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The 1939 Chevrolet Taxi

The late John Tombs organised and arranged for the above vehicle to be donated to our club.

John’s brother in law Steve King purchased this vehicle off a gentleman in Torbay around 2003. The owner advised Steve that it needed a bit of work but the hard part of the restoration had been done. A deal was made and Steve became the new owner. Once it arrived at Steve’s place and he inspected the vehicle he soon realised that the previous owner had completed most of the work himself and it was not up to standard. It was going to be a major restoration and Steve decided not to proceed. In the meantime Steve purchased a 1939 Chevrolet Coupe which was registered and warranted and he soon forgot about his previous bad purchase.

After Steve had owned the vehicle for about 6-7 years John suggested that Steve donate the vehicle to our club.

Around 2009 Steve and his wife Jocelyn decided to sell their house and purchase a bus which had been converted into a motorhome. It was time for the Chev to go and John arranged for a group of our club members to go and take delivery of the vehicle. It arrived at our club in boxes and pieces. John arranged for the parts to be sorted and built a small mezzanine floor to hold the upholstery parts and window frames etc.

In 2010 restoration of the car commenced. The two Johns took control. The late John Tombs and the late John Lloyd. Once the work started they realised how all the repairs had been “botched” and everything would have to be redone from scratch. John Lloyd took control of the mechanical side fitting the items to the chassis and fitting the braking system etc.

john Toombs took control of paint stripping and dismantling the car and repairing various items. Around 2011 Laurie Swan retired from his insurance assessing job and after 40 years of panel beating started again. Laurie took control of all the ill-fitting parts and botched repairs and promptly turned the project around. It was on its way.


 Jim Mowlem was next to come on board to help Laurie and he completed the running boards and bumper brackets and other parts of the body work. Ray Urbahn worked on the grille and made a magnificent job. Jim Drummond and Tony Sparkes took control of the mechanicals and repaired the motor, brakes etc. and got the car running sweetly. Nigel Wells volunteered to restore all the gauges and speedo panel and they look very nice. Brian Cullen painted the vehicle brown with black guards after much discussion around the club. Jim Woonton, the club upholsterer has worked his magic on the interior and has done a wonderful job. 


Many member of our club have laboured on this vehicle. Too many to mention specifically by name. Thanks to all those unsung members your work has been greatly appreciated. Hopefully, the car will be finished 1n 2022, registered and warranted and ready for members to take it on club outings.


Click on the photograph below to see more of the restoration. 

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