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AD Chevy Trucks

Chevy trucks

Over 6,000 pictures
Brad Allen has an awesome collection of Chevrolet factory pictures that he has set up from film strips.

This one is on AD Chevy trucks (1947-1955).

Lots of work on Brad's part ... pure enjoyment for you.

See more 1947-1955 Trucks

The Advance Design Trucks

21 July 2014
# 3076

Owned by
David Frame
Bolter # 25272


1952 Chevrolet 3100


More pictures of my old truck

Join the discussion about this truck



From David :

Back in 2010, I purchased a very rusty (mostly surface rust) 1952 Chevy 1/2-ton. The truck was 100% complete and original. It even had the windshield eyebrow, or whatever you call it.

I was new to the old truck scene, but not new to car work or restorations. I planned on doing an original restoration with a couple possible exceptions (I could be talked out of these): disk front brakes for safety, chrome grille, IPE bed for durability.

The truck even had a factory blank off plate where the radio would have gone. No one had ever installed a radio in this truck, after 50-plus years!

When I went out to pick-up the truck from the previous owner, it was still in his field. I wanted to take a few more pictures and get the serial number off the engine. It looked like the engine was the original 216 (KBA) from 1952.

I noticed the heater was a simple box with an "Arvin" plaque on it. Being that the truck was in Texas, I thought that might have to go.

I thought about keeping the original brakes unless the cost to rebuild them exceeds the cost of adding disks.

As you can see from the "field pictures," there was rust but most of it was surface rust. The cab corners had rot, of course, but otherwise it was very solid.

So, first off, I had to clean out my work space and finish up other projects so I could get started on the truck. Plus, I figured in a few months time, the weather would be a bit cooler here in central Texas.

So, some time passes ... ... sometimes it was hard to believe that I had spent most of my free time working on this truck for over two years. Every now and then, I just reminded myself where I started and where I was. I knew it would be just a few more weeks until I would attempt to get the old girl on the road. Ah, the thought of my first drive ever in a vintage Chevrolet truck.

When I started the project, I had the intention to media blast all the metal myself. Well, I did the grille, bumper, bumper apron, splash pan, radiator shroud and support, inner fenders and front fenders before I had enough. The rest of the sheet metal, including the frame, went out for media blasting. One of many good choices I (eventually) made. The parts were immediately primed in epoxy upon arriving back to my driveway.

I have experience with bodywork, but only as a DIY'er hobbyist. It's not rocket science and just takes patience ... not cutting corners only because you are tired or lazy.

A few inconspicuous runs here and there in inconspicuous places, but they are easy to get rid of with single stage paint. After about 24 hours, I taped both ends of a razor blade and simply scraped the run away with the blade at 90 degrees to the painted surface.

A little wet sanding / polishing and the run was completely gone. The paint was not perfect as I did it in my small garage -- a few imperfections from dust, but generally acceptable. For those who have asked, the color is Mariner Blue, by Dupont Ful-Thane single stage (color code C63203). Mariner Blue is the original color for the truck.

And yes, there is some orange peel ... but I am not the type that needs a glass smooth surface on a vintage vehicle. Still needs to polishing here and there, but I will get to that eventually.

After the painting, my next adventure was to find insurance but the fellows in the forums were a big help with that!

So, we finally finished the three-year restoration and most of the shake out issues were corrected. I took the wife for a ride to the grocery store and that's where we got the photo shown here on the Gallery page.

I still have a few things to correct, but on to registration and plates. I needed to teach my son to drive a standard transmission, truly a challenge with this truck, especially hill starts.

I also came to the conclusion that I needed to add a rear bumper. I was afraid the other kids in the school parking lot would run into the back of the truck while parking -- the bumper should add just a bit of protection in this regard.

By the first of July, 2014, I was happy to say: "It's finished!" I found I was a little sad at the same time. Doing this kind of stuff is therapy for me and a way to get out of the house and doing something. After it was over, for a few days, I found myself pacing inside wondering what to do.

It did turn out nice, not 100 point perfect, but perfect for its intended purpose. Probably only I see the flaws.

In case anyone is interested, the total cost to me for the truck after restoration is right at $20,000. Of that, $900 was purchase price and $2200 in paint materials.

I figure that is pretty close to the value of the truck, so hopefully I am not underwater from the start.

I did a 90% rebuild, meaning I reused the cam and lifters, everything else new / re-machined. I stayed with the original babbit bearing surfaces as I was able to get clearances within smallest spec of .002".

The only original parts that I scrapped and went with new is the entire pickup box. The original was simply too beat up and not worth the effort to repair. The rear gears and brake system is new. Other than a ton of small parts, everything else that came with the truck were restored.

Of the $20k restoration cost, some costs were not technically necessary for restoration such as:

  • $1500 was attributable to the A/C
  • $850 for the brake upgrade/restoration
  • $550 rear gears
  • $250 for dual grove harmonic balancer
  • $750 sound system
  • $250 seat belts

I am already looking at what my next project will be. I will need to leave a few years of sunshine between projects first. I'm thinking of a '72 Chevy Blazer.

I am entered the truck in the neighborhood 4th of July parade and will be looking for local shows. I will keep adding pictures to the photo album.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone on the forums that shared their wisdom and made the restoration so much easier in the end. I could not have been so successful without everyone's help.




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