1936 Chevy Holden 1-Ton
01 May 2010 Update
We are still using the truck all the time and can't imagine living without it, so handy for all those little jobs. We have had a pretty manic time since I last wrote.
We are still having lots of fun with our old pick-up. She has taken us all over the place, on trips away, up to the Victorian High Country, and of course rod runs -- Mildura, Phillip Island, Pakenham each year. We also find Rock 'n Roll festivals and dances, cruises, etc. Kell uses the truck for all those little things that guys do -- work, swapmeets, catching up with mates.
We were disappointed when a low life stole the eagle from the hood -- very sad experience. However, we managed to get a repro from Craig at Classic Car Auto Parts. They were fantastic to deal with. This one will really get bolted down very securely. Kell plans to put power hood latches on soon?? !! Kell fitted rear airbags and did a little maintenance in the engine department.
We acquired our new little caravan and as it is in pretty good shape (pic attached) we have been using it quite a lot. The caravan was tucked away for a long time in a shed so we just dusted it off, made new curtains, fixed a couple of sad spots and here we are on the road again for more fun! We are hoping to re-paint it this year just have to wait and see how everything goes.
We are actually going to a vintage caravan event at Lake Goldmith this weekend. They are having a "beat the record of vintage vans in one spot" thingo. It will be interesting to see what folks do to these vans to jazz them up a little.
We have had many visits to the Stovebolt site and it is amazing the amount of information that is available. The enthusiasm is incredible. We have lived and breathed this truck for years and I think mostly, unless you are really into this 'old car/truck thing' people just don't 'get it' -- so the interest on Stovebolt has been terrific. Thank you so much.
We are planning a trip to the states and plan to go to the Nationals at Louisville in August. Finding it pretty difficult to find accommodation so need to keep working at it. We are expecting to have a brilliant holiday -- LA , San Francisco, Vegas then over to Chicago, Detroit, then the Nats, a bit of a tour down to New Orleans. We expect to be quite wrecked by the end of it!
04 June 2008
From Kelly :
G'day. I am a new Stovebolter from Central Victoria, Australia.
I drove past this old truck for many years. It sat under a Peppercorn tree in a farmer's paddock quite close to home and I thought, "That is a great truck." Naturally, I did nothing. One day I drove past and ... it was gone.
Well to cut to the chase .. I went to the next swap meet and you know the rest ... there she was just sitting on the truck waiting for me to buy her and bring her home for $1000 AU.
Here is a pic of truck leaving the farm after being sold ... a classic "before" photo.
The plan was to downsize it to a one tonner and so there began a four year work in progress.
The truck is now fitted with an original chassis that has been boxed and z'd 8" at the rear, fitted with a Holden HT front end (1970 Australian car) and shortened by about three feet.
We noticed that the original colour (through the rust) was a maroon red for the body and black for the running boards and front fenders. We thought "cool colours" and felt that re-doing the original colours would be in keeping. We added the yellow to give a lift and then a touch of silver flake to the the fenders and black / yellow door detailing also.
As we planned to re-paint our teardrop trailer / camper in a complimentary way, the overall project looks good (the inside of the camper is painted the sunny yellow, too). The interior of the cab [ pix ] is trimmed with burgundy and yellow for the seats and door trims, burgundy carpet, then with the black door handles, elec switches and speakers. We think it matches the outside colours. I fabricated the dash to fit a chrome speedo and dash cluster from an early Holden that is eye-catching and the white headliner makes everything feel airy and bright. The black tray cover ties in with the black on the truck.
Now that we have the truck, setting up camp is a breeze, as the annex / poles and pretend grass can go in the tray.
The engine is Australian made Holden 308 with a TH400.
After many hours of cabin repairs and steeling out, it was fitted with central locking, power steering, air conditioning, heat and electric windows.
After fitting magna bucket seats, the interior was fully trimmed in yellow and burgundy with a white headliner.
Because this pickup was intended as a daily driver / work truck, the decision was made to fit a dropside tray for practical purposes. It has a dedicated LP gas fuel system. After some hiccups and trial and error finding front springs, it has proved to be a comfortable and reliable cruiser.
On the teardrop trailer, it is a Sports Minor, made from plywood, on a strong metal frame. It is easy to move and has all the comforts ... yes seriously! It's like Mary Poppins Handbag!!! It has a beautiful comfy high density foam double mattress. We can sit up comfortably to drink our evening booze ... err .. port ... err ... beverages!! There is a door on either side with opening windows for ventilation. A storage shelf goes over our heads side to side and is trimmed with a curtain for tidiness. Two cupboards face us as we sit with a roomy space over our legs.
When you go to the tail of the camper, it lifts up and there we have our kitchen area. With a gas 2-ring stove, a microwave, toaster, kettle, fold up table 'n chairs, space to hold the kitchen essentials in two large tubs, power outlets of course. We take an annexe that has a light, heater, fan, green turf (for sandy / no grass sites).
As a bonus, we were able to track down the original purchaser's family who had bought the vehicle in 1936. They willingly shared the vehicles history with us and gave us copies of family photos dating from the forties.
(Being a info junkie, I HAD to get more on this. How in the world wide web do you FIND the original owners? Well ... fascinating way. Joyce fills us in on this part. Read on! ~ Editor)
Talk about Stovebolt Karma ...
Co-incidence 1 ~ Kelly was talking about his project truck to a workmate and was asked to bring in a photo of it. Kelly did so and was blown away when this mate said "I know that truck. It is from Coburn's Farm in Bealiba. I used to ride on that when I was a kid of 16 or so." The photo showed the farmer's faded name on the door. This friend told Kelly where the farmer's son, Max lived now.
Co-incidence 2 ~ Kelly and I drove the truck around to the address and knocked on the back door, leaving the truck in the side driveway. When the door opened, Kelly realised the man he was now looking at was a familiar face. He had worked at a local engineering factory with this man when he first began work as a school leaver (many years ago). Kelly introduced himself and Max remembered that yes he did remember Kelly, and he had worked with him years ago.
After looking a little non-plussed as to why we should turn up out of the blue like this, Kelly told him he had something to show him and would he please come to the side of the house. Max did so and when he saw the truck he said " C h e v v y ' s H o m e " then hurried back to bring his wife out to see the truck. He said the truck never looked as it did now and was amazed by the elecric gizmos and the trim job.
He brought out the family album and showed us pictures of the truck taken at special family functions through the years. Church on Sunday, weddings, the truck was washed and everyone lined up in front of it for the photos. We were promised copies of the photos and they arrived the following week. We were told the original registration number and that helped us later to get the truck re-registered.
Max said that when his Father bought the truck in 1936, it was the first Big Truck to come to the district and all the locals came over to check it out. The truck was bought at the local dealership "Wally Grose Motors" in Maryborough.
The truck then did duty on the farm, used for everything from watering stock to wood gathering. When the grapes needed to be picked up in Mildura (a good six hours away now), a gang of workers would sit on the open back tray on half chaff bags for the trip up there ... imagine ... blazing heat, no cover and the worst gravel / dirt road you can imagine. (We go to Mildura for a rod run each October ~ Desert City Rodders, and the road (now sealed) is like the ocean wave, so I can only shudder at the condition of it back then.)
When the truck was retired it sat under the Peppercorn tree as a memento of the old days. When the farmer passed away, his wife refused to sell the truck or have it moved. It reminded her of her husband. After she passed away, the farm was sold and also the truck.
The truck went to the next swap meet and that was when Kelly said "That's my truck" and bought her.
Co-incidence 3 ~ Two weeks ago we were at a family function and a friend / neigbour Chalky, who is a metal detector (beeper) came up to show us a recent find from Chinamans Flat (gold mine area of the old days). It is a flat copper disc and would you believe it is a dealership medallion stamped with the name "Wally Grose Motors, Maryborough." When I said, "Wow! That is the dealership that first sold our truck to the Coburn Family in th1936" Chalky was amazed.
The disc was found in pipe clay so there is no damage to the disc at all. Kelly has requested first refusal on it and we are keeping our fingers crossed that Chalky will allow us to have it. We think it would look great on the dash of the truck.
We have also discovered that there is a lady in town who is a daughter of Wally Grose and she has all the records of the old business. We hope to see her and find out if it is possible to look at the old records and hopefully get a copy of the original purchase order. Again, keep fingers crossed.
Co-incidence 4 ~ .In December last year, we went to an event called "Show Us Ya Wheels" held in Shepparton (Victoria). While we were there, a family came up and asked us where the truck came from. When we replied that it came from the Maryborough District, they said, "That's our Grandfathers truck." The man shot off saying he had to bring his son Jake over to see it, and away he went.
The lady went on to say that she was amazed to see the truck again and that when her son and daughter were small they used to go to the farm and the kids would spend all the time playing on the old truck and tractor that were parked under the Peppercorn tree.
Then a young man came over to the truck and all he could say was "It is the truck ... it is ... get out of here. Get out of here. It is." He went around the truck and looked at it from every angle. He was really quite delighted. I told him that as he used to play in it as a kid, he had better get back in and check out the inside. He jumped in and we took photos.
As I chatted to his mum, I discovered that Jake is now a graphic designer and they asked if they could take photos for Jake to put a collage together for his own Father. I said that I would supply photos on a disc of the build and send them over to them. To make things really special, I asked if a copy of the photo collage could be sent to me on the quiet as Kelly's birthday was a few months away and it would make a really special present for him.
An amazing poster arrived in due time and I gave it to Kelly while we were out celebrating his birthday at a rock 'n roll dance. He was totally blown away by it.
So all in all, it has been quite a journey, to actually meet members of the family who first bought the truck and to get her "story" has been brilliant.
We have sourced bits to dress her up from the UK US NZ Queensland and even local swap meets have turned up goodies for her. We are coming to the States to do a Cruise of Route 66 next year so I guess we will just have to bring even more goodies home for her and her new sister "Big Blue" ~ a 71 Chev Impala Sports Coupe.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and story. It is great to see them in the Gallery. I found your site about two years ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed surfing through it with the intention of signing up when the truck was completed. (So ... here we are! ) We have had many visits to the site and it is amazing the amount of information that is available. The enthusiasm is incredible. We have lived and breathed this truck for years and I think mostly, unless you are really into this "old car / truck thing," people just don't "get it." So your interest has been terrific. Thank you so much.
Kelly and Joyce
Wow, glad you finally got her in the Gallery. But you didn't have to wait until she was all done! We like them in any shape and form. Definitely a high drool factor here. And thanks for going through all that typing to get us all these great details. It's very motivating to see things come together. It's great to have all this history on this truck so many can share it also. Thank YOU for doing all that. Cheers ~ Editor