Car Collector's Corner: 1963 Chevrolet Viking 60 Cabover - A Milk Truck That Became A Farm Hand
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
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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.