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1952 GMC "Torpedo" Truck - Sept 2015

Back in the 1950s to 1960s the oilfield industry had trucks like this that would transport raw nitroglycerin out the oil rigs, where they would pack small marble-filled "torpedoes" with the nitroglycerin, use the winch on this truck to lower it into the drilled hole and explode it in order to open the hole and let the oil flow out.  It was called "shooting a well", and it was one of the most dangerous, but well paid, jobs in the oilfield.  The dangerous part was that these trucks would spontaneously explode, leaving nothing but a crater.  That's what happens when you carry raw nitroglycerin over bumpy dirt roads out to oil rigs.  As a result, there are 2 of these trucks remaining in restored condition in museums, and this one - the only non-restored one we have been able to locate.  These trucks simply were destroyed by explosion so not many remain today.  

This particular truck was spared that fate when it's engine failed sometime in the early 60s.  The company started putting a new engine in it, and then for some reason the plan was abandoned and the truck pushed out to a pasture in northeast Oklahoma, just miles from the headquarters of Phillips 66.  Scotlea Hot Rods found and saved this truck from slowly turning to rust and plans to restore the mechanicals of it and get it working again, but leave it alone otherwise.  It has amazing patina, and the hand-painted signs on the doors are in great shape.

After about a day of completing the engine install started 50 years ago, this old truck came to life again and rolled down the road again!!!  Simply amazing!  Follow along as we get this truck back in working condition - minus the tank of nitroglycerin...

A couple days of labor and the brakes now work, all the lights work and it drives great!!  A new sign was made for the front bumper to let everyone know what's coming.  Last thing needed was a new seat that looks old - using brown vinyl it looks perfect.  This truck is now ready to roll again (and hopefully not explode) !!!