1953 Chevy 3800
From James :
I bought this truck in the Fall of 2007 from a farmer in the Thumb of Michigan. I remember seeing it in his barn years ago when I dated his daughter. For $500 he pulled it out of the barn and down the road to my parents’ house, where I have been working on it. It looked much better in the barn.
I was told that it was “restored” and painted in 1976 for a local Bicentennial parade. Check out the cool red, white and blue 1976 Michigan plate on the front bumper.
Now that I have dug into it (literally, dug into it), I see that the restoration process involved filling the large holes with cheap tin and covering it with pounds of body filler. Also, the front fenders were reattached to the cab with strips of the same tin, pop rivets and more filler.
The front of the cab in the lower cowl area was completely rotted away. At one point during the price negotiation, I was told that the truck was worth at least $200 in scrap. I’m not sure how much the scrap yards are paying for body filler, but this truck sure has a lot of it.
I have only been able to work on the truck one or two weekends a month, since it is still three hours from my house. I am able to use my Father's tools (he’s a former auto mechanic), but I have not earned a permanent spot in his garage. I have disassembled much of the truck and have taken some of the parts back to my house, where I control the garage. This allows me to get some work done without spending $60+ in gas.
I am planning on mounting this truck on a 1990 C1500 chassis. This is ambitious, I know, but the chassis came with the 350 SB I plan to use. This is different than the S-10 frame swaps that I have been reading about. I plan to bring the truck down to my house this fall once the cab is mounted on the new chassis. Body work and installing driver controls (steering and pedals) will be next.
So far my wife has been fine with my new project and my growing collection of tools. She has not said one word about this truck coming from an old girlfriend’s family. That may be because from all of my cursing and complaining -- it probably looks like I’m not having fun with it. She would be wrong!
I welcome any comments or questions through my forum profile.