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100-Year Old Chevrolet Factory Tool Box Found in Flint Yard Sale

John Gilbert Jun 6, 2018
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Found at a Flint, Michigan yard sale over 40 years ago here’s a time warp straight from Chevrolet’s 1911 founding. It’s a tale for folks that love antiques from the dawn of the automobile an old toolbox packed full of Chevrolet factory assembly line tools, and adorned with Chevrolet emblems of the day.

It was at the 2015 SEMA Show where Super Chevy met up with Chris Lubiato an ASE certified auto mechanic from Flint and he told about an old toolbox he owns with an original 1913 Chevrolet Bowtie emblem on it.

From what were once great American and Canadian industrial cities it makes one wonder how many other automotive artifacts are out there inside barns, and garages tucked away many years ago by a person who worked their entire life building automobiles. The Chevrolet 490 was built to sell toe-to-toe with the Model T Ford.

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Here it is an original 1913 Chevrolet Bowtie emblem that never made it to being mounted on a 1913 Chevrolet. Thanks to having his two initials and last name stamped on most of the tools we know this toolbox belonged to C.M. Donald.

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Each drawer of C.M. Donald’s toolbox has a never mounted Chevrolet data plate tacked to its front. Its unknown if the tools in each drawer are specifically for using on the model represented.

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Here’s the view looking down into the top of the toolbox covered by a wooden lid.

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Three drawers are removable. Notice the orange can it’s not green like a can of Clover Compound founded in 1910, but nevertheless it’s a brand of lapping compound.

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The stamped lettering on the number 187 drill gage found in the Bowtie drawer reveal it was made by the L.S. Starrett Company of Athol, Massachusetts founded in 1880. Still available in 2018 the gage retails for around $75.00.

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The toolbox is unmarked would anyone like to take a guess at who it was manufactured by? The drawer pulls are similar to an old Union tool chest made in Rochester, New York.

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Note how the front panel slides into the top of the tool chest to provide access to the drawers. The current owner of the toolbox bought it in Fenton, Michigan from a guy that got it at a Flint, Michigan yard sale over forty-years ago from C.M. Donald’s 95-year old wife.

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Here is how the backside of the toolbox appears. It’s hard to tell by the photos, but it looks like this toolbox was made from mahogany, cherry wood, or maybe just dark stained pine.



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