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1949 Chevy 3600 4 x 4 NAPCO Retromod

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Owned by Gary Hammerlund
Bolter # 21254
Grand Rapids, MI

Join the talk about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

01 January 2011
# 2847

More pictures of my old truck

From Gary :

My 1949 Chevy started life in Baltimore, MD as a 3100 half-ton. The history on this truck was lost until about 1984 when it was commissioned as an Old Navy Truck along with so many others. It received a quickie paint job and some new chrome.

Then this old truck for 14 years piled with clothing.

When I got it in 2008, the motor and transmission were gone. It needed some serious updating. I began considering a frame-off restoration.  My oldest grandkids helped set the tone of the rebuild -- it had to be quick. "When can we go for a ride?” was the question repeated whenever they saw it. I decided to do a S10 frame swap and try to make the truck look fresh off the farm with a flat kid-friendly paint job. It looks farm fresh with just a little dust.

At an auction, I found a great deal on a 2000 low mileage (18,000 miles) rolled S10 with the ZR2 option. Everything I read, and everyone I asked said it wouldn’t work. My tape measure said it would. So I decided to go for it. Three hours later, I owned a low milage donor chassis with running gear. It took a winter to figure it out, and the next winter to put it together. I hadn’t planned on building a 4x4 but thought I might be able to make it look similar to the NAPCO conversions that were available in early 1950. It has a stock 4.3, automatic and gets about 20 mpg.

As you can see the truck is on the road, Grandma and the grandkids like it just the way it is. And with about 2000 miles on the odometer this past summer, I guess Grandpa likes it to.

I'll continue to work on it this winter. The picture gives you my youngest Grandson's impression of his first ride. I feel the same way inside!

This is my first build. Many thanks to all the Bolters from this site and others that helped find parts and shared their ideas. It couldn’t have been done without you.




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