JANUARY 2024: A 1940 CHEVY PICKUP HAS SPENT OVER 80 YEARS WITH ONE FARM FAMILY

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Adrian Vig is the current owner of a family heirloom, namely a 1940 Chevy pickup truck.

The truck has been in Adrian’s family for over 80 years after his grandfather purchased it to use on the family farm.

Jim Sutherland

Old school trucks were not built for glamorous purposes, they were built for hard-working owners who bought them for tough jobs, including farm work. Adrian’s grandfather bought the truck from its first owner shortly after the man bought it new from the dealership.

The ’40 Chevy hauled heavy loads that included bales and livestock, so it used to have stock racks for those purposes. Adrian has always had the truck in his life because he grew up on the family farm and, like most car guys with farm roots, learned how to drive behind the wheel of the old pickup when he was just a kid.

Years turned into decades, but Adrian never lost his attachment to the ’40 Chevy because it reminded him of his grandfather and his farm memories from a time when Adrian was a young kid.

An opportunity to become the next owner of the truck was an easy decision for Adrian, so he bought the ’40 Chevy when it became available to him. The agreed upon purchase price was the same amount his grandfather paid for the truck in the early 1940s.

The restoration project took about 4 ½ years to complete, a time frame that included a talented neighbor who was heavily involved with the finer details of the process. Adrian also brought his own skill set to the project because he grew up on an old school farm where he learned a practical approach to mechanical repairs.

Adrian’s basic game plan was to bring the truck back to its glory days, with only a few slight upgrades, because he wanted the ’40 Chevy pickup to maintain its originality. The minor upgrades include a basic signal light system (because most modern drivers would not understand hand signals) and an electric windshield wiper on the driver’s side because vacuum wipers grind to a halt when the engine is under load. The electric wiper required a voltage convertor because the Chevy still has its 6-volt electrical system.  

 However, the air conditioning system on the 84-year-old truck is original because it is still just a windshield that cranks open for cool fresh outside air, along with a front cowl vent that opens for even more cool fresh air.

The 215 cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine is also original and is still coupled to the factory 3-on-the-floor manual transmission, the same combination that Adrian learned how to use when he was a young farm kid.

MyStarCollectorCar readers may wonder about the strange red cylinders mounted on the side of the truck. They are kerosene flares that were used to warn other drivers about a disabled vehicle ahead and the flares were mandatory safety equipment on work trucks back in the day.

Adrian likes to take any opportunity to drive the family heirloom, but he is still a farmer, so spare time is a precious commodity for him.

He treasures every mile behind the wheel of his 1940 Chevy truck because they are a trip down memory lane every time.                     

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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