The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Barn Find, May 6, 2013.
I like the cast iron wheels
On the way back with our REO cab, we paused at Independence Pass in Colorado. This was likely the first time the REO had crossed the Continental Divide since its original trip west from Lansing. I contemplated that I have still not seen the town of Shaniko in person. I would like to go there someday. We conspired that perhaps we would drive the pickup back out west for another adventure when it is done? (not right away, but when we run out of other stuff to do)
If you are ever in Buena Vista, Colorado and are looking for a HAMB-friendly place to get a drink or hear local music, we highly recommend the State Garage. It is in old highway dept. garage on the main street downtown. We celebrated our last night on the road there, proud of the treasure we were bringing back and pleased that we were going to drop it off at Dad's shop where it would be rapidly converted into a functional automobile-this in contrast to the old junk we bring home for ourselves that sits around as we get distracted with other junk or boring stuff like our day jobs.
It wouldn't take much encouragement from you readers for me to post more photos of the other junk we saw on our adventure. Here is the last roadside treasure that I must post. This Weasel-mounted Wagoneer was for sale outside of Salida, CO complete with its original Studebaker flathead.
encouragement ( do post yes please do . More photos of stuff ,yes more ,.More is better.
I remember my first trip to Independence Pass. it was early summer and there was still snow on the ground, but it didn't feel cold. We took some pictures standing in snow, in shorts, being from Texas we thought that was really cool.
Well what are you waiting for? Post man, post.
Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
Here are a few more treasures spotted on our road trip. I'll post these and then get back to the build. Maybe I'll post more roadtrip pictures if the build stalls out.
Our last detour was an attempt to see the Pueblo Ordnance Depot where my World War II Dodge Carryall had been refurbished by the Army in 1953. That didn't work out, so we headed home.
Dad was super pleased with the cab we delivered and started working on it right away.
The first attention went to the firewall. The shepherds had cut a square hole, presumably for a heater, but were kind enough to leave the flap of metal, so it could be welded back in place. The '34-36 REO firewall had an indentation to clear the rear of the engine. Even though the REO flathead six was considerably smaller than the Franklin motor, it set farther back in '34 chassis. The Franklin throttle linkage mounted to the firewall in that location, and it was judged easier to change the firewall than change the throttle linkage. So, we did the opposite of most hot-rodders, we un-dog-housed the firewall. Dad used a section of REO cowl that he had laying around. (Doesn't everybody have 2 or 3 of those?) The cowl was the remnant of another four-door body that we drug home from Virginia in 1981. East meets West in the photo below, and all the reveals are a perfect match.
A detail I noticed in looking at the ½-ton Speed Wagons is the reveal on the bottom of the cowl tapers toward the front. (like on this Mack Jr. below) The '33 Franklin does not have this taper. The reveal is constant width. A fortunate coincidence of us using a cab from a big truck is that the cowl matched the '33. My theory is that the '34 frame for passenger cars and pickups has more curve to lower the profile of the entire vehicle. The big truck frame is straight, like the earlier cars.
The hardest part of this project may be the wood work. The dry Oregon climate left us terrific sheetmetal, and usable patterns, but the wooden sills would have to be reproduced. Dad engineered several methods of keeping the body in place while allowing access to build new wooden sills. The doors from the sedan had pretty good wood in them, so well use those doors instead of the Shaniko doors. Dad was concerned that the patina will not match (he does not restore shiny cars anymore). I advised him not to worry about that yet. I think it will look fine with mismatched panels. If not, well cross that rusty bridge when we get to it.
The only other difference between the big truck cab and the pickup was the location of the fuel tank. Pickups used the same gas tank as a car. We would do the same. The REO trucks mounted the gas tank under the driver seat. This presents no problem for us. The vacant space under the seat riser will make a fine tool box and storage area. The 36 REO we saw in Nevada had a hole like most cabs for a fuel filler. The 35 cab has no such hole. You had to remove the drivers seat cushion to fill the gas tank in 1935.
Once we had a cab (or even just the back panel of a cab), we knew we could pull off the rest of this project in one fashion or another. I had developed a theory that REO used the same pickup bed as some other manufacturers. It made sense to me that REO would not tool up to build beds for these low-production pickups. Comparing pictures convinced me that the beds were the same as those used by off-breads like International, Stewart, Willys and others. Distinguishing features were small straps forming an exposed stake pocket and an angular top rail (no rolled tube). We picked up a bed fitting this description at the Lawrence, KS swap meet. Dad paid almost as much for that bed as we paid for the Shaniko REO, but we were pleased to get it. Then, I found another bed just like it alongside the road at a place you might politely describe as a Perpetual Rummage Sale and Yard Ornament Emporium. (We have a lot of those in the Ozarks.) Having the two beds side by side was nice to help identify the proper shape and location of pieces that were missing from each. We felt like Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes trying to figure out the correct number and location of tailgate hinges and segregating original welds from farmer repairs and home-made crap.
We knew from the start that our found beds were 6 inches shorter than the REO pickup beds. We thought this would be fine. The Speed Wagons had kind of a long overhang in the back anyway. This would be sportier and still hang over to about the same location as the rear sedan bumper. Dad and I had a lot of fun engineering where this bed would sit. How high? How far behind the cab? How would we construct the skirts below the bed, how the gas filler would exit, etc. It would have worked. We could have used one of these beds and no one would ever had known that my theory was completely wrong. <O</O</O
Oh no! You can't stop there! The suspense is killing me!
This is great thread.
More like a long soak than a quick shower but its damn good.
Those beds look alot like 1934-1937 C series International harvester beds.
Great thread! There were two 1930's REO trucks sitting at the side of an old grove road in Fallbrook, CA in the 1970's. My buddy and I tried to buy them but I can't remember if they weren't for sale, or maybe the price was out of our league at the time. I went back a few years later and they were gone. Since then, I have been fascinated with these trucks.
I thought they were all the same. Not sure, anymore. Is IH supposed to have a wood bed or steel floor? Those two beds we found have steel floors. Half the floor and one side are one piece of metal. The two halves are welded together in the middle. Doesn't look like these IH photos I stole off the web.
The side of the beds actually do look similar. Ours have different skirts under the bed covering the frame.
I don't think you need to worry what you use for bed floor, since you're creating this from a sedan. I used a sheet marine Cepele ribbon grain plywood, It looks great and generates lots of compliments.
Nice score on fiding useable boxes, I had to build mine from scratch.
Diamond T beds have got to be the hardest to find. Between 1937 and 1949, they only built 7,000 1-ton trucks, and I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those were cab and chassis models. With all of the cabs from 1.5-ton and larger trucks, there is a relative surplus of cabs relative to pickup beds. If you look at all the Diamond T pickups on the road today very many of them have a bed borrowed from something else or built from scratch. I don't think anyone reproduces a T bed. They were built from 13-guage steel. It would take one heck of a break to bend the side rails on 8-feet of 13-guage steel. The original pickup bed weighs over 1,000 pounds.
We were surprised to learn that the pickup bed on the 1/2-ton REO is actually wider than the 1-ton Diamond t pickup box.
Even when you find a bed, fenders can be a challenge.
awesome story; I like this build a bunch!
What an interesting thread, especially the road trip photos. Thank You for taking the time to post the build and the pics.
Speaking of pickup beds, I just drug home another Diamond T with a neat little step on the tailgate.
More on this truck and its mate is at http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=807257
Here are some more roadside treasures from the trip west.
Love your truck, this is an awesome build!
To recap from where I left off on the build, we questioned the width of our found pickup beds. They were a pretty standard width, but it occurred to us that the width of the pickup bed would be crucial to fabricating the rear pickup fenders. Dad would have to modify his sedan fenders for this purpose. The REO pickups have a pretty uniquely shaped fender. The rear fenders have a full crown that slopes back into the side of the bed symmetrical to the outside curve of the fender. They arent flat on the top like a Model A truck/coupe fender. The outside edge of the fenders is a fixed dimension, but we were working in open space trying to guess where the fenders and bed were supposed to meet.
Dad made some calls to the guys at Full Circle Restorations who have restored two Speedwagons and confirmed that our beds were too narrow. (We now think they may be Dodge pickup beds-still discounting the yard sale guys opinion that one came off a 26 Studebaker. If they are Dodge, that might be fortuitous, because I might throw one on my WC59.)
<OWe could widen one of these beds. But there may be another option? </O
Wow Donald, this is an amazing build. It brings back memories of the Auburn build many years ago.
Very cool, Love the back story as much as the build. Keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!!
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