01 December 2014
1946 Chevy 1/2-Ton
From Nathan :
This 1946 Chevy pickup truck has the original chassis with a Holden HQ (1974) front end grafted on, giving it an independent front end. It has disc brakes, power steering, 350 Chev engine, 650 Holley, TH400 auto transmission, a 12-bolt Chevy Nova differential, and twin side exhausts.
I had been looking for a few years for a pickup truck. When I was in my 20's, I had an old truck. We have an on-line auction here in New Zealand similar to eBay and that is where I found the '46, about three years ago. I went out to see it, bought it on the spot and drove it home the next day.
The previous owner had done the major work on it which was semi-customized. He had been using it the whole 20 years but he was planning on buying a house and needed the money.
I have done automotive work before but this was the first time to do major work. I've had hot rods over the years but nothing I've gone to this extent on. I had spent a lot of time and attention on the truck since we are going to use it every day. It's been fascinating to incorporate 2014 technology into a vintage truck.
The truck was so very old and we wanted to make it user-friendly for Vicki to drive it to work every day. (I get to drive it on weekends.)
In the first weekend we got it, I started checking the truck and our mission began!
Since I have had the truck, I have
The wiring was very bad. We had a brand new wiring loom made by Gary Wilkinson of Retro Auto Electrics. The wiring loom was beautiful. Gary had the truck for a week. He cut the old one out. laid it on the ground and built it from the brain (dash) out. Besides the regular electrical needs for the truck, we have GPS tracking, an electric fan on the radiator which is adjustable for winter and summer (we can adjust it for how long it will run, too). We can add electric windows later if we want to. Everything is plug and play.
The truck has a hidden reversible tow bar. You can take it out and stow it under the truck so it doesn't stick out when you are not towing a trailer. When you need it, just un-bolt it, turn it around and bolt it back on to use it.
I got the seats out of a 2002 Chev Cruze that were real nice but I had to make new seat brackets so it would fit inside the cab (they were too high).
The truck came with 14" mag wheels but they were too small. We replaced them with 18" flat black Riddler mags and it gave it a little more lift off the ground.
We put on extra running board brackets (with the help of my mate "Hoodie" from Rangiora. This way the four kids and I can stand on them without bending.
I have a new 125 litre fuel cell to go under the deck to the rear. We need to install the brackets for it first. Currently, the tank is under the seat.
The color is a metallic browny-bronze. There are a couple different colors in it. It is somewhat a cross between copper and bronze.
"Midnight Express" is the logo on the door. It's an old Chevy logo that the PO had on the truck.
The truck now now drives amazingly -- 60-70 mph. It gets a lot of attention and people trying to buy it.
The kids love the truck -- they climb all over it and sit on the roof.
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