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1961 Chevy Custom Apache 10 SWB Fleetside

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We Remember

11 September 2006
# 1665

Owned by Brian Johnson
Bolter # 10258
Owatonna, Minnesota

From Brian :

                  I would like to introduce myself to the Stovebolt community. I joined the Stovebolters earlier this year and have found it to be a wealth of information and GREAT resource during the restoration of my 1961 SWB Apache 10.

           Three of us started the frame-off restoration of my 1961 Chevy SWB half ton in February 2006. My goal was to complete the effort in time for the Minnesota Street Rod Association's "Back to the 50's" get together at the MN State Fairgrounds in June 2006. As I found out, this was a more aggressive goal than I had expected. Four and a half months was rather naive on my part. [ Pix from driver side ]

           By June, we were calling in some favors from several others to help. Much of the work was done in my son-in-law's shop. I esp'ly want to thank Terry and Doug. Of course, special thanks to my daughter who welcomed her Father to "live-in" her home 4-7 days per week for nearly five months so I didn't have to drive 130 miles every day. I spent every day living out of her home with only a couple of days a week going home to "live" with my wife. (Yes, my wife did tell me she missed me while I was away. At least she said she did miss me. Of course, I needed to call home first to let her know that I was coming home - before I just arrived unexpectedly at 2 or 3 a.m.)

           I can not fully express how appreciative I am to the many Bolters, the discussion forums, tech tips, etc. that this venue has provided thru our restoration process. I esp'ly want to acknowledge fellow Stovebolter, Mark McKinney from the Elvins, Missouri area. Not only did he provide guidance via emails thru this website, he also guided us thru some efforts during late night phone calls. As well, thanks to another Stovebolter from Illinois, another from South Dakota, another from North Dakota and others.

           My Apache was nearly rust-free when I bought it in August 2005. It had however been in a few fender benders, front and rear. As I wrote earlier we started in February 2006 and were finished (at least 90%) by June 2006. Not just the body! But also the 235 inline 6 engine and manual transmission were replaced with a built 355 V8 SB (4 bolt main 350 bored 30 over) and a newly DELCO built 350TH Automatic tranny purchased thru a GM dealership. [ Pix from rear ]

           During August, I took my Apache to five car shows and was a winner in all five shows. I am very excited to say that not only was this Stovebolt built to be fun to drive, it also has become a show quality vehicle. It also gets a lot of "thumbs-up" while driving.

           Again, let me say I am very appreciative of what has been provided by The Stovebolt Page, its members experience and knowledge, contacts, swapping of parts, and hopefully developing friendships, etc. Given time, I hope I can provide something in return back to others.

           Here is a link to a quick 20 photo short version of the restoration process.

           If you want to see a 130+ photo version with more comments, click on my full photo album link. This SWB has an interesting history and is documented in the comments provided in this longer photo album. Feel free to add comments or questions if you so desire.


           As of 2008, Brian has three 1961 Chevy trucks ... a 1961 Chevy Apache 10 Short Fleetside Custom; a 1961 Chevy Custom Apache 10 SWB Fleetside; a 1961 Chevy Apache 10 Short Stepside. He's a happy Bolter! ~ Editor


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