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Rare Find

Glen Smith
Gentry, Ark.

This is a 1945 Chevrolet truck. It is quite rare, as it was made during the World War II when it was nearly impossible for a citizen to get a new truck.

This truck was obtained by the Okay, Oklahoma Volunteer Fire Dept. in 1945. They used it for several years, then sold the cab and chassis to a fellow who kept it in a field for 17 years before deciding he was never going to use it.

I was looking for a 1946 Chevy truck when I spotted this 1945 model in the paper with 2,161 actual miles on it. I bought it 10 years ago, and it sat in my shop for 8 years before my wife told me I needed to fix it up.

On the rear of this truck rides a U.S. flag-covered casket (not visible in this photo.) The idea of putting a casket on my truck came to me one day while I was driving to town. I went to one of the local funeral homes and told them what I wanted to do, and they sold me a beautiful oak casket for $100! The flag draped over the casket is from my father’s funeral almost 18 years ago. The casket is bolted to the floor of the truck bed, as is the 8-foot flag pole. The flag on the pole is 3-by-5-feet, and really flutters as I drive the truck down the road at 35 mph. I get a lot of arm waving, smiles, horn honking, and even saluting as I drive this tribute to all of our fallen veterans, including my Uncle Glen who lost his life on the U.S.S. Buck on Oct 9, 1943.

As of this writing, the old Chevy has less than 3,000 actual miles on the odometer.

The only thing I didn’t replace in the cab was the instrument panel, as I knew no one would believe me about the mileage. The 11-foot steel flatbed with a hydraulic lift is off of a 1941 Chevy truck that has been in our family since 1946, and it still works.


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