Don Chew of Brighton, Colorado, has a lot of fun with his 1919 Oldsmobile Model T farm truck. He bought it in 2004 from the widow of the former owner, just in time to save it from being crushed under a barn that was about to be demolished. In 1960, the Oldsmobile had been parked in the barn, and there it stayed until Don found it 44 years later. During those years in the barn, the key was lost, the tires rotted, and the truck got covered with a half-inch coating of dust and dirt. As Don was moving the truck out of the barn, the bulldozer was literally waiting outside with its motor running, ready to tear down the barn to make way for a housing development. After three days of hard work, Don managed to clean the jelled oil out of the oil system, repaired eight holes in the oil pan, and put everything back together. He installed all new tires and got the truck to run in time to take it to the ATHS National Antique Show & Convention held in Fontana, California (May 2004). When Don drove the ancient Oldsmobile around the track (the show was held at Fontana Speedway) he reached a top speed of 22 mph. Don said, “I couldn’t take it any faster than that because a notice still posted on the truck said that driving it faster than 22 mph would void the warranty!” Aside from the new tires and the repairs made to the oil system, the truck is all original, down to the paint, with its still visible pin-striping. It has a Torbinson rear axle, a cone clutch, and is a “real sweetheart” to drive. Don said that it runs as well today as the day it was made. When he takes it to truck shows, Don puts a “Ma and Pa Kettle” load in the bed, which makes it resemble the 1920 Oldsmobile Model T that was featured on “The Beverly Hillbillies” television show. That truck recently sold at auction for $200,000, but Don said he’d sell his Oldsmobile for half that price. What a bargain!
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.