You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 5, 2019.

I started this series as an April Fools post in 2015 here.  The next day I “recanted” (actually, I gave the context I had wanted to establish all along) by focusing on the inherent economy of shipping some cargo by water rather than highway.  Then and now I want to highlight the similarity and relationship between workboats and trucks, so here’s the whole series to date.

My older brother has driven, owned, and repaired trucks his whole life and developed a lot of skills in the process.  He and I would periodically talk about co-owning a truck, narrowing the search down to a Willys.  It was all talk until last fall when a 1962 Queens NY cemetery pickup that had never been on streets or highways became available via a farmer near Ithaca.

Below is the truck as the farmer (RD) purchased it in 2012.


RD replaced the rusted out pickup box with a wooden box, as he fancied his carpentry skills.  He also added an uneven coat of green paint daubed on with a barn brush. Then, it took back burner to his multiple other projects, and he parked it in the proverbial barn, only recently putting it on FB marketplace.

Below is a photo I took of it back when I first saw it in late September 2018.

Reconstruction can involve some deconstruction.  That continued through the fall and winter.

My skills are manual . . .

but deconstruction requires a fair amount of manual labor.

Measuring, cutting, and assembly skills  . . .  they take time to learn.



As soon as it was warm enough in spring to disassemble brakes, steering, and axles, that work began.


Late spring we problem solved and continued working on the body and interior.

Come summer, the neighbor from across the valley pronounced it ready for the final paint,

which concluded yesterday.


It’s not done, but it’s ready for this truckster post.  I’ve got at least a hundred other photos of the process.

Hats off to my brother for his fine work.  He never fired me for being an “all thumbs” apprentice.  Also, hats off for the body-and-paint neighbor across the valley.  Three cheers for tradespeople no matter how they learned their trades.  Here’s some general info on Willy-Overland trucks.  This one has the Super Hurricane engine built by Continental.

Soon after 57 years, it’ll carry its first-ever license plate.


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