Owner: Jim Streeby
I was volunteering for my church, working the graveyard security shift, at a fireworks tent. The 11pm-7am shift was an opportunity to visit with a couple of men from our church, share a few stories etc. We got to talking and I told my new friend I had been searching a long time for a specific, Chevy, truck;.After several awkward moments of complete silence, he looked at me and said, I know where one is, but I don’t think he’ll sell it! 4 weeks later My new friend Aubrey had traveled 7 hours west, to the far southwest corner of Kansas. He called me on his sell phone, was driving the truck, and excitedly told me how wonderfully preserved it was;’If you don’t buy it Jim I will’ he said. That was good enough for me. He even delivered it!
I bought this 1951 Chevy ½ ton in the summer of 2007. I travel the state of Nebraska and Kansas for a living and had called on or looked at many trucks ;so I was picky. This truck arrived in September of 2007, I immediately put new tires and brakes on it, tuned it up and drove it to a few cruise nights. In October my friends encouraged me to enter it at the Midwest National Truck Show. It took 1st place in Original, Un-restored Class. I brought it home and the next day began to completely disassemble the truck.
Over the next 21 months I completely became obsessed with the total frame off restoration. With the constant help of many friends I did a complete frame off restoration. This truck was exactly like the one my grandfather taught me to drive when I was 12 years old. I touched, cleaned, replaced or repaired every nut, bolt, spring, cotter key;.you get the picture;anything less would have a disservice to the impact he had on my life.
I had all the metal including the frame bead blasted. The frame was powdered coated and all other metal was prepped, etching, primered, and a professional paint job was done by a good friend who doesn’t wish to be named. The motor ran fine, but I took it all the way down to the block, replaced the necessary parts, installed hardened valves and made it burn unleaded gas.
The pictures enclosed tell the rest of the story;My goal was to preserve history;.I love this truck and because of my strong desire to do artfully anal retentive job, I have many people to thank. Ken McCarty was with me every step. His vast teaching ability and help was invaluable. My friend Rod Adams artfully crafted the bed wood, Jack Crawford and I installed the 3.55 ring and pinion gears. And last but not least, Mike Taylor and the rest of the staff at Jim Carters were invaluable sources of information and support. Thanks to all! Jim Streeby