John Mytroen: Wheels Reader
Occupation: Retired sales representative
The Car: 1928 Chevrolet One-ton Truck
In southern Saskatchewan when a vehicle is replaced, it’s often just moved to the back of the farm yard and sits there for years. That was the case for this ’28 Chevy truck which I saw sitting in my family’s yard throughout my entire childhood.
Built in Oshawa, Ont., the truck had been purchased new by my grandfather, James Tysdal, from the JI Case dealer in Assiniboia, Sask., for hauling grain from the fields into bins in the farm yard and to the grain elevator. It would hold about 50 to 60 bushels of grain. Without a hydraulic hoist, it had to be unloaded one shovel-full at a time.
It was also used to haul straw and hay for the cattle and horses, as well as for transportation to and from town. Without a heater, this often made for a brisk ride.
As I became a teenager and didn’t have the funds to buy my own vehicle, my grandfather and father, Alfred Mytroen, suggested that if I could get the truck running, it would be mine.
Day after day, for many months, the truck was stripped and repainted. A valve job was done, wood was replaced and a radio and whip antenna with streamers were added.
When I got my driver’s licence at 16, it was on the road many days, taking me to school, into the local town, and later a full 60-mile trip to Moose Jaw.
In 1969, when I moved to Ontario, it was decision time.
The truck was towed back to the farm and parked outside, along with other old machinery, where it sat until 1983, when it was moved into a large Quonset hut.
There, it was protected from the elements until 2010. That was the year I had the truck shipped back to Ontario, and within weeks, I began the tear down.
The first day, the cab and box were removed, and within five days, it was down to the bare chassis. The western climate had preserved the chassis very well, and after sand blasting and powder coating, it looked factory fresh.
Everything was torn down from the engine to the differential and rebuilt — a complete nut-and-bolt restoration — with new bearings, bushings, and any other parts required. White Ash was used to duplicate every piece of wood, and it was stained golden oak and finished with marine varnish to withstand moisture.
The powder coating worked so well on the chassis that everything except the black fenders were powder coated. The finish of the powder coating, including the green body panels, is outstanding.
Over the next few years, assembly was completed and final touches were done in the spring of 2017.
The old 1928 Chevrolet was finally certified and licensed, and it has participated in numerous shows in the Niagara area throughout the past summer’s classic and antique car season, with the first event being the June Rods and Relics Car Show in Fort Erie.
It’s a tribute to my grandfather, who bought that brand new Chevy truck, to have it back on the road and in such good condition again.
Hopefully, it will be around for many years to come..
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