09 January 2016
# 3120

 
Owned by
Mike Boteler
"Mike B"
Bolter # 4283
Maryland
 

 

1956 Chevrolet 3100 Resto-Rod

"Dana's Truck"

More pictures of this truck

 

From Mike :

This old truck restoration story started in 1995 with the purchase of a 1956 Chevrolet 3100 pickup from a used car dealer in Waldorf, Maryland. From the beginning, it was to be a Father-Son project, and for the most part it was.

This was my first antique truck to purchase. Prior to this, I had been into vintage cars. I started at age 14 with a 1948 Dodge 4-door Sedan. Then I got a 1935 Chevy Coupe when I was about 18 and I still have it. After that, I started on a 1957 Chevy Belair 2-door hard top. I worked on that car seven years but sold it unfinished. When that car left, the focus turned to home and family ... until this 1956 Chevy came along.

This truck was not something I would have picked to restore but my Son really liked it. The dealership was fairly close to home. So, we got it and drove it home. It had questionable brakes and the transmission didn't want to stay in third gear.

 

Dana's Specs:

  • 1956 Chevrolet 3100
  • mild 350 SBC V8
  • Saginaw 4-speed transmission
  • 2.73 Trans-Am rear
  • power disc brakes
  • power rack and pinion steering
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Vintage Air A/C
  • Retrax Bed Cover

From day one, we knew this truck would be a full restoration project. It had been used and abused in its previous life. We have no real info on the truck other than what it looked like.

Once we got the truck home, my then 13 year old Son was eager to start the tear down. He went crazy. He blew that thing apart. I think he had it in 1,000 pieces on the first weekend, all bagged and tagged so he knew what he had.

He was looking forward to having a vehicle he could drive in high school. Ever since he was little, he would be around me when I was working with the old cars, so mechanical things were of interest to him and it all came natural to him.

The truck began to grow on me but I wanted a BIG truck. I thought perhaps my Son would have a little Task Force and I could get a BIG one! So, I started looking for mine.

For the next few years, we worked on it as life allowed. I welded in all new steps, rockers, front and rear cab corners and lower hinge pockets while my son sandblasted and cleaned everything.

A year after my Son got his '56, I found a 1957 6400 series dump truck! I wanted to make the dump truck a wrecker. Another year passed, and as I was looking for a body for the wrecker, I found a 1956 Chevy 8400 Holmes Wrecker -- "Maude." So I let the dump truck go.

In the blink of an eye, my Son was in high school. We got the truck to where we had a running chassis with a 350 SBC coupled to a SM-420 transmission with a Trans-Am 2.73 Posi. The cab and all of the sheet metal was in primer. We were able to drive the chassis up and down the driveway like a giant go-kart. We realized that the truck was not going to make it as a "driver for high school" and that's where the project stalled.

I did get the mechanical work done on the Holmes Wrecker during that time. It wasn't a typical restoration but enough work to get it tagged and on the road. The paint job was even a "brush job" and it was my drive around and have fun truck.

Next thing, my Son was off to college. Not too long after he had gone, I called him home to help put the truck in storage because I was NOT going to build it for him. This was, after all, a Father-Son project and it was taking up valuable real estate in the garage. I found a 1957 Chevy 10500 Fire Engine and that was my new restoration project and I was anxious to begin it.

We hung the '56 cab in the rafters, piled all the sheet metal on top of the chassis and had it all pushed against the back wall. It was piled up like a mountain of old iron. I had room to finish the '57 Fire Engine, which only took me a year and a half.

After my Son's truck had been in storage in the garage for over 10 years, my wife Dana asked my now married Son if he was ever going to finish it. He said that his wife, career, new house and baby made it hard for him to even think about the old truck. So Dana informed him that I would finish the truck and she would drive it!

That was the motivation for me to get it done. If she hadn't pushed, it would still be another pile of parts hanging around the garage.

Now I was given the task of finishing a truck restoration that I never really wanted to do in the first place. It took five additional years to get it done so the entire project spanned 20 years. We had worked hard on it for the first three or four years and then it tapered down. It was in the garage for 10 years. We brought it out five years ago and I completed it by Spring of 2015.

By this time, I had a 1956 Chevy 4400 NAPCO Brush Truck 4x4 and I was looking forward to starting the restoration on it. I promised my wife I would finish the pickup first before I started on the Brush Truck. And so I did.

I have to admit, I'm very happy to have it done and I like the way it turned out. My youngest daughter Erin, who was 28 at the time, picked the paint color: Pinecrest Green, a 1956 Chevrolet color! I had picked a different color (Oriental Green). I laid both colors down and the two people at the paint store said to go with the color she picked. They poo-poo'd my color.

Thanks,

Mike "Mike B" Boteler

 

 

 

-30-


Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop

No parts of this site, its contents, photos or graphics may be used without permission.  


Copyright © 1995-2019 The Stovebolt Page | Mechanicsville, Maryland

Mike has some good Task Force identification information on his web site, Mike's Garage.