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Thread: Ham's 48: Another Story

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Ft. Wayne, IN

    Ham's 48: Another Story

    When I go out and show Ham’s ’48 Truck, people take a look and say; ”Oh, it’s a ’55 Jeep”. I correct them and say; “No, it’s a ‘48”. Then, the immediate response is; “Well, why do you have a ’55 Tennessee plate on it?”

    Like most answers about a truck you’ve been driving for 64+ years, there is a story there.

    My Dad (Ham) bought the truck – as well as my brother and I can recall – in the late summer or early fall of 1954. His earlier truck was probably an International of some unknown year. All I can remember about it was that there was a crank on the dash that opened the bottom of the windshield for ventilation. It made enough strange noises and smoked so much we called it “The African Queen” – go watch the movie and you will understand.

    When Dad bought the truck “ … from some ole boy down in Mississippi … ”, either he was in no hurry to change out the license plate or maybe it was late enough in the year that the Tennessee DMV was no longer issuing 1954 plates. For whatever reason, it is very likely that the first plate he put on his ‘48 Jeep Truck was a 1955 plate. My brother found this plate in the old garage and gave it to me when I restored Ham’s ’48.

    In 1955 the federal government had not yet decreed that all license plates nationwide had to be of a uniform size and shape, so Tennessee plates were stamped in the shape of the State of Tennessee. The plate is a Madison County plate (“7” county designation) and is a lightweight farm truck plate (“F/1”). The fairly low three-digit number (785) indicates that it was an early issue, so all of this evidence points to it being the first plate that Ham put on the truck.

    That’s why Ham’s ’48 is wearing a ’55 license plate; that’s the best story I can put together, so I’ll stick to it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Akron, Ohio
    I knew there was a story behind it somewhere and as usual it's a Great one, short considering the author but still a great one

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