Bad to the Chrome series: Joe Moore and his 1940 Chevrolet pickup

'OLD 40' Chevrolet is object of admiration at shows

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Joe Moore says he had many hot rods over the years and at 71 he says he's not done yet. Photo taken on Saturday, March 22, 2014. MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL.
Joe Moore says he had many hot rods over the years and at 71 he says he's not done yet. Photo taken on Saturday, March 22, 2014. MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL.

Joe Moore thought he was just attending a car show last year, but when he got to Biloxi, Miss., he was surprised at the reaction he got to his 1940 Chevrolet pickup.

“People kept asking if it was for sale,” said Moore, 71. “I can’t remember how many offers I got. To this day, there’s a man from Baton Rouge who calls three times a month asking if he can buy it.”

Moore purchased the antique in 2007 and has since made upgrades to the engine and transmission. The North Augusta resident has invested $12,000 into his truck, which is coated in Viper Silver Metallic paint.

“It was leaking pretty bad when I first got it,” Moore said. “So I put in a new ZZ4 350 motor and it drives perfect now. I’d be confident taking it back to California.”

Moore says the first owner used the truck to harvest vegetables.

Despite its age, the truck maintains many original parts.

“Other than the fender, everything about the body is original,” Moore said. “Interior-wise, I haven’t messed with that much, either.”

The classic has 360 horsepower, and its license plate reads OLD 40.

“I don’t race it,” Moore said. “But I love driving it. I take it around the neighborhood and down to the recycling dump all the time. I also enjoy bringing it to the bigger car shows each year, including Myrtle Beach and Biloxi.”

Owning such a vehicle is something different for Moore, who says he has slowed down at 71.

“People kept asking why I got a truck,” he said. “Well, it’s because I’ve owned every muscle car a person can own. I grew up in the muscle car era and I spent a lot of my childhood street racing and winning money. From 1962-69, I street-raced all the time.”

Even though Moore claims to be done driving muscle cars, he’s keeping his options open about selling the truck.

“That man from Baton Rouge, he’s a straight shooter. He called one night and said, ‘It might take three months, six months or a year, but I’m buying it from you,’” he said. “I still tell him no but I’m getting closer. I’ve had a good run with this truck and now I’m wanting a 1938 Chevy coupe. Next
time he calls, I might say yes.”

Reach Doug Stutsman at (706) 823-3341


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