‘Old JD’ is a stunning example of a restored 1946 Chevrolet Pick-Up Truck. This vehicle is part of the Crawshaw Collection and was restored by Ferg Crawshaw, a farmer from Otaki and avid John Deere collector and restorer. The Chevrolet Pickup Truck is very typical of service vehicles used by John Deere Service Mechanics in the USA. The vehicles were originally built in the USA in the early 1940’s for military use as radio trucks and ambulances. When World War II ended civilian production began at the General Motors Ontario plant for right hand drive vehicles. Such vehicles were exported to New Zealand and assembled by the General Motors plant in Petone, Wellington. They were sought after by farmers and tradesmen, but generally very expensive to buy. The original NZ owner of ‘Old JD” is unknown. But we do know that Horowhenua dairy farmer Johnny Olds purchased the vehicle in 1948 for use as a farm truck and milk transporter. The vehicle gave a lifetime of service to Olds and was purchased by Ferg Crawshaw in 2002. By this point in the vehicle’s history, modifications had been made to the braking and steering components to accommodate Olds waning physical abilities in later years. The Chevrolet now boasts a Ford Bronco power steering system and a Holden Kingswood power braking system. In its heyday Old JD could clock speeds of up to a modest 80km’s per hour. But despite this slower pace (by modern standards), it did show (prior to restoration) evidence of being rolled into a ditch and was once reportedly found upside down in a ditch near Koputuroa by neighbours. Now, being fully restored to its almost original condition (some slight paintwork and mechanical modifications), the Pick Up is a popular Museum attraction for vehicle and John Deere enthusiasts alike.
121 South Street,