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1930 Chevrolet AD Universal - Canopy Express (Huckster) 1/2T Truck Project

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Being a fan of the antiques for a long time now, I have always enjoyed looking at, reading about, and checking them out whnever I could. Always thought it would be cool to won one, in its original state. Granted the Hot Rods are cool, but the originality and simplicity of the original state has always intrigued me. I have scanned the classifieds, the online ads and auctions, in general jsut seeing what is out there not being in a rush to get anything. Recently gcame across an ad for a 1930 Chevrolet Universal AD - Canopy Express Truck/ Huckster partially restored and it caught my attention. Was unique in a way all its own. So I contacted the seller and inquired...

Well after a few weeks of working with the seller, finding and setting up transport, and getting all the ducks in a row, the truck was finally delivered Yesterday afternoon !! It is now it it's new home, My garage :)

Few pictures attached below of the delivery and unloading.

My plan is to restore it to a factory original state within my limits and capabilities. Hopefully with some guidance and direction from my new friends of the local AACA Chapter here, and My New online Friends (You Guys) I will get this knocked out. I am in no rush to get this done, but would like to work on it steadily and patiently.

Now to figure out where to start. My plan is to catalog and take inventory of what I have on hand. While i do some research and try to figure out HOW this thing goes together. As it is currently in pieces. Once I have an inventory I would liket ot dry fit everything together to see what i have, what i need, and what needs to be done. Then I can start to disassemble, fix, work, replace, or repair parts that need attention. then completely reassemble the truck and do the fine detail work. I know, I Know it will take lots of time, and of course $$ MONEY $$, and LOADS of PATIENCE and homework. I plan on being around a while, and enjoy it once it is complete.

Any and all feedback, support, guidance, reference, information would be greatly appreciated !! have not had much luck finding a lot of info on any of these.

If you have any questions, feel free to post or PM me. I will do my best to keep you guys updated on the progress with pictures, of course :)






Edited by BearsFan315 (see edit history)
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Very nice find. depending on the amount of work you are able to do yourself it might not be too expensive. The rechrome and interior bills should be minimal and those two alone are KILLERS money wise.............Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well this past weekend my son and I unloaded the truck, sorted out the parts n pieces and laid them out on the workbench and floor. Looks like we have a lot of pieces, some even duplicated. Found out some pieces we were missing, and made us a list of things to look for. I have uplaoded pictures to share with everyone, instead of loading them up on this site, I have laoded them on my google photos page, and included a link here.

Huckster: Parts Misc

Huckster: Bed

Huckster: Body

Huckster: Doors

Huckster: Driveline

Huckster: Frame

Huckster: Interior

We went out to the Richmond In the Spring AACA show in richmond, VA to check out the Swap Meet and the Rides. Took our list and Camera (To get some shots of how to put this thing back together). We were unsuccessful in finding any parts, and found a 27 Chevrolet that we got some pictures of that will help up in re assembly.

Next step, rent/ borrow an engine hoist to remove the engine from the bed, so we can get it ready to attack. Going to figure out what to do next... Onward and Forward we go.

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Hi Potentially a really fun little pick-up. Somebody has put in a lot of work so the restoration seems well advanced. I guess the big thing now is not too go overboard trying to make a silk purse. Just enjoy it.


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Regarding Parts for early Chevs I know it is a long way from Va but Val Budeja here in Melbourne Australia is a regular stockist of NOS and used Chev parts I have included his lastest small advert from the Vintage Drivers Club magazine with contact details. It costs nothing to send him an e-mail, If you are shy you can mention that you got his details from Bernie Jacobson. For anyone interested he has 1926 Chev pick-up (Ute) for sale Aust $6.500 Restored but requiring some detail finishing. Being in Australia it will be right hand drive which would at least make it 'different'. I can advise on shipping.



Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Thanks for the info, have scanned through the filling station, found somethings i will need. Also trying to plan a trip to hershey to look at some finished vehicles, so I can see how this thing should go together, as I do not have an instruction manual, can only guess and I do NOT want to do that, want it to go together like it should.

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Update on my project...

We were able to get the engine out the the bed with the help of my neighbors x2 and his engine lift/ hoist. Picked it up and put it down on a set of dollies I had, so I can push and move it around as needed. Found out my Neighbor with the Lift also owns a bolt !! a 1948 Chevrolet Pick-Up, Pretty Nice truck !

Pictures are here: Huckster: 2012-06-25

My Son and I began to install the bed strappping and bolts and a few other part on the rear end. Figure start on the back work our way forward.

Slowly and Steadily we go.

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Just uploaded the photos from the DVD I was sent, these are photos from the Resto Shop when the original owner was having the truck restored before he past. Looks like a lot of work has been done, and a lot more to go...

Be For Warned, there are almost 300 Photos in this album, they are reduced in size for quicker loading !!

Huckster: Vintage DVD

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  • 3 weeks later...

Get a notebook and keep a log of each part you take off with the date and order you took them off. This way you will have a log on what order you took parts off.

Yes you took lots of photos, but plan on taking a lot more. For each part you take off, take more photos of every nut, bolt, spring, etc, even before you even remove the part and after. Keep the photos in folders on your computer labeled by the date you took them and use the folder dates in your log.

For the most part, if you put the parts back on in the order you took them off it will be much easier. I hate it when I have to take a part back off to get something on that I forget needed to be assembled in a specific order.

Nice Huckster, and good luck with your project.

Visit my website at: Bob's Vintage Cars


1933 Chevrolet

1962 Triumph TR4

1984 BMW 633 CSi

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Well continuing to work on the Truck, after making a list of hardware required, I have ordered the hardware I need, and got most of ot in this week, a few more items are due to arrive on monday. Once I have everything on hand My son and I are planning on takingthe steel bolts, stripping the zinc coating off, and then blackening them. Not a fan of shiny bolts on my antique.

while waiting on the parts to arrive rolled the truck out and gave the chasis a pressure wash to remove dirt debris and loose particles. Now planning on hitting the frame with a wire brush and then throwing on a coat of black paint to seal her up. a little preventative maintance you can say.

Huckster: Wash Down

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, this was a pretty slow but productive weekend for me on the 1930. I completely disassembled the bed from the frame, then removed the body from the frame so that I can address the frame and it's components to begin my restoration process. Here are some Picts:

Huckster: Bed Removal

Huckster: Body Removal

My plan is to clean up the frame, give it a clean fresh coat of paint, and then address the brakes and suspension components. The Frame is in great shape, a few spots of surface rust, buit nothign major that I can see as of now. Plan is to get a complete solid rolling chassis, (Clean Frame, Functioning Brake System, & Suspension) then from there ?!?!

Also I finally got in all the hardware I ordered this past firday, so took some time on sunday to do some blackening. I id NOT want to use bright Zinc hardware on the 1930, so I opted for this instead. The hardware turned out really nice, I am very happy with the results !! Just an FYI I used the Caswell Black Oxide System, and would recommend it to anyone doing this.

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  • 5 months later...

Ok, Spent the saturday working on the frame. Stripping it down and putting a coat of Primer on. About 1/5 Done. Taking my time and trying to do it right. First time I have ever attempted anything like this, so ... Also I am doing this with an angle grinder and wire brushes, as well as by hand in the hard to reach spots. Yes I am wearing PPE, Safety Goggles, Face Shield, Respirator and long sleeves & pants. Wires & paint flying everywhere !!

Here are some Pictures from Saturday:

Huckster: Frame Prime 01

Tomorrow hoping to get another section done.

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Ok, was able to get back out and do some more work sunday on the frame getting another section done. Had to get more primer, and ended up destroying both Wire Brushes I had on hand, so back to the store for some more if i plan on getting naythign done tomorrow !!

Here are some Pictures from Sunday:

Huckster: Frame Prime 02

Tomorrow hoping to get another section done, Since I will be home hanging out with the kids :-)

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Well another great day to grind, brush and prime !! spent another few hours outside on the frame, got another section done. This section was tedious, hand to hand work a lot of the areas. Also looks like that will be it for working on the frame for a few days, weather is back in the freezing zone. last 3 Days were sunny and in the 50's +, not suppose to get above freezing. Also have to get back to work tomorrow... Got to work to support my habit :P

Here are some Pictures from Monday:

Huckster: Frame Prime 03

About 3/5 Done with the Frame itself... then >?< guess springs, cross memeber, axles, then onto the steering rods, or who knows...

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  • 3 years later...

I read earlier in this post that you used a "Caswell black oxide" kit for some of your hardware...How well did it hold up?  I tried the "heat it and dip it in oil" method, and it looked great until I left my car in a somewhat damp garage for the winter and almost everything I blackened rusted...Just looking for a better method..

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  • 4 years later...
On 4/6/2016 at 3:06 PM, MIClassicGuy said:

I read earlier in this post that you used a "Caswell black oxide" kit for some of your hardware...How well did it hold up?  I tried the "heat it and dip it in oil" method, and it looked great until I left my car in a somewhat damp garage for the winter and almost everything I blackened rusted...Just looking for a better method..

have to say as of this weekend looking at the spares on the shelf they are 85% still in good condition, black, some have a little rust on them.

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have to post an update, as many of you know back in April 2013 i sold the Canopy Express as a project and moved on. Sorry to see it go, and then kicked myself for selling it. 


jump to earlier this year i saw a 1930 canopy express for sale online, and have you know it was the one i sold in 2013, same guy i sold it to was selling it. he had completed the project and looks great.


i contacted and we negotiated and came to an agreement. so i now own the 1930 Canopy Express again.


that was 2 months ago, and since then been fighting and hunting to get transport to move it from west to east. finally got a guy to pick it up, enclosed, licensed, insured, etc.. high rating and been hauling vehicles for years. so it is on its way back to me, and not certain when it will arrive back home. until then, here are some pictures of it waiting for pick up.













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well well got a call at 7am this morning , transporter was close at hand. said about 20 minutes out.

they arrived and discussed unloading tactics, where to park, where truck as going, etc...

was a soft side transport, Volvo, said he has about 3million miles on it !! just had routine service done.

rolled back the sides and there was a really cool 1957 vw truck on the back, once they opened truck up and got out ramps the vw fired right up and down the ramp it went.

next up was the 1930...

well it did not want to start, battery was dead, so swapped that out, since i have a 6v sitting on the bench for the 1929 !! well it did not want to start at all, it sputtered once or twice, but that was it. so we ended up pushing/winching it off the back of the truck. once on the street i took a look under hood and validated all was visibly well. still no start.if i pulled choke all the way out and pushed gas to the floor it would attempt to start but die quickly. so i did a double check on carb, and noticed that the bottom of the outside of hte float bowl was covered in green goo. and it was in the splash pan under the carb as well. my luck as i was wiping hand around the carb i jabbed the choke cable deep into the web of my hand between thumb and index finger. said a few choice words as blood was going everywhere :( garage guy here grabbed some paper towels and cleaned up hand, truck driver had some peroxide handy so I cleaned up my hand and got it to stop bleeding. then the two of them helped me push it into the garage. 

when i get home i am going to check the fuel for water, remove the carb, clean it out and then go from there. may end of draining tank and putting in some fresh gasoline, NON ETHANOL. i inquired with the owner as to type pf gas and such. see what he has to say.









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well too some time, siphoned the gas out of the tank. got the siphon started then it died off, and trickled, come to find out the filter in the bulb for my siphon was plugged, a ton of rust debris was being sucked up !!




then underneath, PO had cut out a section of steel fuel line and rubbered in a inline filter.


Edited by BearsFan315 (see edit history)
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then i removed hte fuel pump, gonna rebuild that and clean it up really good, drop in a new filter and then can put it back on...


dropped the carburetor to take a look inside, it looks really clean !! but noticed there was NO fuel in the bowl. this tells me when it was running to get loaded it was running strictly on the fuel in the bowl, and stopped running when it ran out of fuel. since the feed line is clogged, the fuel filter is clogged, no way it could feed the pump or the carubretor

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On 8/14/2020 at 10:46 PM, BearsFan315 said:

here is some fuel i put in a jar to see if there is any water in it... 


not sure why it is that pale blue/green color ??



talked to the previous owner, it is blue per regulations as it is aviation fuel, like 100 octane and either Low Lead or Ultra Low Lead. so explains the blue fuel

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On 8/14/2020 at 10:45 PM, BearsFan315 said:

took a few pictures of the inside of the tank...

definitely gone to have to remove it and clean it out really good !!


if you look closely you can see rust in the valve connection that feeds fuel to the fuel pump




I'll send you a PM...

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