It is not surprising that in the ever-expanding hustle and urbanization of our country’s metroplex areas the humble hay barn is slowly becoming a standing monument to the past. This old red barn stands testament to a way of life very few of us know. The days of farming and stacking hay in barn to feed your livestock is an occupation that requires us to leave the smell of diesel and gasoline engines for the smell of dirt and manure.
Yet time never stands still as this decaying skeleton of a once proud farmhouse barn can stand testament to. The paint is peeling and the weeds are overgrown. The roof no longer does it’s important rain defying work. This old building once stood as a powerful reminder of a farmers wealth and influence, now suffers from the indignities of old age and the ravages of time.
Once considered to expensive and time-consuming to raise new, this declining relic is now too expensive and time-consuming to level. Perhaps all the farmers have gone. Moved to the city and its bright lights for better opportunities. What then of this old barn. What hollow adventures are left for it?
Dodge #3 continues our old truck series with a macro shot of the Dodge nameplate found on the front hoods of their job rated 1950’s pickup trucks. A the top of the picture you see the telltale signs of the famous side opening engine compartments that still make these trucks popular today.
The black and white print brings out the various tones and shades of the slowly decomposing paint job. You also see areas of pitting caused by the rust begun by the endless number of storms and cold winter this poor truck has endured while abandoned in this field.
Yet throughout it all, the Dodge name remains quite visible regardless of the ages of rust and weathering these letters have seen. The name also serves an artistic function of dividing the picture between the rusted engine compartment doors and the riverbed like rain stains on the lower part of the picture.
It’s almost as if to say that as time passed by, this truck easily relates to the phrase “Ashes to ashes dust to dust.” The breaking down of the metal by the rust into a fine dark dust is then carried down the truck by the rain in small rivers of water. Washing the hood and sending the dust back to the dust of the earth where eventually this truck will return.
In today’s modern world it is very easy to forget about the past. Sometimes objects and events are forgotten out of convenience or simply abandoned to the ravages of time. Even though Dodge built this truck more than 60 years ago, it stuns the mind to consider that in less than another 60 years vehicles like this will be merely the curious property of car historians and museums. Finding anybody who actually remembers the glory days when these old trucks roamed the land as the workhorse of a modern farmer will be impossible.
This is the complete circle of life for technology of any kind. But, the good news is that there will always be people who like to keep the older technologies around. This video I found is an excellent amateur video of one such truck owner. He manages to capture the glory days of these old trucks and teach us what it was like to drive one.
GMC is an up close view of the front grillwork found on a 1940’s era GMC pick up truck. I found this old truck slowly rusting away in the backyard of a shopping center in Taos, New Mexico. How many cold and vicious New Mexico winters this classic grillwork and hood have endured is unknown.
I can safely assume that this forgotten legend of the past hails from either 1940-1941 or 1947-1948. Made of sheet metal, this grill became popular starting with the 1940 models. However, on Jan 1st of 1942 the federal government issued a proclamation suspending all commercial and civilian trucks. The GM and Chevrolet plants switched over to producing the famous 2½ ton and amphibious military vehicles for WWII.
While production of trucks did resume in early 1946 after the war, a lack of raw materials including chrome caused a brief change in design. By 1947, those materials finally became available and the GM plants reverted to pre-war designs like you see here.
However, 1948 models featured several upgrades, including improved heating for defrosting windows and more comfortable cabs and seats. However, in 1948 models the script design GMC logo on the front grill changed to a block one. Also, the parking lights moved to top of the headlamps. This particular truck did feature a set of parking lights mounted in this way.
The one anomaly that has given my research trouble though, is the vents on the side of the hood. GMC trucks from this time period featured a plate with “General Motors Truck” on the sides. This truck does not have that feature. Instead it has the same engine cowling vents found on most Chevrolet trucks from those same years. But this is obviously not a Chevrolet.
So, what makes this truck unique? Well, it’s a flatbed pickup truck from the 1940’s. It has the sheet metal grillwork and venting of a Chevrolet but the logo of a GMC. It also has the parking lights of a 1948 model but the logo of the 1940-1947 ones. While GMC and Chevrolet trucks featured the same parts and were interchangeable. The mystery continues.
MEYER, DONALD E. “THE FIRST CENTURY OF GMC TRUCK HISTORY.” 100_YR_GMC_HISTORY_MAR09.pdf. WWW.gmheritagecenter.com, 09 Mar. 2009. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/historical-brochures/GMC/100_YR_GMC_HISTORY_MAR09.pdf>.