Thirteen area residents correctly identified the Chevrolet pickup pictured in the Jan. 23 Dispatch Auto Section. It is a 1954 3/4 ton Advanced Series pickup (the series spanned 1947-1955 pickups).
This pickup was made in St. Louis, Miss., and has a four-speed manual transmission.
I received 19 e-mails and 23 phone calls. The most unusual guess was that the pickup was a 1949 Mercury Meteor made by the Ford Motor Company in Canada.
A lot of the guesses were the correct except for the size (1/2 ton instead of 3/4 ton).
Mike Riley, one of the correct guessers, said that this pickup was the first to have a pressurized oil system and it had "one heckuva" heater.
"Burn your boots," he said.
He said he knew the pickup was 3/4 ton by the length of the box (it was longer than a 1/2 ton).
Josh Jay, a Brainerd High School senior, wrote in an e-mail that 1954 was the first year for the bull nose grill instead of the grill with bars that ran horizontally in the 1947-1953 Chevy pickups.
Some of the pickup's other features that Jay noted were its flat-topped bed design, the 235 cubic inch insert bearing straight six cylinder engine, and round taillights.
Jay is currently restoring a 1953 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup.
Jim Spaeth of Aitkin, another correct guesser, wrote in an e-mail that this pickup's tailgate was held closed with a hook and eye arrangement secured by a chain fastened to the box and the electrical system was six volt with the battery charged by a generator and controlled by a electromechanical voltage regulator.
An Aitkin resident was among a few residents who noted that 1954 was the first year for the curved one-piece windshield.
Mike Schultz of Fort Ripley raced his Polaris to an eighth place finish in the Pro Open snocross final at the World Championships at Eagle River, Wisc., Jan. 20.
In Semi Pro action at event which celebrated its 40th anniversary, Schultz won the Semi Pro Open final and finished second in the Semi Pro 600 and Semi-Pro 440 finals.
The International Ice Racing Association tour will hit Bay Lake this weekend, and Garrison twice, Feb. 8-9 and March 1-2 this season.
The IIRA is the largest sanctioning body for automobile racing on ice in North America. The typical race weekend includes, practice and qualifying sessions, half hour rubber to ice, studded sprint and solo (rookie) sprint races on Saturdays, with a half hour studded sprint race and two-plus hour endurance race on Sunday.
There are six classes of racing in the series, four modified and two stock.
John Force in his Ford Mustang Funny Car, Rhonda Hartman-Smith in her Top Fueler and George Marnell in his Pro Stock Pontiac Grand Am were quickest Sunday during the final day of testing at the PRO Warmup at Southwestern International Raceway.
NHRA teams utilized the pre-season test in preparation for the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, which begins Feb. 6-9 at the K&N Filters Winternationals, Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, near Los Angeles.
Force clicked off a pass in 4.899 seconds at 316.08 mph, Hartman-Smith's pass was in 4.639 seconds at 319.14 mph and Marnell made a pass in 7.07 seconds at 194.07 mph.
For the weekend, Johnny Gray in his Pontiac Firebird Funny Car posted the quickest time, 4.879 seconds on Saturday, and Tony Schumacher had the quickest time in Top Fuel, 4.675 seconds, on Saturday.
Most of the teams could test again this weekend either in Las Vegas or Houston.
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