As I was growing up during the 1980s, I would spend part of the summers helping out on my grandma’s farm. They raised sweet corn to sell at their stand and some went to local grocery stores. Most of the time, I manned the cash register and bagged the corn for the customers.
As I got older and stronger I helped my uncle pick corn in the field. He had a old beat up 1955 Chevy pickup. It looked very similar to the one in the picture, but more abused, holes in the floor, no bumper, and more rust in the body. Each time we got ready to take it out, he would have to spend many minutes trying to get the engine to turn over. Often the engine would flood instead, and we would have to wait, and then repeat the process over again. When it finally started, mice would run out from under the truck and black smoke would shoot out from under the hood. Since the muffler had rusted away years ago, the engine created a deafening rumble.
Once under way, we would crash out into the field as the pickup plowed a path through the already picked corn stalks. I can remember riding in the back and hanging on for dear life as we went over rocks and holes. Finally stopping at a fresh unpicked area, we would fill the truck bed with bushel baskets of corn for several hours until it was overflowing. Then we would get on the side runners and my uncle would drive more carefully so neither we or the corn would get thrown from the truck. Once we got back to the farm, we would be tired, but would spend another hour unloading the corn and putting it into milk crates in the cooler.
I only thought of the 1955 Chevy Pickup as a beat up workhorse, and not a collector’s vehicle until years later when Iwould see it at car shows. People put so much hard work into restoring them! Even beat up models can sell for several thousand dollars. I wonder if my uncle still has his!
Engine: V6 or V8
Transmission: 3 or 4 Speed Manual
MPG : 8-15 mpg
Top Speed: ~60 mph