Jim Carter's Old Chevy Trucks - Classic Chevy & GMC Truck Parts for all of your restoration needs! 1000's of parts in stocks now!

Posts Tagged ‘1938’

1938 Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Thirty six years by the same owner! Mike Odom of Kingston, Illinois purchased this 1938 Chevy 3/4 ton at a farm auction about 1985 for $1275.00. Why? It was the beginning of the pickup craze in the U.S. that still is alive and well. Mike wanted an older pickup long before he had the money to buy one, much less the finances to make it road worthy.

In his research, he decided the 1938 front grille treatment is what he wanted most. He would wait for a 1938 to come along and not buy a second choice in his 20”s. Employment at the young age usually does not pay too well to go beyond a daily driver.

During his 29th year of age is when he found it. He wasn’t quite ready to spend his savings but it might be many years if ever, to find a 1938 in his price budget. He was able to “limp” it home under its own power, but money to make it safe for the road was out of the question. He set it back in a storage building and put it on his future wish list.

A few photos of the 1938 after Mike purchased it at the farm sale.  One can see it had been strictly a rural farm truck.  Having a flatbed allowed for hauling more than a pickup with sides only about 47” apart.

The following tells so much that was done during this seven year restoration. As he spent so much time preparing for this major undertaking, Mike studied what would be best for this type and age of pickup.

Was this project expensive? Your guess! Just the red paint was from what Mike says is the best paint made today. The name is Sikkens, from Germany. This and the interior paint was $4400.00. Total restoration cost? We did not ask. We just kept thinking of the $1275.00 investment at the farm auction.

THE FOLLOWING ARE MIKE’S WORDS and shows he really knows what his more street rod truck is all about.

This truck was built “frame off” with every nut and bolt changed by me and a small amount of help from friends to assist here and there over the last seven years to be a driver, not a show car! Aside from short runs for exhaust, front end alignment and two indoor car shows this past winter, It has never been trailered anywhere. The only other work that was not done by me was the significant welding on the frame for the suspension changes, the stainless steel exhaust, the cutting of glass, and had help with some of the finishing and spraying of the Chevy “Red Hot Red” paint with buffing by Jay Meuser.

It has: “Fatman…stage 3” front suspension with QA1coil over adjustable shocks, power Chevy disc brakes, rack and pinion power steering, Chevy 350 crate engine, air conditioning, rebuilt 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission, rebuilt Nova 10-bolt posi rear end, Chasis engineering rear end mounting kit with springs, and Ride tech adjustable rear shocks.

In addition: Custom “under the body/bed” 18 gallon stainless steel fuel tank, chrome tilt column, OEM style cruise control, custom interior wrapped in leather, and lastly, auto meter gauges and tachometer; except the rebuilt original speedometer.

Next: Custom stereo with equalizer, an amp with tweeters in the upper front roof panel with the mid-range speakers in the doors, and the 10” bass speaker enclosure under the seats, dual intermittent wiper system from Newport Engineering, sequential 6-light turn signal system LED lights throughout.

Further: Custom “side mirrors” with LED turn signals on the inside, custom roll-pan, upgraded spare tire mount with a modern cable hoist that is accessible behind the fold-down rear license plate, classy old vintage metal trunk that has been restored with black crinkle finished “powder coat”; housing the battery, tool kit, electric jack kit, two Pico chairs, cleaning supplies, etc.

Lastly: It has a 1941-46 Chevy bed box as original that is wider than the 1938 rear fenders were. The smooth-sided 1941-46 rear fenders were hammer formed by me to appear like they were made by GM, because of the wide bead character lines appeared like the 1938 front fenders. Also, I hammer formed the rear fender edges around the wheel opening and around the box underneath the rear fenders to match the appearance of the 1938 rear fenders. Custom “Smoothie Fabrication” smooth running boards were custom finished and fitted by me to fit the ’38 front fenders, and reformed in the rear to fit the 41-46 fenders (1938 in front to the 1941-46 rear fender “wider shape” in the rear).

What a job

All in all, the frame remains unmolested, as I built this to be a nice driver not a race car. I only boxed in the frame from the cab forward to accommodate the “Fatman front suspension system” to upgrade the safety and drivability of this truck.

Things not included when originally built in 1938:

  • 350 V8 engine
  • Extra cooling capacity aluminum radiator w/ trans fluid cooler Auto transmission P/SP/B Electric cooling fan
  • Turn signals
  • Radial tires and mag rims
  • Under the body fuel stainless steel tank
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Three horns
  • Modern fuse panel and wire harness
  • Emergency flashers
  • Sequential turn hazard/ lights
  • Third brake light
  • Rear license plate light
  • Billet aluminum license plate frames
  • Stainless steel Bed strips and polished stainless steel bolt kit
  • Interior and exterior door locks on both doors
  • 12 volt electrical system
  • Tachometer
  • Tilt chrome steering column with shift indicator Gm style cruise control
  • Stereo with AM/FM/Bluetooth with amp and bass speaker
  • Leather interior bucket seats with head rests
  • Carpeting on center console with drink holder: center console base with two recessed tray areas and two power points and fire extinguisher pocket with door arm rests
  • Internal door crash beams
  • 3 point seat belt system
  • 4 interior lights which is door opening and light switch activated
  • Glove box light
  • Sun visors
  • Defrosters
  • Air conditioning
  • Side mirrors with LED turn signals inside
  • Insulated cab and doors
  • Chrome windshield and back window moldings
  • Head lamp assemblies
  • Hood hardware
  • Bumpers
  • Tailgate hinges
  • Cowl vent lever
  • Numerous stainless steel fasteners inside and out as well as underneath the truck
  • Tinted side and rear windows
  • Custom headliner
  • Extra door weather stripping
  • Bear claw type door latches
  • Cable hoist spare tire mount
  • Extra thick rubberized material applied to the bottoms of the fenders and running boards for rock damage
  • Fully enclosed sheet metal floorboard

People to be mentioned in the order they helped!

Chris Odom: Much all around help/console building/assembly/encouragement

Roger Odom: Dis-assembly/stripping and assembly help

Jimmy Odom: All around and stereo help

John Marshall: Major welding/brake/gas line bending/all around help

Dave Burke: Front suspension placement/trans mount/rear end help

Brad Driscoll: All around and encouragement help

Frank Krumweidte: Rear end placement help

Mike Corson: All around help

Dave Adams: Mechanical/all around help

Jay Meuser: Finish work/painting assy

Harold Hardy: All around guidance

Bob Durham: Electrical/stereo help

Tim Chapman: Auto meter gauges

Chuck Cradduck: Wiring/mechanical help

Jason Withers: Help

Jarrett and Ryan Marshall: Exhaust

Dierdre Kerr: Well, she seen me through!

And last but not least!! My heartfelt thanks to Jim Carter for his help and especially, Jimmy Jones! He was instrumental with guidance and instruction on a ton of things, and has been so great with helping me get through this build. It would have been so much harder without his knowledge and willingness to help whenever I got into a jamb ! ! !

As well as the friendly help that I always have received whenever I have called the store…in my book Jim Carter Truck Parts stands on top of the hill alone as the best place to obtain parts and info when building a vintage truck! While building this truck I have dealt with many other company’s but none offered the products for a very reasonable price with fast friendly service like JIM CARTER TRUCK PARTS!!

If I can help anyone with info about this truck I would be more than happy to help!

Thank you,

Mike Odom – Kingston, Illinois – email: modom6499@gmail.com

For the Serious 1938 Enthusiast:

If you have an interest of how Mike’s 1938 looked over 80 years ago and why this year is so rare, check our January 2020 Feature Truck of the Month. Owned by Glen Andrews of Raleigh, NC.

1938 GMC Cab Over, Roll-Back

Thursday, March 31st, 2016
test

Wow! Here’s what you can do with a 2 ton 80 year old truck that has become almost beyond repair! Glenn Garrison of Germanton, North Carolina decided to build a roll back truck that was one of a kind. He wanted something no one else would have and yet could do car hauling duties as well as others.

When he saw this (almost only 1938 GMC Cab-Over-Engine 1 ½ ton survivor) he got very interested. It was so far from his home but he had never seen one before!

This rare 1938 GMC Cab-Over-Engine (COE) was in Kimball Nebraska (over 1,800 miles from his shop). It was once a city work truck and still had their ID plate attached to the door post. He had to have it! After having it transported the long distance to his shop, in Germanton, NC. he began to make serious plans to make a major transition. The badly used bed and mechanicals would be discarded and much money would be spent to bring the sheet metal and interior to new condition. Even the original GMC color, Narva Green (1938-52) was used on the exterior.

During the restoration Glenn found a downer truck to receive the now immaculate cab and front sheet metal. The choice was a 1998 GMC 6500 two ton.  The restoration continued now on the newer vehicle with cleaning and replacing parts plus finding a roll back chassis bed.  It also was restored and finished with shiny black paint.

What a project! Fortunately, Glenn has excellent abilities in repairing vehicles as was certainly needed during this project. Just getting the 1938 cab to align with the 1998 chassis was a real project!

As a part time restoration project (work duties had to continue) it took Glenn 5 years to complete this project.

It is now well recognized in Germantown. For those not acquainted with the mechanical side of trucks, now assume Glenn has come to tow their car with a 75 years old truck! You can contact Glenn by email at skgarrison@windstream.net.

test
When first received. Looks like someone found some “get-by” headlights!

test
1998 GMC T6500, 3116 Cat Engine 250hp, 6 Speed Manuel Transmission, Air Brakes

test
Under Construction!

test
Look Inside!

test
The Finished Product.

test
Still Beautiful, over 10 years later,

1938 Complete Wood Bed

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011



In the Chevrolet truck assembly plant in Petone, New Zealand near the capital city of Wellington, a bed was not part of the pickup. This was in the 1930’s through mid 1940’s. The reason was to keep cost lower and to sell more trucks. The two rear fenders were wired flat to the frame for the new owner’s future use. This new owner could then have a deck or bed of his choice made locally. Most were made as a flat platform.

Robert O’Keeffe of Wanganui, New Zealand decided he wanted a bed on the 1938 pickup he was restoring like those seen on US trucks. He went a little further than many restorers. As a woodworker, he decided to make a ‘total’ wood bed and even use an exotic wood!

Check these photos. Rob is obviously a woodworking artist. The truck is a ‘head turner’ at any show.

What a project!

With the interest he received from the recent article on our website, he is considering offering these wood beds to others. The price in US dollars will be about $4,000.00 but this depends on the year and length.

Rob even knows a special freight company that sends merchandise weekly from only New Zealand to Los Angeles by ship. They arrange all truck line connections. The low price is surprising!

You can contact Rob @ okjoiner@xtra.co.nz

1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed

 

1938 GMC COE

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Owner: Jim Raeder

1938 GMC COE

When it was new, my GMC was a water truck on the Altoona PA fairgrounds. It sat under a big oak tree for many years until the second owner bought it. It didn’t have license plate on it until the 1970’s. The second owner did a basic restoration and painted it in the same colors and scheme as it was when new. He also put  two speed GMC rear end in it, shortened it, and made a fifth wheel out of it. I bought it in about 1998 with 12,500 original miles, a gas ration sticker from WWII in the window and the second owner claimed the original tires which at first I didn’t believe but now I think he may be correct. My future plans are to do a more detailed restoration and install a 302 GMC engine and five speed transmission to make it more usable while keeping the original character of the truck. I will keep the tires, engine, trans and rear end so it can be returned to stock. Since I bought the truck I have only come across five of these 38 COE’s.  Jim Raeder
1938 GMC COE

1937-1938 Australian Half Ton

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The Australian 1937-38 Chevrolet trucks are much like those in the U.S., however on close observation, one can certainly see unique differences. This United States relative is obviously GM but not quite the same.

These Down-Under truck’s final assembly point was in the Holden plant in New South Wales, Australia. (Holden is a branch for GM in that country.) Much of the sheet metal was stamped at the GM Canadian plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Most all the GM trucks in the 1930’s and 1940’s that reached overseas assembly plants were from this Canadian location but unassembled.

In Australia and even in nearby New Zealand, local governments required a certain percentage of truck parts to be manufactured in those countries. This provided jobs for the local population. Parts supplied in Australia would be wiring harnesses, glass, tires, seats, a different design bed, etc.

The current photos we have of Australian 1937-38 1/2 tons are these furnished by Luke Randall from auto gatherings in Eastern Australia. He owns a 1938 to be restored so he has an interest in others of this design. You can contact Luke at lukerandall@hotmail.com.

Items of special interest on these 1937 and 1938 Australian trucks are:

  • The 3 stamped ribs on the can roof
  • A different bed design
  • The wide horizontal panel below the door
  • The double stamped belt on the cowl and door stop near the handle (In the U.S. the belt continues around the cab behind to the rear under the window)
  • The windshield is two a piece not like the one piece 1937-1938 in the U.S.
  • Doors are more rounded at the top
  • Right hand drive

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 2

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 3

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 4

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 5

Luke and passenger

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 6

Luke’s 1938 to be restored

It’s finally complete! Luke’s many hours has paid off. What a special “one of a kind” 1938.

As the beds from the Australian factory were usually a flat deck to lower retail costs, Luke added an all wood bed in the shape of a US designed bed. Very nice!

1938-1953 Clutch Disc

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Chevrolet introduced their basic nine inch single disc clutch and corresponding diaphragm pressure plate in 1938. This pair was used in their cars and most 1/2 ton pickups with three speed transmissions through 1953. With about one million of these vehicles sold annually, one can quickly realize the high numbers of this clutch system that was at one time on the highway.

Even in 1954 with the introduction of the larger 10 inch clutch disc and modified pressure plate on the new 235 six cylinder, the original design continued to sell very well as aftermarket replacements. Today, they still have a strong demand even though the majority of these over fifty year old vehicles are history. Most auto part stores now keep a pair in inventory for their walk-in customers.

1938-1953 Clutch

To add even more validity to this clutch’s durability, GM reintroduced it in the late 1960’s. General Motors was a major producer of full size passenger buses and the demand for most having the optional air conditioning was becoming strong. Almost all new buses would now be equipped with the option. The original small nine inch clutch was combined with the newly engineered large bus AC compressor. Once again, this proven clutch was serving automotive needs!

Therefore, if you find a source for new or core clutch assemblies used from the late 1960’s to at least the mid 1970’s in GM buses, they will also fit 1938-53 cars and small trucks.

1936 vs 1937-1938 GMC Grilles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

 

Though at quick glance, the GMC grilles of these two years may seem the same, however, look close. Changes at the top show slight differences. The die cast assembly at the top of the 1937 grille gives the impression that the vertical grille bars extend through the emblem. They don’t! It’s an illusion and is die cast. The hood ornament above repeats the GMC letters.

The 1938 doesn’t have the upper die cast vertical bars. They even eliminated the GMC letters on the hood ornament.

All these emblems are extremely rare. If they have the GMC letters they usually go in a hobbyist collection. If they don’t have the GMC letters, most people don’t know what they are once separated from the truck in a salvage yard and they go to the iron pile.

1936 grill 1

1936 Grille (above)

1937 grill2

1937-38 Grille Bars (above)

1938 grill 3

1938 Upper Grille Bar Housing (above)

 

1936-1939 Glove Box Lock

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

This early glove box lock assembly has a weak point that makes it difficult to find complete. Its die-cast vertical pointer is held in place by a small steel tension spring. After the truck sets outside abandoned several years the spring rusts, breaks, or otherwise looses its tension. This allows the pointer to fall out and the glove box lid will no longer stay closed.

Most all locks you find will be without their pointer. The enclosed photos show a complete lock with pointer as it must be to operate.

Glove Box Lock 1

These locks do not have the ‘push button’ mechanism as the later design.  A small spring button attached to the dash moves. With this style, you pull on the key knob in the door when it is unlocked to overcome this spring button.  You don’t have to use the key to open the door.  Just pull the lock knob.  To lock the glove box door, just turn the key and the pointer moves forward.  The door is now locked.

During the beginning months of this 1936-39 lock, a double sided key blank was used. This blank has not been available for many years. If you need the early style your local locksmith may not be able to provide a key! (And the search begins.)

  • Painting your glove box door? You will need to remove this lock assembly. Here’s how: Turn the key to the right while pulling up on the pointer. You may have to jiggle it as you pull. Out it comes including the small tension spring! Now the large retaining nut can be loosened and the remainder of the assembly can be removed.
  • Lock removing tip from Scott Phaneuf, Hatfield, MA.

Glove Box Lock 2

Glove Box Lock 3

1936-1938 Cab Windlace

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It is so unusual to find an unmolested mid 30s truck! When this all original 21,000 mile 1937 GMC appeared at a recent New England truck show, we had to take notice having never seen the correct installation of the small 3/8′ bead cab windlace on an early model. Our camera did some recording.

Left Side Cab Lace

Left Side Cab Lace (Above)

Right Side Cab Lace

Right Side Cab Lace (Above)

Rumors from a few past customers were correct, the attaching position at the upper front door corner changes. Take note of the way the two pointed windlace ends meet when the door is closed. On the top and back side of the door opening the windlace is attached to the cab. At the front, the vertical piece is secured to the door edge

Gap Cab Lace

Note the gap between the two pointed ends of the welt. Some shrinkage after 70 years.

1938 Chevrolet

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Owner: Don Cotrona

1938 chevrolet

Now, this is just like they used to be!

A 1938 Chevy 1/2 ton rebuilt, beginning with the bare frame and made to look as it was on the dealer showroom over 70 years ago.

The owner and restorer is Don Cotrona of Wallinford, Connecticut. Almost no compromise was made to keep it like it was when driven off the assembly line in 1938. Don even uses the rare 1937-1938 16 inch wheels with the eight slots. Note the correct Brewster green paint, oval bumper bolts, and black front and rear window frames.

This little 1/2 ton was bought 37 years ago when Don was 16 years old. Even though well used it was ‘love at first sight’. He had personally saved $300.00 and thus could make the full purchase.

The disassembly and removal of six layers of paint began immediately. This was the inexpensive part! Putting it back together for regular use on a schoolboy’s budget made it a much more time involved project. It finally became his daily driver after straightening all fenders and cab plus using locally found paint and upholstery. This 1938 became Don’s to school driver. He even dated his future wife while it was his only transportation!

Then came college, marriage, a new home, children and more college. Don kept his little pickup in storage knowing someday it would come back to life. He collected parts for many years from collectors, swapmeets, and answering ads in car magazines. Even the new old stock grill was found in two halves over several years.

So now the rebuilding is complete about 36 years after its initial purchase. Don has made it as the Chevy dealer would have sold it in 1938. Note the snow tires. A necessity for a New England pickup when sold new in the winter. It came with the hand built trailer hitch formed to fit the rear bumper braces. The installation of the new mirror arms is due this month. The old 6-volt radio (see antenna) was required by a teenager that drove the truck in the early years. The little 216 six-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission couldn’t run better. One difference now is that it never sees rain. Water occurs only on washday!

Don Cotrona can be contacted by email: don@hammelny.com

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 Chevrolet

Friday, July 1st, 2005

Owner: Dan Sauter

1938 chevrolet pick up truck

I bought my 1938 Chevy truck at an estate sale in Lindsborg, Kansas on October 4,2002. Since that time I have performed a frame off restoration on the truck. The frame and body panels were all blasted to bare metal, and the repainted to their original colors. The metal interior panels including the dash were blast to bare metal and then repainted the original brown with wrinkle heat treat paint supplied by Jim Carter, to give the interior an original look. All the chrome including the grill was sent out to be plated. The master and wheel cylinders were sleeved and rebuild. The engine was is good condition, I got by with cleaning it and painting to original gray and replacing gaskets. Doing everything myself other than machining, plating and upholstery in my free time quickly turned into approximately two years. I still have to install my new kick panels to finish the interior. I have taken it to a couple of shows and get a lot of looks. Everyone asks about the interior, and I tell them it’s Jim Carter magic. Would I do it again? YOU BET!

1938 chevrolet pick up truck 1938 chevrolet pick up truck 1938 chevrolet pick up truck