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1939 Dodge TE31 Pickup *SOLD*


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*SOLD* I will admit that my knowledge of these trucks is somewhat limited, but I also know that there are guys here who love them and I understand why. The '39 Dodges were all-new and there's no denying that this is a very handsome hauler. It was owned by my friend and fellow forum member, BillP, who passed away suddenly a few months ago and we're marketing this brute on behalf of his family. It was Bill's father's truck when he worked at the New York/New Jersey park shown on the emblem on the doors, and somehow he was able to buy it when its services were no longer needed in an official capacity. Bill and his father restored it about 25 years ago and it's still in fine condition with very little use. It shows 25,624 miles, and I am inclined to believe that is an authentic number--nobody's driving something like this cross-country. The cosmetics are still excellent and it shows what Bill claimed is an authentic color scheme and detailing from when his father used it at the park. Paint and bodywork are quite good, it does not look to have ever been rusty or damaged, and while it probably worked for a living, all signs of that have been erased. It's got a great shine, the chrome is quite good, and even though it's a 1.5-ton truck, the pickup bodywork makes it look tidy and well-proportioned. Wooden stake bed sides don't hurt, and the bed features painted planks, as original, rather than the polished dance floor that so many restored trucks show today.

 

The interior is basic, as you'd expect, but in good order. The seat has been re-covered in brown vinyl that has two quarter-sized scuffs but no rips or holes, there's a heavy-duty rubber floor mat, and a cardboard headliner. The gauges all work although the speedometer needle has fallen off the circle of clear plastic that holds in place. Accessories include the Mopar Deluxe heater under the dash, aftermarket turn signals, and a vintage fire extinguisher at the base of the driver's seat. Even the original parks department markings were accurately re-created. 

 

Mechanically, the 1.5-ton trucks used the familiar 217 cubic inch inline-6 engine you'll find in many other Chrysler products, and it's every bit as rugged and reliable here. I'm inclined to believe that it has never been opened and it's probably in original condition, so the paint isn't perfect, but it idles with a buttery smoothness that you don't expect from a big truck. It has a nice 6-cylinder grumble and there's enough torque and enough gear to make it move pretty well, although top speed is obviously pretty modest. You will also find correct details like the hose clamps, oil bath air cleaner, and a cloth-covered wiring harness. The 4-speed manual gearbox is surprisingly easy to use and unless you're hauling something, you can ignore 1st gear and use it as a regular 3-speed. I believe there are 5.69 gears in back, but with those tall 20-inch wheels and beefy 7.50-20 Goodyears, it rides reasonable well and feels happy at 40 MPH. There's also a modern trailer hitch out back with trailer light connections, a setup Bill used to pull a float in his town's annual Memorial Day parade, a task for which this truck seems ideally suited.

 

It also comes with a bunch of paperwork, brochures, and other stuff that Bill collected over the years. Price is $29,900, which seems like a reasonable figure for such a handsome, well-finished truck that's still quite usable. It's not one of those farm trucks with a flat bed, but a stylish pickup that shows and works equally well. I like looking at it. Hopefully the new owner will love it the way Bill did. Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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