Keep On Truckin

This 1932 Pickup is owned by Fred Putnam and his wife Jean of South Daytona, Florida. He is the second owner, having bought the truck from the original owner some 50 plus years ago (1958) for $75! He lived in Massachusetts at the time but found this old farm truck in New Hampshire when he was 19 years old. There were no tittles in 1958 in Massachusetts or New Hampshire so it was registered as a 32. The cab says ’34 but it stuck as a ’32! 

Fred was no stranger to work as he had worked in his grandfather’s machine shop since the age of 7. He enjoyed the machinery and mechanical things like engines and quickly learned the ins and outs of the business. After graduation he served three years in the military with heavy equipment. He completed his military service and then became a Heavy Machinery Hauler for the next 50+ years. 

Everything was going along so well and then, out of the blue, Fred was broadsided resulting in the loss of one of his legs at a very young age. Once recovered, he realized that the 3 speed LaSalle Transmission was no longer an option so he decided to “un-Channel” the truck to make room for the automatic. Not an easy task for anyone, with even both legs, but Fred was undaunted and today it sits and looks as good as ever.

The machine shop business he had learned taught him to fabricate parts and build his own engines. There were many different engine combinations in this ride; a Buick, Oldsmobile and even a Chrysler Hemi! The early 392 Hemi with 37 LaSalle transmission (because they were beefy he says and could withstand the torque) stayed the longest. They even had attended the 89 Nationals with this engine/combo and it was very dependable he says.

Fast forward to the current 355 Chevy with a 6-71 blower and two 600 Holley Carbs. An MSD Ignition (M6ABT) allowed dialing up the boost (retard timing) with a dial in the cab. It has run 12lbs but generally is kept around 10lbs.

Things were starting to get serious now so a Kugel front end, new Progressive chassis and ‘81 Corvette rear all found their way into the project about 1992. Remember, Fred not only built the engines but could fabricate and Paint too. The rear bed was shortened 10 inches and the body channeled 6 inches over the frame. The cab was left mostly stock to handle Fred’s tall 6’1” stature.

It’s painted a 95 Mustang Laser Red with fenders a Lincoln Electric Current Metallic Red, all in his garage. The firewall is a “Bitchin” firewall and of note is the fact that the whole truck is all steel except the rear fenders. Some other equipment on the truck is King Bee headlights, Rock Valley stainless fuel tank, Holly electric fuel pump, True-Spoke wire wheels (1870R14’s up front and P255/70R15’s out back with corresponding Corvette Disc brakes in rear and Willwood disc’s up front.

Fred and his wife have traveled all over the Mid-West and East Coast to attend various NSRA Events. They even towed a Jayco pop-up trailer behind them along with their two dogs. They went everywhere and this little truck cruised all day long with hardly a whimper. Their favorite cruise was the Blue Swede Cruise near Norwalk, Ohio, where Fred could take off the rear fenders and run the NHRA track all day long. With 3:50 gears she would run high 11’s. The Corvette rear was originally out of a big block car and being beefier, it held up well Fred says. 

Fred also owns a ’48 Ford Convertible too that has a lot more room he says. He definitely has fond memories however of this little ‘32, or ’34, of all the roads traveled and placed visited. He still gets out on the roads hauling heavy machinery, working occasionally as needed. What else can you say but “Keep on Truckin” Fred, we LOVE your little truck, no matter what year it is!

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