Saturday, June 13, 2015

Urban Suburban

Greenpoint has one stretch of road with so many interesting old rides on it that there must be either a car club, shade tree mechanic, or just a nest of West Coast rockabilly billet proof punks with similarly brycreemed hair and Born to Lose tattoos. Regardless, look at the beast I found over that way!
Man you just don't see things like this in NYC at ALL! This is a 1951 Chevrolet panel van in what was once Seacrest Green. There would normally be a series number (3100, 3600, or 3800) denoting the load capacity, but on each side the emblem is missing.
The trend of leaving great patina well enough alone is one I applaud fully, especially when something has as much character as this. I mean, this truck was meant to earn its living through hard work and has achieved the age of 64 while remaining drivable, so let it look like it's been around!
Over the decades this has lived a few different lives I'm sure. Not only is there a small (probably crank-out) vent installed in the roof but there's this square patch panel riveted to the side. There is a small window on the opposite side so I guess they just went for a quick and dirty fix. The seats look to have been recovered tastefully. 
The above image cements this as a 1951 model; that was the first year for the vent windows in the doors and the last for the non-pushbutton door handles. The cut-out portion behind the lower-rear edge of the door is mimicked on the other side which I'm assuming is rust repair.
The original hubcaps are still there with that cool art deco font.
Depending on the year you would get either barn doors like this or clamshell where the hinges were at the top or bottom.
I had to look up that GUIDER17T designation on the bright metal trim topping this light. Turns out this is just the part name for the combo license plate holder and light for '46-56 Chevy & GMC panel vans and suburbans. The Cali plate explains why this beast is alive at all.
This ride was a part of the Advanced Design era of Chevy trucks that ran from 1947-1955. It was the first real redesign after WWII when all civilian production stopped for the war effort. After the war all the major car companies hurriedly rushed out whatever they could produce which consisted of cars that were being built back in 1942. Even those designs were tired by the time '42 rolled around so this was a big fist step.
I love this thing. Believe it or not there was only a 216 inline 6 cylinder powering this truck when new with a 3 or 4 speed manual on the column.
That lonely bolt hole on the lower fender tells a sad story of a piece of metal that was once there. The running board is getting an emergency assist from some clothesline.
Those two holes under CHEVROLET once held the emblem that announced the series for this rig.
This grill is iconic, with the original Lowrider movement of '60s and '70s SoCal transforming tons of these trucks.
That little lens is real glass. The magnification built into that glass is key to it being noticed at all since this truck was 6-volts when new. I know from experience that 6-volt lighting is dim.
Well we'll leave this cruiser to lay low amongst its motley crew of classics and oddities. Someone has a seriously cool truck on their hands and I was glad to have found it!

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