Once again we are very proud to feature the amazing work of our good friend and regular contributor Tim Phelps. Tim takes on deliveries in this article, and as always the read is as enjoyable as the models.
Oh, and Tim will be one of the judges for the upcoming Lamley BMW E30 Custom Contest, so we will be hearing a lot more from him soon...
See Tim's other articles here. And let us know what you think here or on the Lamley Facebook Page.
Delivering the Goods by Tim Phelps
Its first trucks were offered in 1918, and Chevrolet produced its 2 millionth truck in 1939, finally topping Ford. It held this top rank for three decades until 1970. The '39 is styled after the '36 Chevrolet Deluxe coupes and the '37 Cadillac LaSalle. Headlights are still attached to a skinny pinched-in, horizontal grille by floating pods. They would be mounted in or on the fenders in the years to follow. These mini haulers were advertised with high bulky-bodied "Diamond-crown" styling that looked rather clumsy next to streamlined Fords of the day. With a "stovebolt" 6-cylinder engine, the '39s priced out at about $685. Options included a radio, first offered in 1935, a clock and dual windshield wipers.
I grew up in a small town in Indiana. Richmond was famous for its Wayne Works, a builder of farm implements and later school buses. Wayne Works began making carriages and horse-drawn “kid-hacks” in the mid 1890’s and then built its first school buses in 1914 becoming a major supplier of bus transportation for the next 70 years. It was also one of the first companies to offer glass windows instead of canvas curtains in the early 1920’s. They were also a “second-stage” manufacturer of delivery vans, ambulances, and hearses. The company was associated with Divco (can you say Dairy Delivery?) from 1957-1968. Federal standards dictate that all school buses must be painted yellow (ok, I have deviated from that regulation in at least two cases!).
Like other deliveries, these trucks were used for making the daily rounds before their rebirth in the hot rod show world of the '70s and '80s. Delivery trucks have also been named grocery getters, hay haulers, widget wagons, cream carriers, medic movers and pokey patrol panels. Like its pickup twin, it has a brutish and muscular look! This heavy-duty truck had a V-8 power plant under the flip forward hood.
With around 15,000 produced and selling for approximately $2500, this wicked wagon was developed and marketed to spar with the Chevy Nomad outselling it 2-1 in ’56. An elevated version of the Ranch Wagon, it was the most expensive Ford produced that year. One of its endearing features is its “dipping V” chrome beltline dividing different colors above and below. With this two-tone paint scheme primarily white paired with another color, the Parklane carried forward Thunderbird styling including skinny tail fins, an egg crate grill, dual exhaust and the new Y-8 engine so named for its “Y” shape in cross-section. Ads called this wagon a “tote-‘em” and “Do-it-all” and “luxury liner.”
In all of its over the top glitz and glamour chrome and styling and beckoning its “last” to a brave new subdued 60s’ automotive world to come, I still love this 2-door low-slung delivery wagon. The 1959 Chevy sedan panel delivery was based on the Biscayne wagon styling; 5266 were built and sold for about $2200. It was advertised as a “handsome hustler” and was equipped with a V6 or 2 versions of the V-8 Turbo-fire or Super Turbo-fire. While sitting in its “cushy interior” you could look at the world through a windshield that offered “1,740 square inches of panoramic glass”! With its batwing taillight styling, for sure, Batman would have had one of these in his cave!
Chevrolet’s El Camino began in 1959 as heads up competition for Ford's Ranchero. After a brief entry of only two years, it went on hiatus, not returning until 1964. Its final model year was 1987. In Spanish, “El Camino” means the way, the path or the course. Originally, the name was found on a prototype Cadillac in the 1954 Motorama.