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1952 Chevy 1/2-Ton Deluxe Cab

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Owned by John Hawkins
"Bowtie john"
Bolter # 5191
Escalon, California

22 November 2004

From John:

This truck [ passenger view ] was originally purchased by my wife Kathleen in 1992 for $1,100. At this point in time the truck was a 3/4-ton long bed. The cab and front sheet metal were in beautiful shape. They had just been painted a metallic brown.

Many of the items inside the cab had been chromed, windshield trim, speaker grill, etc. The guy she bought it from said it had been a flat bed. He put a regular bed on it. From the looks of it, it was the nastiest one he could find.

Kathleen drove the truck for two years, most of it was commuting to work from Modesto to the bay area. I felt sorry for that poor old 292 six. She was trying to go 60 miles an hour with those low 3/4-ton gears. The thing had to be turning 8- or 9000-rpm. "Scary."

Needless to say the ol' six began to sound a little strange, like someone shakn' a can of rocks. But the scariest thing was the steering. The steering was so sloppy my wife actually got pulled over for weaving! And believe me she doesn't drink. Between the rattley engine, and the suicide steering, we decided to park it. Forward ten years.

A friend of mine bought a '48 Chevy truck with a Camaro front end. After checking out his truck, I thought, "Heck I could do that!" So I put a battery in the truck, put it in third gear and used the starter to inch the truck out of the back yard and into the garage.

First, I located a 1/2-ton frame, and then a '79 Camaro subframe. After joining the two together, I dropped the cab on. Then came a column from a '81 Caprice, and a CPP firewall mount booster/master cylinder. For the rear end, I found a '76 Nova, utilizing dearched stock leaf springs. The power seats came from an early '90s' Buick Lasabre. The engine and transmission are from a '75 Impala that was given to me by a friend.

Here's a picture of my eight year old son Shane giving his ol' dad a hand.

She runs like a stripped ape, and sounds good, too with a pair of Deltaflow Flowmasters.

You know the amazing thing is, we only have about $2,800 in the truck. Granted it's not done yet but that's still pretty good for what we have.

Oh yeah one last thing. When I was tearing down the truck, I found the source of the sloppy steering. The worm bearing adjustment lock nut was loose, and the adjuster was about to fall out of the end of the steering box!

John added a 1950 Chevy 1/2-ton to the Gallery in August 2009. ~ Editor


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