They aren’t kidding about this thing hauling.

I ran across this 1953 Chevy sedan delivery at Home Depot while picking up house supplies. Just as I was entering the store this burbled through the parking lot. I dashed around getting my shopping done as fast as possible in hopes it would still be there when I was done.


Luck was with me, and it it was still there, parked a few spaces away from where I’d left my truck. “Moving Violation” seems to have been built in the classic 60’s gasser style with a straight-axle front pointing at the sky, big slicks in the back, and a worked over V8 under the 1-piece flip-front hood.


The car was rough around every edge, but had the look of something that gets driven, and driven hard. And the very fact it was driven to Home Depot of a Saturday was awesome in my book.



I spent a good long time looking the car over and admiring all the details through out. It was clear the car was well-loved and built by someone with a sense of humor. But the best part was the large sticker on the rear window, which made it clear how the owner feels about people giving him shit for the car not being perfect.


What is better, mostly rusty parts or mostly no parts? Neither…

(I looked at this truck before I bought the wagon)

I looked at this 1953 GMC the same day I looked at the half-dissolved ’53 Chevy pickup. After how that truck was falling apart but supposedly solid drivetrain-wise I thought if I could find another truck that was more intact I could combine them into one good truck.


The seller of this truck was asking $1250, but it was pretty clear even over the phone that he was more desperate to get rid of the truck than to get the most for it. So once again I piled into Box and headed out to look at a truck. Upon arrival I was led out to a dirt-floor garage where there was about 60% of a truck. The frame & drivetrain were complete and it had a cab with a hood & both doors. That was about it.

There was no bed, no seat, no fenders, no grille, no bumpers, most trim was gone. The gauges were in a disassembled pile in a half-rotted box. Worse, the parts that were there were in rough shape. While not anywhere near the scale of the other truck, the cab had its fair share of rust, and everything had been badly spray-painted black.

I made my polite goodbyes and fled back towards home. About ten minutes after I left the guy called me and mentioned he had an LMC truck catalog that had all the things the truck would need in it. I explained to him my worry wasn’t finding all the missing parts, it was affording them.


I can’t even imagine how complicated it would be to figure out every single piece that was missing, track it down new or used & put it together never having seen it complete. Fortunately I was smart enough not to buy the truck, so I don’t have to do that.

I found myself joking shortly afterwards tha that after a truck that was mostly rotted and another that was mostly missing, would the next one be on fire when I got there?


Crossing the line from ‘rusty’ to ‘dissolved’

(This is a car shopping post from before I bought the wagon)

Unlike the ’59 Pontiac, the seller of this Chevy truck was at least up front that it was really rusty. He’d advertised it for $1900 and said it ran well and had all new brakes, but needed the rust fixed and needed to be re-assembled. The truck was supposed to me a 1953, but the cab details didn’t match, the doors without vent windows imply it is a 1950 at the latest.

Upon arrival I found the truck, or more accurately the pieces of the truck, still loaded on his trailer from picking it up. He’d apparently traded an International pickup for it to someone who wanted a drivable truck. These “Advanced Design” trucks are very popular, and go for good money, so I wasn’t surprised to find that a $1900 truck was in this kind of condition.

However this truck was way beyond both what I was interested in working on, and what I had the skills & time for. Someone had started replacing the floors & rockers, however they were welded to more badly dissolved metal. I could tell very quickly that any metal repairs to the truck were going to be a struggle to find metal solid enough to weld or bolt to. Even given all of that, I couldn’t help but like the truck. If it was a bit more intact and a bit less rotted I would have been quite happy to pick it up and bomb around in it in its trashed state for a while. However I was at least smart enough this time to stare down the barrel of massive amounts of work to simply get it on the road, and turn away.