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1953 GMC Long Bed 1/2 Ton

Friday, June 30th, 2017


We had heard of this special GMC over the years but had not personally talked to the owner or seen the various photos showing it in detail. The owner and person responsible for this creation is Bill Miles of Ashland, Massachusetts. After several conversations with Bill, we knew this pickup should have been a part of our Feature Truck series long before now!

It was created in 1953 and began its life as a long bed ½ ton, not a short bed as most are used to seeing. It was the decision of the General Motors Truck Division to offer a long bed ½ ton (using a ¾ ton bed) during the early years and not make it with heavier suspension, a stronger frame , and low gearing in the ¾ ton differential!

GMC had its own full oil pressure inline six cylinder since 1939. Additional horsepower allowed this extra 12” bed length on a ½ ton (not available on the Chevrolet ½ ton). The gross weight remained 4,800 pounds, the same as the short bed. It was still far below the ¾ ton gross weight of 8,800 pounds. This long bed could still have the higher ratio 4.11 differential and not the lower geared ¾ ton with 4.57 and optional 5.14 but with the same bed. The ½ ton ride was smoother, highway speed increased, and fuel economy improved over a ¾ ton.

Another very unique feature is the factory 4 speed Hydra-Matic transmission. It operates just right and was the first year GMC offered it in a pickup. Photo shows this “big brute” on a table just after its rebuild.

Our feature truck is one of these unique pickups, however with Bill’s help it has been given several additions to operate better on today’s highways. And the big plus: Most of these extras are not visible. Bill’s ½ ton has been given a higher speed and is a pleasure to drive.

To most, it appears as a very nice restored stock GMC pickup that is as was bought new over 60 years ago. It is not!

The following is the data from Bill Miles that personally explains what he added to make it so road worthy and at the same time safer to drive. His reward: 40,000 miles over the US in fun driving since he bought it in the year 2000. Many vacations were scheduled.


I purchased my 1953 GMC Hydra Matic long bed half ton in the summer of 2000. At the time, it had a 270 GMC engine with Fentons, 4 wheel drum brakes, the original 4.11 rear gears, and 15 inch bias ply tires that were 27 inches tall.

Over the years, I have installed a 302 engine with a 2 bbl. Holley AA-1 Carburetor, keeping the Fenton Headers, changed the rear gears to 3.55’s, changed the tires to 215/85R 16 inch radials that are 30.5 inches tall, installed front disc brakes with a dual master cylinder, and added an original sway bar.

By changing from the 4.11 and the 15 inch tires, to the 3.55’s and the 16 inch tires(3.5″ more diameter), my engine rpm dropped by approximately 800 at 65 miles per hour.

I kept the 16 gallon fuel tank behind the seat and added a second 16 gallon tank under the rear of the bed, where a spare tire would mount if there was not a side mount. I have a valve on the floor of the cab to switch between tanks. Each tank has a sender that is wired to an On/On switch under the dash. When I flip the switch forward, it reads the seat tank, when I flip it back it reads the rear tank, all from the original gauge.

The two tanks come in handy when I am traveling. In 2009, I shipped the truck to my friend Ken Brown’s home in Yacolt, Washington. Then, my son Connor and I flew to Washington, and drove the truck home to Massachusetts. We were on the road almost a month and drove 5200 miles, visiting San Francisco, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and other attractions.

I have driven the truck to ATHS (American Truck Historical Society) shows in Syracuse, NY, Baltimore, MD, Auburn, IN, and several times to the ATCA show in Macungie, PA. I have logged about 40,000 miles since I bought the truck in 2000.

In May 2017, I drove to the ATHS show in Des Moines Iowa, then headed south to Nashville, and Lynchburg, Tennessee, then drove north through Bowling Green, KY, toward home. I was on the road for 15 days and traveled 3800 miles. To date, I have driven the truck through 31 states.

You can contact Bill Miles @ bd97@comcast.net

Loaded and ready for travel

Nice Phrase

First year for the optional side mount

The cockpit for traveling.  Look at the speed on the speedometer!

Close-up of Hydra-Matic shift and original gauges plus a very old turn signal control.

Only year for the Ram Horn attached to the intake manifold. It requires the new relay on the firewall.

The 302 looks new!

Fresh Hydra-Matic Rebuild. Now that is a heavy weight! Bill’s 1953 in the Background.

Bill showing the “shaft extension” that gives the short bed the extra length to make it a long bed GMC ½ ton. Making this extension saved GMC so much money in designing a total new longer ½ ton drive shaft system. Some may have call it GMC’s “weak link” but it sure has not been the case for Bill Miles.

Setting by the Bowling Green Water Tower near the Corvette Museum.

A day at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Beside a small local church in West Virginia

3.5 more diameter

1951 Chevrolet Suburban

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017


What a unique 1951 Chevrolet Suburban for our Feature Truck Series! It is certainly a one of a kind. The owners are Jeff & Brenda Kuhn of Plainfield, Illinois. Their dream is now complete after 4 years in the making. The goal was to restore or find a totally original Suburban and then add special performance features that were usually available during the 1950’s and 1960’s with a few modern features. Here are the results. It is not only a “show stopper” where ever it is seen but it easily keeps up with freeway traffic even with its 60 year old inline 6 cylinder engine.

Here is a big plus, Jeff’s wife Brenda is great supporter of his enthusiasm in the old GM truck hobby. She gets involved!

Jeff has been a lover of Advance Design (1947-1955) Chevrolet / GMC trucks most of his life, even long before he married Brenda in his 40th year. At that time his interest was very strong in drag racing late model stocks cars, which he built and raced personally on local dirt tracks. Now the racing has been placed aside and he is totally into the hobby of Advance Design ruck enjoyment. He has owned and rebuilt over 10 of these trucks since he stopped dirt track racing. He puts them together in such a unique way that other truck enthusiasts just want to own them. It was not always the plan but sometimes offers come very difficult to turn down. His last, a 1948 Chevy ½ ton, was quoted to a potential buyer at above the six figure amount just so it would not sell. Well, it sold anyway! Therefore, don’t price your truck unless you really want to sell it. Probably a good selling point for this 1948 pickup was that it had been the feature truck in 8 national automotive magazines! Yes, Jeff knows how to create very special Advance Design trucks.

The dream that had been in Jeff and Brenda’s mind was to rebuild an early Suburban. With the sale of the 1948 pickup the money was available to make a Suburban into the vehicle they had hoped for. He discovered this Suburban 4 years ago. It was found in Wichita, Kansas and had been totally restored over 20 years exactly like it came from the factory. It had the correct Seacrest Green paint, all the seats were covered with the proper brown Spanish Grain vinyl, and even the grill back splash bars had been painted the proper Waldorf white.

Jeff and Brenda had always thought of having a Suburban because they can take other couples to car shows or just go out for fun. The changes Jeff added to this “people hauler” allows it to stay up with traffic at most any speed, and keep the engine at a lower RPM, and have an easy smooth ride.

The interesting surprise: No body cutting or frame alterations: The all stock body, windows, paint, interior, engine block, and most accessories are like it came from the dealership 60 years ago.

Here are some of the Suburban modifications available 50 and 60 years ago and a few that are very modern updates.
Engine: 1957 Chevrolet 235 high oil pressure inline six cylinder, however, there are some changes on the top end. Jeff added Fenton dual intake and exhaust manifolds. The two exhaust and tail pipes plus mufflers are all stainless steel and correctly run along only one side of the frame rail.

The two carburetors on the Fenton intake are early Zeniths from a GMC, not the original type Rochester’s. This provides a lean burn system with the correct amount of fuel to the engine. Thus, no high lift cam shaft required.

To catch more attention at shows when the hood is raised, Jeff found a Wayne polished aluminum valve cover and side plate for the 235 engine. (This was a high performance supply company in the 1950’s) What a nice touch!

Transmission: Jeff discovered this special transmission in his many years of racing and rebuilding Advance Design trucks. This 5 speed overdrive is the main feature that allows this Suburban to stay with fast moving traffic. It is manufactured by the Tremec Company and fits perfectly against the 1951 bell housing. Even the original clutch pressure plate and flywheel are still used. Only its fine spline input shaft requires a different hub on the clutch plate!

Differential: Jeff added a complete drum to drum assembly from a 1958 Chevy ½ ton. (He keeps 6 bolt wheels) This allowed him to remove the stock 3.90 ratio ring and pinion and exchange with a 3.38 ratio system. It gives about a 20% lower engine RPM. Another nice touch! This 1958 differential attaches to an open drive line system that is needed to connect to the above described modern Tremec 5 speed overdrive transmission.

Front Axle: A 4 inch “dropped” axle is just like they did it in the 1950’s. In addition the two leaf springs are multi leaf Posies brand called “Super Glide” and add another 3” drop.

Rear Suspension: By using special 1 ½ inch blocks between the axles and springs plus using Posies leaf springs the total lowering is about 4 ½ inches, not radical, but just right for this Suburban. Original hub caps are still used. The front and rear Posies springs make it ride like a passenger car!

Wheels: The 15 inch artillery wheels are a great copy of the 1937-45 Chevy ¾ ton six bolt units that have become so popular in recent years. However, these are modified so the calipers on the disc brakes do not rub them. Jeff found these at the Wheel Smith in Santa Ana, California.

Electronic Ignition: Here, Jeff went modern. He used a currently popular Pytronics electronic system. It is hidden inside the original distributer. He starts the old 235 engine now in a split second in even the coldest Illinois days.

Outside Trim: This was a major hunt! Originally on the deluxe panel truck as an option, but they fit a Suburban perfectly. A two year search found this set of trims and spears in Hawaii. The panel truck owner on the islands was building a street rod and decided to not use them (Probably because of their high value to a restorer!)

Jeff was soon the new owner and made the repairs to their scrapes and dings. He recalls his nervous feeling while drilling the 68 holes in the Suburban body for the trim clips and hoping they were placed in the correct position.

Fulton Sunvisor’s and Spotlight: Jeff got lucky on the Fulton Sunvisor. The windshield GM accessory is being reproduced just like they were in the 1950’s. The almost impossible item to locate is the Fulton side window visors. What a find for Jeff! Most of us would have no idea what they were if not in an original box. Another lucky find is the amber lens fog lights. They are now being reproduced to exactly copy those sold 60 years ago! They look great on the Suburban.

Interior: Just look at the authentic inside. This Suburban is mid-1951 due to the lack of bright work on the dash. (Korean War Shortages) Some accessories include tissue dispenser below dash, radio, flash light on steering column, right sunvisor and factory fresh air heater.

Front Protection: This single horizontal bar design was a very rare dealer installed accessory offered from 1951 through 1953. Chevrolet defined it as a “Radiator Grill Guard”. Not only attractive, but designed to protect the grill and radiator from minor accidents on or off the road.

Jeff and Brenda Kuhn certainly have a one of a kind Suburban. It’s a mixture of the old and new, and is great fun to drive. There is no doubt, it will be their keeper for many years. For once they have a 60 year old vehicle that does not have to be trailered. Just turn the key and go! It’s a part of automotive history for all to see.
You can Contact Jeff and Brenda at ohsolow48@yahoo.com.

Engine on display

Closed gates

Open Gates

The trim and spears make it complete!

GM’s idea: Lower the mirror arm to protect it’s glass from an open wing vent

Suburban dealer installed accessory rear turn signal light

Side view of dual Zeniths, manifolds, and filters

Wayne valve cover and side plate

Mounted on firewall instead of intake because of the slope of the Fenton manifold

A photo view of front Fulton sunvisor

The left edge of the front Fenton visor

“Very” rare Fulton side window visor

Dual pipes on an inline six cylinder. Side by side just like they should be!

Accessory GM safety treads to prevent slips when running boards are wet

New Spanish Grain brown seat upholstery

Late 1951 dash. The Tremec 5 speed shifter is just right

1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Let’s Really Talk Trucks!
Our Feature Truck of the Month series often shows the more unusual GM trucks. Most are rarely seen at special interest car and truck shows. This month is no exception! This ground up restored 2 ½ ton 1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100 is one of the very few (if any) in existence fully restored. It even goes further. It is said to be the “only” big back window cab in any condition that carries this name plate of a Spartan 100. They can’t get more one of a kind than this!

It all began over 40 years ago when Scott Phaneuf of Hatfield, Massachusetts purchased his first 1958 Chevrolet Cameo at 15 years old. This was his regular driver for several years until suddenly into his young life came the opportunity to own a well-cared for 1960 Corvette. If you are about 20 years old, what do you do? Yes, the Cameo was placed in a garage for another time in his life.

His Cameo fever came years later when his prior 1958 was brought out of storage. Scott had begun to have an interest in a major restoration of this rare truck. He wanted it just like it came from the factory.

He kept its original 283 V-8 and 3 speed column shift transmission. It became a real show stopper with its original Cardinal Red and Bombay Ivory trim.

Now, Scott’s 1958 Cameo fever had really begun. Married now, his wife Donna, had begun to like this restored family Cameo. In fact, Scott was impressed with this and he thought it was time to buy a second 1958 for Donna and make it also like a new truck. He found what he was looking for in Georgia. It had a Hydromatic transmission and rare factory power steering that pleased Donna even more. It had a great color combination, Tartan Turquoise with Bombay Ivory trim. The 283 was given a complete rebuilding as did the transmission along with every other part. Donna was a full partner in the restoration of this special Cameo. A great team effort! She now drives it from time to time and loves it, especially when it has won trophies at so many shows. This Cameo is so impressive it was a Feature Truck of the Month on Jim Carters website November 2012. It is still posted there for all to see at www.oldchevytrucks.com.

Two restored 1958 Cameos would be adequate for most, but Scott was on a roll! He had become an expert restoring 1958 Cameos, so he could not turn down the great opportunity to buy one of the rarest of colors: Kodiak Brown with Bombay Ivory trim. Kentucky was a great distance but it was one of the only remaining examples of a true Kodiak Brown Cameo. Scott has it now 90% restored and it will also be just like it left the factory including 283 V-8 and 3 speed overdrive column shift.

One day when Scott’s ‘58 Kodiak Brown restoration days were almost over, he was sitting at home looking through a special interest magazine and there it was! He was shocked with no idea this type 1958 Cameo existed! The sellers describe it as one of the two remaining with factory installed fuel injection and a hydromatic transmission. It even originally came with a great color combination:  Golden Yellow with Jet Black Trim. Yes, he was off to Arkansas and again towed another Cameo back to Hatfield. To date the restoration is 70% complete.

He recently located one other 1958 in Georgia with a very unusual color mix. It’s Bombay Ivory with Cardinal Red trim. Just reverse colors of his first 1958 he bought at 15 years old. It has a 283 with column shift 3 speed transmission. Scott originally bought it just for parts but now has decided to make it a good Cameo. He just found a ½ ton frame to replace the remaining pieces of frame that came with the truck. No formal plans on when it will be completely restored. Scott is fully involved with the other above restoration projects.


When you reach the level of 4 fully restored 1958 show Cameos, you have created a handicap if you enjoy showing them all at early auto & truck events. The time and expense to get them all to a show is a major consideration. Scott saw this problem coming long before all four Cameos were completed. To him it was a “no brainer”. Somehow he needed to find a Chevy tractor of those years with a fifth wheel for towing. Not an easy task! Of course, you must also locate a car hauling trailer used 50 years ago. This was is the big challenge as most older haulers have been sent to the crusher. Their weight value in steel scrap prevents them from sitting long in a salvage yard! He was worried none existed!

The hunt for a tractor continued for several years. It was so difficult to find even one in any condition and it had to be GM. Then one day, there was a 1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100 rated at 2 ½ ton and it was not even in an antique type magazine. It was advertised as in the back row of a small salvage yard in North Carolina. Scott had to have it! Being over 1,000 miles away was not an issue even with pulling it in his old dependable tow trailer.

It was “not” love at first sight but if it is the only one remaining. You cannot say no even if most restoration people would consider it a total loss.

The salvage yard owner did not mention it would be Scott’s job to remove all the tree saplings that were growing around it and through the rusted out floors. Most of the mechanicals were frozen tight from sitting in the timber so many years. The driver’s door was held on with one remaining hinge due to rust. No paint remained. Only primer and surface rust. The snakes would now lose their protection from rains! It is suspected during the 1,000 mile trip back to Massachusetts some on lookers said “why such a small trailer to haul just one vehicle to the crusher”? Once back in Hatfield a full evaluation was made of the Spartan 100. Every part needed major restoration or a total replacement. Later, it was discovered that even the rear brake drums were a total loss and no replacements were on the market. What now? Scott was able to re-drill and lightly trim newer GM truck drums so driving it safely would be possible.

To most, the effort to restore it far excided its value. However, to Scott how do you place a value on the only big back window Spartan in existence? After all, he needed this late-1950’s GM body design to blend with the Cameos he would be hauling. Thus, a total disassembly began. The four Cameos he had restored had given him so much knowledge. To undertake a project of such large proportions, this project would be just the challenge that he lives for.

It was like building a great big model kit and finding that you did not have all the parts. What a challenge! Most salvage yards had no spare used parts. Scott never gives up! With the aid of his computer, he searched over the US for needed replacement items and hoped it was what he needed when it arrived. The bare frame was totally cleaned and painted to make a place for the rebuilt motor, front suspension, 4 speed transmission, differential, brake lines, etc. The cab was totally taken apart nearby and then it also became part of the big model kit.

To make the cab extra special Scott added the exact GM stainless steel window and door trim that is the same on the Cameos. After all, as the “only” Spartan 100 big back window remaining, it should have that extra Chevrolet touch.

The 22.5” wheels are a real eye catcher. The cast iron black factory spokes with what looks like zinc plated rings. They almost look like narrow white walls!


Cab: A “Full View” back window cab as on the top of the lines ½ ton pickups during 1955-59

Color: Dawn Blue (GM option # 707)

Engine: 348 cu in big block w/230 hp. 8 to 1 compression ratio. Scott had it totally rebuilt. It now looks and runs better than new!

Gas tank: A 141 gallon factory gas tank sits across the frame rails behind the cab and it fills on right or left side. Behind the seat is a 21.5 gallon tank with left side fill through the cab. It looks like a pickup tank but it is deeper.

Differential: 7.67:1 great for heavy pulling. It makes the Spartan love gasoline.

Tires & Wheels: 22.5” x 7.50” tubeless, cast-spoke

Weights: Curb weight 6,400#, gross weight 25,000#, pulling weight 40,000#

Wheelbase: 132” The shortest of the Spartan truck series. Just right for a 5th wheel connection.

The Nice Extra: This short wheelbase will allow it to sit beside family cars in a shopping center

Brakes: Air and fluid. If there is a fluid or air leak in the system, the brakes lock for safety!

Exhaust: All V-8 Spartans came with duel pipes and mufflers

Options (factory installed): AM radio, fresh air heater, stainless steel windshield and cab trim cab trim. Turn signals, and big back window

Accessories (dealer installed): Behind the seat package tray, outside sun visor, outside duel side
mirrors, cab roof clearance lights, and inside controlled spot lights

Four years later it is now fully restored. Hunting parts, restoring used items not otherwise available, and so much research has gone into this now “work of art”. The big block original 348 V-8 engine, without pulling a trailer, will quickly reach speeds that allows the driver to easily collect speeding tickets!

If anyone thinks Scott has more money than God to create this restored collection, he does not. It all went into one of the most unique truck collections in the world! Our hats go off to such a dedicated hard working individual that is able to follow his dream.

Here is the real surprise!  Scott left his life career job at most people’s usual retirement age about 7 years ago. This restoration hobby is his later in life enjoyment that he does so well!!


We probably can guess. He must also have a mid-1950’s vehicle hauling trailer to carry the Cameos. He reportedly purchased a 1964 Stewart 38 foot, 4 car capacity car hauler just like 1958. After looking at 50 year old trailers for 5 years, he found this one in Minnesota. The others he found were so bad they were not worth the effort to restore! Another rig saved from the crusher! Scott never restored a 53 year old hauler before or anything like it. There is no doubt, with his ambition, on completion it will look like it was put away in storage the day it came out of the factory!

His first trailer project will be to upgrade the brakes to a more modern system for safety. They will be connected to the Spartan brakes. If the tractor or trailer loses its fluid or air both tractor and trailer brakes lock up together.

Until the 1964 Stewart is completed, look at Scott’s rig. The Spartan and two 1958 Cameos are shown on a universal trailer on their way to a show!


You can contact Scott Phaneuf at keyman4885@yahoo.com








Chevrolet Accessory Package Tray (behind seat)


1959 Chevy’s Big Block – 348 cu.in. V-8


The compressor for the truck’s air brakes.

The day Scott brought it home!

Only its mother could love!

Page from 1959 Chevrolet Salesman’s Data Book showing Scott’s Spartan 100

1951 Chevrolet COE Tow Truck

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016


This month’s feature truck may be the only COE (cab over engine) short wheel base Advance Design Tow truck in existence! Most trucks that are tow vehicles are doomed to extinction once they begin their job of car and truck moving duties. They are worked everyday sun, rain, or snow to justify their expense of huge insurance, a driver, maintenance of the tow equipment, some jobs at night in dark places (more body damage), city and county license fees, etc.

Sheet metal rust and thus bad appearance develops as well as occasional body damage. By their 10th year most are retired. The later use of an older tow truck is limited! Their extra weight usually makes them a high candidate for the crusher.

The wrecker body on this month’s special truck was manufactured by W.T. Stringfellow Co. in Nashville, TN and installed new on the cab and chassis as received from the GM factory. We checked our computer on Google under W.T. Stringfellow and what a surprise! They show it based in Nashville, Tennessee at 125 North 12th Ave. as a corporation beginning in 1946. The company became inactive in 1987.

This 65 year old 1951 Chevrolet COE series 5100 (short 110” wheel base) is a rare tow truck survivor for one reason; It was owned from the beginning by a small Chevrolet dealership in Lyndon, Kansas. It was always stored inside and kept very clean to make a good impression to their Chevrolet customers. Plus it was only used for towing duties for this dealership, not a full time hauler.

It has been owned by Jim Carter of Jim Carter Truck Parts in Independence, Missouri for almost 25 years. (He found it beside a vendor booth at the annual Lawrence, Kansas Swap Meet and drove it home 60 miles) It has since been kept out of bad weather. Jim said, “We saved this big rig from eventually going to see God”. It is now a little part of our country’s history!

The first 6 months of owning it, Jim, plus the help of nearby Jerry’s Chevy Restoration Shop, stripped out the interior and put back to the new exact factory appearance. They even added the factory radio and fresh air heater. Paint was polished to a high shine and a few appropriate metal repairs were made. The towing rig on the back (yes, it operates like new) was sanded, primed and painted in white as the Chevrolet dealer had it so many years ago. The long decorative stainless rails on each side of the wrecker body were polished to a mirror finish.

Jim used this fancy tow vehicle every few weeks during the first years of owning it. Believe it or not, it was a fun pleasure vehicle but occasionally did a few actual tow duties. Jim says one of the most remembered moments occurred during my “single years” while driving this restored tow truck. On a casual date with ladies for the first time, it created quite
a surprise when this truck drove up to their home. “What is that?” was just the beginning of their comments, especially as they climbed up the steps to reach the cab. They loved it!

Another special memory was the attempt to find a parking space during a major local event. Thousands of cars were there and the closest parking lot to the event was full. “When I drove the tow truck by that full lot, attendants immediately dropped the ropes at the entrance and allowed my truck to enter! Yes, they actually thought I was there to tow a stranded car. What a hoot!”

Driving a COE like this is a real fun experience. Not only is it a great eye catcher but you look down on all the cars that are now smaller in today’s world! We refer to our special wrecker as “The Blue Hooker!”

Get ready for real memories if you drive on a rough gravel or dirt road. Even if you ride over a section of damaged concrete or asphalt on an otherwise smooth surface, the stiff suspension springs give very little movement when not hauling weight so a big bounce can be a part of the action. Wear a pad under your cap if you want to protect your head from the top of the cab!

Before Jim purchased the COE, almost 30 years ago the original low pressure 235 six cylinder engine had been replaced with the next series, a 235 high oil pressure engine. This gives it the additional horse power that makes it better in driving this 6,500 pound short wheelbase COE on the highway. Oh yes, it has a wheel base close to a VW Beetle so you can put it beside other cars in a shopping center parking lot.

One other feature! All the towing controls are in the cab. If you are ask to tow a car by yourself, you must personally climb up into the cab several times to safely and correctly lift the vehicle on its two wheels. Yes, drivers did this many times every day in the 1950’s and earlier. We doubt if there were any complaints. 15 years earlier, drivers would have used a “hand crank” on the side of the wrecker body. Yes, both ways rolled the cable onto the spool behind the cab and lifted a car or truck on its two wheels for towing.

The new “modern” way of lifting a vehicle (using the “Power Take-off on the side of the 4 speed transmission) allowed middle age drivers extra years of work before being forced to retire because of the difficult hand cranking!

The license say it all!

Hood up!

It made the cover of “Pickup ‘n Panels” magazine in August 1996

Split Rims with white painted edges. Looks like whitewalls!

Lay on the ground to get this photo

A close-up of the wrecker body. Even has the “tool box” attached to the floor.



These photos are from the “Salesman’s Data Book” that was issued to all salesman at the Chevrolet dealerships. This page features the 110” wheelbase COE as it would have been received by the Chevrolet dealer in Lyndon, Kansas. A short time later they installed the wrecker body ordered from the W.T. Stringfellow Company. All has remained as a package for 65 years.

1953 GMC Deluxe Panel Truck

Thursday, June 30th, 2016


Ever hear of an older vehicle being bought on its way to the metal crusher? Our feature truck this month was one of those saved from the recycler to later become one of the most attractive panel trucks in the country!

The savior of this 1953 GMC panel truck is Max and Margaret Davis of Columbia, Tennessee. They are the owners of Possum Holler Garage one of the premier 1947-55 Chevrolet / GMC truck restoration companies.

Finding this panel truck was a “freak occurrence” while at a special interest vehicle auction. Possum Holler Garage had several of their trucks in line for the bidding, when a person stopped by and asked if they had an interest in a 1953 panel truck that he was taking to be pulverized in a few days. If they did he would sell it for the metal price of $300.00!

Of course, they bought it on the spot! It was soon setting behind their restoration shop with other unrestored Advance Design trucks to be rebuilt. When the right enthusiast asks for a restored truck, Possum Holler will often sell them a truck they have at their shop and then restore it how the customer wants or restore the customer’s vehicle. Surprise, this panel truck was in waiting less than two weeks before a person bought it and requested they rebuild it as a real eye catcher.

Of course, as these photos show, it had to be disassembled to the bare frame and then assembled piece by piece. It is now owned by Larry’s Country Diner in Nashville, Tennessee. Plans are to place it in front of the diner to attract people’s attention. No doubt, it will increase the diner’s walk-in customers immediately everyday it is on display.

Possum Holler Garage used Larry’s color suggestions and a later model drive train. The modern Chevrolet V-8 and automatic transmission even has air conditioning! It can easily get its share of speeding tickets!

A few things that are a real “stand-out” on this panel truck is the two-tone paint, outside sun visor, white wall tires, and all the chrome.

Possum Holler even turned it into a deluxe panel truck by not only having all the chrome but installing the correct 12 stainless steel fender trims and the pair of long front fender spears. (Yes, deluxe panel truck trim is now on the market in limited quantities). The total package is a real “head turner” on the road or sitting beside Larry’s Country Diner.


Established in 2009, their first GM pickup truck was for the famous George Jones, one of the top country singers of the 1960’s through 1990’s. This truck now sits in a country music museum in Nashville, TN.

During the past 7 years they have restored 60 vehicles for customers over the USA. If you want yours or one of their 1947-55 GM trucks restored with top quality, contact Possum Holler Garage. Email @ mxdavis1@earthlink.net

As they bought it


Disassembly Begins

Media-blasing the Insides

Body Complete (What a clean shop)

After Body Painting


Near Completion

Fenders Installed

Detail Work

Checking Door Alignment

Almost Complete

Look at that Trim!

Making it ready for fenders and grill

Front vocal point

One of the best in the Country!

1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Friday, April 29th, 2016

What a Deal! When the term “Only One in the World” is used in the automotive world, this special 1959 Chevrolet ½ ton Fleetside short bed should be near the top of the list. There is none like this one!

The owner and creator is Sam Caudle of Independence, Missouri. Using GM as the original designer, Sam became a subcontractor for its second coming.
Part of its 13 year rebuilding was spent by Sam in researching (GM Manuals, attending early truck shows, subscribing to truck magazines, etc.) on just how it could be made into a pickup he had always dreamed of.

This is Sam’s creation! It is a natural for our Feature Truck of the Month.

The dream began to develop prior to 2003 while he was still on his 40 hour/week job. A 1959 Chevy ½ ton was his daily transportation and he began to get serious on just how he would redesign it when he retired. A life’s dream was in the making!

And then in a split second, it was over. An automobile missed a stop sign and Sam with his truck were almost totaled. Yes, Sam lived. His 59 ½ ton, hit in the side, did not. Usable truck parts were the right door and bedside plus its grill.

While Sam healed he decided this would not stop his dreams. It was too developed in his mind. He would make a comeback and be stronger than ever. Therefore, this is the story of the “next” 1959 in Sam’s life!

This Time a newer more modern vehicle would take him to work. Sam’s next 1959, found locally, was in one way even better than his first. It had a large rear window! This 1959 would now be kept in his home where it was safe.

Thirteen years have passed since he found his second 1959 ½ ton. The disassembly and then careful rebuilding has been his main hobby all that time. If he had to wait to save his money for the next part of his creation he would just wait and study truck manuals and restoration books for the next step. Time was not an issue.

The little ½ ton’s unveiling occurred early this year. What a show it causes! That’s why it just had to be our Feature Truck of the Month! The following is a few of the areas that makes Sam’s 1959 such a real show stopper.

BODY: Basically stock. Emblems removed and a non-lettered tailgate makes many armature onlookers just wonder if its sheet metal has been shaped and formed into a one-off pickup.

SUNVISOR: The outside sunvisor above the windshield looks a little different from those often seen on these years. Then we discovered why. Sam cut the width down almost four inches. It might allow more sun in the cab but so what. It has a new modern air conditioning system from the Old Air Company!

INTERIOR: Passenger car seat allows the back rest to tilt forward. This gives access to the space behind. Late model steering column adds turn signals and tilt wheel.

The special padding throughout the interior reminds one of a deluxe car in appearance.

Look at the dash. A GMC dash perfectly replaces the original Chevrolet. Sam liked the GMC gauge placement so much better. Yes, the original heater control dash panel now operates a new modern air conditioning and heater system. It’s not easy to make the lever connection from an old heater to a new air/heater combination. Much time and planning on this one. Remember, time was not an issue with Sam. He was going to have it finished his way-a tasteful blend of modern and a 55 year old pickup.

BED: Sam’s 1959 is the second year for the GM Fleetside pickup. On the sides he has the bed stainless horizontal strips that were available for only this one year and only the top of the line model.

This bed is 6 foot length which results in the shorter 115 inch wheelbase. Look at that oak bed floor. A piece of furniture!

The mirror polished bed strips, without holes are a recent introduction in the pickup market Nice!

ENGINE: This is one of the top focal points of the truck. Sam’s goal was to get the best performance from a Chevrolet 250 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine. (Used by GM from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1980’s) He had read articles of the high power that is possible from a GM 250 six cylinder so he decided to reach that level.

Some of his six cylinder rebuilding includes a performance cam shaft and milled head to raise the compression ratio to 9.5. Yes, it now likes premium full. Of course, balancing all engine moving parts beyond GM’s specifications was a necessity.

This all blends nicely with a 4 barrel 450 cfm (cubic feet per minute) Edelbrock Performance Carburetor. It attaches to a Clifford intake manifold that is made just for the 250 engine. (Sam is considering adding a 390 cfm Holly carb to eliminate excess gasoline in the engine and losing some unburned fuel) An electronic ignition is pure GM and was a drop-in from an early 1980’s six cylinder 250 engine.

To add another 20 horse power Sam arranged the power steering, air conditioner, water pump, and alternator, to operate on one late model serpentine belt. Of course, some pulleys also needed updating to accept the newer serpentine system.

What is the result of all these engine modifications? When taking a drive with Sam and then returning to home base all that could be said was WOW! This little truck could out run a telegram! Sam was reminded that he needed pads on the rear window to prevent glass breakage when his head hit it during fast acceleration!

FRONT SUSPENSION: The front suspension as well as the frame rails to the pickup body are a transplant from a 1975 Camaro. This “clip” makes lowering it 8 inches not difficult (many aftermarket systems available) and all is factory ready for items such GM disc brakes.

REAR SUSPENSION: Instead of the factory 7 leaf rear spring Sam changed it to 3 leafs. This helped it to lower the bed 6.5 inches.

The big change of removing 4 leafs required another addition. Sam’s pickup has air bags! This catches the frame if the three spring leaves do not. As one change leads to another, the next problem to cover was the width of the air bags. NOTE the 6 inch wider wheel tubs. This makes room for these necessary accessories.

TRANSMISSION: The tried and proven GM 700 R4 automatic overdrive transmission just fills the bill. A nice bolt in with a 250 six cylinder as well as a small block V8.

NOTE: Sam preferred not to have the usual floor shifter used by most street rodders. He created metal arms that could be properly moved by a column shift lever and look more from the 1950’s. This little touch is not often seen with vehicles on this level. Another of Sam’s creations!

BRAKE SYSTEM: All wheel disc brakes! The front easily connected to the front frame rail assembly of the 1975 Camaro front frame section. It was the rear disc brakes that required some extra modification and were not a total bolt-on. Sam used the rear differential assembly from a 1978 Nova and then added to it the disc brake assembly from a 1991 Pontiac Trans-Am.  In that way, all brakes are GM. An extra project was to get the total assembly to attach safely and correctly to the leaf springs. The firewall mounted master cylinder, connected to modern swing pedals, was also a GM unit used from a full disc brake car.

SUMMARY: This is an overview of a few features of Sam’s “one of a kind” ½ ton. Some would say “This Must be the Tip of the Iceberg” in what was done and time spent. After 13 years, he can now enjoy the results of his research and personal involvement in this major project. Now retired, Sam will finally have more time to Have Fun!

Short and Wide

Lettering Relates to Sam’s Second 1959

Big Back Window

No Tailgate Lettering

Air Bags Require Wide Tubs

Deluxe Rear Bed Side Trim, Very Rare!

Car Seat Forward Allows Extra Space Access

Trimmed Accessory Sunvisor. Nice!

Well Done

Great Two-Tone Combination!

Cab Steps. Perfect!

Special Seat Upholstery!

Modern Gauges & Steering Wheel

Under Dash Air Outlet Assembly Fits Perfect

More Dash Views & Modern Carpet

The GMC Dash. A Perfect Fit into a Chevrolet Cab

Not One Side of a V-12 Engine. It’s All 6 Cylinder!

Edelbrook Carb on a Clifford Intake

Clifford Valve Cover

All In One Photo

Air Conditioning. The American Way!

1951 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016


One of the lowest mile over 50 year old trucks in existence! A great example of what an older truck was like when it first came off the assembly line. It is owned by Gerald Cooper of Manassas, Virginia. He has almost 50 early vehicles in his collection but this ½ ton is a special vehicle to him. It is so untouched. Few of his collection can come close to being this factory original!

It was bought new by a relative in Pennsylvania and used mostly for hauling trash to a nearby landfill plus a few miscellaneous local projects. When Gerald bought it in 1993 it had 4,620 miles on its odometer. Since then it has mostly been in storage as he has other early vehicles in his collection to drive. It currently shows 6,105 due to taking it to some car shows and very limited pleasure drives. The great condition plus the miles shown on the oil change door post stickers all go along with the odometer being correct.

With these miles, it is understandable that it has the original Swifts Red paint. With polishing and a few touch-ups, the paint looks very good. The wheels were the item needing improvement. They were sanded, repainted and now look as good as the body paint. It is a standard cab (not deluxe pickup) because of no rear corner windows and painted outer grill bars.

One major accessory is the Chevrolet dealer installed heater. Of course, it was certainly needed by the first owner in Pennsylvania with their cold winters. The other accessory is the GM by-pass filter attached to the intake manifold.

Amazing! It still has its factory installed 600 x 16 tires. They are cracked in places but have never gone flat. This explains that the ½ ton was usually in storage and out of the hot summer sun.

Two non-GM accessories are the back-up light and add-on turn signals. These directional lights were added later by the owner to give more ease in driving. (Turn signals were not an option in 1951) However, it was during the late 1950’s that many private companies offered this add-on accessory kit. Usually sold at auto supply stores.

These rare low mileage trucks have a great plus for the perfectionist. If there is any disagreement on what is correct in a total original restoration trucks like this little 1951 ½ ton will give the answers.

You can contact Gerald@thestevepetty@gmail.com.

The 1949 to 1952 standard cabs usually had body color grill bars and white back-splash.
(See our website Grill Restoration tech article at www.oldchevytrucks.com)

Original 1951 tires, 600 x 16. Still no flats!

All original Swifts Red. Note: the GM by-pass oil filter on the intake manifold.

Painted gas cap to match the body. Correct?

The original one left side taillight (as it left the factory)

Maroon door panels to match the seats. Just right!

A perfect example of a factory dash. The horizontal strips are just right.
(See our tech article on this on our website. www.oldchevytrucks.com
Under interior)

Excellent Maroon vinyl seat covering.

All “bone stock” except the accessory turn signal switch.

1953 Chevrolet Canopy Express

Friday, February 5th, 2016

For the First Time – Two in a Row!

While the Feature Truck article for January 2016 was being developed, we noticed an additional very special vehicle in Greg Fanning’s collection. His photos showed another eye-catcher, one of the rarest of the 1947-55 Advanced Design truck series. This is the now almost extinct “Canopy Express”. We doubt if even 100 remain out of thousands that were once produced annually!
After being used several years by their first owner, they had limited value to later buyers. Few used car dealers even wanted them in their inventory. Now the tables are reversed. They have become about the most valuable body style of AD Truck Series!


Check Greg’s Personal Story:

“Did you cut the sides out of your panel truck?”….You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve heard that question. Inevitably, it is usually followed by “I’ve never seen one of those before.”….. A rare, yet very historical fact that comprises this ‘Advanced Design’ Canopy Express from General Motors was, and although preceded by other canopy manufacturers, GM brought this AD line out to facilitate the delivery of consumables to the neighborhood buying public. In the late forties and early fifties the ‘big box’ grocery stores had not yet arrived so ‘hucksters’ as they were called, wanted a vehicle to take the product to the consumer. Hence the open sided panel was designed. However, I have had some very interesting discussions with trades people like plumbers and electricians that used this vehicle because of the ease of compartmentalizing their diverse parts inventory.

This particular vehicle came my way after attending a ‘Utilities’ conference in Denver. A power lineman from Pueblo put me on to a co-worker who had originally secured this Express for his retirement so he and his wife could sell oranges from his groves at various local farmers markets. Sadly, a personal setback caused him to park the truck in his garage as it ‘conjured up bad memories’ as he put it.

I hopped in my truck, hooked up the trailer and left Vernon, British Columbia, Canada and a 2700 mile, three day turnaround to Palisade Colorado and back, I was in my driveway with a new toy. Very quickly, those bad memories of the previous owner have become fond ones for me. Although very drivable, I felt that much work had to be done to bring this fifteen or so year old ‘restoration’ to my standards. If not the condition, at least the ‘Sea Crest’ (gag-me green) color had to go.

One of these plumbers had an interesting story about one of the major drawbacks of this body design. It appears that the front cab floor was particularly subject to extreme rust depending on how you parked at the end of a days’ work. Under each front ‘folding bucket seat’, if you chose both seats, was a tool compartment each with its own cover, not unlike the battery cover lid, only longer. The outer cab floor was contoured to a low point drain hole, but, if you failed to park slightly uphill during rainy periods, the water flowed forward after leaking through the back canvas tent and sides. You may notice the factory tool kit and tools in my picture, the canvas bag, usually wrapped in plastic, would vibrate down predominantly rough roads, slide over the drain hole causing a swimming pool and of course floor rot. This particular vehicles floor was covered in ‘stove pipe tar’ which trapped the moisture but it eventually rusted through as shown, so I did a complete front floor replacement. The rear floor was factory 7/8 in. single piece construction grade plywood, which made it difficult to slide in between the cross members. Single board installation was an option, but, you needed the two outer boards around the wheel wells to be a minimum of 11 ¾ in. wide and 7/8 in. thick. Tough to find or custom cut. As luck would have it, I came upon some African dark mahogany that fit the requirements, and I think spruced it up a bit.

I was especially happy to secure this model with the ‘end board and rear inside cab window’ separator. Although usually a northern (cooler) state option, it is removable if desired and many farmers chose to not have the rear cab divider and optional passenger bucket seat to facilitate hauling more product. You may notice in the pictures, instead of the usual fruit and produce in the bins, I have chosen to display an array of original GM parts that I have managed to acquire over the years. An eye catcher and well received by the old car buffs at the vintage car shows. In its inaugural vintage show, it captured ‘Best Restoration’ from a fleet of 600 plus entries….very satisfying reward for endless hours of enjoyment.

Not quite finished the ‘Resto’ yet, hence the purchase of the 2 ‘Sargent Fender Stripes’ from Jim Carter Truck Parts….as yet I have not been able to muster the courage to DRILL the 36 required holes in my factory flawless fenders…..probably this spring when the weather improves.

There is so much more that could be said about these vehicles, but I’ll leave you with one parting thought. Many theories exist as to the downfall of these unique members of the “carry-all” design. The one that intrigues me, although the saddest for mankind, was referred to me by that plumber I mentioned earlier. It was his recollection that the Canopy Express met its demise because of the ease of access. If left unattended, it was simply too easy to either undo the snaps or as he recalled, cut the tent with a knife to ‘steal’ the contents. A sad testament to humanity on such a beautiful design.

Thanks again Jim, it’s a pleasure participating in your ‘Feature Truck of the Month’ article…….Greg


“Side Canvas Up” with display boxes

Greg’s boxes filled with NOS Chevy Parts

Chevy parts on display

New floor wood


Accessory sun visor

A 235 Chevy six cylinder


Under Construction

Down to the Bare Bones

Tailgate, etc. removed

New Burgundy Maroon Paint



test test
New Floors

Optional Passenger Seat Tipped Up. Note: Tool Box and Nearby Black Lid.

1953 GMC 1 Ton Pickup

Monday, January 4th, 2016


Just a quick note and story for you Jim and a big “thank you” to Jim Carter Truck Parts for all the support while doing my rebuild, couldn’t have done it without you guys…..Greg Fanning, Province of British Columbia, Canada.

Well, I guess I should begin this dialogue by saying what an honor it is to have been asked to contribute a story of one of the vehicles in my fleet.

It all started during my career as a power lineman for the major utility, BC Hydro. The job required that I travel extensively building power lines around the Province of British Columbia, Canada. I began to find various old trucks and numerous parts in remote areas, so during after work hours while away from the family, it became a hobby of sorts.

This particular vehicle, a 1953 one ton dump pickup was brought to my attention by a lineman buddy from Saskatchewan, a couple of Provinces to the east of British Columbia.

One Sunday night after overstaying my welcome at the local watering hole the night before, I called this old farmer that my buddy had told me about. He was an acquaintance of his family and had bought this truck new in 1953 to haul grain. That same Sunday that I called was also Halloween in early 2000. The old boy was home that night and said he was only available the next day, so 2 hours later I was airborne and 3 hours after that I was 770 miles from home in a motel waiting to be picked up the next morning.

The truck was sitting in the field looking so tired after 50 years of hauling grain with its five foot high wooden box sides and end gate with a discharge chute for dumping. Interesting point here, my buddy always told me that if I ever bought an old grain truck in the prairies, be sure to ask about the tailgate and the hubcaps. Why I asked? The reply was instant “The tailgate was always removed to accommodate the built up intake at the grain elevators and the hubcaps were removed because of loss while pounding down the predominantly gravel farm roads….both were usually hung on the BARN WALL”.

After a thorough walk around, oil check, and a fire up, that old 235 cu. in. Thriftmaster, with its 17500 miles just purred to life. People always want to argue, and still say that motor is a 216 cu. in. because of the two “acorn nuts” peering up through the valve cover and that the first “oil pressured” 235 engine didn’t come out until 1954. Actually, in Canada, the first oil pressured 235’s were rolled off the assembly line late in 1953 using the old valve cover and rocker arm posts. Not until the first FULL year in 1954, did they bolt the valve cover directly to the head.

I asked the old boy what he had to have for his “old friend”, and without hesitation he replied “Exactly what I paid for it in 1953, $1,730.00”…. I handed him the money, (never leave home without it) and signed the deal. Then I asked, “What about the tailgate and hub caps?”… “Holy, it’s a good thing you asked” he said, “I took them off brand new and hung them on the barn wall”…..WOW, there they were flawless.

“Will this old girl get me home?” I said, “I have to be at work tomorrow”. His response was “It doesn’t leak, it doesn’t burn oil, and it doesn’t boil over”. Eleven hours and ½ quart of oil later, I was rolling in my driveway with a smile from ear to ear, a new toy and a new friend.
I did a ground up, end to end restoration that spring and still enjoy driving this old girl every summer…….can’t beat a GMC — G-reater M-ade C-hevrolet.

You may contact Greg Fanning @ gmcgreg@shaw.ca


Why a Dump Bed?

These were used by the thousands in wheat country of Canada and the U.S. It is part of our farm history 50 years ago. During the harvest these extended pickups would be in the fields and receive wheat from combines (pulled by tractors) that had gathered a full load of grain. (At one time our feature truck even had tall wood sides that fit in the stake pockets. In this way, even more wheat could be taken to the local elevators during each trip) They then loaded the wheat to haul to local grain elevators and sold. After harvest season, these pickups could be used on farms for other duties.

Manufactures sold kits that could be installed under the truck bed. On Greg’s one ton, it included a hydraulic pump that operated from the “power taken off” of the factory 4-speed transmission. This pump forced the hydraulic cylinders to dump the bed. Of course, the bed used a pivot or hinge on the rear to hold it during its rising and lowering.

Another unique feature of these wheat harvest pickups was their tailgate. Most all original gates were replaced with a custom made grain tight gate that had a small slide-up door for dumping the wheat as the bed raised.

At the end of harvest season the correct tailgate could be placed back on the pickups. In many cases the replacement gate was never removed from the truck once installed!








Greg’s Collection


1952 Chevrolet Tanker Truck

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015


Seeing a small tanker vehicle like our feature truck this month brings back memories from another era in our country’s history. It was a time of smaller family farms that dotted the country by the millions. Usually one medium size tractor was adequate for the planting and harvesting of the numerous crops these farms produced.

Suppliers of petroleum products in the towns soon realized the opportunities that existed when they delivered fuel and oil to small farms. Most farmers had no time or the hauling equipment to drive to town and get fuel and lubricant.

Thus, when horses were replaced with tractors, a whole new industry emerged. The smaller farms delivery tanks trucks became a common site in farming communities and in the country. Their tanks were usually divided into three compartments for fuel oil, gasoline, and motor oil. At the small farm was usually a few 55 gallon drums the farmer used to fill his tractor. The tanker truck from town added the amount of fuel and oil as the farmer requested either by phone or during the shopping day in the nearby community. Even many homes were heated with fuel oil. This gave the petroleum dealers more income with in-town deliveries.

Our December feature truck is just one of these vehicles. Now small tanker trucks are almost non-existent! The owner and restorer of this unusual truck is Charles Shook of North Richland Hills, Texas. His 1952 Chevrolet ¾ ton carries an 8 foot long 390 gallon capacity tank with three chambers.

NOTE: The long tool box on the left side. Every small farm delivery tanker had to have one. It held all basic wrenches and related tools the driver needed to transfer petroleum products through a hose to the farmer’s small tanks. Charles copied the original but used very attractive pecan wood.

This tank was made in 1937 by the Columbian Steel Tank Company in K.C. Mo. (still in business) This older tank would have been correct on a 1952 truck as they outlasted their first vehicle and would be moved to a different chassis over the years. It still fills the farmer’s smaller drums by gravity. No need for a pump if their drums were lower than the delivery tank.

Charles made a hidden change during the tank restoration. The inter dividing walls between the compartments were removed. By opening the two rear doors this exposes the interior of the chambers and allows for carrying lawn chairs and a cooler. These really come in handy during the hours at the car shows!

Charles bought the unrestored tank at a swap meet over 3 years ago and it fit his newly acquired ¾ ton. He suspects it might have originally been on about a 1 ½ ton but being for display it is just right for his small truck.

Charles has spent 3 ½ years making his truck and tank 100% like new. Completion was September 2015 It was disassembled to the frame and then the complete restoration began. During the truck restoration, Charles made it as close to new in 1952 as possible.

Every part was perfectly restored or replaced. It even has the correct Forester Green paint. The original 216 inline six cylinder engine was rebuilt about as GM made it. The exception was using bearing connecting rods to eliminate the softer babbit bearings.

He is the third owner of the ¾ ton. It began its life as a farm pickup near Bridgeport, Texas were it was bought new. He has most all past records including a copy of the original title and the early service data through 1963.

The second owner bought the truck with a restoration in mind however the lack of time and money prevented any of this to materialize. When Charles bought it about 4 years ago a serious restoration began. His grandfather drove a delivery truck for a Sinclair wholesaler in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Already a restorer of farm tractors and stationary engines, having a restored tanker truck fit into his life history. Of course, the Sinclair signage on the “New” tanker goes along with his grandfather’s early days.

The restoration was completed in September 2015. Two local shows were then attended and Charles received Best of Class in both! This is proof of a good restoration by judges and the general public. Hopefully, it will be seen much more in Texas shows in the spring.

You can contact Charles Shook by emailing him at xr25r@yahoo.com.

Sitting at a car show. Note New tool box!

A real attention getter!



Accessory oil bath air cleaner and oil filter are just right.

Ground up rebuilt 216 engine.

Measuring wheel shows sale amount.

1952 Chevrolet 2 Ton Caravan

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015


Here is an example of pure American Ingenuity! Put two things together:

A 1952 Chevrolet 2 ton and an ambitious top quality retired carpenter that wants to travel. These qualifications fit Richard Howe of Trinidad California. (About 300 miles north of San Francisco, California) He built another similar house and truck combination several years ago on a Cab over Engine 2 ton chassis. What he learned on that project will be used to make this unit even better.

He is the only builder of his one of a kind “Caravan “and he had no extra help. After all, Richard has been a professional carpenter all his life!

His current unit is made much of recycled redwood from boards used years ago in other prior construction purposes. Richard lives near redwood country and he suspects the wood is from trees that are 1,000 to 2,000 years old! He has been on this project about 6 years as money and time allows.

A little less than a year is remaining in this project because Richard’s goal is to have his unit completed and roadworthy by the summer of 2016. That will be the time for his high school 50th graduation in Minnesota. This personally built “Caravan” will be his transportation for this over 1,500 miles one way trip.

Even though Richard is a great carpenter, when it came to the mechanicals he needed help. He got the assistance he needed from two excellent skilled workers at Bill’s Repair Shop in Redding, California. Their names are Bill Tuschen and Ed Demoll. Richard would recommend them to anyone needing early truck repairs!

With the help of these friends the “house” may possibly come off once more to restore the truck cab!

The drive-train will include the original 4 speed transmission plus an optional Brownie 3 speed attached at the rear. This rare overdrive unit will provide him a top speed of almost 55 miles per hour. Yes, he will certainly have time to better see the USA. The original differential gears will give the correct ratio to support the speed of this heavy home he has built.

Oh yes! Richard decided to install a Chevrolet 350 V-8 as the power source. With a V-8 bell housing, it perfectly fit the original 4 speed transmission! It just needed some side motor mounts to fit it in correctly. (Available from many suppliers) He feels it will be the best for his long trips, the heavy Caravan weight, and higher speed demands of modern highways.

The enclosed photos show some of the under construction views of Richard’s Caravan. It’s great what one can do with ambition. The finished project will certainly be a “one of a kind”. You can contact Richard Howe at 1-707-273-2742.

We hope to receive photos of the completed unit next year at Richard’s school reunion time. We will post them here!

1952 Cab and Chassis after the frame is extended 4 feet

350 Chevy V-8 replaces the inline six cylinder engine

Stock setup for the carrier bearing needed lowering with the 4’ lengthen
frame. The first trial run quickly wore out the bearing! See next photo!

A 3″ channel is needed to lower carrier bearing due to the lengthen frame.

Hand built new doors before redwood siding

New top almost completed. Just before siding added.

These 5″ redwood planks were on an old construction job and are from trees
1,000 to 2,000 years old.

Lap siding is from the 5″ scrap redwood. 17 operations in each board before
ready to install.

Start of installation of front cab-over windows

Frames for front cab-over finished

Front cab-over almost complete

1/4″ welded steel support brackets on both sides of “cab-over” windows

Corner cab-over brackets in place plus 1,000 to 2,000 year old lap siding

Interior started.
NOTE: The window frames were made from scratch and are to appear as those
from an old hotel transom used in room ventilation.

1953 GMC 3/4 Ton

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Our feature truck article is a little different this month. One of the country’s leading truck restoration shops was ask to pick a favorite of those completed in their many years of rebuilding, General Motors Trucks. They chose this truck as their all-time favorite.

This very special pickup is a 1953 GMC ¾ ton. The restoration company is Possum Holler Garage owned by Max and Margaret Davis in Columbia, Tennessee. They only restore the 1947-55 Advance Design trucks, probably the best know trucks ever produced by GM. One of the enclosed photos shows our feature truck and seven others in various stages of restoration. (Their shop is as clean as most people’s personal homes)

This restoration shop purchases their trucks from all parts of the country. The employees are capable of repairing most any damage or worn out part of these trucks. Parts are available with a little research as over 5 million AD trucks were sold during the seven year production run. These years were truly the “Heartbeat of America” in trucks!

This GMC pickup was purchased from an estate sale in Colorado and transported to the Possum Holler Garage.

As with all their completed trucks, it was rebuilt from the bare frame. It is now new! All worn parts were repaired or replaced. Its 228 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine has been the same during it’s over 60 years. The 4-speed transmission is what was in most of these ¾ tons when they left the factory.

During the final stages of restoration it was discovered by the current owner, the A.J. Walker Co. of Matoon, IL. This is a ready-mix concrete company begun in the 1950’s by the current owner’s grandfather. It was love at first site! This little pickup was almost identical to granddad’s original (the company founder). The deal was made with the final color being Omaha Orange just like that first company pickup. Even the door lettering is just like an early photo.

The pickup now sets in a temperature controlled garage in Illinois. It is often seen in local parades and even shows. The company founder A.J. Walker would be proud!

Looking for an expert in Advance Design truck restoration?

Contact Possum Holler Garage at www.possumhollergarage.com

The Feature Truck with Seven Others in Process

Chassis Completed

Just Before the Tailgate and Lights

The Finished Product

As Purchased in Colorado

1957 GMC Napco

Friday, July 31st, 2015


WOW! What an unusual totally restored truck. When we were first shown the photos of this step side pickup, we saw this was special. No one we knew could recall anything quite like this.

The pickup is a 1957 GMC Napco ½ ton (Factory 4 wheel drive) with 125 inch wheel base. Not only is this an almost 60 years old unusual pickup but then add an original Pontiac V-8 as its engine. (Chevrolet did not offer a V-8 on their early Napco 4 wheel drive pickups).

When the demand for V-8 engines began to develop in the mid 1950’s, GMC had none to offer! Their answer was to use the 347 V-8 used in the Pontiac car. Thus, such a large cubic inch for a ½ ton pickup. Of course, no Pontiac logos were shown. GMC decals were placed on the valve covers.

The proud owners are David & Julie Bailey of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. David found the GMC on the internet and Julie encouraged him to own it. It would be an excellent replacement for their specialty car, a 1992 Pontiac Trans Am. The pickup was in Salmon, Idaho. Quite a long distance from their east Oklahoma home. They quickly recognized the unusual qualities of this pickup and bought it! What a long drive to Idaho with a flatbed trailer, however the GMC was just as good as they had hoped. It fit nicely on their trailer and off David & Julie went on their long trip back to Oklahoma.

They are members of the Pontiac Oakland Club International which has now welcomed all GMC owners to be part of the fun. The club has over 9,800 members in the US and other countries. You can contact the club website at: www.poci,org. David belongs to the local chapter, The Indian Nations Pontiac Car Club with 60 members. He is also president of the local GMC chapter with 100 members.

This Idaho GMC was in such good mechanical shape, David drove it almost daily in his home town for 6 years. Brake problems began to develop in the last year and repairs seemed to be temporary at best. Therefore, the long distant plans for a total restoration was moved up. It was decided to disassemble it to the bare frame and start back like it left the factory in Pontiac, Michigan almost 60 years ago. The Baileys even did the frame better than new. It was sand blasted and given a powder coating!

Finally four years later David & Julie had a new 1957 GMC Napco. Julie even helped install the new windshield among so many other things. At least an extra year was spent waiting for more skilled people such as a body shop and upholstery to find time to work on it. All body parts were restored and painted individually. It was the Baileys that had to assemble the parts without chipping the paint. What a job! The original colors were used, Seminole Brown and Panama Cream. The other factory option is a fresh air heater and side mount spare tire.

Also included is the factory 2 barrel carburetor, 347 cubic inch V-8 with dual exhaust, 4 speed transmission, and Spicer transfer case.

The Bailey’s current project is building a new home in Broken Arrow, however this time a separate 30 x 50 garage will be included. We wonder what specialty vehicle will be placed in all the extra space this building provides.


Prior to 1957 the four wheel drive system used on General Motor’s trucks were provided and installed by specialized independent firms not connected with GM. These “kit” companies included American-Coleman, NAPCO, Marmon-Herrington, PABCO, etc. and made assemblies for many truck manufacturers. Beginning with 1957, General Motors selected NAPCO as their first official supplier of 4 x 4 units placed on Chevrolet and GMC trucks. Now dealers could sell factory-ready units as well as provide replacement parts listed in the GM Master Parts Catalog. GM used the NAPCO system exclusively between 1957 and 1959, however this name is not found in GMC or Chevrolet data books! Independent local NAPCO franchise dealers continued to install these units thru at least 1963. NAPCO’s can be identified by the raised N-A-P-C-O lettering on the forward side on the front axle housing.

You can contact David & Julie Bailey at: david.beetle@cox.net

One of So Many Awards!

Excellent From the Back Forward

The Long “M” Continued in 1957

Nice New Interior

Just After the Final Paint

New Seminole Brown Paint

The Upper Hood Says it All

Bed During Assembly

The Pontiac 347 V-8 gets David & Julie’s Touch

Bringing it Home Before the Restoration

Close View of it Arriving in Oklahoma

Not Bad for 45 Years and No Restoration

Everyday Work Truck Engine

Napco Transfer Case Made by Spicer

Caulk Letters Showing 4WD from the GM Factory

Grandson, Ian, in the Driver’s Seat

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


It was over 4 years ago when Vernon Buskirk of Webster, Wisconsin saw an ad on Craig’s list for a restorable 1953 Chevrolet ½ ton. He had been considering a truck like this for rebuilding and when he saw the photos it looked just right!

The all-day project included pulling a flatbed trailer 400 miles and bringing the little ½ ton home that same day. The truck appeared to have everything in place as GM made it so Vernon would have to do no major alterations. Vern said “It was very tired and had not run since 1970”.

The original owner and later the son-in-law had used it for the normal duties on their Iowa farm. When Vernon bought it the original 216 six cylinder engine was badly worn and the valve lifters were frozen in the head. A later model 235 engine was located and fit just right. This gave it that extra horsepower to better move with local traffic.

It was placed in Vern’s garage for 6 months before the total restoration began. He knew he would not be satisfied just making it run and giving it new paint so this was the time to do it all.
Then the big surprise occurred! The more Vern began to disassemble the cab, the more he discovered just how rusty the cab had become. It was not practical to restore. It would be much less expensive to locate another 1953 cab! Even the fenders could not economically be saved.

Once the cab and bed was removed he could more easily restore the frame and all the mechanicals. Reaching these items from the top saves so much effort than doing most of the restoration on the garage floor.

Everything was disassembled to the bare frame and the mechanicals were given a new life. The sheet metal was taken apart down to the rivets.
Norm hired a local body shop to handle the metal repairs and final paint on the replacement cab. Of course, now came the hard part. After the chassis was restored piece by piece and the sheet metal was complete, the very careful assembly begun.

Everything must fit together as when it left the assembly line. What a project! No scratching the metal and all new rubber must lay in the proper place.

The project required 3 ½ years. It is now Vern’s pride and joy. During the final days of last summer this became his drive on nice days. Vern is an example to the neighbors as they saw the parts spread over and around the garage and gradually emerge into a work of art. This little show stopper catches attention everywhere it goes!

For questions on the restorations you can call Vern Buskirk at 1-715-349-7305.



The Replacement Cab Arrives

A Beautiful Dash Restored Just Right

Under Construction

Secured to the new Motor Mounts

Front Fenders in Place

1952 Chevrolet UTE

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


WOW! What is this? It is a car or a truck? Surprise. It is neither.

This is an “American made” 1952 Australian UTE!

It’s probably the only one of its type in the world. The owner and restorer is John Smith of Tonganoxie, Kansas.

We first saw this special vehicle displayed at the Mid-West All Truck Nationals on September 6, 2014. What an attention getter!!

This all began in the 1960’s when John drove a much worn 1952 Chevrolet Sedan for almost 10 years. He was personally involved in all the repairs that were required. He knew all the in’s & outs of the 1952. Now fast forward more than 50 years. John is nearing retirement and keeps thinking about the 1952 he once owned. Wouldn’t it be great to own another 1952?

He could restore it just like the one in his memories of the 1960’s. So he spent much time searching.

And then it happened. In an Australian movie, John saw a 1952 Australian unibody UTE used as their regular transportation. It was love at first sight! The front and mechanicals were all the 1952 Chevy car he remembered but the rear was a pickup truck.

Soon frustration began when he could not find a 1952 UTE imported from Australia. The time and money required to visit that country, buy a UTE, have it delivered to the USA, and change it to left hand drive was beyond consideration. Therefore, the next step is called by many “American Ingenuity”. John would make his own UTE in his own garage in the Heart of America!

Thus, many hours were spent just planning how this could be accomplished. It finally began to come together when he saw an original unrestored 1952 Chevrolet with a US made sedan delivery body and chassis. This is like a Chevy car station wagon without quarter panel windows. They also have a side hinge single rear door for easily loading merchandise. Most were for commercial use.

He said “I think I can make this into an Australian UTE”. It took three years in uncharted waters (not been there before) to create the show truck in the following photos. He started with a 1952 sedan delivery and restored most of it (similar to a sedan). The rear suspension was upgraded and the front mechanicals now have Mustang II suspension which allows for power steering and disc brakes.

The engine is from a 1989 Chevy Camaro I-Rock 350 cubic inch V8. Transmission is the very popular 700-R4 with overdrive. Of course, the UTE now has air conditioning, cruise control and power brakes.

The above updated mechanicals he used are not easy to install however, the availability of these parts are not difficult to locate from street rod suppliers. It was the creation of a UTE from the sedan delivery body that was the automobile challenge of his life! So carefully the body panels had to be cut and welded. No mistakes allowed. Compared to the Model A Fords he had once restored this was over twice the project.

The most difficult project was making the tailgate. Sedan delivery bodies have a single door that opens sideways. This door had to be shortened and hinged at the bottom to the body floor to transform it into a useable tail gate. Even the original wood floor in the sedan delivery (now the truck bed) is a ribbed metal creation. What a project! This would be impossible for most. Here, John received assistance from a very talented body expert, Carey Ditty near his town.

Another very big challenge was to make the back of the cab from the top of the sedan delivery door. The sedan delivery rear window and surrounding metal was moved forward to become the stationary rear cab window used in John’s Australian UTE. Not for the average body person’s talents. John had to have some help on this major project from a very skilled “metal bender”.

To keep it looking 1952 on the outside, John used the original 15” wheels which hold pure Chevrolet hub caps. Note the original factory side trim. It certainly makes it appear like a nice restored 62 year old deluxe Chevrolet.

So there you have a basic overview of three years of major challenges for John Smith. Look and admire a one of a kind 1952 Chevrolet. For our Feature Truck of the Month, we will call it a truck just like the Australians do.

We understand the Aussies made these in their own General Motors assembly plant from 1936 through 1952.



All new chrome!

Nicely Restored Emblem

Correct trim, wheels and hubcaps





The most difficult to make!

Floor mat over new floor


Spare tire behind passenger seat

Power windows and no wing vents (Big Job)



The Beginning!

It’s mostly there except front metal!

You may contact John Smith at nstarrsmith@gmail.com

1950 GMC 1 Ton Pickup

Monday, September 1st, 2014


What a rare pickup! When new the owner paid the extra price to buy a 1 ton pickup, his number one need was a heavy hauler with a larger bed. As the fleet side had not yet been introduced, General Motors made the bed longer and the frame stronger to carry more merchandise.

During the Advance Design years (1947 early 1955) all 1 ton pickups even had the same tailgate, front bed panel dimensions, cab, and fenders as the ½ ton. Their bed length was 9 foot rather than the 6 foot of the top selling ½ tons. Their gross weight was about 6100 pounds instead of the 4600 gross weight ½ tons.

The sad fact is that few 1 tons remain in existence! They were bought for heavy work by their first owner and a second owner would usually have similar needs. When this pickup reached salvage yard status, their heavy weight made them a likely candidate to be sent to the recycler for their money value due to their size.

Our feature truck this month is one of these few remaining 1 ton pickups. It is a 1950 GMC with the same 228 inline 6 cylinder and 4 speed transmission that was in it at the factory. The owner and restorer is John Lesmeister of Bolivar, Missouri.

John bought it 25 years ago because of its unusual appearance. “It’s like being in an overgrown ½ ton”. He followed the prior owner home when he first saw it while driving down the highway. “What is that he thought”? With some negotiations it was brought home the next day to add to John’s collection of 13 older special interest vehicles.

Over the years John has sold most of his early vehicle collection but not the 1 ton. It is so unusual it became the one he wanted as his brand new pickup! The last five years has been the time of the most serious restoration on this unusual truck.

John’s son Brian has known the 1 ton most of his life. Lucky for John, Brian not only has strong feelings for the truck but has become a vehicle body shop technician. His talents have made the 1 ton’s sheet metal near perfect and then he gave it a show winning paint job in the correct Ferrara Blue.

The pickup has received its restoration beginning with the bare frame. John went by the rules to make a “new” 1 ton pickup as it looked at the dealership in 1950. A few points of interest are:
Correct painted all black bed wood and strips
The second year the engine was orange.
Wheels are correct 17” split rims.
NOTE: the small ring near the outer edge. They are the correct zinc plated to prevent them from rusting metal to metal between tire changes. (An attractive touch!)
The 250 hood side emblem always relates to a GMC 1 ton.
Due to the 9 foot bed length, there are 4 stake pockets per side.

John used the correct Spanish grain maroon seat and door panel upholstery with metallic brown metal paint on interior panels.
The front bed panel has a horizontal stiffener to prevent bending when hit by a heavy load on a stop.

John’s talents with Brian’s help have made this a true show truck. It stands beside the best at all shows. John’s “new” truck is a part of U.S. Truck History.

The Day of Purchase

25 Years Later

An Ant’s View

Body by Brian

The View from Behind

Bed Splash Apron – Sooo Long

Just like GM Sold Them

New Cab Floor

250 – Only GMC 1 Ton

Pure GMC 17″ Wheels with Zinc Plated Ring

Being Assembled

Fender Finish: Glass Smooth

The Real Spanish Grain Door Panel

Original Data Plate

Regulator and Fuse Box

You can reach John at bluegoose37@windstream.net


What a surprise! During the recent large 2014 Midwest All Truck Nationals in Riverside Missouri, there were three Advance Design 1 ton pickups. We doubt if there has been that many 1 tons pickups in one place in 50 years.
This unusual event required photo shots. Several attached. They are owned by:

1947 GMC Joe Miller of Smithville, Missouri
(See our July 2013 Feature Truck of the Month)

1949 Chevrolet John & Peggy Milliman of Mechanicsville, Maryland

1949 Chevrolet Jim Carter of Independence, Missouri



1954 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton

Friday, August 1st, 2014


WOW! Look what you can do with a 1954 Chevy ¾ ton. How impressive. It can stand right alongside of all the short beds and receive equal or more attention.
Terry Millsap of Independence, Missouri bought this pickup in 1999 with the intension of a major restoration. With the encouragement of Jerry Willis, a 1953 GMC owner near his home, the project began the next year. Jerry had completed a major rebuilding of his GMC a few years before (see the Feature Truck of the Month for July 2008) and with his knowledge and experience the two retired friends began the project. They would get together every day to restore the 1954 for driving to events at the local organization, the Genuine Chevrolet / GMC Truck Club of Kansas City.
It was a team project, about 8 hours per day 5 days per week. In almost record time, they finished the pickup in five months! We call it a very mild custom. Though it looks original from a distance Terry added just a few “creature comforts”.
A pre-upholstered more modern seat has storage pockets on back cushions and more room above the in-cab gas tank. The high oil pressure 235 engine remains. The 5.14 ratio ring and pinion differential has been exchanged with higher speed 4.10 gearing. A 15% improvement in speed with lower engine RPM. Yes, the 3 speed column shift transmission was correct on a ¾ ton. (You paid extra for a 4 speed floor shift transmission)
An interesting feature on a 1954 8” bed: The short third stake pocket is hidden just above the rear fender. Not like the 1953 ¾ older pickups. Look at the stamped arches inside the bed sides. This was on 1954 pickups through early 1955 and allow the early rear fenders to drop into place. No road dirt will seep out of the wheel well from the tires driving in dust!
Most of the engine compartment looks stock until your eyes catch the right side of the firewall. There is what looks like a factory accessory. Terry calls it his Jack in the Box!! With the more modern seat cushions his bottle jack could not be kept under the seat.
The final touch to his 8 bolt drums are these very special sport wheels with modern radial tires. What nice steering this makes! Check the optional left side spare tire position. This was an extra cost option at the factory. With the 8” bed it does not require a cut-out in the left fender as on a 6” bed ½ ton.
You will often see Terry and Jerry running together in their two pickups in the Kansas City area heading to a local truck show. Of course, driving our trucks is what it is all about! You can contact Terry Millsap at terrymillsap@att.net

Nice Grill

Red Verticals. 1954 Only

Pure 3/4 Ton

Running Boards with Bed Liner Material

Correct Yellow Pure Bed

Factory Accessory Side Mount. See Center Stake Pocket

Sport Wheels

3/4 Ton Column Shift, etc.

Jack in the Box

Correct Right Mirror Arm

Lots of Room in Seat Back


Monday, June 30th, 2014


During the recent 2014 annual convention of the American Truck Historical Society in Springfield, Missouri, hundreds of large and small trucks from over the US were in sight! This number is only found at this once a year convention in a different city each year.
As people walked through rows of so many older trucks several seemed to be at the top for getting the most attention. With several there was just something more special. Colors, workmanship and a unique body style combined to create these more popular trucks.
From this top group, it was easy to pick our Feature Truck of the Month for July – a pristine 1950 Chevrolet Cab Over Engine (COE) with optional power lift grain bed. Wheel base 158”, (see the 5700 emblems on the hood) and the factory color of mariner blue. The proud owner and restorer is Kent Zimmerman of Mesa, Arizona.
Kent retired 5 months before as a 30 year career pathologist in a local medical facility. His retirement gift to himself was to transport his now new COE to the largest truck convention in the world.
As an outlet from his sometimes strenuous job, Kent has enjoyed collecting and repairing older trucks. During his career, he has obtained: 1942 Chevy ½ ton, 1947 Diamond T and 1951 Chevrolet ½ ton.
The more he became involved with trucks the more his attention moved to Chevrolet COE trucks. Their appearance and good parts availability convinced him. He wanted one! His two year hunt was for an all original COE that had very few modifications. He looked at so many either personally or in photos.
His discovery was in western Minnesota near Fargo, South Dakota (a long way from home in Arizona). It had been a grain farm truck used mostly at harvest time each year in Eastern South Dakota.
When Kent saw the COE for sale it was love at first sight! He not only wanted to own it but made a decision to turn it into a new 65 year old. It would not be work but rather relaxation from a very responsible position as a pathologist. One of the attached photos show it on its way home to Arizona.
Once it was home, the planning for the restoration began. Parts were gathered, rebuilding contacts were found and more detailed studying was done to help lessen mistakes.
Piece by piece the disassembly occurred. Most of the COE was pure untouched. As a seasonal harvest truck most of its life had been in the owner’s barn off season. Much wear was certainly showing but most items were still in place as they left the factory in 1950. The more Kent got into the project, the more he enjoyed his first full restoration project. Of course, his workshop became covered with COE parts as the project continued. Even some items were hanging from the building rafters.

To restore the Load King Grain bed just as it had been since new, Kent was in luck. The metal black band around the wood floor was mostly repairable but any part that moved needed to be refabricated such as the hinges that are part of the bed tilting. There was enough wood still there for patterns. It could be replaced just like it was produced 60 years ago! One change: He made it 8” shorter so he could then use a center factory rear view mirror in the cab.
The bed decals showed just enough lettering and color to make perfect new ones. See the before and after photos. The Load King Co. of Sioux City, Iowa would be proud!
The bed also had a lift powered by a 1950 Lundell hydraulic cylinder. Kent’s surprise was that it operated perfectly even after setting in the Arizona desert heat for 3 years until it was checked. The exterior cylinder assembly was totally restored and special made Lundell decals were created.
Yes, this grain truck even came with the General Motors 2 speed vacuum operated differential for more hauling capacity. Unfortunately, it gives the truck a lower speed gear for work and not a higher speed for the road.
The interior. WOW! Look what a professional pathologist can do on his time off. It is a rare Advance Design truck interior that is restored with such perfection. Even the handle on the hand brake lever has been re-chromed. The horizontal ridges on the radio speaker grill and glove box door blend together perfectly. The seats are covered with the proper Spanish Grain Maroon Vinyl.
Looking deeper into the mechanicals, Kent discovered the 235 low oil pressure engine in an original COE had been replaced in prior years with an upper power range 235 cubic inch high pressure engine from a 1958 Chevrolet. It appears to have been professionally rebuilt by someone earlier. Kent tested the compression, vacuum and plastigaged the bearings. All were found to be within specs, therefore with a reassembly plus a major cleanup and detailing it was almost new. The ease of exchange requires no motor mount altering. He used a short shaft water pump and eliminated the cutting of the upper air dam. Kent is very satisfied finding a larger six cylinder engine that gives this COE the power and the additional speed it needs on most of today’s better roads. On the level it can reach 55 mph. This truck even retains its 6 volt system. With the proper 6 volt extra grounding, it starts just like in 1950. (With no effort)
A unique upgrade are the wheels. Kent chose to replace the factory split rims with non-splits. He sent the truck’s wheels to a specialized California Company. To the original centers they attached 22.5 inch outer rims. Low profile Goodyear radial tires gave the COE the same height as GM’s 20” split rims. A perfect equivalent! The result is much better road handling.
Because of limited room in the engine compartment, GM was forced to place the oil bath air filter to the lower rear. There is an air tube from the carburetor to this oil bath air filter. Look at the orange decal. Very unusual. Yes, Kent also had these made! Also changed from a conventional truck is the location of the horns, oil filter, hand brake lever, and wiper motor. See Photos!
During our several discussions with Kent, his opinion on restoration was very important. He was very serious when he said “As I sat behind a desk for 30 years and did this major 4 year restoration after hours, it was nothing anyone else couldn’t do. I am an amateur and hope to inspire others to do this”.
Kent feels there are several points should exist for an individual restoration to be successful.
– Most Important! You must really enjoy the restoration process.
– Don’t do it just to get away from your daily routine. You may get tired of the project.
– Remember this is a hobby. If it gets to be a job you should stop and just think about it for a few days.
– Get to know locals that are specialized in different segments of your restoration needs. They are the experts in what will be very difficult for the inexperienced.
– If this fits you’re personally, go for it, and make great memories.

You can contact Kent Zimmerman at 1950coe@gmail.com.

Special Photos of Kent’s COE

Coming Home
Before Kent Zimmerman
After Kent Zimmerman
Correct Cotton Cover Wires. Nice!
Most Controls Close Together
Shift Mechanism
Hand Brake at Left of Pedals
Horn on Firewall. No room on engine!
Electric assist wiper motor & oil filter on firewall
Hood Up!
Hood hold open lever
The Lower Door Hinge is Bent by GM to Fit
New oil bath air cleaner decal
Stair Steps to the Cab – Plus New 22.5 Wheel and Tire
Your arm helps pull you up
New Load King Grain Bed
New side view
Authentic New Decal
The bed tilting cylinder is new again
Here’s Looking at You!
Relates to the Long 158″ WB



During mid-September 2015 Kent Zimmerman was at the annual Midwest All Truck National’s in Riverside, Missouri. What made his attendance so unusual was how he got to the show. Being a “real” early Chevy truck enthusiast, he decided to drive there from his home in Mesa, Arizona to the show near Kansas City, Missouri, a distance of 1,200 miles one way.

The decision was made to drive his all original 1951 Chevy ½ ton and come by himself. What a go getter! This little ½ ton has its original 216 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine with Babbitt bearing non-insert rods and close drive shaft. As Kent said “In their day they used these engines and closed drive shafts in cars and trucks all over the USA”. The key is not to push them to freeway speeds. Kent used the back roads, kept speeds to about 55 mph, and enjoyed seeing the countryside. A wonderful adventure!

During a discussion at the Riverside show, Kent had a trouble free trip and had enjoyed every minute of this 2 ½ day drive. The pickup was restored about 25 years ago before Kent bought it. Below are a few photos of this ½ ton setting among the many other trucks at the show.

Pure 1951 in Seacrest Green


Correct 1951-53 taillight bracket that pulls the housing beside stake pocket.
Protects light when bumper is absent.

Left rear fender in Seacrest Green.

Cars in Cuba

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Since the year 2000, we have posted almost 150 “Feature Trucks of the Month” articles from 1934 to 1972 Chevrolet and GMC. These remain in our website archives on oldchevytrucks.com.

This month we are going out of the loop and for this one time only are featuring some special cars of the 1950’s in the mystery country of Cuba. We thought this might be of interest to so many that have only heard stories of this nearby country.

During a recent US Government approved tour of Cuba (90 miles south of Florida) so many American cars of the 1950’s were seen operating daily. About 20% of their very low car population is still 1950’s vintage. These “Yank Tanks” (slang for American post war cars) continue to be important for the islands transportation.

When the US began the still existing Embargo in 1961, Cuba auto dealers could no longer offer US cars or their repair parts. They were out of business! However, the cars they once sold are still on the island. Replacement parts are almost non available.  Their repair items are limited to several well picked over salvage yards, are homemade, or late model car parts are forced to be modified to “fit close”.

Looking original is not even a factor. Most just want their car to get them from point A to point B. One exception has recently surfaced due to the increase in tourist trade from so many non US countries. Cubans have found the interest in “Yank Tanks” so strong some cars are being used as taxis to transport visitors, in the capitol city of Havana.  They are everywhere in the small towns just being family carts.

The following photo gallery will give examples of how people with little income have kept their 50 year old cars on the road. We attempted to divide them as per the manufacturer and hope there is not too many mistakes. Beginning with the more basic taxis used by a few of the Cuban people, we move up to the larger 50 year olds.


These 4 taxis wait at an intersection for a fare.

No horses in the big city of Havana. Thus the driver uses ‘pedal power’.

Here comes more ‘pedal power’.

Looking at the back of the big city ‘pedal power’.

Modern one cylinder taxis can seat 4 people.
The Ultimate! Modified big car for hauling customers!
Home made top and rear door from something!
This white 1959 convertible is his pride and joy.

This about 1950 is the best the owner can do with the parts available.

His 1955 just keeps rolling.

Their 1959 Revolution Hero. Che Guevari is on the hood.

Nice Straight body on this 1955.

Being a taxi helps with expenses.

An ornament on the ornament.

Roll and Pleat Upholstery.

We wondered if a top was under the boot.

83 year old Model A Ford. Uses a recycled 4 cylinder volkswagen engine.

1948 Sedan, not too bad!
This owner was so proud of his little 1954 sedan.

Truck Trim

Wing vent plastic is all cracks!

Nice Dash.

Re-do Upholstery.
1957 One of the better cars. Chevy hood ornament? One wiper!.

1957 Ford has been cared for.

Keys got lost. A screwdriver works!

A lens from where?

Not a bad re-do job.

This 1946 has a straight body.

As good as most US originals.

This 1952 Pontiac has a very straight
original grill.

A Silver Streak, probably US made, with unusual tail light lenses.

Column Shaft wore out. It now has a nice floor shift.

A 6 bolt wheel and drum on a 5 bolt car! What is this? 1/2 ton pickup?

The hood opens in reverse.

Look at that bumper!
Chrysler Products
They love their little Plymouth.

a “Yank Tank” with fins is the ultimate!

An Ornament on a Ornament.

Cuban’s love these!
Willy’s Jeep

Straight front fenders date this little people hauler.
Only a few early Europeans are on the roads.

Nice 1953 convertible.

If you need a steering column try this late model.

WOW! A real column shift! (1958)

Almost no column shifts remain. Worn out, they have been replaced by floor shifters.

A better 1951 with Cuban rear turn signals.

Trying to make a little money with his 1950.
More Chevrolets!

Extra cooling fan. Whats under the hood?

1952 with 6 bolt wheels and 1/2 straight axile. Now that was a project!

Maybe a trip is coming!

1953 – Not bad..

Wish he had more 1951 parts!

“Whiskey dent” on a 1953

This 1951 owner wanted a Vacuum gauge bad.

1953 good looking dash!
More Chevrolets!

This clean 1954 is ready to carry tourists.

The famous 235 six cylinder engine. They’re almost bullet proof!

A very straight 1951 front end! Silver paint covers poor chrome.

How could they have ever dented the heavy center floor hump?

Needs new upholster never stops. (See new floor shift.)

Could this be!
The inner and outer door panels are separating.

More “whiskey dents” with hammer repairs.
Miscellaneous Do-Dads

What make is this?

Modified to haul many people face to face.

Get the most from Upholstery.

Two screws save the trunk lid hinge.

Carved Wooden Armrest.

Cuban rear turn signals.
Togetherness at the taxi stand each morning.
The street vendor’s truck is the only pickup we found.
Remember paper mache.

1958 Chevrolet Cameo

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

It is a clear September weekend in Pierce, Nebraska.  Over 7,000 people have gathered to be a part of the most unique car auctions in our country’s history.  They had come from most all US States and several countries to be in an open field at the edge of the town between the community golf course and a major size corn field.  No spring crops planted here in anticipation of this large auction!  Even the bare ground has been leveled to bare dirt for a smooth walking surface.  Yes, mud was an issue as it rained the night before.  Most of us walked with a large amount of mud attached to our shoe soles.

Here in many long even rows are 496 old collectable cars and trucks that were the remaining vehicles of the Lambrecht Chevrolet Dealership of 50 years(1946-1996)plus another 17 years when they were a used auto dealer.   When the dealership closed, 30 of the new untitled 50 year old Chevrolets were stored.  Some alongside of the building and inside the dealership; most used and some new vehicles were on the family farm.  There they remained for many, many years until this special weekend – September 28th and 29th, 2013.  Ray & Mildred Lambrecht the founders, now in their 90’s, decided it was time to share their collection with other hobbyist and enthusiasts.

Videos were shown weeks before the sale of the lengthy process it took for dozers and chain saws to remove the 25 year old trees and brush that had grown around the hundreds of stored vehicles on the farm.  Then they had to be individually hauled to the auction site after it had been prepared for the crowd.

The over 450 of cars and trucks had a hard life in the growing forest that surrounded them for over 35 years.  Most people were not aware they existed.  A few that did years ago, had removed all the radiators for the extra salvage value of brass.

Lambrecht Chevrolet

The Beginning

Lambrecht Chevrolet in background, 1953

Doors remained locked, 2013

Vehicle storage, Cameo in the back

After vehicles taken to the auction

Prior workshop

Original lobby
Ray and Mildred Lambrecht’s children in a new Corvette peddle car (about 1959)
Less than 36 Corvette peddle cars were produced! Sold at the auction for $13,000.)

Our Feature Truck for November 2013 was one of the more special vehicles in this world famous auction, a 1958 Chevrolet Cameo pickup with 1.3 miles on the odometer! Color: Dawn Blue and Jet Black.  As it is the lowest mile Cameo in the world, it will now set the future judging standards as to what is correct in 1958 total restorations.  The interior was so new it had the original thin clear plastic temporary covers over the seats that were added at the factory 55 years ago.  As originally added by the factory, the rubber floor mat was still rolled behind the seat cushion to protect it from the feet of delivery employees in 1958.  The factory window sticker remained in place.

As is correct for all early GM pickups, the bed wood is painted.   It is never given a clear coating to show off the wood grain.  In all GM pickups after about 1940, the wood of choice was hard yellow pine from the factory.

A few other facts that should be of interest on this special 1958 Cameo:

  • The dual headlight rings are painted white not chromed.
  • Hood hinge assembles are zinc plated, not painted black.
  • The 235 six cylinder engine is gray, not blue.
  • The steering wheel and column is black, not interior color.
  • The latch receiver plate in the hood is zinc plated, not painted black.
  • Hub caps are the base painted units, but are chrome.
  • The bow-tie emblem on the bed sides is black, red on the tailgate.
  • The same material placed on the seats also covers the door panels.
  • To lessen light reflection, the top of the dash is flat black, not interior color.
  • Outside mirror arms are black, not chrome.

In viewing the Cameo the day before the auction we could see it had been left outside (probably beside the closed dealership) about 5 years before placed inside.  It was nice but certainly not perfect for the 1.3 odometer miles. The chrome in places was now showing some dull weak areas.  Bed boards were beginning to raise and separate near the front bed panel. Signs of standing rain water in the bed (maybe with long periods of tree leaves) had certainly taken its toll.  The two top bedside chrome plated strips showed pitting from outside storage.

Unfortunately when inside the building something very heavy had dropped on its top many years ago with major damage that also broke the windshield. Another small dent was on the right rear. How could that happen?

Its 235 six cylinder engine appears to have been sprayed with light oil to protect it from rusting in the dampness outside. Of course, this also attracts quantities of dust over many years. All easy to remove but did not give a good first impression at the sale.

Why did it not get sold at the Lambrecht dealership in the early years?  We suspect paying 25% more for a Cameo that would not carry any more merchandise than a Standard ½ ton greatly limited its interest to buyers. In 1958, small farming communities considered a pickup for work only. There was no enthusiasm for a “Boulevard Pickup” in Pierce, Nebraska. It didn’t even have a 4 speed which was the transmission of choice when you hauled local merchandise or farm products.  Why was it not wholesaled to a larger city Chevrolet dealer that year?  Possibly the more expensive Cameo with a six cylinder engine, 3 speed column shift transmission and no radio was not in their interest and Ray Lambrecht refused to sell below his cost. It is suspected this Cameo had no place to go!


This Cameo was the first to be placed in the auction of 496 vehicles. Most of the 7,000 people stood very close to this Cameo and a moveable flatbed auctioneer trailer. There was little room to turn beyond the exact area each observer was standing. There was no exiting by uninterested persons!

A person there said “If you have a heart attack here, you can’t fall sideways, only drop down. Then how could an ambulance find you?”

On sale day, if you had not looked at the vehicles the day before; you were out of luck. The size of the crowd prevented close viewing of the vehicles before the auctioneers flatbed trailer came even near a soon to be sold truck or car.

The bid started at almost $55,000 for the Cameo due to the online bids that had been occurring the past week. Within 2minutes the bidding had reached $100,000. Then bids continued on a slower pace. Within 10 minutes a new owner had the 1958 Cameo at $140,000! The all-time record for any 1955-58 Cameo to date. (Did Ray Lambrecht get the last laugh?)

The buyer is a New Hampshire hobbyist. He is a serious collector of very low mileage US vehicles.  We were told he plans on keeping it just the way he bought it. The price of shipping to New Hampshire will be insignificant in comparison to the purchase price. And then there is the sales tax on the purchase price.  In most states this will be near $10,000!

The following pictures as well as those of the auction day will give some idea of the (conservatively said) congestion in this farm field at the edge of town. The attached photos of the Cameo were after it was pulled from the retired dealership a few days before the auction.

Before Sale Day — Breathing Room
Auction Day – The crowd is all there!

Pushed back for the Cameo auction
Our Feature Truck — 1958 Chevrolet Cameo with 1.3 Miles
Front Parts

Cameo Rings are white.

Zinc Plated hinge.

3 speed shift box.

Correct Gray 235 Six

Model B Rochester
Interior, It’s New Inside!!!

Yes, it’s 1.3 mile


Cameo material design

Still covered in plastic

Seat material on door panel

Left door

Right door, no armrest

Two stickers on glove box

Floor mat, still rolled-up

Dome light

All black headliner

Very few options
Cameo Bed
Cab damage

1951 Chevy Bus

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Owner: Butch Voigt

This month’s Feature Truck certainly follows our trend of finding the more unusual among early Chevrolet and GMC vehicles.  This may be the only survivor of a 1951 Chevrolet 1 ton with a 16 passenger body. Chevrolet provided the 131” wheel base chassis with fenders, hood, grille, etc. See photo. The passenger part was made by the Carpenter Body Works in Mitchell, Indiana. The bus is so narrow it has the usual row of double seats on one side but has a row of single seats on the other side, thus the isle is not centered.  Any school district that asked for a smaller bus would probably have to use a Suburban.

Much of its life was spent hauling rural school children near Mountain Lake, a small town in Southern Minnesota.  Many years later when the bus was retired, the school district used it 20 more years for hauling freight.  With the seats removed it became the schools maintenance department pickup truck!

The next owner surely saved it from the crusher!  Bruce Goldstrand of Stillwater, MN traveled this area occasionally as an outside salesman.  As an old car collector, when he passed a salvage yard near Mountain Lake he always noticed this little bus sitting among the other discarded vehicles.  After a year of seeing it every few months it began to grow on him and he would watch for it on each trip.  One nice day, he could not resist a stop at the yard for a closer view of the bus.  Bruce knew there was space for it in one of his storage buildings but a bus certainly did not fit the image of the other unique cars in his collection.  He looked close at this little bus and was surprised at how complete it was. Yes, all but two seats were missing (it had later been the school district’s truck), there was broken glass, and badly rusted lower body panels but most of the original parts remained.

Bruce fell in love with the bus; however there was a big problem!  The salvage yard owner said he had received a down payment on it the week before, so Bruce’s hope for ownership was over. He drove home disappointed but gave the yard owner his phone number. Surprise! Two weeks later the salvage yard owner called. The person had changed his mind and Bruce could own the bus.

He quickly hauled his little bus home and made a space for it in a storage building.

The high hopes of having fun driving the little bus to antique car activities were soon lost. Bruce discovered his antique vehicle insurance company for his other older special interest cars would not insure a bus. It was suspected that the company was concerned about many passengers in one vehicle. Probably some had been used as a “party bus”.  Therefore, except for driving on the back lot it sat in his garage for 19 years.

It was then in 2011 Bruce decided he would not restore it. The bus needed a new home to give him more garage space. It was hauled to a local farm show for display with a sign on the window. An employee of a distant school bus collector saw it and made a phone call.  The bus collector-restorer was immediately interested. After negotiations on price, the bus had a new owner the next week.

This owner, Butch Voigt was a natural for owning this 60 year old bus.  Butch is a second generation owner of his family business since it was founded in 1947 as the Voigt Bus Service near St. Cloud, MN.  He has three of his children active in the business and two grandchildren that work part time that will someday be owners of the company.  Their bus company currently owns 75 newer school buses, 40 coaches and 10 vans that serve 4 school districts in the surrounding area.

His love for older school buses had immediately pulled him to Bruce’s tired little bus.  He has 6 other early school buses of different makes that he has totally restored including the 1948 Flexible Coach in the first photo.  This small 16 passenger would be just right for hauling his grandchildren to local sporting events and to the ice cream shop in the summer.

All was carefully rebuilt and reassembled like an oversize model kit.  Nothing was over looked.  His goal was to have it completed and drive it 70 miles to pickup his two grandsons on their last day of school.  It ran great (but slow) during the long distance to the school and was a real eye catcher to those along the way!  The sight of their grandfather after school waiting for these two children in his new 1951 bus should have been on film!

It is so small compared to regular buses today, yet much larger that an early Suburban.  Butch became very excited about his new little bus as it was nothing like he had ever owned.   Butch had his grandchildren in mind but also knew it would be just right for the many small summer parades in the local area, easy to park and easy to drive.

During the restoration the body was lifted from the frame rails and restored in his company bus barn.  Butch personally restored the chassis at his home.  He was surprised that some of the replaced rusty metal panels of this Carpenter body were put together at the factory with lead securing the seams (an old method) rather than welding.  Butch broke all his records and did a ground up restoration in about 6 months.

The bus has one oversize heater beside the driver and none in the back.  We know the students wanted to sit up front on cold Minnesota winter mornings.  It still has its original 216 six cylinder engine and 4 speed transmission.  The low geared rear differential makes it all possible for its little engine.

Notice the orange color on the bus body.  Butch states that in 1969 Federal regulations required all school buses to be the same yellow as today.  However, prior to this only Minnesota and Alaska used orange as their school bus color.  It was the Carpenter Bus Company that painted the body orange.  The black hood from GM was then also change to their orange.

Thanks to Butch Voigt, one of the few remaining 1951 Chevy 16 passenger Carpenter school buses is alive and well.  In fact it is above museum quality!  It is a great addition to his show quality collection of school buses that represent another era of taking children to Minnesota schools.

You can contact Butch Voigt at 1-218-765-3104

As Butch bought it in 2011.

Ready for school.

New bus seats, never used. Exact original interior color.

The large heater is ready. Sitting between the frame rails.

Cooper Lines to large bus heater.



1951 Chevy Bus cont.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Butch was able to provide many photos during the frame up restoration. The following will show many details of the complete restoration.

Many body repairs

Priming is underway

New paint

Mechanicals are perfect


The ultimate detail!
The inside decal is remade – perfect

1958 Chevrolet Cameo

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Owner: Scott Phaneuf

It all began over 30 years ago about 60 miles from Boston, Massachusetts. Scott Phaneuf had begun to accumulate a few rental houses. He had started looking for a pickup truck to help move larger remodeling supplies. Nothing fancy was needed, just a less expensive pickup for hauling lumber, sheetrock, trash, etc.

Then it happened! After checking several older trucks in his city he was told of an unusual late 1950’s pickup in the adjacent town. He found it sitting outside behind a neighborhood garage and not running. The owner called it a 1958 Chevrolet Cameo truck. He said it was very rare and almost none had survived.  Scott immediately was interested. After 2  few phone calls and checking the public library he found it was very unusual truck and was produced at the end of its 3 ½ year production run in the mid-1950s. Scott had to have it!

After towing it home, Scott soon decided it was too unusual to leave so deteriorated. Why not turn it into almost new condition, use it for only light hauling, and have something few people in his area had ever seen. Therefore, in about a year Scott personally restored it to look almost new! It became his special hauler for almost 30 years.

Our story actually begins about 25 years after his first Cameo was purchased. Scott or his wife Donna was looking on Ebay when it was just in its beginnings and saw a 1958 Cameo in Georgia. Why not have another 1958? It would be like a “his and hers” pair of 1958 Cameos. They owned a large garage and had the restoration experience from the first Cameo. They made an Ebay bid and owned it!

When they returned from Georgia with their second Cameo, they decided it would be restored as perfect as they could make it and build it as an all original “show truck”.

Thus, this is our Feature Truck of the Month, the second 1958 Chevrolet Cameo owned by Scott and Donna Phaneuf. Yes, they bought it because it was a rare 1958 but it was also equipped with the optional 283 V-8 engine, a rare Hydramatic transmission, and very rare power steering. Later when they removed the body from the frame, a case of “buyer’s remorse” set in. “What did we do”? The rust was so much worse than their first. The cab floors, lower door hinge supports, and sheet metal corners were rusted beyond repair. Most any lower sheet metal panels needed to be replaced. They had no choice but to continue with the restoration. The truck was now in pieces and would have limited value in parts.

Fortunately Scott and Donna didn’t stop the restoration and they did it together. Several years later it became a near new as you can get. It’s considered Donnas’ truck.

The paint is the correct Tartan Turquoise and Bombay Ivory. Accessories on this already loaded Cameo are radio, fresh air heater, behind the seat tool tray and tool kit. It mostly is kept in their garage, but is occasionally seen at local shows. The main show for 2012 was at the American Truck Historical Society’s national meet in West Springfield, Massachusetts where it was displayed among the best in the country.

For most of us having two very nice 1958 Cameo’s would be the limit of our vehicle collection. But not the Phaneuf’s. No, their collection increased when they later discovered another 1958 Cameo they call #3. It is the rarest of all. Only two were made by General Motors and they were for display at 1958 auto shows. These had fuel injection as was offered as on option of the early Chevrolet Corvette’s with a 283 V-8 engine. After a major restoration it’s a real eye catcher with correct Golden Yellow and Jet Black colors.

A few years ago Scott retired so he now has even more time to spend in the restoration hobby. He recently found #4 1958 Cameo for such a good price he could not resist. It is probably the only Kodiak Brown with Bombay Ivory trim 1958 Cameo in existence. With Scott’s experience, it’s very rough condition and many years of outside storage will allow the Cameo to be restored while most would have called it a total loss.

The BIG restoration of all is now also underway including Cameo #4. How do you transport four Cameos to major shows? Well, Scott quickly has the answer. You move them together like they did 50 years ago. In North Carolina he found a 1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100 tractor and later a 50 year old Anchor car hauler trailer. They fit together perfectly! Won’t that be the show of all shows? Stay tuned for a big future article with photos when all is complete.

Who said you were to sit back in your easy chair when you retired?

You can contact Scott by email at: keyman4885@yahoo.com

1951 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Pickup

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Owners:  Richard and Delores Diestler

It has become a top Wisconsin show truck in less than 2 years!  Twelve shows and eleven trophies. After that came one of the areas largest car and truck shows in Antigo, Wisconsin. Three hundred vehicles and this truck received first place!  You can’t do much better than this!  This show truck is driven to all shows.  No trailering.

Management of Wisconsin’s largest car show and swap meet in Iola heard about this special truck and invited it to be placed in the “Blue Ribbon” section of this non-judging show during July 2012.  This was certainly a special honor.

The truck is a 1951 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pickup. The owners are Richard and Delores Diestler of Schofield, Wisconsin. Their pickup came from a North Dakota farm about 3 years ago and Richard found it on a local snowmobile dealer’s lot.  Richard had wanted to restore an older truck for many years. It was just finding the correct GM truck for this project. The pickup was brought to their home by a tow truck and two other trucks carried in miscellaneous parts that had been removed. Richard had been restoring antique farm tractors so there was some idea of what was ahead.

It required about 2 years (2,500 hours) to complete this ground up restoration.  Richard is retired so he could devote full time to this project. Of course, to make it just right, all was removed to leave the bare frame. The total rebuild began as each part was replaced or repaired.

The cab required the usual replacement of floor metal and cab corners. Building it was like putting together a large model kit! Almost everything was done just like Chevrolet made it over 60 years ago. Even the Forester green paint and maroon Spanish grain seat covering are just right.

The engine remains the correct gray 216 and 4 speed transmission is what the pickup has always had.  A hidden upgrade changed the 4.57 ratio ring and pinion to a 4.10 ratio from a 1972 3/4 ton. This is an exact drop-in and reduces engine speed almost 20%. All is out of sight.

Richard had questions on using the original 15” split ring wheels. They remained part of his restoration project until he found these 8 bolt chrome wheels. These new wheels perfectly fit his ¾ ton drums so he decided on this one visible item that would not be 1951.

Congratulations to Richard and Delores Diestler for such an excellent restoration. A real eye catcher wherever it goes!

If you’d like to contact Richard, his email address is richarddiestler@charter.net.

Note:  This article is by their granddaughter and appeared in a recent issue of the Schofield newspaper.


“On August 19th 2012 two childhood best friends were reunited at the Antigo Car Show. Dick Diestler and John Phillips were both born and raised in Birnamwood, WI. They spent their childhoods together playing and attending school. However, time passed and as usually happens they went their separate ways and lost touch. But their interests still remained similar.

They both married, raised families and then after retirement they both began restoring trucks. Dick began restoring a 1951 Chevy and John a 1946 Chevy. When they were finished they began showing them at car shows around the state until they both ended up in Antigo together. The perfect ending to their reunion came at the awards show where they were both awarded trophies.

Dick received 1st place in the 1900-1966 stock division for his 1951 Chevy 3600 and John received 1st place in the commercial one ton and overstock division for his 1946 Chevy 1-1/2 ton. They both continue to show their trucks at local car shows and more importantly they are now back in touch. Congratulations to both my Grandpa Dick and his friend John on their beautiful trucks. And thank you for proving that lasting friendship knows no limitations and that includes time.”

1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Owners: John and Michele Dunkirk

1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

We have always assumed that less than 100 Advance Design Canopy Express trucks remain. If you ever see one restored or not restored, you should stop and take note. They are a part of our nation’s history. They carried groceries in neighborhoods with one car families during the years they were built. The husbands drove the family car to work and the ladies were housewives. Grocers knew if they were to stay in business they must drive their Canopy Express to housing areas displaying and delivering food. Our feature truck is probably the most complete and perfect restored example in existence!

It is owned and has been restored by John and Michele Dunkirk of Southampton, New York. His desire to have a Canopy Express was because his first vehicle was this body style. In the 1960’s few people had an interest in this unique older body design as a used vehicle! Thus, it was the least expensive vehicle John could buy during his later high school years. After 2 years of use he sold it to an auto junk yard for $15.00.

After completing restoration on a beautiful 1954 Chevrolet ½ ton about 15 years ago, (they still have it) John continued to think about his first vehicle in high school. The restoration bug had now bitten John and he wanted to do another Advance Design truck. Yes, he decided it had to be a 1947-53 Canopy Express. The problem, there were none! They were built for work and a first owner wanted them to look their very best doing neighborhood grocery marketing. Sad but true, there was almost no interest in a second hand Canopy Express. Within 5 years the wood and canvas side curtains began deteriorating. The wooden rear floor now stayed wet from rain and snow and mechanical maintenance requirements were beginning. The Canopy Express had reached the end of a short life.

John’s several year hunt ended in Florida from a small magazine advertisement. The way the owner described it, made the truck sound like a real one! He drove almost 800 miles one way to see it. A great surprise, it was the real thing and a 1953. As he looked at the total package, it seemed so deteriorated! It would need it all and a little more. At the time, John thought this must be about the only one left in the world so the damage from age and abuse was overlooked.

The restoration went “full steam ahead”. No nut or bolt would be left untouched. It was like building a large model kit after the parts were restored. They soon realized what a big project they were into, however there was no turning back. Otherwise only a pile of parts would remain for salvage.

After almost 5 years including 500 hours in bodywork and painting plus another 1,000 hours in all the other parts of the restoration, the 1953 Canopy is now a “Work of Art”. It is one of the top attractions at all shows! The finished vehicle is now basically as it was when new. A great inline six cylinder motor is just broke in. Of course, the 4 speed transmission was a necessity on a Canopy Express. The low speed first gear was for slow moving through the neighborhood while displaying grocery products. The paint is a correct 1953-55 Chevrolet truck color, Transport Blue. John added one change to the restoration, it originally had a single bucket seat. He used a full pickup seat, so he and Michele could attend distant shows together. The white wall tires were a non-GM accessory but local tire shops could have installed them after the canopy was bought. This would make the truck more of an attention getter when selling merchandise in the neighborhoods.

There are several large expenses “not” mentioned that aren’t included in the 1,500 hours restoration time. The most costly expense was the acquisition of a Canopy Express tailgate. John’s Canopy Express came with the tailgate missing! How could he spend so much time and money on this project and then be stopped without a tailgate? He had no idea this part would be so difficult to locate. He continued with the restoration assuming the gate would be found by the end of the project. It wasn’t. The Dunkirk’s hauled it to New England shows for 2 years after completion with no tailgate! No matter how hard he researched, there was no gate to be found. They even took it to Stowe, Vermont twice for the most attended antique car and truck show of the summer. It received second place in the commercial class for both years. Still no tailgate!

On one summer weekend it was taken to the large monthly Hemming’s Car Show in Bennington, Vermont were it was placed in the top ten vehicles.

Numerous local shows on Long Island, NY also saw this little canopy for the evening. Actually, part of the reason for many of the shows was to try to get a lead on a tailgate.

Finally, a few years later another small magazine advertisement led to a tailgate. An un-restored complete Canopy Express with a tailgate was for sale in Southern California. The problem: John and his wife, Michele were in Southampton, New York. There was no choice. They flew across the country to see it! It was found to be well worn as John’s had been but it had a tailgate. As they arranged commercial transportation to New York, we assume John remembered he sold his first canopy to a salvage yard for $15.00. When it reached New York a few weeks later, John and his body man finally agreed and accepted the bad news. The inner tailgate panel had been beat so bad that the dings, tears, and holes made it un-restorable. Without this inner panel, there could be no tailgate. What a disappointment! What happens next?

One day a lucky thing happened! With research John discovered the tailgate from a 1947-55 Suburban is the same in the lower 2/3 as a Canopy Express. With almost as much effort as finding the Canopy gate, John finally traded for a damaged Suburban tailgate. A restorable inner panel was now in his possession. He could cut it shorter and make a new inside gate panel for his Canopy. The truck could be completed!

Next project; Finding the artificial fruit and vegetables to display were the easy part. Locating mint condition grocery boxes of the 1950’s was another story. John and Michele attended many flea markets and garage sales. The boxes had to be of wood of the 1950’s and their colorful paper labels perfect. They soon found the best sources were estate sales. Most wood boxes and labels had survived because they had been put in attics and basements 50 years and used for storing merchandise. At these sales, John and Michele bought the boxes when they could and not the miscellaneous items they contained.

Now that the total restoration is completed a big appreciation for help go to Trevor and Stephanie Mercer that worked side by side with the Dunkirk’s during the 500 hours spent. Gene “The Tool Guy”, handmade the many panels (body, tailgate repairs, and floor) to replace those so badly rusted. Reproductions were not available.

During the 3 years it has been totally restored the Dunkirk’s are occasionally asked “What does it take to build a truck like this”. They quickly say “Just the money invested is over $50,000. This does not include the tailgate trip to California with return truck line freight, the drive to Florida to find the Suburban,  plus finding the many distant flea markets while on a “grocery box hunt”. Then we come to the value of their time in the 5 year ground up restoration. Just make a guess of the investment! It all started with John’s first truck in high school.

You can contact John and Michele at : micheleant@hotmail.com

1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express
1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

1947-55 Chevrolet Panel/Pickup

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Owner: Rod Lentz

1947 – 1955 Chevrolet
We met the owner, Rod Lentz of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania at the recent Spring Carlisle Event in April 2012. It was a pleasure hearing of his lifelong enjoyment of owning and restoring older vehicles, especially the 1947-55 Chevrolet Advance Design body style. He became talented in most all mechanical and body repairs. However, he gradually began to think the best of both worlds would be a 1947-53 body with more modern street rod components.

Then one day it happened! He saw the first GM ads showing their soon to be released SSR truck in 2004. He was overtaken with interest. It would be so great to own a new Chevy truck that looked much like the 60 year original and have all the options we have today. He had to have one!!

Later in the year at the unveiling of the new SSR, Rod was a little disappointed. It looked much less like the older trucks he grew up with and the price was well, shall we say not reachable. He realized he would not be owning the SSR that he had been building himself up to own. What now? With his many years of experience with older cars and now being a mechanic at a local Chevrolet dealership, why not build one? He would create his own version of an SSR. It would be updated, and still quickly recognizable as an Advance Design truck.

So it’s 6 years later and Rod’s new SSR is placed on the road. It is truly a vehicle that stops traffic and creates crowds at all antique car shows. Nothing has ever been seen like this. GM should have had this vehicle as a guide to build their SSR!

For more details on Rod’s SSR, check the following to learn some of his secrets:

Rod saw a newspaper ad for some stored unlicensed older vehicles about 10 miles from his home. A 1949 deluxe 5 window Chevrolet had some restoration potential, however a nearby 1948 ½ ton panel truck was far from rebuilding. The owner had not yet called a metal recycler to remove the remaining parts. He told Rod if he would buy the pickup, the parts of the panel truck would be free. This offer and Rod’s creative ideas made the deal. The two vehicles could maybe be combined to create a one of a kind truck that looked more like it came from a Chevrolet dealership 60 years ago and definitely resemble the newly introduced SSR truck.

Good luck! As Rod suspected, the pickup cab width is the same as the panel truck. This was important in grafting the sides to the pickup. The floor was too deteriorated in the panel so it was here Rod got even more creative. He found a used metal floor from a newer used pickup and cut the edges to be just right for the panel truck body. The whole package was sandblasted, patched, and primed before attaching it to the pickup. Yes, it also attached to the frame rails! GM made it that way.

Notice the rear of the bed. Do you recognize some of the remains of the two barn doors from the panel truck? Of course, they fit perfectly because they were from the parts Rod received with the panel truck body! He welded the two halves together to make one panel and then made them into a fold down hinged tailgate.

To help create a little more of the SSR proportions, the top was lowered 2” and the doors widened 4”. What a job! The dash of the 1949 was replaced with one from a 1957 Chevy car.

The engine is as unique as the hand crafted body. Rod found a new 292 six cylinder at a nearby Chevrolet dealership. This is the big six for large trucks and school buses from 1963 through the early 1980’s. He added a 4 barrel Offenhouser intake manifold and Edlebrock carburetor plus a dual exhaust system. The appropriate chrome and polished metal give it that special appearance that is so different than a V-8 engine. Just this power plant alone makes it a real “crowd stopper” at any auto show! The highway performance is amazing! A few V-8 engines might be able to keep up with it.

The floor shift transmission is the current popular T-5 five speed from an early S-10 Chevrolet truck. Its overdrive 5th gear gives the panel/pickup the little extra on the highway and helps lower engine RPM. The shift lever comes out of the floor in just the correct factory position.

Rod used a 1980’s aluminum Corvette differential that gives the truck higher highway speed. The front suspension is also all aluminum as removed from a 1984 Corvette. Modern all disc brakes and 5 bolt 16” wheels add to the package.

Look at those unique headlights. The headlight holes in the front fender were slightly enlarged and now they secure the light assemblies from a Volkswagen New Beatle.

By using two mufflers from a US made Victory motorcycle on the dual exhaust system, the sound is just right. There is no comparison to the sound from a V-8 engine.

The photos tell the story. Rob has a SSR that looks like the 1950’s.

You can contact him at: rnclentz@comcast.net

1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet
1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet 1947 – 1955 Chevrolet

1957 Chevrolet Suburban

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Owner: Norman Smith

1957 Chevrolet Suburban
This month’s feature truck is one of the nation’s finest 1957 Chevrolet Suburbans. We saw it for the first time about 1994, shortly after its total ground-up restoration. It remains in its pristine condition today and still almost looks like the day it left the factory.

The owner is Norman Smith of Denver, Colorado. As a lifelong old car enthusiast, Norm has restored and owned other Chevrolet vehicles but the Suburban is by far the most perfect in his history. He went all out to make it like new.

Found in a local newspaper ad in1983, it was in such poor condition Norm had questions on owning it. But, where do you find a Suburban even in 1983?  Its prior owner had used it to carry products to local flea markets. Thus, two rear seats were gone. Electrical shorts in the old wiring prevented it from starting after the battery lost its charge in about 12 hours. Of course, having been driven daily in Denver winters, the 25 year old vehicle was full of rust. So, the bargain price of $400 may have been correct.

The more Norm looked at it at home, the more he liked it. He had always wanted a Suburban and only he saw the potential of making it look excellent. In fact, Norm soon decided to restore it all the way! He would go down to the bare frame and work to have a new 1957 Chevrolet Suburban. There would be no exceptions to the rule.

First, extensive research would be required to not make mistakes. Norm spent a great deal of time in the library looking over Chevrolet manuals and visiting many salvage yards for answers. Few personal computers existed in the 1980s and digital cameras to keep records did not exist. Norm used the telephone and US mail to gain parts and knowledge. This is just the way it was done before computers.

He had done upgrades on early Chevrolets, but nothing would be like this. Time was not a problem. Getting it right was a challenge.

This nine year project was completed in 1992. His heart and mind had always been on his Suburban restoration. It is doubtful Norm’s employer ever knew they weren’t first in his mind.

The finished product is just like it rolled off the assembly line. The exterior is the correct 1957 truck cardinal red. The gray interior and gray vinyl covered three row seats are just right.

Factory options include; a 265 cubic inch V-8 (the more long-lived 283 was first offered in trucks in 1958), 4-speed transmission, chrome bumpers, grille, hub caps, and dash knobs, plus an electric wiper motor.

Dealer installed Chevrolet accessories are; chrome wheel rings, hood rockets, fresh-air heater, AM radio, spotlight, cigarette lighter, right-side rearview mirror, turn signals, plus passenger side arm rests and sunvisor.  It doesn’t take one’s imagination to realize the trophies and related awards he and his Suburban have received in the Colorado area since 1992.

An example of Norm’s requirement to have a new 1957 Suburban is the long one piece of ribbed, black rubber mat GM used between the middle seat and tailgate. It is not available anywhere! After much thinking on what to do, Norm came up with a theory that turned out to be perfect. He ordered a piece of heavy linoleum that was used on theater stages and dance studios. This is thick and has the same black color all the way through. A professional carpenter was found that was the best at using a wood router. This high-speed cutter made perfect factory grooves in the linoleum. Norm had just enough of the original rubber mat up by the middle seat so he knew his new handmade mat was show quality.

Because of Norm Smith’s strong interest in early American vehicles, he also does restoration work for others.  He operates a small shop that makes customers cars look like new. You can contact Norm Smith at his email address; snecorp@aol.com.

Note: Another example of Norm Smith enjoying the unusual is in storage beside his Suburban. This is his 1956 Chevrolet four-door right-hand drive passenger car he bought many years ago during a visit to Australia. I’m sure this was a significant cost to ship this vehicle from the other side of the world!  We can just imagine the attention this vehicle receives on the streets of Denver, Colorado.

1957 Chevrolet Suburban 1957 Chevrolet Suburban 1957 Chevrolet Suburban
1957 Chevrolet Suburban 1957 Chevrolet Suburban 1957 Chevrolet Suburban

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton, South America

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
It’s the most southern town in the world, Punta Arenas, Chile. During February 2012 we are touring a sheep farm at the edge of the community. The exhibit in an adjacent barn is showing the sheering procedure to remove the one year growth of wool from a large male sheep.

After the demonstration, our attention turns to the back of the barn. As we walk around a partition, what a surprise! There sits a licensed un-restored 1953 Chevrolet ½ ton! This approximately 60 year old truck is said to be used weekly for driving to the town for supplies, church, or just for pleasure. To be honest, during most of their winter (over 60% of the year) it is kept in storage. It still has its original 216 six cylinder engine and 3 speed column shift transmission with closed drive shaft. Can there be any better example of the bullet proof construction of these little Chevrolet trucks?

The pickup has never been restored, but non-GM upgrades have been added over the years to replace worn parts. At the southern tip of Chile, you use what can be found to keep vehicles operating!

The changes are what we have often seen in the US as these trucks were kept roadworthy with limited expense. Our walk around this ½ ton shows the following:

New larger park lights allow for modern turn signals.

12 Volt battery.

A replacement floor mat has been cut from a larger rubber sheet.

In recent years, the red paint was added to freshen up the appearance.

It has chrome spoke wheels; however the originals (two have snow tires) are stored in the bed.

Look at the tail lights. Whatever they are from, they will certainly be seen!

The optional rear bumper has a replacement from some make of car.

A bracket from a 1941-1946 to help hold the hand crank has been welded to the middle of the front bumper.

The shoulder belts appear to be attached to the interior panel with sheet metal lag bolts. You can’t add a nut between the sealed inner and outer metal panels. We question if this bolt would stay in place during a major accident.

Look! A 4 speed shift knob from somewhere on the 3 speed column shift lever.

A 1947-48 Chevrolet car steering wheel. Was this a left over item used at the factory on this import pickup?

The bedwood required replacing. Thus, wood planks with no bed strips.

What unusual pedal pads.

In the most southern town in the world, you use the side mirrors you can find.

A modern third brake light is secured to the rear window.

Look at the unusual inner fender terminal blocks. With new recent wiring something had to be found.

A 1951-52 Chevy car hood emblem fits close but not exact.

All dash gauges are on the metric system.

In the US the Chevrolet original dash oil gauge face reads 0 to 30 pounds because of the low pressure216 engine. Using the metric system the gauge must read 0 to 60 as does our feature truck. Therefore, this is the same gauge face as used in the 1952-53 GMC trucks in the US with the high oil pressure engine. What a coincidence!

The most interesting is a pair of 1951 doors (pull down handles) are on this 1953. It should have push button handles. Of course, this is an export truck, no doubt the assembly line in 1953 used extra parts available to create this pickup to be sold in other countries.

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

US temp with
metric oil gauge

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Metric speedometer

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

1947-48 Car steering wheel

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Hand crank bracket

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Aftermarket taillight
and bumper

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Modern turn signals

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
The 1953 side mount
is correct
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Modern shoulder belt
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
A 4 speed knob
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
The A third brake light
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Replacement bed floor
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Much like US
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
This 1953 has a
wide belt water pump
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Dress up chrome wheels
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Add on mirror brackets
  1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
Unusual terminal blocks

1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Owner: Cecil White, South Africa

1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup

We always try to find more unusual GM haulers for our Feature Truck of the Month series.  This design of the 1959 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup has probably never been seen in the United States.  You would need to travel to Africa to find another!

It was made at the GM assembly plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa as were thousands of others at that time.  Because the country of South Africa was influenced by England, their vehicles were and still are all right-hand drive to operate perfectly on their roads.

Our feature truck is owned by Cecil White of Rivonia, South Africa.  He is a strong Chevrolet truck enthusiast.  He bought this little 1959 two years ago to drive while his 1941 1/2 ton is being given a ground up restoration.  Cecil states it is about all original except the paint and upholstery.  Its 235 six cylinder engine and three speed column shift operate like new. The 85,500 miles on the speedometer relates to only 1,650 miles per year!

Though much is like the US version, it has several areas that are South Africa only. The stepside bed is a real focal point. The South Africa plant produced them during these years with a ribbed metal bottom and not the wood plank type.  How unique to a US truck owner.

The right-hand drive system is always an attention getter in the US. The dash was redesigned by GM as are some of the steering components. No place provided for a radio or a deluxe fresh air heater. The knobs are the same as US but positioned differently.

Cecil made a special comment on not only the bed floor but the tailgate. This South African tailgate has inside chains and a pair of large hinged handles which latch when the gate is closed.  What an unusual feature on a US truck this would be when an owner wanted his pickup a little different than original!

Several years ago, it was given new paint but was kept the original Dawn Blue.  This is a perfect match for the color of the untouched horn button.

The ID plate remains on the left door post like in the US, but confirms it was assembled in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Note the left hand column shift.  Wouldn’t that make the US brain say “Why are you reaching for the left side to shift?”  The clutch and acceleration linkage must be for right-hand drive only.  They required some real engineering to accomplish this feat!

Cecil White is always available for questions at:  whiteadjust@yebo.co.za

1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup 1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup
1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup 1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup
1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup 1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup
1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup

1954 Chevrolet Deluxe

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Owner:  Pat Jackson

It’s mid 1954 and there is a growing segment of the US that for the first time has some disposable income.

This was part of a post Korean War boom that had never been seen before. General Motors recognized this. More automotive options that were available were selling well!

Thus, a relative inexpensive gamble was made by the Chevrolet truck division of GM. Just maybe some light truck buyers would prefer a pickup with most accessories as standard equipment. For an extra cost you could receive a package of accessories even though they had nothing to do with the work ability of the pickup.

This gave birth to Chevrolet’s Deluxe pickup truck in mid-year 1954. On this pickup, you didn’t order specific accessories. The appearance items all came standard for one price! The new Deluxe pickups are not shown in most 1954 Chevrolet truck brochures. They were introduced in mid-year, long after the dealer brochures were printed for the beginning of the 1954 truck year.

Pat Jackson of Johnstown, Ohio found one of these Deluxe 1954 pickups in a central Texas ad about 2004. He trailered it back over 1,000 miles and thought it would be great to totally restore a pure 1954 Deluxe. Most all was there. It just had been exposed to almost 60 years of weather and regular use. It would be like assembling a big model kit but each part would be carefully restored to be just like it come from the factory. No exceptions. It would even have the correct black painted bedwood. Unfortunately, he later discovered much rust and bondo in the cab but was too late to turn back. Patch panels would be needed.

Chevrolet and Pat Jackson’s Deluxe 1954 pickup includes item that were usually extra cost such as; a chrome grill, stainless steel windshield and side window trim, a right side sunvisor , right taillight, chrome bumpers, and right arm rest.

Only the Deluxe package included the following and are now on this 1954: cloth seat inserts, lower body color on the running boards, a different color interior, matching door panels and headliner, interior color steering wheel and column. One very difficult to find item in this Deluxe package is the colored floor mat. It has not been found. This will be a long hunt but Pat is always on the lookout!

Several Chevrolet options on this truck (not part of the Deluxe package) you could order from the factory during production include side mount spare tire, Shell White cab top, and 4 speed transmission.

Pat was also able to find a few additional accessories that were still extra cost beyond the Deluxe package. Included are the dealer installed fresh air heater, eagle hood ornament, wheel rings, bumper guards, and dash mounted clock.

The photos show the finished product. Pat has a new nearly 60 year old Chevrolet Ocean Green Deluxe ½ ton. Of course, they always take much longer to restore that we expect. This took six years of evenings (2,200 hours) to complete!

His feeling of self satisfaction and pride has made it all seem worthwhile. Pat has begun taking it to various auto and truck shows!  If you’d like to contact Pat, please send an email to red38@embarqmail.com.

Photos by Steve Stoll.

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet
Owner: Dave and Pat Moore
1953 Chevrolet
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

This month’s feature truck is a 1953 Chevy ½ ton by Dave and Pat Moore of
Kansas City, KS. Dave is our company technical advisor and talks to hundreds of
people each week helping with the many questions that come his way.

Dave is a ‘hands-on’ person and has personally done repairs and upgrades on
many mid-50’s GM trucks.  His own pickup is a prime example.  He and
his wife, Pat, have owned this little ½ ton 43 years (is that a record?) and
have continued to add upgrades over the years.  It is now better than ever
and ready for another 43 years

It all began in 1968, when Dave traded a 1961 Chevy “409” Impala for this
1953 pickup.  It had an Oldsmobile drivetrain and it became a driver for
his wife, Pat for several months.  While talking to Dave about this ½ ton,
he recalled the many mechanical changes in the 43 years.  This has included
5 engines, 7 transmissions, and 5 rear ends.  It is now in the last stages
of its current frame off upgrade.

Dave actually bought a complete, not wrecked, 1986, C-4 Corvette several
years ago to get straight suspension parts for this upgrade including the total
front end and rear end.  A 700R4 transmission from an Astro Van and has
been rebuilt.  The engine is a ’93 350c.i. Chevy crate motor using Jim’s
motor and trans. mounts.  The body work and custom paint was done in
’97 and still looks great!  Two other major changes have been the addition
of a powder coated 1954 frame and the deeper 1954 bed that matches these lower
frame rails.  The truck is so dependable that Dave and Pat have been part
of the “Long Haul Gang” on the Hot Rod Power Tour 7 times where it has averaged

In the first photo, note the new Peterbilt tractor beside Dave and Pat’s
1953.  The owner said surprise me on the paint; Clint (Dave’s son) who
works selling new Peterbilt’s had the factory paint the truck the same special
green!   If you would like to contact Dave about his 1953, his email
address is dmoore5356@aol.com

1953 Chevrolet
1953 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet
Owner: Richard & Lorie Baranek

1953 Chevrolet

On my side of the story! from “Broadway Bob” at Auto Rehab. It was a project that took almost 1 1/2 years to complete. I started working on it from in a small 20×20 garage attached to my house . I was in the process of building a new 40×50 garage ! Most of the first few months were doing the work on it in my driveway, including disassembly, paint stripping, metal finishing, some bodywork and painting parts, etc. Due to no room in garage for the whole truck, it was quite a juggling show. The truck was in good restorable condition and thanks to Jim Carter parts! the job was possible to complete with new replacement parts. It was a complete frame off restoration. I reconditioned most of the parts that were in good shape and replaced everything that wasn’t. I made parts that weren’t available yet !! Every nut, bolt, screw, was reconditioned or replaced if bad ! I think it was my most enjoyable restoration in the past 5 years. Everything was taken apart, refinished and reassembled back to new. I was amazed at the quality of the vehicle construction when new . GM did an excellent job on design of this model truck. I think “that made it a thrill to work on”!! it was simple and effective, not cluttered like cars today!!

This truck was bought back in 1955 by the Baranek family in Crivitz Wis. This is the third generation of Baranek’s to own it and it has been in the family for 50 years along with the history and war stories told by son, grandson & great grandson, The truck was in good restorable condition considering it spent all its life in Wisconsin. I have had it for 1 1/2 years doing an extensive restoration of the vehicle and it was a pure joy to work on. It is currently owned by Richard & Lorie Baranek of Crivitz, Wisconsin, who are the 3rd generation owners of this restored 1953 Chevrolet 3600.

Submitted by Bob Thompson
Auto Rehab & Restoration
Wabeno, Wisconsin.
Additional comments from the owners:

Sorry we haven’t gotten back to you in so long. We have a daughter getting married tomorrow so things have been a little hectic. Our truck is a 53 Chevy I remember riding in it with my grandfather as a chilled. When my grandfather passed away the truck was handed down to my uncle who took over the farm . I thought he sold the truck until one day I discovered it in his barn and there it was sitting for 45 years. Now my uncle is 80 years old and it took me a whole year to try to convince him to let me buy it from him. I bought the truck for 100.00 dollars we got it running and used it just to bomb around in the back 40. After we were all done having fun the truck sat in the shed for 3 years and we finally found Bob to restore it. He worked on that truck for 2 years, then we went to see it. It was immaculate we’ve never seen something more beautiful. Bob did a great job on the truck!!!!!

Rich and Lorie written by son (Brad)

1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck
1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck
1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Owner: Jim Brallier

1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton

The total restoration of this 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton came to be because of a “match made in heaven”. Jim Brallier of Clearville, PA has this special truck because several things came together just right. He always had a desire to restore an older truck. He was retired after a full career specializing in vehicle mechanical repair and welding. His son is a professional auto body repairman and painter. There was now extra time to peruse his long dream and all came together at the right time.

Jim discovered this factory deluxe pickup (with all the trim) only 60 miles away in the rolling hills of South central Pennsylvania. This was known for coal mining many years ago and for some reason the little truck had been stored in a garage 30 years ago and appeared related to the coal mining business in this area. The garage saved it from years of bad weather however the first 20 years of being in the past coal mining area was not kind to the truck and 65 years of summer humidity, even in storage, added to major body rust. But was a more rare deluxe pickup with the extra rear corner windows!

It took Jim Brallier no time to know this was to be the truck he had planned for during his many past working years. It was too deteriorated not to be disassembled down to the frame rails. The motor was locked after its 30 year storage and most body panels were showing rust holes.Jim knew this would be a challenge but he refused to stop when all the pieces were removed. It would have then only been salvage scrap metal! He was retired so this 1 1/2 year project was his challenge. His years as a mechanic and welder could now be placed again to good use on this otherwise total loss rusted little pickup (he even replaced the outer door skins where he discovered an interesting ink pen stored inside*). The attached photos verify the pure deluxe features of this top of the line 5 window model. The Cape Maroon color is correct for 1950. Stainless window trim, chrome grill and bumpers. Jim added chrome mirror arms and taillights. The deeper 6 bolt wheels are about 1969 Blazer that allow for radial tires. Polished stainless steel strips greatly add to the appearance of the 6 foot bed. The results are now appreciated by all that see it. Two local car shows and two trophies!

AND THEN IT HAPPENED! Jim heard about a distant 1952 1/2 ton at the right price. Maybe his experience with his 1950 would make this a much easier second project to be a daily driver. (don’t these old Chevy trucks get in our blood!) The price was so good. It was in an old storage garage and deeply covered with everything on the cab top and along and in the bed. Without seeing little more than the truck front and no accessibility to the side or cab, Jim still bought it. The next week he was back with his trailer and removing the storage to gain access and then hauled it home. Once in his garage the overall condition check was made. What is that? What’s that box in the drive line behind the three speed transmission? It certainly was not like his 1950. He cleaned the grease and dirt from a sheet metal plate on the case. It was a Truckstell Overdrive! Even the operating cable under the dash was there. What a find! Almost unheard of in today’s world and Jim now owned one. Of course, he had to have it in his 1950.

This changeover project was the most exciting in all his restoration. To have this aftermarket option in his show truck would be the ultimate accessory. He totally disassembled the unit and it required only new grease seals. Its problem had been a frozen under dash control cable. The outer metal wire covering and non-metal insulation tube were replaced. The actual inter cable was still ok. The total drive shaft assembly was exchanged with his 1950. It was always necessary to shorten the closed drive shaft torque tube system in the early years to make room for the over-drive gear box. The differential ring and pinion gears came out together but no trade was needed in axle housing, axles or brake system. Jim totally restored the overdrive including cleaning the Truckstell ID plate and painting the case the original orange color found in a few spots.

This overdrive has changed his 1950’s total driving personality! The little 216 engine now cruises 60 MPH on the highway instead of 45 MPH on the slower country roads. The overdrive can be used in all 3 gears and has a “hill holding” feature. It doesn’t roll backwards when starting on a slope at stop signs. Jim feels this is the best thing one can add to a 1/2 ton. Why did GM never offer this option in the early years? It appears the Truckstell Overdrive #101 was available for the Chevrolet passenger cars and 3 speed 1/2 ton pickups from about 1946 through 1955. By then Chevrolet offered their own optional Borg-Warner overdrive with the introduction of the open-drive shaft system. Click below to see the original sales literature offered by Truckstell in the late 1940’s Truckstell Brochure.

When Jim removed the door skin for replacement, he found an ink pen in the bottom. It was lettered U.A.W. United Auto Workers. No doubt, it was placed in the door by an assembly worker during assembly in 1950. this is his souvenir of the restoration. NOTE: If you have an interest in Truckstells, we found another person with a collection and most related literature. Contact KB at his email address telekenfun@ak.net.

1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive

1956 Opel

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Owner: Jan van Bohemen

1956 Opel

1956 GMC Opel

We just couldn’t resist placing this approximately 1956 Opel as this month’s feature truck. Did you actually think General Motors discarded the famous Advance Design 1947-55 truck cab tooling? To get a little more use of the tooling, it was modified in the late 1950’s as a German Opel truck.  Remember the small Opel car imported in the 1960’s and sold in Buick dealerships? They displayed the same lightning bolt emblem as the trucks.

Look closely at this pickup.  It has Advance Design all over it!

Its owner is Jan van Bohemen in Germany.  It started as a larger work truck, however he wanted a pickup so he made the bed and rear fenders to get the look he wanted.  Very impressive!

For your information…more data on the later-use of the Advanced Design Tooling.  Not only did they use this tooling in Europe but it was an assembly line produced truck in Brazil. Click here to see Brazil’s version.

1956 Opel 1956 Opel 1956 Opel
1956 Opel 1956 Opel

A New Truck – 55 Years Old!

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Year/Make 1955 Chevrolet NAPCO Suburban

Owner: George VanOrden

1955 Chevrolet Suburban

1955 Chevrolet NAPCO Suburban

During the recent Mid-West All Truck National’s in Riverside, Missouri, a very special truck was on display. It had been brought to the show in an enclosed trailer from Virginia.The owner is George VanOrden of Fulks Run, Virginia and the vehicle is a 1955 Chevrolet Suburban with a NAPCO 4×4 system. His personal history, leading to this restored Suburban, is a story by itself. He spent his youth in this mountain section of Virginia only 10 miles from his current home. The interest in 4×4 trucks was early in life as these type trucks were regularly seen on the rough mountain roads in his county. It is not surprising George decided to restore a 4×4 after his retirement after 20 years in the U.S. Marines.

The first candidate he bought to restore was a late 50’s GM 4×4 pickup. His high hopes slowly dropped as his wife explained “Where will you put the whole family in a truck cab as the children grow?”

A new hunt began for a 4×4 Suburban which would just “fill the bill” for a medium size family hauler. This want proved a very difficult task. Few 4×4 Suburbans were sold in the 1950’s and most were later junked or used beyond restoration by off road owners.

A year of patience and a continued search finally met success. George’s wife found an ad from a Colorado owner that described a very used but not abused 1955 Suburban 4×4. It was first owned by the Colorado Forest Service and George was to become its third private owner. Rust was limited and all mechanicals could be rebuilt or replaced.

Once back in Virginia, the surface restoration began but soon went further than new paint and a clean-up. Each part to be restored opened even deeper needs. Suddenly, George was down to the frame rails. After all, with whole family to ride in the Suburban, he needed no future problems.

A nearby professional restoration shop was hired to lift the body from the frame and restore the sheet metal. George took the chassis home. That would be his project, however the 4×4 system proved to be a real challenge. As he slowly found new NAPCO parts to make the system perfect, the remainder of the chassis needed equal treatment. Then it became a must to make it all new! He just could not go this far and not make it all perfect.

The restoration shop was contacted, “Don’t just fix the dents and paint the body. I want it new!”. Compromises were not acceptable. George’s passion became research on what the 1955 was like the day it left the Chevrolet factory. Hours of collecting literature, talking to collectors, and using his computer brought out the answers and this was followed “to the letter”. There was no turning back. The Suburban was in hundreds of pieces. Even the grain, color, and seams of the new seat material came from the samples that was on the original seat upholstery.

A set of 5 bias ply 17.5 tires was the real challenge (does any factory still make them?). George located a truck for sale that had been in storage many, many years. It had new tires with even the dimples on the tread. He bought the truck just to get the tires.

George rebuilt the Suburban’s original 235 cubic inch six cylinder engine. All parts had to be new GM. Another hunt. The differential and 4 speed transmission received the same treatment.

The above is the “tip of the iceberg” of what George did to create a new 1955 Chevrolet Suburban. The restoration time was three years, completed September 2008. It is now how it came from the factory: 235 engine, 4 speed, fresh air heater, no radio, dealer added turn signals and the NAPCO installed 4×4. Ocean green paint was found under the mirror arms so George knew the correct color.

A new enclosed car trailer was a necessity. (Even more money in the project!) As a member of the Antique Auto Club of America -AACA, George thought he would see how the Suburban would do in serious judging competition. It started in the world famous Hershey PA. Fall Show. Surprise, it received a “Junior” award, the highest for a first timer. The next spring, it won the “Senior” award at the Charlotte, NC AACA show. The same year it was given a second at the AACA “Grand Nationals” in Newburn, NC.

George’s finished product has certainly attracted the attention of even the most qualified judges. He and his Suburban can’t receive honors much higher than this!

And what happened to the thought of having a clean Suburban for the family? Well, that will be the next project.

Note: Only if you are a real “die hard” NAPCO fan should you read this part of our month’s feature truck.

The 4×4 system was made by the Northwestern Auto Parts Co. of Minneapolis, MN. -NAPCO-. Of the many 4×4 add-on companies at that time, this was by far the most popular. Most medium size hill and mountain country cities had a NAPCO dealer. (GM’s factory assembled 4×4 trucks were not available until 1957).

George’s NAPCO was the last year for the Rockwell transfer case (pumpkin on the left of center). By 1956 NAPCO transfer case was made by Spicer (pumpkin on the right of center).

The Chevrolet GMC 1/2 tons were never given a 4×4 prior to 1955. Their closed drive shaft prevented a position for a transfer case. Thus, NAPCO in the early models began with a 3/4 ton which had enough of the drive shaft open to make room for this case.

When GM introduced the open drive shaft 1/2 ton in 1955, NAPCO jumped at the opportunity to offer a 4×4 for the light trucks. A redesigned 1/2 ton NAPCO system was not ready until 1956 and would include the Spicer transfer case. Therefore, the 1955 1/2 ton like George’s Suburban, plus 1/2 ton pickups were provided with the currently used 3/4 ton front end with 8 bolt wheels but internally used the 1/2 ton ring and pinion. This gave the higher speed 1/2 ton, 3.90 ratio. On the rear, 6 bolt axle spacers adapters allowed 8 bolt wheels to match the front. Very unusual but it got NAPCO quickly into the 1/2 ton 4×4 market. The 1955 1/2 ton NAPCO’s are one year only design. They really stand all with their 17.5 tires that were actually used on most 3/4 tons.

1955 Chevrolet Suburban 1955 Chevrolet Suburban 1955 Chevrolet Suburban
Interior Engine
1955 Suburban Taillights

1953 Chevrolet

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Owner: Colin Murphy

1953 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet

A recently restored 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton! This is a perfect example of a “good old truck”, brought back from the dead. The owner is  Colin Murphy of Summerset, South Dakota. he had an interest to restore an older GM pickup for years. It all came together when a friend offered Colin this little 1/2 ton that was setting behind a storage building in Cheyenne WY.Because of the dry air in Wyoming, even an older vehicle never in a garage has limited body rust. The picture of when he found his truck, six years ago, shows it disassembled but its solid cab had great potential. Colin says he still found two other pickups to use as parts donors.  We might say three made one!

His many, many hours in the evenings paid off. It really turns heads in his town. The original 216 engine, 4 speed transmission,  and closed driveshaft rear end, makes it perform just like GM designed. Colin comments are ” I think it is pretty well done, so here it is. After six years and a gazillion dollars, I have a truck that tops out at 50 miles per hour. I have enjoyed working with Jim Carter Truck Parts on this project. Now, all I have to do is find another one…”.

1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet

1952 Chevrolet

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Owner: Jim Swing

1952 chevrolet

This is my original 1952 Chevy truck with only 83,783 miles on it. The truck was sold in Rush City, Minnesota at Schneider Chevrolet, which is no longer in business. It was kept in the area by Leroy Lindstrom. I bought it at a garage sale in 2007, just the way it sits, for $2500.00. I had to redo the box wood and put on a new muffler but every thing else is original. It still has the 6 volt system, six cylinder, and three on the tree.

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1951 Chevrolet

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Owner: Jim Streeby

1951 chevrolet

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

1951 chevrolet 1951 chevrolet 1951 chevrolet

1951 chevrolet

1957 Chevrolet Panel

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Owner: Ralph Wescott

1957 chevrolet panel

Regular readers of this section know we tend to give credit to trucks that are the more unusual. This month is no exception.

Our truck of the month is a 1957 GMC 1/2 ton NAPCO Panel. No doubt this type truck was rarely seen even in 1957. When you consider the factory options, it may have been almost one of a kind 52 years ago!

Why was this panel truck ordered with so many extras? The owner either had very special needs or the GMC dealer wanted the best for display in their showroom. Money must not have been a consideration.

This 1957 Panel truck has its third owner – Ralph Wescott of Largo, Florida. Its working days (may have never existed) are now over. It is kept in Ralph’s temperature controlled garage with several other classics.

In viewing this vehicle you will see the same options that are on the dealer invoice including a 347 Pontiac V-8, 4 speed Hydramatic transmission, power steering, electric windshield wipers, radio, turn signals, passenger seat, white wall tires, fresh-air heater, chrome grill and bumpers, clock, chrome dash knobs, two-tone paint, higher speed 3.07 differential, etc.

The Denver, Colorado GMC dealership then had a local NAPCO dealer add the 4X4 system. Thus, the total package with freight and handling was over $4,000. Quite a heavy price when you consider a base 1/2 ton was less than $1,500. You couldn’t carry $5.00 in groceries in 1957!

This panel truck was restored ground-up by the second owner, in Michigan, 15 years ago. He then placed it in storage as he did not like the feeling of the hard transmission shift. When Ralph bought it last year, the shifting problem was on the top of his list. It was carefully adjusted step by step with much detail. The Hydramatic now operates like new.

Note the 2 tone on the 1955-58 GM panel trucks consist of the white section by the door windows. This was to give local sign painters more success on adding a customer’s logo.

The attached photos show what a special panel Ralph has purchased. The original colors and loaded with options!

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

Note: The new battery caps. Ralph found the 1950’s screw style so he redesigned the battery to fit them.

1957 chevrolet panel truck 1957 chevrolet panel truck

1951 GMC

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Owner: Tom Pryor

1951 gmc

This 1951 GMC advance design half ton is owned by Tom Pryor of Kansas City, Missouri. Found four years ago in Clinton Missouri it was originally an Iowa farm truck. The previous owners had started a very poor attempt at restoration, sanding the old paint with little body repair then applying primer, the truck then sat in the outside elements were surface rust took over on every panel of the truck. The wood bed was rotten, electrical non-existent and field mice had taken over the interior.

My friend and project mentor Rod Adams was the driving force behind the restoration, he has given up many Sundays over four years to help me get the truck in the shape as you see in the photo. Rod owns a 1951 Chevrolet advance design himself and is very familiar with repairing these collectible trucks and has owned many over the years. Most body panels were removed and sandblasted to remove rust and coats of old paint and primer, then we hand sanded the entire truck to prepare the body for Rust Bullet primer. Originally the truck was black, but I decided the Forester Green was a better choice bringing Ol Jimmy back to life. No doubt, Rod will not take on another novice, I think I have been a challenge for him but have learned the dos and don’ts of restoration.

The interior has been restored to original factory specs as well and looks wonderful. All in all it has been an incredible experience and I can’t wait to get to take it out on a long ride when nice weather returns in the spring. For right now it will find home covered in Rod’s airplane hanger on his farm.

Rod and I want to make wooden side rails for the bed. I’m still not sure what color they will be, wood stained or painted and distressed like the new bed. Rod is a true craftsman when it comes to woodworking, especially reproduction furniture ; but I digress … back to the truck. With his wood working skills Rod milled and constructed a new yellow pine bed which we painted black then distressed to make the bed look worn and camouflage future scuffs, then sealed with a wood protector. I’m also considering adding an exterior windshield sun visor but for now I’m content with her profile. The running boards also posed some concern/choices, either prepare and paint like factory or cover them with a protective bed liner non-skid coating on all sides. The coating won out and I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about nicks and scrapes, plus the underside is now protected from the road elements.

The other thing that needs completion is the installation of seat belts; they have been purchased but not installed so that will be an upcoming project. I just don’t feel safe driving any vehicle unless I’m strapped in — even if it’s just lap belts.

Old and new parts were purchased from Jim Carter’s; the sales staff Lisa, Jimmy and Julie were always helpful in finding me everything needed to complete the restoration. In the end the truck turned out more than I expected. Originally looking for a knock-a-round weekend driver, the GMC has surpassed my wildest dreams. I’m most grateful for Rod’s time and talent that has brought this project to completion.

1951 gmc 1951 gmc

1953 GMC

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Owner: Jerry Willis

1953 gmc

This 1953 GMC 1/2 ton is certainly one of the more special trucks we see at today’s shows. It not only is of interest to people now but would have been a definite attention getter in the 1950’s. Jerry Willis of Independence, MO bought this farm truck un-restored in 1995 and is the third owner. He found it in South Missouri so it had not experienced winter road salt. It was a great candidate for restoration.

Jerry personally restored the truck including the body work, final paint, and refinishing of the bed wood. Its many little extras were added to make it look like a more custom truck you would have seen 50 years ago. Therefore, the transmission, brakes, and rear end are just like they left the factory. Even the “bullet-proof” closed drive shaft system that operated so well during its working years is still in place.

The mint green custom color of the 1950’s, louvered hood, Fulton sun visor, carpeting, cloth interior, and deluxe 1950 car steering wheel were also added by Jerry. The new 18″ chrome wheels and radial tires are one of the few items that is more modern.

Soon after the GMC was purchased, a connecting rod of the original 228 engine came loose from the crankshaft and cracked the block! During his hunt for a replacement engine, Jerry discovered that the larger 270 GMC engine of the late 1950’s was an exact fit in his 1/2 ton. The rebuilding cost was about the same but the horse power would be greatly increased. For better engine breathing, a pair of Fenton exhaust headers were also added.

The total package is about what your would have seen in custom auto magazines and in auto shows during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The greater power is also like performance GMC’s were built with 50 years ago.

You can contact Jerry Willis at email: jjwilli5@aol.com

1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck 1953 gmc truck

1957 Chevrolet Cameo

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Owner: Ken McCarty

1957 chevrolet cameo

This months feature truck is one of the better examples of a correct 1957 Chevrolet Cameo. Its a limited production 1/2 ton that was sold four years in the 1950’s. They are now rarely seen. GM added many extras to their 1/2 ton pickup and came up with this very deluxe truck. This “Boulevard Truck” drew customers into dealer showrooms and yet could be used by a new owner for light hauling.

This Cameo is owned and restored by Ken McCarty of Lake Lotawana, Missouri. It was discovered about nine years ago through a friend of a friend that knew what was under a car cover in a distant neighborhood. It had been beside a house 30 years in storage and was not easily seen by people passing by. Ken must have talked to the owner just right to make the purchase. It was almost as if it was meant that Ken was to own this Cameo.

The vehicle was restored piece by piece during five years. The longer restoration time was because Ken developed an illness during that period and his medical recovery took much time. He is sure this Cameo restoration is responsible for him being alive today. Planning on the next steps of rebuilding kept his mind occupied while he waited to regain his strength.

This Cameo is just about the way it came from the factory. Ken removed a later V-8 and added a more original early 283 cubic inch engine. Its optional overdrive column shift transmission saves engine RPM’s and gasoline plus allows more highway speed. Even a generator keeps the battery charged! The frame and ID plate numbers match.

The original painted valve covers and oil bath air cleaner are in storage when he wants to add an original touch. The Cardinal Red and Bombay Ivory exterior paint is just as it would have come from the factory. Note the optional white wall tires. The width of the white is pure 1957 vintage.

Ken’s Cameo is now a new truck! It is seen regularly at local car shows and always stops traffic. You can contact Ken McCarty at 1-816-578-4032.

1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo

1957 chevrolet cameo 1957 chevrolet cameo

1954 Chevrolet

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Owner: Angus McDougald & Linda Challand

1954 chevrolet truck

Our 54 Chevy truck was won in a raffle in July, 1997. We were en-route to Cherokee, N.C. and saw a sign for a car show in Maggie Valley. So we went to the car show. Linda saw this truck and bought two tickets. They had one more show to attend and would announce the winner in August. Sure enough, in August they called and said Linda had won the truck.

The truck is a 1954, 3100, 5 window, 1/2ton pickup. It has the 235cid engine with three speed column shift. The only added option was factory turn signals. The body is really good and straight and the engine runs strong. The clutch and transmission will get some attention some day.

The truck had a really bad rear seal leak and I could find no one interesting in replacing the old felt seal. So we put it up for almost six years.

One day I happened on your website. Since I am a shade tree mechanic and you have the parts lets put the truck in at least a useable condition. It is just too nice not to be on the road. So that is where I am repairing one thing at a time. Immediate attention will be given to the steering box and tie rods. I now drive it almost daily and enjoy every minute.


Angus McDougald/Linda Challand

Our truck was being restored by a young man in the Morganton, N.C. area. He was a student at Haywood College in Waynesville, N. C. and a volunteer fireman. In the early 1990,s he and a group from Western N. C. went our West to assist in major fires they were having. During a major back fire, he and several others were killed. His Father made the decision to raffle the truck and have the proceeds fund a scholarship in the young man,s name at Haywood College. The young man had done a wonderful job on the truck. Linda is extremely proud to be the owner that does appreciates the truck.

Thanks Angus

1954 chevrolet truck 1954 chevrolet truck 1954 chevrolet truck

1954 chevrolet truck

1955 Chevrolet Advance Design

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Owner: Marty Bozek

1955 chevrolet truck

This month we feature one of the most unique eye catching Advance Design 1/2 tons in the country. On daily runs it is a real traffic stopper. At car shows it is surrounded by curious admirers and trophies seem to be a regular occurrence.

This little 1955 1st series ½ ton is the creation of Marty and Jean Bozek near Tampa, Florida. It was bought from the second owner in 1983 after starting its life in 1955 near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The potential of this truck in primer with no prior restoration became a challenge. Almost all restoration and upgrades were done by Marty in the evening at his home near New York City. His goal was to keep it original in appearance yet add modern updates that would look different only to the expert. The result is a 1/2 ton that turns heads and puts out the performance of a V8!

Marty has given his truck a 261 six cylinder (big brother to the famous 235) a 4 barrel carburetor, Howard cam, Fenton cast iron headers, electronic ignition, aluminum radiator, and ‘old time’ Smitty glass pack mufflers.

The transmission is the very popular 5 speed overdrive once found in Camaros and Firebirds in the 1980’s. It’s overdrive 5th gear performs just right on the open highway but gives the low speed power Marty wants for in town performance.

Even the differential has 3.55 gearing. This was by adding a complete 1973 Chevrolet Blazer rear end assembly. The rear tires fit the wheel wells just right. No rubbing the fenders on rough roads.

Now retired in Florida, Marty keeps improving his creation. He often thinks about modifications and has added a few additional items to his little ½ ton. He does it in his own way so that it is just right for this type of truck. A few recent additions were adding the 5 speed overdrive transmission and cold air conditioning. (No it doesn’t run hot in Florida summers.) Even the doors, firewall, top, floors, and rear cab wall have been sealed with hidden insulation!

This Chevy 1/2 ton may not out run a telegram but the race is close. Marty says ‘It idles like a sewing machine and goes like hell. Why would I even consider a V8?’ It is ‘the’ eye catcher at any auto show. Trophies have been many but some stand out more than others.

In Tampa, FL a large monthly cruise night gives a best of show honor at the end of the year. All the monthly winners compete for ‘Best of the Best.’ Yes, this little yellow pickup received the top award. They don’t get better than this!

Marty painted this truck in 1994. Several years ago it received the ‘Best Paint’ award in a show with hundreds of participants in Northern Florida. How’s that for non trailered vehicle that was painted about 10 years ago?

In 1999, at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania ‘All Truck Nationals,’ this truck received a second place trophy in the older truck class.

If you wish to talk to Marty Bozek about his special truck, the email address is: eng261@aol.com. (You must identify yourself as a truck person so you don’t get mixed and discarded with the junk mail.)

1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck

1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck 1955 chevrolet truck

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Owner: Don Lowrey

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 Ton

This cab and early fleetside bed combination was available only during 1958 and 1959 but to get the bedside trim you had to wait with the last year. This was a time when trucks were usually bought for work and styling was far down the priority list. Therefore, one can appreciate the rarity of this month’s feature truck.

This 1959 Chevrolet deluxe ½ ton is owned by Don Lowrey of Lindsay, Ontario. He purchased it over 25 years ago during a visit to the U.S. Though at the time he did not realize its rarity, he knew the various deluxe features and color combination (Tartan Turquoise and Bombay Ivory) made for a very attractive package.

Shortly after the purchase of this, then 20 year old truck, Don decided to bring back the original shine by giving it new paint and re-chroming the bright metal. He was careful not to alter the original color or add extras that were not Chevrolet approved accessories.

The upholstery was kept without any replacing. Thus, we have a perfect example of the fabric Chevrolet used in their most deluxe pickup. Unlike the standard model, matching seat cloth was also placed over the door panels.

Note the untouched wood bed bottom. It still has much of its original black paint on yellow pine. NO, the manufacturers did not sand and varnish the bed floors!

Along with the many features that are standard with the deluxe package, this little ½ ton also has a few dealer installed accessories. The bumper guards, radio, heater, sunvisor, and wheel rings could have been added by the Chevrolet dealer.

Don has a certificate from the State of Pennsylvania that the 12,000 miles on the odometer (at his purchase) is correct. The truck runs like new and is used to drive to occasional Ontario car shows. It has not yet logged 1,000 miles since its purchase 25 years ago. If a show is two days long, Don uses his ½ ton to pull his travel trailer! The stock 235 six cylinder and 3 speed column shift transmission does the job.

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1957 GMC Palomino

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Owner: Ralph Wescott

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

You can’t get more unusual than 1 of 1. This is how Ralph Wescott of Largo, FL describes his 1957 GMC Palomino. General Motors built only one! It was produced to draw attention to their truck display at the New York Autorama show in 1957. Fortunately, its prior four documented owners recognized it as special. It has been mostly in storage and only a few recent car shows have had it on display. The Palomino now has 9,350 miles and almost no restoration has been done. Even the original custom leather seat is free of age cracks. The engine sounds like new as it slowly moves out of its enclosed trailer. It occasionally may be driven in the neighborhood or at a car show.

Gm designed this special 1/2 ton around a fully optional assembly line model. This includes a deluxe cab, Pontiac V-8, Hydramatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, radio, deluxe heater, Cameo style bed, windshield washers, etc. The manufacturer then added additional features that set it apart from the others. In the following photos note items such as (Palomino only) gold paint, custom leather seat and door panels, script trim panels over the front edge of the bed and gold floor mat.

One of its more unique items are the U.S. Royal Master tires. Ralph states GM requested U.S. Royal to produce 5 with this unusual rubber sidewall. After 50 years they are still in on their original 15′ rims! When not at a show the Palomino is in temperature controlled storage out of the sun to protect the leather interior, it’s original paint and bed.

Based on Ralph saying his Palomino is not for sale at any offer, we will refer to it as ‘priceless.’


Ralph at 75years old finally decided to sell some of his most prized low mileage show trucks at his own auction that was nationally advertised. The Palomino was given a value by the last bidder. It brought $197,000.00 by a west coast buyer. WOW! See what happens when you have the only one GM ever made.

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck 1957 gmc palomino pick up truck

1955 Chevrolet

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Owner: Tim Etes

1955 chevrolet pick up truck

Here are some of the before and after pictures of my 1955 First Series Chevrolet Truck, complete August, 2006.

My nine year old son and I did a lot of the work;including a significant portion of the body, mechanical and reassembly-finish work!

Purchased last March (2005) on eBay (from a person just seven miles away, ironically), he never had the opportunity to begin the restoration and reconstruction process. We counted up the number of parts we moved from his house to ours and it was in an amazing 117 pieces! He purchased the vehicle from a Colorado farmer and transported it to Wisconsin nine years ago, where he and his son disassembled it for a ground up restoration.

I went with digital gauges, but kept the original 235 Chevy 6, with the granny-low 4 for Parades and to better make the Fenton-Cherry Bomb combination sound better when I take off!

Nick-named the Killer Bee

Enjoy! We are!

1955 chevrolet pick up truck 1955 chevrolet pick up truck 1955 chevrolet pick up truck

1955 chevrolet pick up truck 1955 chevrolet pick up truck 1955 chevrolet pick up truck

1951 GMC

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Owner: Thomas Albers

1951 gmc pick up truck

This 1951 GMC is a family original. My father bought it new from the local GMC dealer in Fort Benton, Montana and has stayed with us ever since. For years this pickup was used to drive from town, to our farm and back daily.

In the mid 1960’s my father converted it to a farm service truck to haul fuel to the tractors and combines in the field. He mounted a PTO drive off the back and ran an air compressor and also mounted a second generator on the engine with a converter so he could run power equipment in the fields. My father was a very ingenious farmer and there was not much he could not do off this service pickup. This was the first vehicle that my brothers, sister and I learned to drive in the 1960s thanks to the patience of our mother and father. In 1990 my brother -in-law hauled the pickup to Miles City, Montana so I could begin a two year restore on it. The pickup had been sitting in a covered shed for years and was in very good shape with the exception of mice in the cab. The engine and complete drive train are original and I have done only minor repairs thanks to my father’s good maintenance habits on the pickup. I would like to point out that the color of the pickup is the original scheme and was matched to the firewall (that did not need to be painted). Then in the mid 1990’s I taught my son and daughter to drive in this same pickup by going out to the fairgrounds and letting them drive on the roads. During the restoration I counted on and bought a lot of parts from Jim Carter as well as getting some advice from time to time. They were invaluable to me and I thank them for helping save so many “never to be forgotten memories” for our family.

1951 gmc pick up truck 1951 gmc pick up truck 1951 gmc pick up truck

1951 gmc pick up truck

Buy Parts for 1947 to 1955 Trucks


1955 Chevrolet Deluxe

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Owner: Travis Goggans

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

A few months after the introduction of their 1954 trucks, GM announced a new model with more deluxe features. Korean was shortages were over and the average American had more disposable income. Buyers were already ordering the many options on automobiles, so General Motors knew at least a small market existed for a well appointed pickup truck. With the limited investment of color changes, different seat fabric, added chrome, and a few options becoming standard, Chevrolet had their deluxe model.

After fifty years few true deluxe 1954-55s survived but our feature truck of the month is one of these. The owner is Travis Goggans of Norman, Oklahoma. It recently received a ground-up restoration and Travis has replaced or repaired most all of those special features.

The following pictures show Travis’s 1955 deluxe in Mariner Blue with Bombay Ivory top. The matching upgraded two tone interior is just like it came from the factory.

This truck is a work of art. Probably even higher in quality than when new!

A few other 1954 accessories that are installed by the dealer are the full wheel covers, heater, radio, front bumper guards, clock, eagle hood ornament, and cigarette lighter.

The whitewall tires would have been provided by a non-Chevrolet supplier.

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

Buy Parts for 1947 to 1955 Trucks


1955 Chevrolet

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Owner: John Carlton

1955 chevrolet pick up truck

I have owned this truck since 1970, using it for fun and everyday use. Jim Carter’s used parts have been a life saver for this old baby. All of the restoration has been only to maintain, repair or replace with original or original-reproduction parts.

Buy Parts for 1947 to 1955 Trucks

1954 Chevrolet

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

Owner: Dale Current

1954 chevrolet pick up truck

When I started this truck in 2000 the first thing I did was send for a Jim Carter catalog, after seeing the ad in Hemmings. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the truck when I started. This was the second 1954. The first one had been wrecked and had a pieced together frame so it became a parts truck. After going through the catalog, parts availability told me I could make a new truck out of this one because it was complete and not too much rust. This one is a ¾ ton with a 6900 GVW. It has a 4 speed with a 4.57 rear axle.

The engine has been bored and rebuilt with all new parts by a local race car engine builder. I kept the 6 volt system. The accessories are re-circulating heater, chrome grill, bumpers, grill guards, right side mirror, arm rests, turn signals, oil filter, oil bath air cleaner and running board step plates. The interior is original paint color and the seats are black cloth and black carpet. The exterior is juniper green, the original color of the truck. The fenders and running boards are black. The wheels are the original 15 inch two piece 8 lug and the tires are 700-15 tube type.

I worked at the Van Nuys General Motors plant for 33 years before retiring in 1986.

Dale Current

1954 chevrolet pick up truck 1954 chevrolet pick up truck 1954 chevrolet pick up truck

1954 chevrolet pick up truck 1954 chevrolet pick up truck

1950 Chevrolet

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

Owner: Tim Kane

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

This is the restored 1950 Chevy 1/2 ton, 3100 series, my grandfather bought to use on his farm. It now has just over 15K original miles with the factory Firestone’s still on the truck. Everything is as it came from the dealer, with the exception of the wood in the bed, the exhaust system, and the paint.

Original Owner — Arthur J Kane – Colon, MI
Current Owner — Timothy J Kane Jr. Battle Creek MI
216 C.I. — 6 cylinder
3 Speed manual transmission
15,365 original miles

1950 chevrolet pick up truck 1950 chevrolet pick up truck 1950 chevrolet pick up truck

1950 chevrolet pick up truck

1955 Chevrolet Cameo

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Owner: James Whalen

1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck

Thanks again for the Cardinal Red paint for the wheels. Paint matched well. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to these trucks. This Cameo, before restoration, had only 32,000 documented miles. It has been quite a learning curve for me. This truck was purchased as a pull vehicle to bring my NCRS TOP FLIGHT Corvette to car shows. What a combination.

Thanks again.
Jim Whalen
Loudonville New York

1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck

1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck

1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck

1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck 1955 chevrolet cameo pick up truck

1954 Chevrolet 3100

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Owner: Chuck Sanchez

1954 chevrolet 3100

I bought this very clean truck from a fellow in Spring, Texas who told me he had it in his garage for nine years. He tinkered with it until he got bored and it started taking up space. He said he bought it from a man in Alvin, Texas.

The engine, transmission, driveline and brakes were completed by them. The gas tank has no gas in it and there is no water or battery.

I purchased it from him with the intention of completing the restoration and selling it. I have had the truck repainted to look as original as possible. The boards in the bed have been painted black and as you can see the exterior is green with white bumpers. The interior paint is grey. I had to replace the right window because it had a vertical crack top to bottom. I was lucky enough to find a glass shop right here in Byron that has the old laminated glass for older cars. I removed the wheels to find brand new brake shoes already installed so all I did was adjust the brakes, service the new master cylinder and bleed the brakes. I am still working on replacing window and door seals and door trim then converting from 6 volts to 12 volts system.

The pictures below are a variety from the time I picked the truck up in Texas to shortly after the paint job.

Thanks for your interest.
Chuck Sanchez
Byron, GA

1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100

1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100

1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100 1954 chevrolet 3100

1954 chevrolet 3100

1950 Chevrolet 3100

Friday, October 1st, 2004

Owner: Paul Frey

1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck

1950 Chevy 3100 deluxe cab, this truck was recently refinished by CSCC this spring. Paint custom Sikkens glacier blue pearl.

Modified 283with 327 heads, Saginaw 4-speed, Camaro rear end, Chevy 2 front end, 12 volt conversion, Crager street star, custom Ash bed made by owner, AM/FM/CD player. This month the interior will be completely redone as well a new wiring harness installed.

This year I have received 7 placements in top five and two best of paints. In January it will be shown at the World of Wheels in Chattanooga after the interior is finished.

Some interior option will include: electric windows. Custom door panels, leather bench seat (Caddy) new gauges, console Billet Specialty steering wheel (classic), color matched to outside, new wire harness, hidden wires under hood smoothed firewall.

Best regards,
Paul Frey

1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck 1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck 1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck

1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck 1950 chevrolet 3100 pick up truck

1959 Chevrolet Apache

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

Owner: Don Wyatt

1959 chevrolet apache

This 1959 Chevy 1/2 ton step-side pickup was purchased in Santa Barbara, California from an estate containing 20+ cars and trucks. It was found sitting behind a 1955 Chevy “business coupe” with cement and old rubble in front of the garage door which had to be removed with a tractor. It was stored for 31 years and has 24,996 original miles on it. The truck was completely restored “off the frame” and is now in perfect showroom condition. It is as original as it gets, with the six cylinder 235 Chevy Engine and 3-speed on-the-column transmission making that “rapp” sound that only a Chevy Six can. The only modifications which have been done are an aluminum head cover, Fenton headers and very nice dual exhaust system. New wheels, stock with Chevy hub caps and mono leaf springs give the truck a much better stance. All of the chrome has been stripped and re-dipped. The truck is an eye-stopper and a jaw-dropper. You won’t find a more pristine Apache with this originality.

The interior is completely original, seat covers and floor mats. The radio head unit has been temporarily removed and replaced to give a new sound but the original radio as well as a few other parts will accompany the truck upon its sale. If you are an old Chevy truck fan, you know this is a real gem.

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache 1959 chevrolet apache

1955 Chevrolet 3600

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

Owner: Kim Cooke

1955 chevrolet 3600

Hi, I thought you may be interested in my truck. The dual rear was an option and may have had a flat bed or stake sides at the beginning. I have the original owners manual that lists only one model with a 6900 lb. gross vehicle weight and it’s the dual rear model.

When I found the truck it was being used to tow vehicles in Temple City CA. It had a hand-crank boom bolted t a 1/4″ plate steel bed. I’m pretty sure that the body shop that owned the truck put the fender extensions, as I’ve found no evidence that Chevy offered them. I still have the original hubs and split rims but have changed to modern dual rims for safety and convenience. I’ve had it for 10 years and have enjoyed working on it.

Kim Cooke

1955 chevrolet 3600 1955 chevrolet 3600 1955 chevrolet 3600

1950 GMC

Tuesday, June 1st, 2004

Owner: Roger Uttecht

1950 gmc pick up truck

My name is Roger Uttecht. My truck is a 1950 GMC 3/4 ton Pick-up. I did a frame up restoration on my truck over a 2 year period. I used quite a few parts from Jim Carters antique truck parts. The Website provided me with quite a bit of information about what my truck was originally equipped as well as paint colors on the engine and so forth. The truck was originally green, but I painted it to look like a 1952 Chevy Dime Bank that Harley Davidson Motor company put out in 2000. I am the General Manager at Frontier Harley-Davidson in Lincoln, NE. This was the first time that I have ever done anything as intense as this, but it was a labor of love. I had a 1949 GMC when I attended the University of Nebraska so I always wanted to restore one after graduation. I have restored everything to original except for the paint. I stained the hard yellow pine instead of painting it and added white wall tires. The engine is a 228c.i. GMC with a 4 speed transmission. I love driving this old truck, it gets looks wherever we go, and an occasional story from a few people too. I hope it is good enough for your feature truck section. thanks.

Roger Uttecht

1950 gmc pick up truck 1950 gmc pick up truck 1950 gmc pick up truck

1950 gmc pick up truck 1950 gmc pick up truck 1950 gmc pick up truck

1950 gmc pick up truck

1957 Chevrolet

Thursday, April 1st, 2004

Owner: Eric Davis

1957 chevrolet pick up truck

Dear Friends

I got this 1957 Chevrolet truck two years a go. It was in bad shape I did a body off restoration. It has a 350 with 700 R4 , S 10 rear and Fat Man front end. With a lot of help from Jim Carter’s I able to do all the work.

Thank You
Eric Davis
Manassas Va.

1957 chevrolet pick up truck 1957 chevrolet pick up truck

1954 Chevrolet

Monday, March 1st, 2004

Owner: Steve Daily

1954 chevrolet pick up truck

Dear Friends

I hope this truck meets your approval. It is a 1954 model that is totally original. I know these trucks did not have white walls on them when they came out of the factory, but these are the original brand (B.F. Goodrich). This is actually my second 1954 Chevy pickup. I restored one back in my college days, and my wife and I dated in that old truck. So, this one brings back a lot of wonderful memories for us. Some of the parts I have used to restore this truck were acquired through Jim Carter’s Antique Truck Parts.

I especially want you to know that I appreciate your website. It has been a wonderful resource for me as I have sought to determine what is actually original on these old trucks. I learned, for example, that the original color was most likely Juniper Green and the interior color was most likely pearl beige. I also learned how to obtain a restoration guide from General Motors which has given me some invaluable information. This is how I learned that 15 inch wheels were an R.P.O. (Regular Production Option) in 1954. Your website truly enhances my interests in these beautiful and appreciating vehicles.

Steve Daily
Pearland, Texas

1954 chevrolet pick up truck 1954 chevrolet pick up truck 1954 chevrolet pick up truck