1955 2nd Series Chevy 3800 Flatbed Farmtruck
From Nate :
I picked up a very clean 1955 Second Series Chevy 3800 farm truck last Fall. I don't much of its history and, as yet, I don't know much of its future.
I just happened to be searching on Craigslist for a nice truck to hot rod. I typed in "1955" and this was the first one to pop up. It was only about 30 minutes from where I live.
I went out to see it and I was shocked! The truck was clean as a whistle and no rust. I think it was just used around the farm and was not driven in salt or anything (unlike many of the cancer-ridden trucks on the East Coast).
The owner was a used car salesman and he bought stuff on the side. He couldn't get to this truck project and had to let it go. He was very reasonable and willing to negotiate. He seemed to be glad to see a young person (I'm just about 20) interested in an old truck.
The truck was missing the engine and tranny. We have a flat bed truck so we loaded it on there and brought it back home.
This is a real solid truck. I like the look of the dually flatbed, so I think the bed is going to stay. It sticks out really far from the tires and I think I can narrow it up a little bit.
I'm not going to paint the truck. I like the patina it has. I have all the chrome for it. It is also pitted and not perfect ... but it is great!
I'm ramping up for this project. I joined Stovebolt to learn about where to get parts, modifications and ideas for the truck. I have started to collect parts for it already. I thought the hardest thing to find was going to be those 3800 fender trim pieces and I found them on eBay not too long ago. I'm looking for high performance parts and they are easy to come by.
I'm glad to be here! I just want to educate myself on the '55 so I can figure out what to do with it. I have some ideas but none I favor yet:
All the ideas will use the 350 V8 from the K20. The engine came with a 1983 K20 truck that was a beater, the frame was broken in half. So, I got a nice engine for the nice truck. The 350 is one of the cheapest engines to build and power-up. It's missing the original drivetrain.
I'm going to build the truck for drag racing because I have always wanted to go fast in a straight line. Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York is about an hour from our house. Whatever you bring to run, if it passes inspection, you can drag race. A truck is not an unusual site on the track. Just for fun, every Friday they have "Test and Tune" at the Speedway. You bring your vehicle up there and you can go as many times as you want. You are basically racing against yourself even tho you have someone running next to you. Sometimes, they'll line you up with a real drag car. It doesn't matter if you loose. It's still exciting. We took a 1972 Pontiac Grand Torino to race a while ago -- now that was NOT exciting!
My Dad loves working on stuff and building stuff. He collects Indian Motorcycle. My Great Grandfather use to work at the Indian Motor Cycle Factory in Springfield, Mass. He bought one new, right off the factory floor, and we still have it. It's a 1949 Arrow.
Dad showed me how to do all this and then I nudged him out of the way and started doing it myself.
I use to be into old Willys Jeeps. I have three of them.
My first one was a 1953 Willys CJ3A Jeep I had since I was eight years old. I started restoring it when I was 14. I finished it in time to get my license. This one never gets dirty.
My second one is a 1946. I built it into a wicked off-road Jeep. I don't do much with it anymore - other than to go off road, through the woods and just have fun.
My latest one is a 1949 Willys 3A Jeep and it has been a work in progress. It's going to be a semi-restoration into a U.S. Forest Service Jeep. It is stock but I sill would like to have fun with it on trails. I'm just about finished restoring it (hopefully this week). THEN, I can start on the '55!
Not only am I interested in the old truck, I also love farm machinery. I have a 1918 farm tractor that's all original -- old paint, rusty and oily. I just love this old stuff.
On one of the Jeep forums I am on, I posted about my Jeep. I said I wanted to get an old steel wheel tractor. This fellow in Montana had the perfect tractor I wanted. So last winter on break (January), my Dad and I went out there and we brought it back home. It was right at Mount Rushmore. This was my first trip west -- other than when I was real little and we went to Yellowstone National Park.
The tractor was all seized up. I took it apart and got it running again. See the video of The Titan on YouTube.
I also collect antique hit and miss engines from the 1930's. They are stationary engines and most were used on farms doing various tasks. I have about six of them and they all run. It was fun to get them all running. The oldest is a 1905 International that ran a paper mill. The newest one is a 1925 or 26. Here is a video of them on YouTube.
I love my old engines. As you can see from my videos, all but one are rusty or original paint. I sold the restored one. I love patina.
i like to keep my stuff rusty and original. All my engines are greasy, rusty and original paint. I like them when they are dirty and grubby.
We have three garages and we use them all. Working up here in oh-so-frozen New England, it's nice having a heated garage!
Glad to see some more young blood in this hobby, and one who likes dirt, grease, mud. Nate has a real knack here and looks like he's having fun. Check out some of the other projects he has in his Photobucket Library. Very cool! ~ Editor
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