Chuck Eisel's

1955 Chevy 1/2-Ton 4 x 4


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27 November 2006 Update
# 1121

From Chuck :

       Hi there! It's been a while since I’ve been here to The Stovebolt Page.

       I just received my tenth e-mail from a youngster asking advice on how to convert to 4 x 4. It’s really nice to here that there are some kids still into the old stuff.

       I finally finished my garage, so I will be tearing apart my '55 soon. Thought I would submit a pic from last weekend so I have a “before” documented on the site prior to its next re-birth.

Chuck Eisel
"hptherapy"
Bolter # 7230
Mayo, Maryland


13 June 2005
# 1121

From Chuck: 

       I'd like to submit my '55 pickup to this great site! I love reading all the little stories.

       I bought this truck in 1988. I had $1,000 to spend and was on my way home from the F*rd dealer after test driving a new truck when I picked up a want ad and found her. Bought it from an old guy in Washington, D.C.

       It was semi stock when I got it with a later model 283 and three-on-the-tree. I was in college at the time and didn't have much money so I drove it the way it was for the summer. The rear differential destroyed itself one day so I was going to take the rear out of my fully functional, tagged, insured, but rapidly rusting '72 Blazer (the red "killer" below) and put it in the '55. Well, six months later, I had spliced the Blazer frame (to get the right wheelbase) and put all the running gear in the '55. I had to be in Florida in two weeks for school when I finally got it all together. Started the old Blazer 350 up!

       After investigating a tap, I realized it was getting ready to drop a valve. The only other viable engine I had was my built 396 in my half-finished Chevelle. Some minor header modifications and a milder cam, I was ready to hit the road to Florida with a week to spare.

       After a few shake down rides, my Dad told me to pull it into the shop (we owned a body shop at the time), and he had his guys massage the body and paint it. I was surprised and thrilled. So, 21 years old, driving 1,000 miles in a 500 horsepower, 7 mpg, lifted 4 x 4 that I built myself.

       The farther south I got with those Maryland plates, the more thumbs up and waves I got. At one point somewhere in N.C., a group of bikers came by me and one of them shook my hand at 70 mph.

       Ok, so it is 17 years later and I still have "old green", and it is getting ready for it's third incarnation. I've got some tall new "vintage" tires and new 16" wheels from Stockton wheel and I'm gonna give it that stock NAPCO look. But my "NAPCO" has got power disc brakes and steering.

       I also sent a picture of my Dad's carryall he had when I was a kid. My last memory of that truck was when he broke his leg "sand surfing" behind it at Assateague island.

       Hope you guys enjoy and I'll send some photos when I take it all apart again. I hope to submit a story on how I built it and what I would have done differently now that I know a little more than when I was 21!

Thanks,

Chuck Eisel
"hptherapy"
Bolter # 7230
Mayo, Maryland



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