01 April 2014
1949 Half-Ton Five-Window Chevy Pickup Truck
From Dennis :
I live in the Los Angeles area which, in many ways, is one of the greatest cities in the country to live if you are a classic car / truck enthusiast.
About 12 years ago, I owned a 1951 half-ton five-window Chevy pickup that was painted Ferrari red. I ultimately sold the truck but never got the ownership and love of it out of my system. Thus, I always wanted to own another one and a five year search for a new Advanced Design Series (1947 to 1954) began.
In Los Angeles, we have the Pomona Swap Meet, the Long Beach Swap Meet and any number of other swap meets and car shows to go to throughout the year.
So five years ago, I began my search in earnest both in the LA area and nationally to find my truck. My criteria was simple, (or so I thought:
1. It must be a half-ton Chevrolet
As the search wore on, I found truck after truck after truck. Many were rusted out in too many body areas. Many had different body parts mismatched (like a '54 cab on a '51 body). It seemed that every swap meet I went to returned nothing of any value.
I was still determined and I kept walking the swap meets, checking ads online and educating myself with the parts catalogues.
One day I was passing a magazine area in a local supermarket and spotted the Recycler Magazine. I was going to pick it up and take a look to see if any trucks might be listed. But then I thought better of the idea thinking that no one (in today’s Internet day and age) advertises in print anymore. So I walked out of the store.
But something told me to stop, turn around and go back into the store and pick up that Recycler Magazine. That is what I did.
Lo and behold, what do you think I see listed there? "1949 half-ton five-window cab Chevy pickup for sale" And it was no more than 10 miles from where I lived.
I couldn’t believe it. I called the person and made an appointment to visit him. When I got there, I was very surprised to see that he had three classic Chevy pickups in his back yard -- a '49, a '51 and a '54.
The '49 was rough but had great potential. It was mostly all there in parts and had minimal rust. So I bought it!
According to the VIN number, the truck was made at the GM Oakland Plant, a production date of June 1949 and number 6,705 to come off the assembly line.
Now begins the process that separates the men from the boys: restoration.
I was lucky to have a friend who lives close by who never met a bolt he couldn’t grind off or heat off or bang off, because these bolts on a truck 65 years old did not want to budge.
We did it though. Over time, the fenders came off, and the bed came off. I cleaned out and de-rusted and primed the cab. We strengthened floor areas that needed it and I used POR 15 on the frame.
It took some time, but I finally got the paint off the rear fenders. The front fenders were next, followed by the hood. Then we worked on the doors and then the bed sides.
I am going to be putting on a modern front end and am doing the research into that now.
When I bought the truck, I told myself this was going to be a three year project. I’m one and a half years into it now and am making great progress. It is a labor of love for me as I am learning a great deal as to how something was constructed way back when. I am also doing something more important than that -- I am bringing back a piece of automobile history for everyone to enjoy. My wife included -- I hope.
I was happy to find this website. I realize you have to have a strong inner-self and be very determined to follow through on a restoration. Stovebolt gives us all strength to carry on.
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Links | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop