny windshields, the narrow cab and just as narrow wheelbase that had defined GMC trucks sinceContinue reading “No. 154: ‘He was born in Pennsylvania…’”
Pause for a moment, fellow traveler, to give a hat-tip to Ctesibius. Or should that be a nemes* tip? Ctesibius was an inventor in Egypt during the second century BCE. (That was the Ptolemaic Dynasty, of course.) He’s credited with creating the first force pump, a machine to move water. Without Ctesibius, our nation’s fireContinue reading “No. 153: Pump Like An Egyptian”
International trucks. The words conjure images of large, no-nonsense machines operated by large, no-nonsense guys – the sort of hauler you’d see at the dump, the warehouse, the docks. And those images were accurate: The International was … …well, built to work. It was what the plumber drove; his might have a utility body thatContinue reading “No. 150: Intentionally International Tough”
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 aContinue reading “No. 149: Bonded, Not Bondo’d”
A few years ago I volunteered my truck to pick up discarded Christmas trees and take them to a chipper. It was a Cub Scout fund-raiser. I was the Cubmaster. I had to lead by example. And so, on a chilled Saturday morning just after New Year’s Day, I jumped in my truck’s cold cab.Continue reading “No. 148: Ho-Ho Hauler”
Like other U.S. automakers, Studebaker hustled to re-tool its plants to answer the demand for new cars and trucks following World War II. In 1949, the South Bend-based corporation introduced the 2R pickup. It was a stylish thing, with lines that flowed more than the Fords and Chevys of that era. In a remarkable stylingContinue reading “No. 110: A Rare Machine”
How many miles of mountain roadways did this ’53 Chevrolet 3100 Thriftmaster half-ton pickup* travel until it came to rest under a rickety shed in the shadow of Black Rock Mountain? Clayton, 110 miles northeast of Georgia. *The Best Truck Of All Time. Period.