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A Cool Old Truck

Jim Karras's

1959 Chevy Apache 32 Long Bed

09 August 04

From Jim:

          I have a 1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 (long-bed) step-side pickup that I bought in 1976 when I was 15 years old. In January of this year (I am now 42) after 28 years, I am finally restoring my great old truck.

          The truck was last driven in 1979 when I was 18 years old. It developed a rod knock, so I decided to park it until I could gather up enough money to fix it. In the meantime, I drove my other Chevy at the time - a 1963 Chevy Nova SS. My '59 pickup still has its original 235 six-cylinder engine and 3-speed transmission with a column shifter. The truck is being professionally restored and I am the official "parts runner" for the project! Between local auto parts stores, junkyards, classic truck parts houses and eBay I have found all the parts we have needed.

          The truck will be restored to near stock condition with a few modern upgrades. It has a standard cab with a small window. It will keep its original engine, trans and differential. We are adding power steering and power front disc brakes. However, the power steering pump will be an original generator-driven pump. In order to maintain the stock wheels, we had new rims fabricated to accommodate the new disc brakes. I am fortunate that I still have the original hubcaps, which will be proudly displayed on the modified original stock wheels! The interior will remain stock as well. It will have a few extras added such as an original AM radio and speaker.

          The bed wood and bed wood strips will be one of the few custom applications installed on the truck. The bed wood will be made out of Alder wood and the non-polished stainless steel bed wood strips will be smooth without bolt holes. The exterior of the truck will be painted its original color of Tartan Turquoise with Bombay Ivory trim color on the front grill, headlight bezels and both bumpers. The interior of the truck will be painted the original silver beige and gray charcoal colors and an original bench seat is replacing the old Thunderbird bucket seats I installed back in 1976! The only custom changes to the interior will be the addition of three-point seatbelts.

          This project is only being made possible because of my loving wife Sabrina has offered her support for the restoration of this great old truck! So far, the only issue I have had with her is the storage of parts waiting to be utilized. We have a lot less garage space now then we used to. Also, bringing the truck home caused us to end up putting in a new driveway so we would have a place to park it. Other then those few minor dilemmas, so far, it looks as though I won't have to spend to many nights sleeping with the dogs because of the truck!

          I am including a link to the web page that I have published dedicated to detailing this restoration project. Please feel free to capture any pictures of the truck on my web site should you care to utilize any of them for your gallery story along with or instead of the pictures I attached. (Please note, the top seven pictures on the first page of my web site are of a 1958 Chevy Truck that is NOT my truck. They are there only to provide visitors a close approximation of the desired outcome of the restoration of my truck.)

          Should you have any questions, please send me an E-mail.


Jim Karras
Orange, CA

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