Allan Franklin's

1954 Chevy Deluxe 3100


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12 July 2007 Update
# 1607

From Allan :

           It's almost been a year! Time does fly. I lucked out last year and rented my truck for seven days to General Motors in New Mexico to shoot the Super Bowl ads. That rental along with a TV reality show pilot about the best dog in America gave me enough money to rebuild my tired 235 engine that was starting to break the cylinder rings.

           Now the engine compartment, along with painting and detailing, looks as nice as the rest of the truck.

           I wanted my wife, Elaine to be involved with the color selection when we both decided 25 years ago the truck would look better if it was painted all one color. I voted for a Chevy green, first choice; red, second choice, She voted for a metallic blue, first choice; red, second choice. Red won. It was a Toyota Supra Red selected from a tiny swatch chip. I wanted a color paint I could match later on, should it need a touch up. After it was painted, I realized it was too bright a red to be close to the 1954 Chevrolet truck red. To late now. 

           By the way, the truck was striped down to bare metal and there is no bondo anywhere. I did have to buy a few fenders and two perfect doors. My truck was a Deluxe, tone dash, should have red running boards and rims, but I opted for black powder coating. I did not touch the chassis or engine at that time. "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

           Collecting is in my blood. I even have a few old Coke machines stored in our horse barn -- a Vendo V-39 and a Vendo HA-56B. Both are stored in our horse barn. I also have about 15 or 20 glass fuel filters because they were so cheap at the swap meets so I always bought "a few."

           It's been a very fast 30 years of owning my 1954 Chevy. In my business, I have to deliver a sewing machine from time to time to Beverly Hills or as far as Palm Springs. I am always getting a thumbs up from the guys in Bentleys and Rollers. I have often thought of buying a newer pickup for work, but it always seemed silly to have two trucks. Now, with the new engine and rear end, I'll make the Palm Springs a lot faster and easier.

           Re: Rear end noise in my 1954, 3100 Chevrolet Pickup

Some details:

           Last week, I got my Borg Warner overdrive working again. It needed a new governor. I did not get a chance to really test drive the new 3.38 rear end until Tuesday night. I headed to a a car night in Canoga Park, 30 miles of Freeway driving. I was able to drive for the first time about 70 mph at only 1900 rpm (I have a tachometer). Amazing and scary at the same time.

           I took photos of my engine on the 4th of July. Now, the engine looks as nice as the rest of the truck.

           Back to my very noisy, leaky rear end. With Stovebolt and Gordon's help, I found out I had a 3.90 (1955-59) truck rear end. I priced new gears (3.38) for better freeway driving and they can be bought for $399. I also I might need pinion and carrier bearings plus seals and oil for another $95.

           I went to Hoopers Rear End Exchange near my work just to see what they would charge for the rear end exchange. They quoted doing the whole job, including all parts for $650. I left the truck at noon and picked it up at 4:30. Drove home on the freeway. End of my rear end problems.

           Thank you all for your help. All the Stovebolt people are great and all love their trucks

Allan Franklin
"dirtyfingers"
Bolter # 5513
North Hollywood, California


01 August 2006
# 1607

From Allan :

           I bought my 1954 Chevy Deluxe 3100 about 30 years ago for $800. I drove it home from Oxnard to Burbank. It was almost like my Dad's '52 pickup when I was in high school.

           All the flat glass was broken -- cost $200. No two fenders or tires matched. It had a steel plate in the bed and a later 235 engine (1961) and rear end. For the next two years I drove it and hauled hay, shavings (we have horses in the back yard), engines, junk and old coke machines. It was great.

           My wife said it needed a paint job. It took over a year to strip it, get the dents out, find missing parts and painted. One thing led to another and with parts from Hemming's, Jim Carter and many friends (Corvette dual exhaust) and '57 overdrive transmission. I was able to get all the good stuff -- AM radio, dash clock, deluxe heater, spotlight and gun and hat racks.

           When it was all done, I thought I had ruined a good truck. Now, I was afraid to drive it. I had to park it in the garage and could only haul pillows.

           Well in the last eight years, I got my old truck back. It's now parked outside in the yard, washed when I need to haul stuff or go to a cruise night. It's been in a few movies over the years and last month it was chosen for a photo shoot for Playboy magazine. Yep, that's my pickup, me under the hat and you know who.

Allan Franklin
"dirtyfingers"
Bolter # 5513
North Hollywood, California



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