I gave a call and talked to the owner, Steve. He said that the body wasn't bad and that there wasn't much rust. He told me that the truck had been in his wife's family for at least 50 years - maybe from new. It had been a little farm truck and then in the sixties his wife had driven it to high school. It was parked after that and hadn't been driven since. They had tinkered with the idea of restoring it about a decade ago and had gotten as far as taking a bunch of stuff apart - and then had proceeded to lose some of the parts. He started dropping the price before I'd even asked.
Roundside PickupLater 'flatside' trucks (as opposed to the earlier 'roundsides', where the rear of the truck was formed from the same stampings as the front fenders) are very similar to station wagons - many trucks are simply station wagons cut down to be truck bodies. In trying to figure out how to tell if this was a 'real' truck, I found out something I didn't know - while the rest of the Crosley line changed body styles for the 1949 model year, pickups changed from 'roundside' production to 'flatside' production sometime mid-1948, using the early-style front end and the later pickup bed. I'm still not totally sure, but it seems like these late '48s may be the rarest body style of all the postwar Crosley pickups.
Early Flatside PickupThe key seemed to be the rolled beads around the rear window... unfortunately, none of the pictures showed the rear of the truck! I called Steve again - it turned out the car was jammed in a shed and surrounded by stuff. The more details I got from Steve, the more I was convinced that it was a modified station wagon. He agreed to get in the shed and take some more photos for me. I also asked if he had been able to find any of the stray parts, including the gauges... unfortunately they were gone.
To be continued...