Who'd A Thunk?
I had no idea the floodgate I was opening by running Frank Harper's '54 GMC two-ton in the April installment of Classic Cruisers! It seems there are more of you out there with an affinity for the bigger set than one might think. Seeing Frank's truck prompted a slew of readers to send in pictures of their overweight trucks for our consideration that now outnumber the 1/2-tons, including Mike Apling's '54 Chevy ex-water tanker truck. Just before Thanksgiving '04, Mike asked his brother Jim to help him trailer an old truck home that he'd just bought. The brothers towed the two-ton to Mike's acreage in Janesville, Iowa, for the full inspection. What they found was a solid truck with 12,000 original miles that was fairly cancer-free. The town of Stout, Iowa, maintained the truck well its whole life, and the strong-running 261 six-cylinder was proof of that.
Mike spent the next year restoring the truck. He and Stokes Welding built an aluminum bed for it as well as adding hydraulics. Todd Ilax rewired the '54, and Mike had an old Chevy mechanic/racer by the name of John Day go through the motor to ensure many more years of service.
If you have a Classic Cruiser and want to see it here, e-mail at least six good photos and background info to the e-mail address above or mail to: CLASSIC TRUCKS, Attn: Grant Peterson, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870.