1948 Chevy Canopy Express
The Black Beauty
After 10 years of looking for just the right Canopy Express, I
finally found this 1948 100% rust-free jewel in Hershey,
Pennsylvania in October of
2004. I was up there -- in
between the Carlyle and Hershey Swap Meets -- and I picked up the
local Sunday paper. There was the ad: “Restored
Canopy Express for sale.” I visited the elderly
gentleman and simply admired my soon-to-be purchase. I crawled under
and was amazed -- absolutely no rust what so ever.
The prior owner, a
collector, kept the Canopy either in his climate-controlled 10-car
garage or 12-car work shop. He had the non-color sanded black paint
done, chrome and
original 216 motor rebuilt. The original owner used the Canopy for
local handy man
duties around town and stored the Canopy in a barn, protecting it from
harsh Eastern winters.
Within 30 days, the Black Beauty was on a enclosed truck home. I had the
Canopy dropped off at my friend Lucho Lerma’s home in Indio, California. Lucho, a
vintage car / truck restoration expert
set out to bring out the best of the Canopy. He re-repaired the hood, splash
pans, entire inside of bed and tail gate . He also painted and installed my
artillery wheels, Fulton
sun visor, n.o.s back up lamp and found
(locally) the optional passenger seat and fog lamps. He also had his upholsterer
custom make the canvas side curtains.
Best of all he color sanded the black paint and gave it its brilliance.
Being the expert that he is,
he took upon the tedious task of fully detailing my entire engine compartment.
I was left in charge of waxing my Black Jewel CE and enjoying driving
On September 25, 2005 the Canopy had its day at the Vintage Chevrolet
Club of America judged car show in Burbank where it earned a First Junior Award scoring
966 points. Now I need to crawl under the under carriage and do some cleaning
and painting and present it next year for a Senior award.
- Model: 3107 ½ ton
- Motor: 216
- Trans: 3 speed column shift
- Color: Jet Black
- Factory options: radio, chrome
grille-bumpers, right hand arm rest, sun visor and seat
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