A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1959 Chevy Apache 3200
01 February 2008
From Scott :
I am submitting pic of my 1959 Chevy Apache 3200. I've wanted a 1950's or 1960's Chevy truck for a long time. Any of the trucks found in Illinois are either rusted beyond any repair or restored and priced out of my range. So, knowing that there are many great vintage vehicles out in the western states, I started searching for a truck while out in Colorado while on a military assignment. I searched through the Internet, looked in the papers, and put out a few want ads. Finally, I came across a 1959 Fleetside. I drove out to see it in a Colorado snowstorm, which was an experience in itself!! It looked like a good candidate for restoration so along it came -- home with me. The truck was drivable when I bought it, but needed some attention to make it roadworthy.
When it arrived home on a flatbed (only two days from Colorado to Illinois), I had to take it around the block. I'm sure that was a strange sight for the neighbors. [ head shot ] Dad came home from work so we had to take it out then, too. We ran it out of gas only a block away! Turns out the fuel sending unit was broke so the fuel gauge didn't work. We got it back home ok and the work started.
So far, here is my rundown of what was replaced and / or fixed. Door channels, gas tank sending unit (and later the gas tank when we opened it up). We installed seatbelts, replaced the rusted cab corners and fenders, wipers and blades. There is a new windshield, three new brake hoses, new fuel hose and new heater hose (the one inside the heater, luckily nothing wrong with the core) to boot. We also adjusted and repaired the muffler and pipes.
We had to partially replace the tail light wiring and adjust the driver’s side door. The basic oil and coolant change and some new filters. The clutch was replaced and all of the grease points greased and lubed along with a full brake inspection. The rear end and transmission levels were checked and a new set of tires, etc. Lots of other things where checked and repaired as well.
After going over this truck, I would say that 95%+ is all original. I hope to keep it as original as practical. With all of the repairs, it drives and sounds real nice. There's a lot more work that I will be doing to get this truck looking great. It will be a daily to work driver when practical. Most of the major work minus the body is done. There are a number of dents that need to come out before any paint goes on it, so it may be a while until the rugged look goes away. It still has the original paint which used to be Cardinal Red but has faded to orange.
I'll post updates and more pictures when I can. My knowledge on vehicle repair is somewhat limited, but I think this Apache is a great way to learn. The Stovebolt site has and will be a great help.
You can check out more photos on my Flickr site. The ones with snow are from when I went to look at the truck. I hope to have more pics up there soon!
Very good write up, Scott. Thanks for taking the time. You guys be sure to check out his Flickr link. He's got some good photos in there, including some of the work he is doing. ~~ Editor