Jim Hill's 1921 Dodge
1921 Dodge truck owned by North Bay Rodsters member Jim Hill of Vallejo, California. Jim's father E.C. Hill assisted Jim in the build. The car had pieces from no less than 13 different makes or models of automobiles, and at least one airplane. The body was made from a 1921 Dodge touring car. The chassis came from a 1927 Chevrolet. The brakes were 1937 Chevrolet, and the grille was a sectioned 1932 Ford unit. A custom bed was built from white oak and walnut sheet. The rear bumper was a special.
Power came from a 1928 Chevrolet engine block that Jim and E.C. fit with a 1932 Ford C crank, 1936 Pontiac rods, Jahns pistons, a 1930 Oldsmobile three-port head equipped with Buda diesel valves and rocker arms scrounged from a 1938 Nash. In order to accomodate all these parts, the block had to be built up in several sensitive spots. The center main web was filled solidly and the rear main was rebuilt to fit a journal one and one-half inches longer than the designer intended. All things considered, 26 pounds of welding rod and six bottles of acetylene were used. After the block had been welded, it was put in a bed of charcoal in the family barbecue pit to cool down for a total of four days. When the engine had cooled down, it could be machined without fear of warpage. A cross drive from an airplane engine was installed on the front of the block to drive a reworked Bendix magneto on one end and the oil pump system on the other. The oil system was full dry-sump with oil scavenged from the crankcase and returned via a five gallon reservoir behind the driver's seat. Another pump pulled oil from the tank and delivered it at 60 pounds pressure to the engine. An adjustable bypass kept the pressure constant. A 1928 Chevrolet starter was used on the engine. The starter ran 12 volt in order to turn the engine against the 9.5 to 1 compression ratio. Water cooling was handled by a 1924 Dodge water pump. Power was delivered through a 1946 Chevrolet Hi-Torque clutch to a transmission made up of parts from a Borg-Warner unit, a military Jeep, a Nash and a Studebaker.
The body was finished of in a Maroon color. Inside, the truck featured a custom interior by Joe's Auto Trim Shop of Vallejo, California. A tooled leather name-plate was placed on the floor. The dash was custom as well.
Jim took his truck to the dry lakes. Although he was only able to squeeze out 84.4 at the lakes, he felt it was overgeared at a ratio of 2.54 to one, and that is had potential for more if he ran a lower cog.
The car was last registered in 1967. It went in to storage in Oregon, and stayed nearly 50 years locked away. In May of 2014 it was advertised for sale on eBay. At the time, the car was located in Portland, Orgeon. It was completely original as Jim built it, and it was never restored, changed or messed with. According to the listing, it was discovered with many original spare parts, including new engine bearings, rings etc. A can of the original paint followed as well. The can had a label date coded November 1950. The original canvas convertible top and side curtains came with the car as shown in the original photos. The current owner had not tried to start the engine. Jim's old hot rod was listed with a starting bid of US $99,000.00. Click here to check out the auction.
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