1947 CHEVROLET 1-Ton Model DS Express bed truck
I acquired this truck in 2011 from a friend in Auburn, California. It has spent most of its 72 years in California. It was used for many years by the Liebel family who used it on a farm and ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When I got it the bed wood was 90% gone and it had a U-shape corrugated tin metal piece in the bed. There was no cancer in the truck and very little surface rust. The cab was VERY straight. It was a runner and driver at that point. Over the last 8 years I have restored and rebuilt it to a “Yard Truck” we call the “Ranch Truck”.
The model DS in 1946 and early 1947 was the first year for Chevrolet to use the 8 lug axles and the full floating Eaton rear end. It came with a 5.13-1 gear ratio rear end. We replaced the “pumpkin” with a 3.90-1 gear ratio rear gear set from a 1972 GMC camper special automatic transmission truck. This change allows you to travel the freeways and highways without having excessive RPM’s. We kept the original “Granny gear” 4 speed transmission but replaced the main shaft bearing when we re-installed it. A rebuilt 10.75” clutch and pressure plate was installed with a new pilot bushing, new throw out bearing and a resurfaced flywheel. The 4-speed is a non-syncro straight cut gear type transmission which means you have to double clutch each gear change.
The engine is a completely rebuilt 261 cubic inch early non-sergeant stripe motor with a high compression “848” head from a 235. I purchased the motor from a man who spent over $6000.00 having it rebuilt. This motor is loaded with torque and runs beatifically. It has less than 1000 miles on the engine. The intake manifold was rebuilt and surfaced and a rebuilt Rochester carb was installed. A new HEI distributor and fuel pump were installed. A new water pump and belts also.
The body was not removed from the frame when we painted it but the blocks, pads and bolts wer replaced. The truck is painted with single stage Mercedes Black high quality paint over a quality epoxy primer. It has a very nice shine and finish. Here are the parts that were painted:
The front and rear NOS fenders, cab and doors, hood and front valance, headlight pods and park light assembles.
We media blasted & powder coated the following in high gloss black:
The bed sides, front bed panel, tailgate bed to running board aprons, front fender inner panels, front grill air deflector and upper grill support, radiator support, bed cross members, dash.
We media blasted & powder coated the running boards in a black textured powder coating for durability.
On the interior we painted all but the dash with semi-gloss black paint. New interior and exterior handles were installed, new glass run channels and wipes, new black headliner and kick panels, rebuilt gauge cluster, new rubber floor mat, new aftermarket 12,000 BTU heater and defroster (with Chevrolet decal), new steering wheel and horn parts, new choke and throttle cables with knobs, new headlight switch, new electric wiper motors.
The front end and rear end spring bushings were replaced as was the tie rod and drag link ends, The DELCO double action shocks were professionally rebuilt and installed with new rubber bushings. The brakes were completely rebuilt with new shoes, new wheel cylinders and a new master cylinder too. This truck has some bigger brakes and stops fine. The wheel bearing seals were replaced when the brake job was done. The drums were measured and were with in spec after turning them. The tires were replaced with STA Super Transport 750-17 8 ply truck tires which are 33” tall. The rims are authentic 1946-1953 GM 3-piece 17” locking ring rims. There is a new spare wheel and tire that goes with the truck. The tires have less than 100 miles on them. Of course the tubes and flaps were replaced also. There is a new muffler and exhaust pipe installed.
We installed new bed wood. It is eastern yellow hard pine. We put seven coats of Bear dark slate grey stain on the boards and then back sanded lightly to get the distressed grain look. Then they were spray coated with two coats of high gloss “Glamour Clear” finish. They were installed with stainless steel carriage bolts, new wood blocks and rubber pads and black oxide coated bolts. New powder coated tail light brackets were installed on both sides. The tailgate chains are custom made and are stainless steel. Over $500.00 in stainless hardware were used on the reassembly of this truck.
The front grill and bumper were re-chromed and look awesome and really show off the waterfall jute-box grill. New Halogen headlights were installed. Our mechanic complete rewired the truck with a new wire harness very meticulously installed. The truck was converted to a 12 volt system except the starter which we kept at 6 volts….works great and has the power needed to spin over the high compression motor for a quick one revolution start.
The truck is currently license and titled in California with 1947 YOM plates. The plates and license plate frames are not included in the sale but can be purchased separately.
The bed sides, front bed panel and tail gate have noticeable imperfections in them….some form use and some from the factory. This is not a show truck….it’s a high quality driver.
We have spent a lot of time money & love bringing this truck to a very nice level. It draws a crowd when we drive it around town.
The truck is sold AS-IS where is with no warranties expressed or implied. It is the responsibility of the new owner to transport it to their location. We will assist with your transport company. We suggest that you make an inspection if needed before bidding. Once purchased it can be paid for by cash in person, cashiers check from a reputable bank or a bank transfer (additional $40.00 charge). The truck will not be released until all funds have cleared my bank.
Rtech Fabrications accepts modern electronics
Pick of the Day is a 1978 Chevron B36 that raced at Le Mans
American muscle from Juliano collection boosts auction topped by a pair of 7-figure Shelby Cobras
More than 130 collector vehicles offered at no reserve on September 21
Castrol subsidiary Nexcel specializes in recycling waste into re-refined lubricants
The Pick of the Day could be a collector’s daily driver
In other concours and event news, a Land Rover convergence, vintage racers at Hershey, Aston Martin at Goodwood and a special Ferrari Dino at Concorso
Villa Erba auction includes original blueprints for seven collector cars