'49 Chevy Grain Truck Untouched by Time

The classic Chevy grain truck is almost the same as when it was driven home


| March 2000



When Donald Elder (left) and Dale Brown brought this '49 Chevy truck home from the dealership more than 50 years ago, they would never have dreamed that the truck would still be at work in the year 2000

When Donald Elder (left) and Dale Brown brought this '49 Chevy truck home from the dealership more than 50 years ago, they would never have dreamed that the truck would still be at work in the year 2000. For all of those years, the Chevy has played a key role in Elder's annual harvest operation. Donald and his sons, Calvin and R.D., farm about 650 acres near Osbernville, Ill.

Fifty years ago, Raymond Elder bought a brand new 1949 Chevy grain truck. Special care (and an annual coat of polish) kept the vintage classic in great shape as the decades slipped by. Raymond Elder has since passed on, but the truck remains a cherished – and working – part of the Elder family. 

On a warm, summer day in 1949, Donald Elder (Raymond's son) and Dale Brown (Donald's then 10-year-old nephew) were sent to town to get the new truck and bring it home. Home was rural Bluemound, Ill., near the Osbernville grain elevator.

Donald lives only a half-mile from where they brought home the Chevy. That trip remains a vivid memory.

"Dad bought the Chevy in Decatur at Fredes, which was on the corner of Eldorado and Franklin," Donald recalled. "He bought it in either June or July of 1949, because we were cutting wheat."

Getting the truck home was a bit of a challenge.

"I remember when we turned onto Eldorado," Donald said. "It was the first time I drove anything with dual wheels ... I turned too short and ran up on the curb!"

terry
6/25/2011 6:25:36 PM

I have several pieces of older farm equipment and tools. I am looking for someone who might be interested in purchasing them. I have photos of a number of items and would be willing to send them upon request. These items are located near the Wyoming Nebrask boarder near I80 If you are intereted please contact me at mountainrange@hotmail.com thank you