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Old 01-30-2018, 11:39 PM   #1
Peanutbutter
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1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Went to a yard sale awhile back, clear on the other side of town, wife and I got there first. I was in hog heaven, all kinds of semi truck parts, cheap, but the first thing I got was this 1961 Sparten 70 3 axle, W motor with 5 and 3. Could'nt waite to git it home.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:21 AM   #2
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

nice
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:22 AM   #3
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Interesting truck.

Probably about as heavy as you could get for a C-Series in '61.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:19 AM   #4
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

36000 on the data plate
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

looks to be in pretty good shape. Nice score
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:51 AM   #6
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

I hope your going to be putting it back on the road. That is one cool truck!
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

it had a dump box on it but its going to be a tractor. I want to be able to pull my little 25 ton hyster manul folding gooseneck lowboy. That means I'll have to mount a winch behind the cab, but I already have a 6041 browne with a power tower on it so I have all the pieces I need.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Cool old truck , Im in to see more .
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:43 PM   #9
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Wow, rare find. Not your typical early 60's Chevy truck. This one has some good bones! Glad you saved it!
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:32 PM   #10
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanutbutter View Post
it had a dump box on it but its going to be a tractor. I want to be able to pull my little 25 ton hyster manul folding gooseneck lowboy. That means I'll have to mount a winch behind the cab, but I already have a 6041 browne with a power tower on it so I have all the pieces I need.
Definitely looking forward to seeing more. Noticed you have the torsion bar front end too. With any luck you won't have to rebuild it, parts are like hens teeth.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:23 PM   #11
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

I think all 60 and 61s were torsion, would have much preferred straight axle. I think to much work to change over, in 62 a straight axle was an option and would have been a good choice. For right now I' putting a 456 cab on it, I'm still not used to the old windshield, I'm keeping the old cab and some day when someone else owns the truck they can put it back original as a 1961 in which case it needs to stay IFS. And anyway it will be more of a conversation piece as torsion bar.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:38 PM   #12
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

also in 1961 the 348 was the big motor and I assumed that was what it was until I got it home and pulled the cab and sheet metal off. Started cleaning on the motor and discovered its an X block with 656 casting numbers on the rear above the bellhousing so its a 409 but doesn't have any stamped on the pad on the front, maybe a crate motor. Had 3 bent pushrods and after I changed them out it fired up and runs like new.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

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I think all 60 and 61s were torsion, would have much preferred straight axle. I think to much work to change over, in 62 a straight axle was an option and would have been a good choice. For right now I' putting a 456 cab on it.
I do believe so. I have a '61 GMC 5000 with the IFS front end and it unfortunately has some play. If you could find a straight axle front end and remove everything from the spring hangers down, you may be able to slide it under and bolt up, but as usual, comes down to time....

Good thing I found having the dog-leg windshield is when taking a tight corner, the door pillar isn't in the line of sight.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:09 PM   #14
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Right, '62 was the first year in the '60-'66 style truck that got the Straight Front Axle and only on the GMC 6500. Never did find out if the '62 Chevy C-80 got one as well, but all trucks did '63 and up. If I had a Torsion Bar Suspension, I would keep it too.

What is wrong with the '61 Cab? It looks OK in the pictures.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:23 PM   #15
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

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If I had a Torsion Bar Suspension, I would keep it too.
I will say with a load on it they do ride nice for a big truck.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:46 PM   #16
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

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I will say with a load on it they do ride nice for a big truck.
I used to carry 14,000 on my '62 4000 and I agree, it rode just fine.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:39 PM   #17
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

the cab looks descent from a distance but rough close up, I'm more of a 456 guy and I have much nicer 456 cabs to pick from. That will greatly reduce the time it takes to get the truck operational. That may give me more time to cherry out a big back window cab that I have and swap them out later. As far as the IFS is concerned I have never even driven or rode in one of the old torsion trucks, that would be great if it rode softer than what I'm used to.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Awesome truck, very cool engine/transmission combo! My Grandpa used to have a 1960 Fleetside pickup, would like to find a '60 or '61 C50 or C60 to set up with the winch and gin poles that I have. Found a 1965 Chevy with tandems about 30 miles away several months ago but the scrapper beat me to it, shame as it ran only a few years ago until the owner passed.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:50 AM   #19
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

'62 was the first year for the straight axle option on Chevy's, but only on the 80 series. IMO, I would leave the front suspension alone if its OK, more historical and gossip value, just 3 years of this type of suspension in such large of a truck. Same goes for the cab, IMO, I would stick with correct styled cab, I'm sure theres a few super clean ex grain hauling C 50's that would make great donors for a rare factory dual drive 10 wheeler.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:19 AM   #20
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

was 1961 the last year for the sparten 70 designation and then in 1962 it evolved into the C 80?, or how did that work?
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:20 AM   #21
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

I believe that would be correct.

Also, just to throw in another 2 Cents, I would also recommend keeping the original style cab.
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Last edited by C10 - C90 Bill; 02-06-2018 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:41 AM   #22
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

I'm still trying to convince myself it would look great as one of these, instead of a 456.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:03 AM   #23
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

I like both, but only when they correspond to the front clip they sport.

Myself, I can spot the difference a mile away.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:51 AM   #24
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

Searching through trucks around the US, came across this in Arizona, figured it could be good for reference photos.

If ya can stick with that original '60-'63 cab, the front grill and the cab make the look of that truck.

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/c...456057973.html
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:52 PM   #25
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Re: 1961 Chevy Sparten 409

thanks 5T for the info, If I had the yellow cab and clip on the upper photo in my post 22 it would be a done deal.
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