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1952-3 Chevy 1/2-Ton

"Ol Yeller"

Owned by

Mitch & Cindy La Fortune
Bolter # 14974
Las Vegas, Nevada


01 January 2008 Update
# 1999


From Mitch :

           "Ol Yeller" has been making great progress these past six months. Some of the chores have been arduous; some adventuresome.

           The most challenging had to be the doors. The latches had to be repaired and we replaced broken door glass and channels. The Forum mentions whole arms being lost in the access panel at the bottom of the door. I found out how that happens. I imagined my wife coming out to the garage at 2:00 AM only to find a mangled stump sitting on the running board.

           We recovered the bench seat and received a valuable lesson in upholstery by not checking the shops quality beforehand.

           The fuel tank was replaced as were the fuel lines and pump.

           The interior was cleaned and floor gaskets replaced.

           The original wheels were media blasted and powder coated. New tires were ordered and the new shoes really made our truck happy.

           A couple of nuisance leaks and some minor rattles were attended to. But the most rewarding challenge was installing a '77 Chevy dually metal bed floor in back. This was my first attempt at cutting metal. I still have all my finger and toes so I guess I did a fair job. We left all the original supports so that if in the future we want a wood bed, it's all there.

           Working on this truck has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has been a treasure owning a little piece of history.

Thank you,

Mitch and Cindy La Fortune

           What a great attitude about this!! Wonderful way to start the new year. And here's another picture of Mitch and Cindy's truck ... in a beautiful setting. ~~ Editor

18 July 2007
# 1999

From Mitch :

           Here is my wife's latest love. It was a Saturday. We found it on a dirt lot in North Las Vegas, Nevada. There was a for sale sign when we first saw it but we couldn't stop as we were on our way to lend a hand to a cancer patient. Two hours later we stopped by to take a closer look and the for sale sign was gone. I left a note with my phone number in hopes the seller would call.

           As luck would have it, he called two hours later and said someone had stolen the sign. The thief called the seller and asked if he would hold the truck until Monday. I told the seller we would like to at least see the truck in more detail and he was more than happy to entertain us. We were shocked when we got there.

           The truck had minimal rust, no major dents and apparently all original with the exception of a home made rear work bumper and some after market side mirrors. The owner was very nice and slightly reluctant to sell but we asked his price and almost fell over when he answered.

           We gave him a check to hold the truck and I delivered cash the next day. He threw in four original 16 inch wheels at no cost. They even have the clip for the hub caps.

           I drove it home on Sunday. It was an 18 mile drive and a joy. We did 30 mph up the first road, then 25 mph on the next road. Went 20 mph up the hill and 15 to the intersection near our home. By the time I got it to our street, I was lucky to get 5 mph.

           We did get the truck into the garage and a month later the bugs were sorted out. The gas in the tank had a molasses like consistency to it. I found a great classic truck restorer in town and he recommended changing out the tank and lines, compression check and all the other quick fixes.

           One month later, O Yeller is running like a top. We plan on leaving her just the way she is for now, original oxidized patina (on a second paint job), some minor window and door fixes, replace the fat tires and chrome wheels with the originals and a vanity plate.

           The truck's title says this is a 1952 Chevy 1/2-ton pickup. However the data plate on the driver's door tells a different story. While requesting a "Restoration Kit" from Chevrolet, a very nice gal named Sam said, "I'm sorry Mr. La Fortune but the numbers you gave me refer to a 1955 Chevy 1/2-ton." My son and I have now identified parts from a 1953 truck and the fenders are possibly from a early '50's GMC truck. Whatever year it is, it has found a home in our hearts. It has a personality and elegance that only a vehicle of that era can provide.

           I will keep you all updated on the stories that this old gal has given us.


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