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16 September 2012
# 2973


Owned by
Bill & Wayne Alderson
Bolter # 21909
Independence, Missouri



1972 1-Ton Chevy C30


More pictures of my old truck


From Bill:

When we rolled the dice for our truck restoration project for this year, this 1972 1-ton, 4 wheel drive is the one came up. When we took it apart, we found out it was a NAPCO.

The tuck was purchased new by the City of Independence, Missouri in 1971 --- I was there when they delivered it. I wanted to check it out because I had never seen a Chevy Series 30 4-wheel drive.

I was 21 years old when that truck was built and I had a love for that truck and I wanted it ever since I first saw it. It was really impressive when it was new. I bought a new truck (a Cheyenne, that I still have) the week they delivered that one. I was up at the City Garage when they got that truck. I didn't realize that it was a factory-built GM product.

Vermeer put a tree spade and rack on the truck in Iowa and the City of Independence used it for planting trees around the City. The rack over the hood / cab of the truck was where the trees and branches lay when they are hauling a tree.

We did find some stuff in there that said NAPCO. We have talked to GM people and we haven't seen one like it. Every single piece for the modification was professionally done - either by NAPCO or Vermeer. The year 1972 was the last year for NAPCO and the 1 ton was the only light duty truck size to get a NAPCO conversion. It's a unique truck being a 1 ton dually 4X4 and being a Longhorn on top of that.

We have the original warranty card that the factory had when the dealership use to give stamped out metal cards. I have the City number for the truck.

I had been keeping my eye on that truck ever since it arrived in Missouri. I told the gal who was in charge of the City's fleet that I was interested in that truck! When they put it up for sale, there was a guy that was bidding against me and he kept running up the price. I was determined. I was going to buy it no matter what.

The fellow eventually walked up and asked me what was I going to do with the truck. I told him I was going to take the spade off of it ... I just wanted the truck. Well, he just wanted the spade. So, the bidding ended and I got the truck. I sold the man the spade that very day. Turns out he only lives a few miles from me.

The first picture in the Bolt Bucket (link above) was the fall of 1993, after I bought it and was bringing it home. It was green then and still had the tree spade on the back. I kept the platform.

So, I put a fat bed on it and used it around the farm for a few years, as a header trailer and for hauling soy beans and stuff like that. It was a handy little truck but the time came, when I needed the flatbed for a newer truck. So the little 1-ton sat in the cave for 10 years (from 1995 until this December) without being started.

My Grandson Troy said he'd like to see us do something with that truck. I wasn't real keen on it as the next project truck. But I told him if he got it going, we would consider it.

Troy got it out and all we did was put a new battery in it, filed the points so they would fire, add fresh gas and it started right up. When Troy got home from school every evening, he'd be out there fiddling with that truck, trying to convince me we should do it for the 2012 project.

I didn't really want to get into it since once we started taking it apart, I didn't want to get busy with something else and not be able to finish. But, this truck got the call and we started in January, taking it down to the frame.

We ended up changing the frame. We had another Longhorn frame that was about 7" or 8" longer ... just like the 1-ton with a 9 foot bed. But when they put the tree spade on it, the frame took a lot of tugging and it broke in several places. I welded it back together. You really couldn't tell; but it bothered me.

So, I got another truck and tore it all down and sandblasted the frame and epoxy coated it. So basically, we started with a "new" frame and worked up (again). I used that frame and all the components from the other truck and built it from there.

We have a big enough shop to work in. We drove the 1-ton into the shop on a Wednesday, and (after a few pictures, of course), by Friday night, we put all of the drivetrain components in a tank and painted them (sandblasted, primed and painted in two days).

That's a "no turning back" point for us -- when the primer gets put on! That was amazing for the four of us to do that. Of course, we know how to do this since we've done so many.

It was a rolling chassis when I took it up to Scott "48bigtrucks" Ward in Iowa (350 miles) to do the engine work. Scott said, "The the engine only had 9300 miles on it but the outside looked like it lived in a swamp. I pulled it apart after cleaning it and resealed every gasket and seal there was. I sand blasted every removed part prepped, primed and painted it before reassembly."

Scott "48big trucks" Ward adds, "Sometime in the spring, March I think, Bill came up to my place to get the 1966 C30 I had finished. He brought with him the engine and tranny from the 1972 for me to start on. Once he got the '66 home and started driving it, he wanted me to do the rest of the chassis as well. So later in the spring, April I think, he brought the chassis loaded on a trailer about 2/3 of the way to my place and I met him at a truckstop. He unhooked the trailer. I hooked on and drug it home. When I was done, I met him at the same truckstop and swapped rigs again. I think Wayne had the cab mounted to it within the same week. They finished it up from there."

After I put the frame together, I had Scott do the brakes. He did a complete brake rebuilt from the master on down, including the front NAPCO front differential. 1972 was the last year for NAPCO and the 1-ton was the only light duty truck size to get a NAPCO conversaion. By the end of July, it was done and drivable.

On the outside it is all stock -- just like it came out of the factory. I used the original cap and put new doors and fenders on. I used the original hood. I kept the old door with the City of Independence signage.

It has a Cheyenne interior with all has all new gauges. It came out really nice. It is unbelievable.

We were hoping to have the truck ready for the Annual Stovebolt Reunion in Kansas City (which was last weekend). Everything was done but the bed. I had the bed built for it in Oklahoma and sent a guy down to pick it up on Wednesday after work. He was there when the shop opened up on Thursday and he drove in with the bed, just as the Stovebolters were gathering at the farm for a "Pre Truck Show Truck Show" and picnic. Here John got a shot of us lowering the bed on to the truck.

We brought a few other trucks to the All Truck Nationals / Stovebolt Reunion ... you can see some of them (and many others) in the Bolt Bucket.

It's all about motivation and wanting to get it done. I took pictures of every step. I just think this is such fun to do. It does cost a lot of money but I'm frugle. Yet, I'll do what it takes. It costs money to do this but it will be worth something to somebody ... but it's worth a lot to me. It's a hobby. It's not a commercialized business; it is something we enjoy doing as a family.

Working with these guys is really unique. Troy worked on it all the way through. Everyone chipped in, even my wife Patti. It's my business and I've been running it for 38 years. My son has an excellent work ethic. Some nights he's out there working late, doing some finishing touches.

It's Troy's senior year of high school and I'm sure he'll drive it to school some. Maybe next spring, he'll be driving it a day or two a week.

When I pick a project truck, I imagine what all the steps will be to do a complete, good restoration. I keep all the parts in front of me. There is a lot of work involved when you take every piece off and sandblast each piece. That is what Troy does - maybe 20-25 pieces a night - sandblasting and then priming. We get into it depending on how busy we are with our regular stuff. We don't spend our workdays on side projects. But if we get the time, we'll keep the project moving.



It was great to do the "Pre Truck Show Truck Show" ... and picnic with the Aldersons, their family, friends and neighbors. We had a good crew of Bolters attend, too. We appreciate the Alderson hospitality and their friendship!

We could practically build a whole website on Bill, Wayne and now Troy's old truck collection! We are getting them into the Gallery a few at a time (since they try to focus on one truck a year -- that helps!). All their trucks have great stories. It's overwhelming and it's awesome. We were fortunate enough to see some of the fleet while in Kansas City. MO for the Annual Stovebolt Reunion at the Midwest All Truck Nationals.

What we've got on the site so far are a 1926 1-Ton Chev, a 1947 First Series Chevrolet 2-Ton, a 1971 GMC 6500 Fire Truck, and the 2011 project truck: the 1951 GMC 640 Truck Tractor.

If we can't do a website, at least we did an Alderson calendar to show off some of these beauties!


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