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Hawkeye Mike

Question: Is my Dodge really a DeSoto truck?

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I have what I had thought was a 1948 Dodge truck, that I'm getting ready to title and start a restoration...but if I look up the serial number (80381188), it looks like I have a 1950 DeSoto S-2-F.  But the badge on the truck says:  80381188X, model B-1FA128.  So...is it a DeSoto truck?  If so, what does that really even mean - since it is badged as a Dodge?  Also, what does the "X" represent on the serial number?  Is that common - I don't see it mentioned anywhere in my research. 

Thanks for any help or assistance anyone can provide.

Mike

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I'm in Illinois, the truck was built in Detroit per the ID badge inside the door.  I see no evidence of DeSoto badging on the truck anywhere, only Dodge.

 

Also, it has the manual shifter on the floor, which is one of the reasons I thought it was a '48.  I thought I read somewhere that in '50 they changed to having the shifter on the steering column...

 

Thanks,

Mike

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Maybe to better summarize what I've found so far:

Serial Number:  80381188X

-      According to the serial number guide (found here:  http://dodgepilothouseclub.org/know/DE-FE_Export_Serials/Serials.pdf), this serial number range makes it a 1950 Desoto Truck S-2-F.  However, the badging on the truck has nothing DeSoto on it, nor does it say S-2-F anywhere.

-      According to http://t137.com/registry/help/decode.php , this serial number range makes it a 1950 Dodge Truck.  But, the possible models are all B-2’s, and the badge says it’s a B-1.

-      Also, not sure what the ‘X’ signifies.

Model:  B-1FA128

-      B:  B-Series

-      1:  Version

-      F:  Model

-      A:  2-Speed Rear Axle

-      128:  Wheelbase

According to Wikipedia, in 1950 the shifter moved to the steering column from the floor…but the truck has the shifter on the floor.

Thanks,

Mike

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that x also throws a flag in my  opinion....wish I could add more...most semi domestic and US built export was under the name FARGO  does your truck still have its original firewall tag?  and what is the engine number...this would shed some light also...given it is stock and that is what we trying to establish...

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Here is the VIN Plate, and also what I believe is the firewall tag?  Don't know where to find the engine number.

Also, not sure if this would help, but this truck is a fuel tanker truck.  I wouldn't have any idea when/where the tank was installed.

Thanks,

Mike

FirewallTag.jpg

VIN Plate.jpg

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The x denotes features of b2s before they came along in 50. Probably means you have a fairly late 49. Ignore the column shift part as that would only apply to a 3 speed trans and your truck would have a 4 or 5 as an F rating. As for the desoto decoding I would guess a typo on that site 

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This might help I have a 1939 Desoto and when looking at my first page of the parts book it shows some real interesting information;

The 1939 Desoto is an S6 model

 

It lists Model code S6 and S6X

 

The S6 was 6 culinder with the 3 3/8 bore US built start serial number 5634001  Canadian built first serial number 9668606

Here is the interesting part:

S6X  cylinder bore 2 7/8 then this is a foot note this model is equipped with a smallbore engine built for export only. Part for this model are same as for standard bore engine except where otherwise indicated.

 

Also of importance when these exports were going out of the US and to Europe some of them were built as 12 volt systems.  Yes in 1939 they had 12 volts system. No indication of positive or negative ground

 

So with the X in your information kind of informs me that this was an export model but maybe the incorrect bade was not put on to represent the Desoto Truck.

 

Rich Hartung

desoto1939@aol.com

 

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Young Ed, I think you just figured it out.  If it were a very late '49 B1, but with some features of a '50 B2, that would explain the 'X', and it would explain why the serial number lookup thinks it's a B2 but the tag says it's a B1.  And, looking on the pdf I have linked above, I could find a valid serial number range in 1950 for a B2 (I never looked there earlier since the badge says B1).  So,  with the Dodge branding with a valid serial number range,  it's not a Desoto...I'm not going to worry about the fact that the serial number also fits into that Desoto's serial number range.

Thanks!!!  I appreciate this.  Anything else that can be gleaned from the tag or the firewall tag, I'd love to learn more.  

Thanks!

Mike

 

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now if that thing was full of fresh gasoline when you bought it...you got a heck of a deal....this may be the first tanker I recall posted here...but then again, maybe not...welcome  and one more question, by looking should not that be a dually wheel at the rear?

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

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I think so...not sure why it was converted to not be a dually.  Once I get it all apart I'll decide what to do with it - I'm worried it doesn't have the original rear diff.  

 

Tank full of fuel would have been nice, but it sure wouldn't have been fresh.  The tanks inside (it's divided into 4) are very nasty.  Restoring the tanks may be the most difficult part of this build, who knows?
 

Mike

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I agree the truck is awesome. What are your plans for it? Is it running now or do you have plans to get it running? Is it kind of a museum piece as I see it is sitting on concrete? Just curious as others likely are. 

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5 hours ago, Hawkeye Mike said:

Also, here is a pic of the truck if anyone wants to see an old Dodge tanker truck:

Truck2.jpg

Totally awesome 👍

Never seen one like it before.  Thanks for sharing and keep us updated!

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2 hours ago, RobertKB said:

I agree the truck is awesome. What are your plans for it? Is it running now or do you have plans to get it running? Is it kind of a museum piece as I see it is sitting on concrete? Just curious as others likely are. 

 

It was left on some land that I purchased years ago, and had just sat out there as an ornament more than anything.  Now, it's in my backyard (where the pic was taken) waiting to be restored.  There are 2 vehicles ahead of it in line, right now I'm just getting it titled and starting to look for parts I know I'll need (i.e. the drivers side door windows are broken).  

It's not running now, but I don't think it would take much to get the motor started.  I plan to do a full restore, likely keep the same motor if possible but too early to tell.  One thing I haven't decided is what to do about the exterior paint.  For sure, I want to repaint the tank and likely the interior and the engine bay, etc...but the patina look of the cab is starting to grow on me.  We'll see - I'll probably change my mind ten times before I get that far.

Mike

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Ok. Thanks for reply. We have an International dealer here in the city who obviously makes his living selling the new trucks. However, he believes in his brand and has a HUGE collection of old Internationals, the oldest around 1908 with solid rubber tires. He has an old tanker  truck about the same vintage as yours or a couple years older. Fully restored and painted burgundy and black. Drop dead gorgeous!! 

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1 hour ago, RobertKB said:

Ok. Thanks for reply. We have an International dealer here in the city who obviously makes his living selling the new trucks. However, he believes in his brand and has a HUGE collection of old Internationals, the oldest around 1908 with solid rubber tires. He has an old tanker  truck about the same vintage as yours or a couple years older. Fully restored and painted burgundy and black. Drop dead gorgeous!! 

 

Interesting you say Internationals, as one of the vehicles in line in front of the tanker truck for us is my brothers '51 International pickup.  Should also be a fun project.

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2 hours ago, Hawkeye Mike said:


.  One thing I haven't decided is what to do about the exterior paint.  For sure, I want to repaint the tank and likely the interior and the engine bay, etc...but the patina look of the cab is starting to grow on me.  We'll see - I'll probably change my mind ten times before I get that far.

Mike

 

It would be a shame to paint that truck.....it looks fantastic the way it is!

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How many miles on it?  Almost looks like it could have been a small aircraft fuel truck especially with what looks to be a transfer pump above the rear wheel.

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Neat truck.  I always like to see original industrial vehicles.  Most of the cab units I see out-and-about nowadays are only the cab on the frame, with no indication of what the truck was first used for.  That one is set up like the fuel service trucks the timber industry used around here, not so much fuel that it can't maneuver backroads, a delivery pump - 'cause there isn't any electricity out in the willywags and gravity won't work well to fill the equipment, and an oil drum to keep motors topped off.  Thanks for sharing, although you said it's later in the line for work, we look forward to its progress. 

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11 hours ago, greg g said:

How many miles on it?  Almost looks like it could have been a small aircraft fuel truck especially with what looks to be a transfer pump above the rear wheel.

It has 81,000 miles.  That's an interesting possibility - I hadn't considered it being used at an airport.  Yes, that is a transfer pump, and I'm pretty sure it still works.  There is another one on the other side too.  I think one of them for sure is for the oil barrels, maybe both.  The tanks 'drain' at the rear, low.  So gravity appears to be the main method of getting fuel out of the main tanks.

Mike

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3 hours ago, Dan Hiebert said:

Neat truck.  I always like to see original industrial vehicles.  Most of the cab units I see out-and-about nowadays are only the cab on the frame, with no indication of what the truck was first used for.  That one is set up like the fuel service trucks the timber industry used around here, not so much fuel that it can't maneuver backroads, a delivery pump - 'cause there isn't any electricity out in the willywags and gravity won't work well to fill the equipment, and an oil drum to keep motors topped off.  Thanks for sharing, although you said it's later in the line for work, we look forward to its progress. 

 

Yep, hadn't thought of that either.  That would also explain why the dually's are gone.  Maybe they wanted it to be able to go more places than just the highway.

Mike

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