- Written by webmin
As if you couldn’t tell from the username he chose for his My Hemmings account, MB230SL is one of those guys who is most likely to subscribe to Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car. But that doesn’t immediately mean he can’t appreciate a domestic pickup truck, as we see from the story he wrote about his 1956 Dodge Highside, which today shows less than 10,000 miles on the odometer and remains in unrestored condition. As he tells the story:
Almost twenty years ago I met a friend for life. Whe I met him he was admiring my 1954 M.G. and I was introduced to his 1956 Dodge V8 Pickup – with 3700 original miles! Over the years I have ridden in and driven this truck with him many times, helped him get it started after many a winter’s hibernation, even moved furniture with it, all the while admiring it’s nearly pristine and largely unmolested condition.
Over time he began thinning out his collection of collector and farm vehicles, first selling his Ford tractor, then more recently his 1967 Mustang 298 GT convertible and 1949 Chevy 5-window pickup. A year or so ago he began contemplating parting with his original Dodge and the 1951 Willys stake-bed truck that has been a local vehicle all its life. When someone offered to buy his all original Dodge for the purpose of throwing away its original high-side long-bed body and using the cab and chassis as the basis for a recreation of a mid-50′s utility truck, I stepped up and told him I would like to keep it in its original condition for future generations to admire. He agreed that it would be a shame to break up an untouched 55 year old farm truck with only 8800 miles on the clock and passed the torch – and the truck – to me.
I have done no research and have no basis for making any claims, but I would not be a bit surprised to discover that I am now the custodian of one of the lowest mileage and most original 1956 Dodge Pickups in the country. It began its short-lived working life as a farm truck. If it acquired a scratch or dent in its working life, it has not been covered up or repaired. The rubber floormat, cardboard door cards and headliner, paint and even the oil film on the engine is original. The back of the grille assembly still sports the grease-pencil “Deluxe” marking that the assembly line workers used to insure that a white painted “Deluxe” grille assembly was properly mated to a truck with the “Deluxe” decor package. The farmer who bought it new passed away only a year or so later, having put barely 2000 miles on the clock. While the original tires on the ground were replaced long ago when the truck emerged from its 30 year hibernation in his West Virginia barn, the spare tire is still original from 1956. The 6-volt battery has certainly been replaced once or twice, along with the fuel pump and plug wires, and the Bendix Stromberg WW carburetor received a rebuild kit, but I think that it is entirely possible that even the radiator and heater hoses are still original!
I have been a sports car guy for 40 years, owning and maintaining a broad array of M.G.s from 1934 to 1967, an original unrestored 230SL, a Jaguar XJ6, and even a turbocharged Merkur XR4Ti. This plain-jane Dodge V8 pickup is just as much of a ball to drive and attracts just as much attention as any of my flashy sports cars.
If you have a story or photos of a collector car or truck that you’d like to share, sign up for My Hemmings today!