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A Cool Old Truck

John Harris'

1958 Chevy Apache 3100 Stepside

04 October 04

From John:

          I own a 1958 Chevy Apache 3100 Stepside with a 235 engine. The truck is still original. I bought it in the mid-80's off the side of the road near my hometown in northern New York. There was also a '46 for sale and I still think I should have bought that, too. We had just bought a house in the country with lots of land and woods and I convinced my wife that we needed an old truck to handle all the property maintenance. For some reason I always wanted an old truck. I had a friend growing up who had a mid-forties Chevy and I got to drive it a few times.

        The owner told me he bought it in Florida and trailered it around to shows. I drove it home 180 miles and found out why he trailered it. The engine was shot and had very little compression by the time I got home. I managed to get the engine redone in the late 80's. Then my wife and I had two kids and both worked 40 miles from home and unfortunately the truck was parked outside for almost 15 years.

        Overtime, the moisture coming up out of the ground in the winter wreaked havoc on everything. It finally wouldn't start and it sat for four years on the lawn. I towed it around to mow under it. I finally had a three car garage/barn built and gave the truck the prized center bay.

        My son was curious if the old truck would run in time for him to drive it when he turns 16. I started working on it three years ago and got it back on the road this summer. I had to replace the gas tank, rebuild the carb and replace all the ignition parts. I just finished rewiring it and replacing all the lights and switches etc., and am currently chasing a problem with the charging circuit.

        It still needs some brakework to make it totally road worthy. This is the first time I have driven it since the motor was rebuilt and it runs really smooth. My son turned 16 this year and he has driven it a few times. He finds the clutch challenging. It gives us both a good laugh when he doesn't quite get it right. The tag on the truck says it's original color was glade green but the only color under the current red that I have found is more of a metallic blue.

        I don't plan on doing a full restore but am planning on getting it repainted in the future. The only change to the original truck I plan to do is to add three point seatbelts.

        I really want to thank you for this site. I have been given some great advice on problems and really enjoy all the stories. It keeps me plugging along.

John Harris Bloomfield
Stovebolt name: Hairbag
New York

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