We received an email during the week from website visitor Troy Vetsch, a Stewartville, Minnesota college student. Troy is in currently restoring a 1918 Stewart truck very similar to the Stewart chemical trucks bought by the Highwood and Mt. Carmel fire companies in 1918.
Troy asked if we had any photos that might aid with his restoration project. We had only three, but we were happy to send him jpgs. Troy replied immediately with a sincere message of thanks and appreciation, and he provided some great photos and background information on his project.
Troy Vetsch on His 1918 Stewart Truck
From Troy's Reply to the HFRA:
"I am Troy Vetsch, located in Stewartville, Minnesota. I am 18 years old and going to college for Building Utilities Mechanic at Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) in Rochester. On top of all this I am restoring a Stewart Truck. That is me behind the wheel a year ago when I was 17 years old. This truck was given to me by my mentor, who got me interested in these old items.
"This 1918 Stewart is a Model Eight 1-ton truck, which at the time had dual wheels mounted on it. Holes were drilled through the wood "fellows" and bolts mounted through to secure the duals to the wheels already there.
"This truck was found over on the western border of Minnesota, where my mentor bought it from the owner. Coincidentally, there was a Stewart truck dealer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, so the trucks weren't driven very far from the dealer. Stewart's headquarters was in Buffalo, New York.
"Until 1931, this truck was owned by Monroe Bahnoon of Inwood, Iowa, who used it as a fuel truck. Then it was sold to the Joe Clerex family of Jasper, Minnesota, who owned it from 1931 to 1995.
"Sometime around 1931 a corn sheller was mounted to the frame. When the corn sheller was removed in 1939, the frame was drilled and cut apart. The frame of a Model-T Ford car was used to put the truck back together. After that it was just used as a truck on the farm.
"We have almost all of the pieces of the truck, down to the windshield frame. My mentor also has a 1916 Stewart Model 9 1-1/2 ton truck, so we are able swap pieces back and forth and cast pieces that we dont have. I have been machining the new pieces as they are cast.
"The truck is equipped with a 4 cylinder Continental Red Seal Engine. The engine doesn't have a removable head on it. It has an aluminum crank case with a cast iron block.
"I have also been working on one of the front wheels - sealing it and painting it. All that is left on that wheel is the pin striping. (See photo below)
"P.S. ( I am also looking for some sponsors to help me with some of the costs...just something to keep in mind)"
We want to thank Troy for sharing his project with the website. If there are any restoration gurus out there among our members or other website visitors, please get in touch with Troy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meticulous pin striping - One down, three to go
2012 - Tory Vetsch aboard his 1918 Stewart truck. A great "Before" photo. We look forward to the "After" photo
These engines were not equipped with oil filters so frequent oil changes were an absolute must. No "CHEAP OIL"