Photo by Jay Huff
Carroll Hiatt, Sr. with his 1930 Chevy.
Carrol Hiatt Sr.’s love for old cars is evidenced by a large collection, the multiple cars he takes to the Nebraskaland Days antique car parade, as well as his entries in car shows all around the country. Hiatt has about 75 antique cars in his collection, some restored, some original, and some in various stages of restoration.
One old truck in his collection is extra-special -- a 1930 Chevy Roadster truck that his great uncle George Clouse of Bartley bought new in Lincoln for $675.
Hiatt is just the third owner of the truck. He has owned it for more than 50 years.
Clouse worked for an International Harvester dealer and used the pickup as a service vehicle, taking repairs to the fields. The truck didn’t exactly have an easy life but it was well cared for, Hiatt said.
“It was old George’s personal vehicle,” he said, “so he kept it up real well.”
When George Clouse died, his nephew, Gottleib H. Clouse (Carrol’s uncle) inherited the truck.
Carrol said he worked hard to convince his uncle to let him have it.
“After lots of talking and talking, at about age 20, I finally got my hands on it,” he said.
Despite the pickup’s age, extensive repairs have not been needed.
“It was in pretty good shape,” he said. “I have only done some minor body work and put a paint job on it back in the 1960s.”
A lot of wood was used in the Chevy pickups that year, and most of that wood on this vehicle is original.
Carrol replaced the floor boards to fix a worn spot where the driver’s heel rests below the gas pedal. But the wood in the bed is original. So is the wood in the doors.
A “topper” for the bed matches the cloth top of the cab.
Carrol said his uncle made the topper and when it’s on, the truck it resembles a covered wagon.
Today the topper needs restoration, but the rest of the pickup is in top shape.
Some other original items are old kerosene emergency road flares that have never been used, and a special tire wrench that is required for the wheels.
At 83 years old, the original engine only has 61,000 original miles, an average of 734 miles a year since it was built.
Carrol believes the pickup is one of ten 1930 Chevy Roadsters that still operate in the U.S.
He puts no price on it.
“It’s a family heirloom, and priceless,” he said. “We intend to keep it in the family.”