1949 Chevrolet 4400 1.5-Ton Utility Truck
The Advance Design look crossed over to the big trucks, giving you all the same virtues on a slightly larger scale and at a very affordable price.
From 1947 to 1955, Chevrolet trucks were #1 in sales, and with the handsome good looks of the “Advance Design” it’s easy to see why. Today, they represent the hobby as great-looking old trucks with a practical nature, easy parts availability, and that same fantastic look that made them so popular decades ago. For fans of the heavy iron, the Advance Design look crossed over to the big 1.5 ton trucks like this 1949 4400, giving you all the same virtues on a slightly larger scale and at a very affordable price. This one appears to show just 2730 original miles, and is a former water tanker used by a city on the east coast.
Such low mileage isn’t really surprising on trucks like this because long-distance hauling was done by trains, not trucks. Serving a city fire department, calls for use were obviously limited and maintenance was outstanding, as you can imagine. Sometime after it was retired, the tanker body was removed and it was relegated to a warehouse for nearly two decades. Most recently, it was purchased by the current owner, revived and completely serviced, and given a fresh coat of correct Hunter Green paint. The cab is in exemplary shape with no rust or previous damage, and the paint is authentic-looking with a soft gloss that replicates what might have been there in 1949. The usual trouble spots like the lower corners and floors are in outstanding condition, and a quick glance at the firewall, door bottoms, and cowl reveals no evidence of neglect or even outdoor storage as is common with these big trucks. Fit and finish are better than the price would suggest, and all the trim is intact, including the chrome Chevrolet emblems on the nose and hood sides. All the glass appears to be original, too, with no delamination or cracking in any of the panes.
The interior is almost entirely original, including the burgundy bench seat which shows a few signs of age, but no critical damage. The matching door panels, which are little more than cardboard inserts, and a headliner made of the same stuff are all in excellent shape, which really tells you all you need to know about this truck’s preservation—this stuff is always the first to deteriorate. The dashboard and instruments are still quite nice, and experts will note that this truck sports a power take-off for driving pumps or other equipment. The rubber floor mat is a bit deteriorated, but a new one is on order and should be installed by the time you read this. Wear on the pedals is appropriate to the mileage and age of the truck, and the heater still puts out enough BTUs to keep it nice and warm inside on chilly afternoons.
The only powerplant available in the biggest Chevy was the erstwhile 216 cubic inch “Stovebolt” six. Still smooth after all these years, it starts easily and runs superbly. Having never been apart, it doesn’t leak, and makes a great industrial sound that suggests adequate power to move the big truck, which is mostly due to the steep gears out back. The original engine enamel is clinging to the block, and with a recent steam clean under the hood, it’s easy to see that there’s zero rust or deterioration and all the original components are in good working order. Recently tuned and featuring new belts, hoses, and fluids, it runs like it should.
A 4-speed manual gearbox feeds a set of steep truck-like gears out back, but out on the road performance is adequate and it will cruise at 45 MPH without complaints. You’ll also note that the frame is in outstanding condition with no signs of rust or damage, the heavy-duty suspension is smooth, and the brakes are confident. The heavy-duty 20-inch steel wheels were painted to match the body at the same time, and wear suitably vintage-looking General truck tires.
The perfect foundation for something remarkable, this is a great old Chevy in exemplary condition. Restoring such a beast would cost three or four times the asking price. In addition, we can have a reproduction oak stake bed installed on the truck prior to delivery for an extra charge, so you have a complete, turn-key truck that’s ready to enjoy immediately. Call today!