David Franco's

1948 Chevy Canopy Express

The Black Beauty

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03 October 2005

From David:

        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 the truck and was amazed -- absolutely no rust what so ever.

        The prior owner,  a vintage car 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 the 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 it. 

        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.

Thank you.

David Franco

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