Lee Bailes'

1966 Chevy K-10 LWB Fleetside

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19 March 2007
# 1889

From Tony :

        I wanted to surprise Lee with a posting in the Gallery, so I am submitting this on his behalf. I am taking on the project, as a favor, whereas I do not restore trucks for a living, only for the shear pleasure. Lee is a Stovebolt member and I originally met Lee on the Stovebolt site in 2005. It turned out he lived only 10 minutes from my shop. He contacted me to assist him with a power steering conversion on his 1966 Chevy K-10, since he saw my 1966 K10 (BCKNBLK) in the Gallery where I had converted to power steering. I suggested visiting his house to take a look at the truck to see what condition it was in.

        After taking a look at the truck and discussing the long term plans for it, Lee and his wife Julie decided to get the truck mechanically sound enough to allow his son Ryan (in the photo left) to safely ride around with him and enjoy the truck. In its condition, the holes in the cab were big enough for his five year son old to fall through them. So, here we go bringing home some sheet metal home!

        Over the next few months, the plan evolved into a full frame-off restoration project. With a family of three children, it was a difficult decision to sink the money and resources into the project. With the help of his Father, Richard, we embarked on the journey of restoring his '66 K-10. During the process, our friendship grew, in part due to our passion for the '64-'66 Chevy trucks.

        Following a trip to my shop with his wife and three children, Lee and his wife decided what features they wanted on the finished project. We swapped the rusty cab for a donor from another fellow Stovebolter, Tim, in the Kansas City area. Here's is a photo of the cab sandblasted and doing some cab repairs. We also scored a strong, factory 327 from Tim's '66 C-20.

        Here are a few photos of the progress we have made on Lee's 1966 K-10 long wheel base Fleetside. It came to my shop as a basket case, due to the significant amount of rust and year's of use.

        This truck has the factory running gear.

        Over the past 14 months, we have been pecking away at the restoration. The frame was striped and painted. All of the sheet metal was striped and primed. The factory drum brakes were rebuilt, with factory power brakes to be added. New plumbing, including brake lines and fuel lines were installed. The front and rear axles and transfer case were drained and filled. New shocks were installed and all the universal joints were replaced.

        The project is now ready for bodywork, paint and assembly. We have been deliberating whether to tackle the bodywork or shopping it out to a local body shop in the Kansas City, Kansas area. The amount of time it takes, as well as the resources needed to do it properly, will determine which direction we take.

        I am hopeful that Lee and his family will be able to enjoy his truck this summer. I can't wait to see it assembled and on the road. I know Lee and his family will be extremely happy and proud the day he drives it away from my shop for the last time.

        Many thanks to all the folks on the Stovebolt site for a great 2006. I admire and respect the amount of work it must take to keep this mighty classic truck site purring like a kitten. Many thanks from me and my fleet of 4-5-6 Chevy trucks. I hope 2007 is safe, fun and prosperous for your and yours.

Best regards,

Tony Smith
"4-5-6 Chevy Trucks"
Bolter # 5355
Lenexa, Kansas

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