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Truck of the Month:
Terry & Delaine Jacobs
I have had old English cars on and off for many years. Most recently I have owned a 1961 sedan and a 1955 roadster since 1987. Now retired, and for some unknown reason, I started looking again in 2013 for yet another English car. I stumbled over a sedan like ours in Omaha, Nebraska. It had a very interesting history and the owner had to vacate the sold property where it was stored. Everything was going quite well until I received my required close up pictures. There was rust in places I could not tolerate so I pulled out of the deal. Yet at 12:30 AM that fateful night, I surfed the Internet only to find a 1937 and 1940 International Harvester D-2 for sale. They were located within 45 miles of each other in Nebraska. The 1937 D-2 was offered for sale by a friend of a family and the 1940 D-2 by a bank. As I looked at them for an hour and I was hooked. They had curves and lines that intrigued me so much that I researched late 1930’s light trucks until 3 AM. By the next afternoon, I had a bid on the 1937 and I was second in line for the 1940. I was willing to buy both if I could but some how the family friend would not communicate with me and the bids I had placed were going unrecognized. The bank however, called me 5 minutes after the first suitor failed to come up with the cash. I made the deal on the 1940 and on 9/13/2013 a transported arrived at a nearby auto auction with it sitting by itself on its top front position. In no time we were driving it home. It took a little patience to drive it but in 15 minutes we arrived. I quickly lit up a cigar and iced some tea and settled back to now decide the next step … flip it, drive it, restore it …
As I looked at this truck form further, I arrived at the conclusion; it should not get into the hands of a hot rodder (I do like them as an art form but not this one please). I had a good offer of $2500 more that I paid. What should I do?
I decided to leap in and begin a frame out restoration. After all, I was retired and I needed a ‘project’. I was all in and after a friend told me he could get an English car restored in 6 months, I was ready to take up the gauntlet. Little did I remember how many pitfalls there are in these efforts. I was a veteran of two other restorations but that was in 1988 and 1993 – that was then.
The great news about our truck is that it was so solid that I believe there was less than 5 minutes of weld time in the whole restoration. The frame was bead blasted and showed very little pitting, the cargo bay needed orthodontic work and the fenders, cab, radiator shroud as well as hood were all awfully straight and requiring little metalwork. My goal to be at the Red Power Round Up in South Dakota and the Back to the ‘50’s weekend in Minnesota were unmet by delays and some poor planning. Things changed when I wrote “Ohio or Bust’ on the restoration shop’s white board and had a heart to heart with the manager.
We made it. On August 2nd we did the Vintage Truck Magazine annual meet and on August 8-10th we did the I.H. Scout & Light Truck Nationals. Between these wonderful meets we visited with my family and had a great time including a day tour of the US Air Force Fight Museum in Dayton, Ohio. We packed up before the awards were given out, as I wanted to get past Chicago before the Sunday rush home started. Four weeks later, four awards arrived by UPS – Best Interior, Best Stock 1940-1949, Best of Show and the Directors Choice Award. These awards humble me and now that I finally totaled up all of the expenses, I am happy to have received them for some real focused hard work. By the way, we received the Furthest Trailed at the Vintage Truck Magazine … we earned it.