This thing rules! According to the seller, and several references, this 1943 CMP Chevrolet C8A is called a ZL-1 and is one of just a few built. And, although it has been restored, it is all original and numbers matching! The chassis and cab area are apparently all Chevrolet, while the rear box section was designed and built by Chrysler. They were originally designed to be Wireless Repair Trucks during World War II and would have had a couple of military technicians inside testing and repairing equipment that kept the Allied Forces talking. How cool is that? But why were so few made? Well, it turns out that the guys at Chrysler made them too small. Because of the relatively low roof height, repairmen were forced to sit down inside it, and this became problematic when some of the equipment they brought inside was large enough that inspecting it from the sitting position wasn’t practical. Oops.
One of the coolest things about this 1943 CMP Chevrolet C8A, besides the fact that it’s called a ZL-1, is the fact that it’s outfitted with an Onan Generator. They actually called it an Onan Electric Plant back then, but for this exercise it’s the same thing. If the name Onan sounds familiar, that’s because they have been the generator of choice in motorhomes for decades. In fact, Onan had been around for more than 20 years when this C8A was built! Cummins bought out Onan in 1986, and although their generators are Bill E. Badass, there is something weird about them being called a Cummins Onan now. But I digress.
The CMP Chevrolet C8A pictured here has been very nicely restored, and we dig the fact that it’s been left to look stock. We love the lines on this thing too. It’s almost cute, even though it would have been a bad ass back in the day. We’d own it in a heartbeat, even if it’s wrong hand drive.
The 216 cubic inch Chevrolet straight six made 90 horsepower stock, and probably moves this beast along just fine. Other than turn signals to keep it legal in Canada, and a few DOT approved brake lines, everything is the original as installed back in 1943. That’s pretty bitchin.
We love the divorced transfer case and huge rear axle. We can’t identify them ourselves, but the rear axle sure reminds us of later Eaton units. Note the axle tubes that bolt on. That’s because the entire center section of the housing is one giant cast piece!
If you want to own it, and see even more pics, click the big red button below to visit the original eBay Listing. You’ve got 5 days to get your bids in.CLICK HERE TO BID ON THIS 1943 CHEVROLET C8A MILITARY TRUCK
That’s one really cool old truck. I’d be tempted to throw a mattress in the back and go camping.
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