My father brought home my 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster 2 door sedan sometime in 1963. I only remember that I was around 15 years old at the time. He said he bought it at a farm auction for $50.00 but I suspect he paid more since it would have been only 16 years old at the time. I guess he didn't want to upset my mother with a higher price.
The car has never been registered in all the time that we have owned it. The brakes never worked from day 1. To stop I always turned the engine off and started gearing down. It produced some interesting results. I went thru a few fences and gates before I got proficient at this task. The battery was not the best so I had to park it on top of inclines so I could start pushing it down, jump in and pop it into second gear.
The tires were 16 inches by 6 inches and contained tubes. I couldn't afford new tires so I got used jeep tires from our neighbor Wes Jordan and his sons Dennis and Reg. The only problem was that they were 6 ply and putting them on the rims by hand was very challenging.
We used to have pigs in a bush about a ½ mile from the barn and I used the car to haul feed down to them. I used to see how far I could drive into the bush before a tree stopped me. Now I am busy taking those dents out of the fenders.
Like I mentioned before I would have only been 15 and 16 years old at the time and it was exciting to drive your own car. I even took some road trips hunting for gophers with the Jordan brothers and Bill McGregor, but we tried to keep it close to home, since like I mentioned the brakes never worked and the car was never registered.
The car remained on the farm while I went off to Thompson to work at INCO, went to University of Manitoba, back to Thompson, got married and finally went to Red River Community College and graduated in Computer Technology.
In the Beginning
My wife and I lived in apartments in Winnipeg while I went to RRCC and later when I started my 35 year career with Manitoba Hydro. In 1978 we bought a house in St. Vital.
Originally in 1978 I was going to restore the car to original. A couple of years later I changed my mind to a street rod build so that we could go on many road trips in style without worrying about breakdowns. The next few pages describe the procedures that I went thru when I still had the idea of restoring the car to stock.
I started by moving the car from the farm in Manitou to a friend’s farm (Ken Dyck) at Domain, Manitoba.
The first thing that I did was take the motor out of the car. Ken and I did this accomplishment ourselves with a 6 foot crowbar and a piece of chain. We lifted it out (transmission and all) and plunked it into the trunk of my current car – a Chrysler Cordoba. We took it to my house in Winnipeg and deposited it in my garage. It was probably the heaviest thing I had ever lifted and there is no way that I could ever replicate that feat.
Next, I took the body off the chassis (by myself). I brought out a portable sandblaster and sandblasted the entire body and chassis.
I primed the chassis and body and put the body back on the rolling chassis. I then moved the car into my garage in Winnipeg. This process took about 2 years.
I ran out of time (life got in the way) and money at this point and moved the car into the back yard where it resided for the next 25 years as a home for the squirrels.
When comparing these 2 pictures with the 2 pictures at the top of this page and I can see the different grills and hoods. The 1947 cars did not have a full strip of chrome on the side of the hood like mine did and the emblem on the my front hood is for a 1946 car.
The car must have been in an accident prior to 1963 because I never changed the front end.
I have to decide now whether to keep the 1946 front or try and find a 1947 front. my front grill is at the Chrome Pit waiting to get chromed so I will be keeping it. I can always buy the hood from Omer and put it on my car!