Bob Bandor's

1956 Chevy 6500


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12 July 2007
# 1989

From Bob :

           Howdy! Iím glad I found your site and finally became a member.

           A buddy and I bought this 1956 Chevy 6500 back in 1996 or so. The idea was to use it for our fire wood business (I lived in the mountains then). When I had to move back to the flatlands, I was unable to take her with me until I had a place with enough room. It's only been recently that I went up there to awaken her from her slumber and drive down the hill to her new home.

           I had to quit doing wood back in the Fall of '98. We had so much business during that time frame that I was able to pay for tires, tools, saws and a new splitter. At the last, we did about 45 cords that summer -- and the summers are short up there in Kremmling!

           From what I recall on the history of the truck, it was originally purchased (Burt Chevrolet) for use around the front range. Sometime later, she found her way up into the mountains.

           When we got this truck, the previous owner was doing construction site clean ups and did little if any maintenance on the girl. The carb and fuel system was so messed up, I was surprised we even got her home that evening. The bed was about to fall off the frame and the surface rust on the body, especially the grille, was terrible.

           Since it was to be a work truck, I didnít do too much as far as body work. I got a case of white and green paint cans (had to be redneck here), burnished off most of the rust and shot it when I could.

           I believe this one had the 235 but at some point around the early to mid 1960ís, someone threw in the 348 cid motor with a four speed, obviously for more power in the hills. I canít imagine a stock 235 pulling a loaded truck up and down 7% grades. Even with the 348, itís still a hand full! The heaviest load we had was right at 20K (have the weight slip somewhere) with green wood. Usually we ran around 18.5K with dry (even though the placard says recommended gross is 16.5K).

           We rebuilt the fuel system, ubolted the bed rails to the frame, hung a tool box on the passenger side (it is wood-lined to protect the saws when bouncing on the back roads), repaired the side panels, ply-wooded the grain bed and put on my custom hitch (see below) and a lot of re-welding here and there. After I was done, the old girl would fire up with just a bump of the starter, purr and pull all day long. With the straight pipes with the muffs on the ends, a light flame could be seen when descending hills while loaded. (My bud thought the truck was on fire at one point. I could only chuckle and smile since she was finally running right!)

           She holds 75 gallons of fuel and gets about 8 mpg loaded or not. Although slow compared to todayís standard, sheís consistent. She has been one heck of a good truck and a hoot to drive around. Hopefully, I’ll be able to restore her over the next couple of years.

           I made a custom draw hitch back in 1996. The hitch (side view) was made out of 3 x 4 x 3/8 wall tubing (close-up). Everything is capable of handling the bed hinge pins when I can get around to making the bed a dump somewhere in the future.

           Been thumbing around on the site. I like the Big Bolt section since it pertains more to my girl. I must say there is a lot of beautiful trucks to be found here. Maybe one day Iíll have my old girl finished! A lot of stories in that old girl, but that will have to wait for another day.

Thanks,

Bob Bandor
"BadBob6500"
Bolter # 15051
Brighton, Colorado



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