A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
Our Five '60-'66 Chevy Trucks
Mr. and Mrs. E
15 February 2008
From: EZ :
I am a retired man with a lot of time on my hands. We currently have five Chevy trucks. Chevy -- that's the only kind worth having! We have had lots of fun with our trucks. We have been taking them (one at a time) to local car shows. We meet a lot of nice people with their great cars and trucks.
Growing up on a farm, a truck was the thing to have. We have always owned some kind of a truck. But the Chevy was the one I liked best. My Dad bought a new 1956 Chevy Shortbed with a spare tire on the side, 6 cylinder, 4 speed, orange with a white top. I never saw another one like it. This truck was the one I learned how to drive at the age of 14.
Our back yard was grass and there was no place to work on a truck. We had big plans to build a garage. We fixed up the shop making a big carport. We then had enough room to work. That was our project for three years to get the shop done.
Chevy Truck Inventory #1 - 1968 Chevy, 1-ton Flatbed
The first truck my wife Lavera and I started on was a 1968 Chevy one-ton flat bed. We found it 65 miles from here in weeds up around your necks. We wanted to fix this one for ourselves to use as a handy truck for when we retired. After starting on the one-ton, we found a lot of Chevy trucks in the sixties setting around the state. These were the ones to have, for the parts were interchangeable. There were lots of the 1960 - 66 trucks to pick from.
The 1968 one-ton had a 6 cylinder engine. That had to go since it didn’t have enough power for that truck. We restored the '68 and put in a new 454 engine. We painted it gold on top with root beer brown on the bottom.
We've had this truck for over 25 years. We tried to sell the truck on eBay once but it ended up such a hassle and headache. Most of the bids were from Europe. Soon after that, there was a big news story about scams on eBay coming from overseas.
Chevy Inventory #2 -- the first 1962 Chevy, a 1/2-ton
After getting the '68 one-ton finished, we started on a 1962 Chevy. We were in Carson City, Nevada when we found this truck. There was a kid there who needed to sell the truck, as he was hurting for money. So we bought it from him. I drove it to work for a year and wanted to fix it up.
So, we started to work on it. The big change for the truck was using a front suspension out of a 1977 Chevy C-10. We added a lot of new parts. It now has a 350 ci engine, a Turbo 400 transmission, drop springs, and a GM 10-bolt rear end. We also put in 11-inch brakes, and 2.58 gears. [ interior ]
We then had to take the '62 into the shop for mufflers. While we were at muffler shop, the man next door at the transmission shop came over to ask if we needed more parts. We went to look to see what he had.
His "parts truck" was was an entire 1961 Chevy 3/4-ton truck that he was parting out. It also had a big back window. It was in good to fair condition and he only wanted $200 for it. The truck had no engine or transmission.
This is why we wanted to work on old trucks! We could do the work and modify them with power steering and drop spindles. We love working on them. So we bought this one!
We got it home and started to work on this truck. We saved the cab, front fenders and hood. We sold the rolling frame along with the bed for $275. We replaced a lot of parts -- new or rebuilt, cleaned and restored like new. It was a lot of hard work to get done. This truck took us five years to get this one done. It was real bright yellow, inside and out! But we painted it (of course). It took a lot of patience to get done right. This fellow traded me some parts for the nice grille on here. We sold it over three years ago. We saw it after that in a parking lot. We left a note on the truck, but never got a response.
Chevy Inventory #3 - our second 1962 Chevy
The next Chevy we started on was another 1962 Chevy. This one was going to be towed away by the City. They gave notice to the property owner that it had to be stored somewhere else. If not, the City was going to tow it away the next day. (California passed laws that if an old truck is just setting in your front yard, they'll take it away. It has to be in the backyard, behind the fence, or in a garage. It's called the "Sore-eye law.")
We paid $250 for this truck and it was in sad condition. It had a rough body, bad glass, and lot of rust. We started by taking the body off the frame. There was alot of cleaning that had to be done on it. We took off the parts we did not want -- like the front suspension system and the rear end. We worked out all the dents with lots of sanding. Then we got it painted. We did almost what we did to the '61.
This picture shows the dash - a custom insert with Dolphin Gauges, Marble powder coated bezel. Here are the wheels. They are 8" Chevy truck rally wheels, powder coated Marble Green with 255 x 60 x 15 tires. This picture shows the LED tail lights, powder coated ring, and a very cool gas tank door moved to the rear quarter panel, almost factory.
I put an Oldsmobile rear end in it and build a 383 ci engine for it. It'll cruise at 70-75 mph all day and rides like a dream. Here is a good pix from the rear, showing the 2002 Jaguar Seafrost Green color and pinstripping.
Chevy Inventory #4 - our second 1961 Chevy, a 3/4-ton
We bought another '61 Chevy 3/4-ton and started to work. We cleaned and painted the frame and put a '68 front suspension with 2 ½ inch drop spindles. We kept the cab, fenders, hood and swapped a frame with a '61 shortbed. We then added a disc brake conversion kit and power steering.
We got a new crate engine with 350 with 290 hp, 400 transmission was the next step [ see pix ] . We put in a 9 inch Ford rear end with 2.75 gears. We installed a 22 gallon gas tank from a Chevy van. We replaced all the small stuff -- brake lines, hoses, fuel line, springs, shock, wheels, and tires.
Chevy Inventory #5 - our 1964 1/2-ton
Now, we have a '64 Chevy that we are still working on and hope to have it done soon. We found this one via my buddy who has three of these trucks. His neighbor had it for 30-something years and finally put a for sale sign on it. We bought it for our kids and they decided they didn't like it. So we ended up keeping it. The only thing nice about it at the time was the seat.
We drove it around for a while. It would only run about 60 mph. Getting out on the freeway, we thought we'd get run over. It's NASCAR training here in California. (Remember the 50-60 car pile up we had here in the fog?)
We have done a lot of work to it already. We have rebuilt the engine. We have to get it painted. Haven't had time to strip it down to the body, yet.
Some general info
We put a 22 gallon gas tank in all the trucks except the '68. The gas tanks were all installed behind the rear end. We also put on 5-lug Rally wheels on all of them, custom made with the right bolt pattern.
I got it all together with my wife's help and we did 90% of the work. My wife does more than half of it. She does the sanding, painting, and other light stuff. I do the heavy stuff, like welding.
When I started looking for old Chevy parts eight or nine years ago, I went all the way to Oklahoma. Some of the places were back in the sticks and weeds. "Go down this dirt road, there's a little trail, and you'll see a hood sticking up out of the woods."
We went down the trail about a mile and we saw a trailer and and old shed. There was nobody around. When someone finally came up, they said "Yea, there's some trucks down there. Go take a look and see what you can find." I was real nervous ... the weeds were so tall, I thought for sure there were going to be snakes.
We put Ford rear ends under a few of them since they are beefy (like Lincoln, Cougar) with highway gears. I'd strip all the junk off them. I'd have to get new axles for the rears to fit. It costs about $650 to make the change over but it was worth it. We'd go out to the "Pick a Part" type places -- you bring your tools and go get the parts yourself. We use to have a lot of those here.
We have so much fun with our trucks. We've been doing this for 25 years now. We don't play golf and stuff like that. That's a waste of time.
I have more pictures on My space! Good luck with your project. We hope to see your projects on-line soon.
EZ Chevy Truck Guy