1959 Chevrolet 1/2-Ton Apache
From Tyler :
Here's an update on my Chevy Task Force 3200. Progress has been slow and sporadic, but there has been some!
I rebuilt the engine and brakes, and got it on the road again. I put in a Holley / Weber carb from Langdon's. It runs great, but there have been some issues (more on that later...).
I haven't done much body work really, except sanding most of the cab and spraying primer. I needed to put a bed floor down, so I used the 4/4 12" hemlock boards we had in the rafters of the garage.
I painted the interior with my planned color scheme for the exterior. I also wired a blinker switch to the brake and front parking lamps (I added dual filaments bulbs).
We used the truck in our wedding, to drive up to the ceremony in a friend's back field, and also as a kegorator. The farm is about an hour drive from home, and about half way there, the engine started bucking and cutting out. In my haste to get the engine in, I didn't add a fuel filter! There wasn't one originally, so I figured it would be okay to add one later. I hadn't considered the rust that accumulated in the fuel tank while it was out for years!
We trailered the truck home, and I cleaned about 1/4" of rust from the bottom of the float bowl. Many lessons in that story!
If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have completely disassembled the truck all at once. I could have just pulled the engine, rebuilt that and the brakes and enjoyed driving it while I worked on other parts. Having it all apart required more time and money all at once to get it back together and on the road. Another lesson, I guess.
More to come....eventually.
13 December 2002
This is my 1959 Chevy Apache. I wasn't looking for a truck, or another vehicle for that matter. I found her at a trailer park in Commerce, Georgia. I paid the old man who owned it $900 for her. I had no way to get it back to Vermont (where I live) other than drive it.
So, after parking it at a friend's house, I headed back to Vermont to take care of some business and register the truck. A very loyal friend and I drove back down to Georgia, spent a day checking things out and greasing things here and there, and then headed for Vermont.
So, four loooonnnnng days of driving, eight GALLONS of oil, and a good hunk of the ol' protective ozone layer later, the truck and my buddy (tailing me in another car) and I arrived in Vermont. The trip, to my relief, went smooth and without incident. My Dad says, "It's amazing what you can do when you don't know you can't."
I say,"Go little 235!"
I drove it for a summer, and it sat for a couple years in the yard (oh how it hurt to see it, sitting covered in snow). Now, I finally am making some progress. It's moved to the cement slab in the yard, and it's coming a part (a little), and being cleaned up.
I don't know much about what I'm doing (this web site is awesome, though!), and I have no money. So this is a functional, partial, and incremental rebuild. The engine (the original 235) is out, machined, and naked in the garage, surrounded by new parts to go in it.
I want to have Mike at Kansas Kustoms do up my exhaust manifold when I get the dough. The rust is coming off (to clean solid metal!! -- mostly) little by little with an angle grinder and a light touch, and primer is going on. I hope the engine will be in and the hood back on by winter, and it will roll under its own power again by early spring. A paint job is in order by early summer.
I don't want a museum piece, I just want to keep this bit of history proudly on the road for years, and I think I can do that respectably, with limited resources and a bunch of elbow grease.
These pictures are of the truck, and me doing
stuff to it ... ripping things off of the engine to make it easier to pull; spraying undercoating on the cleaned and primed floorboard (hey, it's not a
resto, I just want it be functional).
Tyler, Thanks for creating a great submission! Cool truck and great write-up! ~~ Curator.
That is one GREAT photo of Tyler working in his poor man's garage. We have used that so many times on the site. When Tyler gets done, this ought to be one great story. ~ Editor