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Mechanicsville, Maryland

 

1958 Chevy Fleetside Longbed

"Betsy"

Owned by

Sarah Babine
"Betsydevotee"
Bolter # 16405
Kennebunk, York County,Maine

18 October 2007
# 2090

From Sarah :

          I am a lover of things older that I am. I moved to Maine from California five years ago, interested in researching my paternal ancestry, and locating the house my Great Grandfather built on Kennebunk Beach in the very early 1900's. I love it here. I say "I'm from away, but I'm not."

          My truck Betsy is a 1958 Chevy Fleetside Longbed.  She originally belonged to a company in the small town my Grandfather lived in that tumbled rocks. Betsy (so named by my Grandfather in 1965), much to my delight, came to live with me in February 2006.  

          My Mother brought the truck home in 1976, the year Po passed away, and the year I got my driver's license.  She was the first vehicle I drove after getting my driver's license. After I left home and got married, my brother took custody.  He used her as a daily driver when he was working construction. Later, he parked her in the parking lot of a laundry that he managed, and drove her only enough to keep the oil circulating and the battery charged.  

          Almost two years ago, he quit managing the laundry, and had no off street parking. His neighbors got irritated when she sat in the same parking space on the street and they had her towed away! Joe had to pay paid 50 bucks to bail her out. He drove her over to our Mom's place, parked her in the driveway, and went in to ask Mom what she thought about selling her.

          Several days later, I spoke with Mom and she said she was going to list her on eBay. I said "NO WAY!!"  Within the week, I arranged through Fedex to have her hauled from California to Maine. The snarly toothed guy who drove the Peterbuilt auto transport that brought her to me thought she was a real truck, and gave her a Peterbuilt key for her ignition. He also asked if I knew how to drive her, and my response was ... “Drive her?  I can parallel park her!” The Fleetside Longbed models are pretty rare. Most trucks of her era are shortbed stepsides.  

          She's quite happy with her new digs, having a garage for the first time in her life, and someone who adores her to care for her properly. She has her original 235, three on the tree, and original wood in the bed.

          After a bath, her seat got reupholstered (by me), new jute padding and rubber mat in the cab, glove box latch (to keep it closed), gas tank sending unit, weather stripping on the doors. The list goes on. Here's a shot from the rear, another of the interior (gauges), and the interior (seat-side).

          I drive her every chance I get in good weather. Enough folks have asked if I want to sell her that I made a sign for the back window that says "NOT FOR SALE." Obviously I am very attached to her. I get a real kick out of driving her around, as well as teaching myself how to repair and preserve her.

          I am enjoying learning all about her as I putter, fix and preserve. I've made good use of The Stovebolt Page, and appreciate the huge resource it represents, and the work that has gone into it

          Any questions about her I'll be happy to answer as best I can.

Thanks and enjoy,

Sarah

          Betsy is a definite "keeper." You're right about the long boxes. Seems to be a lot more shorties. We have Betsy's cousin (our's is a 1955 3/4-ton long box with 235, 4 speed and big rear window). I always feel proud when some one comes up to the window and says my husband or father had one of these trucks. I even had a lady thank me for preserving my '53 1/2-ton by keeping it original. I gives you a warm fuzzy. I'm certain that Betsy is very happy to be living in your garage and being well kept. It must be beautiful out east right now, cruising the ol' country road with the windows down with the combination of the smells of changing seasons and 30w oil from the breather pipe. aaahhh! That's what we've been doing here on the west coast of Canada. ~~ Mike "Burgandybolt" Allen, Stovebolt Welcome (Panel) Wagon

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