1946 Chevrolet Pickups

1946 Chevy Panel Truck Real Deal Barn Find Original Patina Rat Rod Lionel Trains

1946 Chevy Panel Shop Truck

Real barn find shop truck with original hand painted lettering and incredible aged patina! This is the real deal!

– 216 cu.in. inline 6 overhead valve motor
– Mileage unknown
– 3 speed manual transmission
– Original panel truck for French’s Lionel Train House in Seattle area
– Un-molested, un-touched, -un-restored, un-modified! It is exactly how it sat in storage nearly its entire life. Only changed what was necessary to keep it running.




The history on this panel is part documented, part information I have been able to gather from talking with folks, and part connecting the dots. The truck started life as a two-tone ’46 Chevy Panel Truck. Green body, black fenders and running boards. A.J. French purchased the truck in 1947 and I have the original title issued to him in ’47 with his name on it. It was then used as the shop truck for French’s Lionel Train House in the Seattle area. Many are familiar with this train shop and I’m sure more history can be acquired about the shop if wanted. Somewhere during their use of the truck they painted their logo on the sides of the panel. It was then painted over (I believe with a roller and house paint!) the entire truck with maroon. A new French’s logo was painted on the sides. If you look close, you can see the old logo under the maroon paint. I have talked to many that remember this truck at the train shop back in the 1950’s.


Chevy Panel Shop Truck

I am unsure when French’s closed their doors, but it seems to be sometime in the 1960’s as I can’t find any information on them after that. The truck, however, sat inside a building boarded up for some time. Apparently it was moved in the early 1980’s to a carport next to their house on the same property as the shop. I have spoke with folks from the area that confirmed seeing it sit under the carport for several years. I think it’s fair to say it had seen very little (if any) use from the late 1960’s to the mid 1980’s. There were quite a few receipts in the glove box showing lots of repair work done in the mid 1980s. Things like brakes, electrical, tires, etc. There was also a page from an old auto trader ad in 1988. The ad states that the motor was recently rebuilt. I think it makes sense that they did a pretty good overhaul on the truck in order to sell it. Once sold, I’m unsure if it went directly to Utah or if it was in the Seattle area for a bit longer, but it did make its way to Utah in the 1980s. It sat in a garage (pictured) in Utah until a friend of mine found it and purchased it. He had it hauled to his shop on a flat bed. I immediately purchased it from him. The tires were still holding air, the brakes still had pressure, so he put a new battery in it and it started right up. When I purchased it, I drove it a couple blocks to a gas station and put new gas in it. I misunderstood and thought the oil had been changed, but it had not. With new gas I decided to drive it home. It coughed and sputtered a bit, smoked for a couple miles, then she smoothed right out, stopped smoking, the gauges came to life, and it ran like a million bucks. Most fun I’ve had in a LONG time.

Several weeks later I drove it over to my friends shop for storage. This was about a 30 mile drive. We lost the old original fan belt on the way, but a replacement was easily obtained and we were back on the road. Got to the shop and parked it and it sat for a couple weeks. The next time I tried to start it I heard a banging noise that sounded like it was in the top end somewhere. Turns out some of the valves stuck causing several pushrods to bend. (remember the oil had not been changed in who knows how long.) Replaced the pushrods and cleaned/soaked the valves for a few days and everything broke loose and it ran just fine. CHANGED THE OIL. Ended up replacing the cap/rotor, cleaning the points, putting in a new condensor, and putting in new plugs in the process.

That’s the story. It hasn’t been washed or cleaned up. It’s a true “barn find” vintage shop truck all the way down to the original hand-painted lettering and great patina! This is a time capsule. It is not, however, a turn-key daily driver. Please don’t expect this to be ready to drive cross country. It’s a great car, and I’ve put probably 60-70 miles on it, but it needs new tires, the brakes should be gone through to make sure they are safe, spark plug wires wouldn’t hurt, and just needs a good once-over to make sure everything is safe and functioning correctly. The pictures and video show the details well. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions. This is truly a one-of-a-kind real deal time capsule. They don’t get any cooler than this! This will likely be the ONLY time you will ever have the opportunity to acquire something like this. Don’t pass it by.





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