By on May 14, 2012

1963 Chevrolet Viking 60 cabover trucks are not vehicles that you’ll see in everyday 21st Century life. Viking cabovers were pretty rare even in 1963. Odds are that survivors such as this one are very slim.

Owners looked after the Viking’s svelte, more popular distant cousin, the 63 Sting Ray but work trucks like this Chevy cabover faced a different future. Typically, these heavyweights had a career like virtually every commercial vehicle on the face of the earth. They worked without a break and then met Mr. Recycler.

In this case, the Viking was part of a fleet of refrigerator trucks for a small town milk delivery business. The big brute did that job remarkably well until it was sold to a guy who liked hunting. The mobile fridge capability of this truck made huge sense for hanging meat on a hook after a hunt. Organized crime has known that for decades.

The Chevy served as a rolling meat locker for the Elmer “wabbit season” Fudd guys until Grant Puzey bought it for his farm. It came minus the refrigerator unit because Grant had plans for the old Chevy’s new career as a grain hauler. Grant added a box and hydraulic system to dump the grain into his granary after a load from a combine in the field.

Grant replaced the original engine with a new crate motor and used the truck for ten years as a heavily worked grain hauler during harvest season. The 5 speed split axle worked well with the new heart in the C-60.

The jobs were short but intense, so that’s why this nearly 50-year-old truck has only 78,000 miles on the clock. They were hard miles with a heavy workload, but the Viking handled every one with unsurpassed reliability.

Grant retired from farming, and so did the Viking C-60. Grant still marvels at the load this old Viking could handle during a frantic harvest season. He shouldn’t be surprised because this brute goes back to the days of glass milk bottles when the loads were significantly heavier.

The truck hauled bushels of grain in its second career, which would seem like a pretty light load to this vintage cabover Chevy 3 ton. That’s probably why it’s still around and waiting for a third career.

For more of J Sutherland’s work go to mystarcollectorcar.com

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

11 Comments on “Car Collector’s Corner: 1963 Chevrolet Viking 60 Cabover – A Milk Truck That Became A Farm Hand...”


  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    A shame that vintage commercial truck ownership is a little more complicated than car ownership, because I think this would be one of the biggest (both literally and metaphorically) head turners at any car show.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I like the stovebolt.com website for collectors of antique GM trucks. Mostly pickup trucks, but there are some interesting and unique bigger trucks in the mix. Check out the gallery section.

      http://www.stovebolt.com/gallery/

  • avatar
    nikita

    The diesels so common in this class of truck today were not even available back then. The few of these Ive seen had 327 emblems. Except for positive valve rotators and lowered compression, the same engine thas was in my Impala. Gearing did it. At 78,000, Im sure the original engine was very tired.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    Yes, talking about no diesels..or automatic transmissions. The most painful sound in the world I believe is a 66 passenger schoolbus, fully loaded, attempting to run through the gears. The engine was usually a truck block 350 (Chevy) or 370 (Ford) with a 2 barrel carb. No need to upgrade the engine, we’re just hauling kids. The transmission was a 3 speed “plus 1″, the 1 being the granny gear. To hear these pull away from a stop sign was painful. Top speed, pedal to the floor, was somewhere south of 55MPH when fully loaded, on flat land. 1986…I remember when our bus driver, the most senior busdriver and thus got the newest bus, got his diesel. Not three months later, he got an automatic. He hated the automatic but loved the diesel.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    Yes, talking about no diesels..or automatic transmissions. The most painful sound in the world I believe is a 66 passenger schoolbus, fully loaded, attempting to run through the gears. The engine was usually a truck block 350 (Chevy) or 370 (Ford) with a 2 barrel carb. No need to upgrade the engine, we’re just hauling kids. The transmission was a 3 speed “plus 1″, the 1 being the granny gear. To hear these pull away from a stop sign was painful. Top speed, pedal to the floor, was somewhere south of 55MPH when fully loaded, on flat land. 1986…I remember when our bus driver, the most senior busdriver and thus got the newest bus, got his diesel. Not three months later, he got an automatic. He hated the automatic but loved the diesel.

    Oh, and if you all want to see something cool, go look up the GMC V6 gas truck engine. If you really wanna blow your top, look up “GMC Twin Six.” Friggin beast!

    • 0 avatar
      tiredoldmechanic

      The GMC V-6 and twin-six engines were interesting units. I’ve never seen a twin-six in the flesh but the V-6s were reasonably common in thier day. The smaller ones were used in GMC pickups right down to half tons, back when GMC and Chevy trucks were not badge engineered versions of the same truck.
      Chevrolet offered thier own engines, so in ’63 this one could have had a 292 six, 283 or 327. Larger units like the 80-90 series could have had the 348 or 409. I think you might even have been able to get the Detroit Diesel 6v-53 in the heavier models. I’ve seen lots of later models with 366 or 427 power but one this old is pretty rare. Ford’s C series was the superior truck and pretty much owned this market. Neat old truck.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    Great find. In recent years I have seen a couple of these still in use as reserve trucks with rural volunteer fire departments.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    See them once in a while still being used during harvest as grain haulers here in Nebraska.

  • avatar

    This old war pony just seemed very cool when we found it in repose on a farm, so we had to tell its story.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    There’s something very… Japanese with the styling of this truck. Would fit very well as a base for dekotora conversion.

  • avatar
    oldguy

    Just a very minor point – I believe it a T-60 [for Tilt-cab] not a C-60 which was GM’s designation for the conventional cab.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India