07 April 2014
1954 3600 Chevy Truck
"The Fake Truck"
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From Chris :
My journey with old trucks is kind of the story of my life. So not to bore you, I'll try to be brief.
My two sisters and I were being raised by a single Dad who was a technician at a New Holland and White dealership. He would always pick us up in one of his service trucks. I couldn't even tell you what kind of car we had at that time. We hardly ever rode in it.
My Grandfather farmed a few miles away from us and we were at their place alot. Some of my earliest memories are riding in one of his old Fords that he had, or riding on his lap while he was cultivating or discing. For the life of me, I don't know how he even ran one of those old Olivers with a sleeping kid on his lap.
When my Dad re-married in the early 80's, I got a new family -- a new brother, sister, and grandparents. My "new" Grandpa drove an old AD Chevy truck. I can't say what year or even if it was a 3600 or 3800, but to a six year old, that thing was cool.
I suppose that's where my affinity for the AD Chevys started. My Grandpa used that old Chevy for hauling in scrap steel. You could see through both sides of the bed it was so rusty, but he would load that thing down like it was a Sherman tank.
When the railroad tore up the tracks in town, they let my Grandpa haul the steel in. He would let us kids stand on the running boards or the tailgate and look for railroad spikes as he drove. We would jump off, grab them, and throw them in the back of the truck.
The original bed did finally give way, and Grandpa and Dad put a flat bed on. Grandpa would always say that when he dies, we can put him and his dog, Barney, in the front seat and plant flowers in the back. Well, as life would have it, we had to sell the truck when diabetes took his leg.
Fast-forward to 2007. I was looking for a new project to start on. I was talking with a friend at work about it. She told me she had a friend with an old truck. Her friend had been a drywaller and someone had "paid" him for his work with this truck!
Well, I went over and looked at it, and fell in love with that 1954 3600 Chevy truck.
I went home and begged my wife for it.
The next day, it was on a flat bed heading for my house. We rolled it off the trailer and into our garage.
The previous previous owner might have done a bit of a "barn restore" back in the '90s. There was bondo and glue holding it together. It was mostly a lacquer paint job. The truck looks better in the pictures than it really is. I just took the fenders off and it was amazing that they had stayed on this long.
I tinkered on the truck, bought some parts here and there. I even got a parts truck. I pulled the fender and grille off it and someone wanted to buy it ... so I let it go!
I was in the middle of an electrician apprenticeship, so money was tight. I've been saving scrap copper for my "truck fund." Well, sometimes that money paid the bills, sometimes it was flowers for the wife.
In 2010 my life changed completely. I became a foster parent. My tools got put down in favor of tools that said "Pampers" and "Johnson & Johnson." My girls are adopted now, so I have two beautiful girls (six and five) to share my passion with. They sit in the cab to "drive" so it is like their big play toy. The youngest one is not afraid to get her hands dirty, so she may be My Little Grease Monkey. The girls have named the truck, "The Fake Truck." I guess that's because they've never seen it move. I don't find it funny, but their mother does.
I'm still slowly but surely moving forward on the project. My plans right now are to finish alot of things I started. I want to finish my disc brake setup, finish my 14 bolt, install, and finish some sheet metal work.
I have future plans for a Vortec 4200 and 5 speed. Sorry, I gave up on the 235, HO52, and 3 speed. As long as I have my helpers, everything is O.K.
I pretty much want to fix it enough so I can drive it. Maybe down the road I will get more particular and detailed. For now, I don't might having a nice, dirty driver.
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