Craig Kirsch's

1954 Chevy 3100

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15 June 2007
# 1972

From Craig :

           Pictured here is my recently-completed 1954 Chevy 3100. (Are they ever actually "completed"?)

           I purchased the truck a year ago, and have spent the last 12 months repairing what I could and writing checks for everything that was beyond my rather meager ability. The body work included new rear fenders (steel), glass, chrome, and paint. The bed is oak with 27 coats of exterior polyurethane. I used POR-15 on the frame, inner fender walls, and the complete underside of the truck. I added new front springs, along with all shackles and shocks.

           The interior work included paint, seat cover, door panels, dash knobs, ash tray, insulation, headliner, floormat, and radio. I still have a few small projects such as restoring the gauges and getting my horn to work, and my steering is still a bit loose, but most of the heavy lifting is done.

           I would love some wide whites, but want to remain married, so I have decided to wait a year or so. The jury is still out on the dual carbs, as my mileage is off a bit, so some additional tweaking is needed. The guys at the body shop insisted on the red wheels so I have to give them the credit for that idea. They also put a red pinstripe around the cab, and across the dash.

           The original 235 is a strong runner, and I added a Fenton dual-carb intake and Fenton headers. We installed a 3:55 rear end, and a rebuilt three-speed tranny. Once all that was done, the clutch went out, so that's been replaced as well.

           The parts came from American Classic Truck Parts, Patrick's, Chevy Duty, Jim Carter, and LCI. Patrick's was particularly helpful, as even the gal who answers the phone is an expert at these old trucks. I also had some great help from my local transmission shop (Quality), body shop (Mel's) and mechanic (Michael Prugh), all here in Rapid City.

           The truck runs great now and I enjoy all of the thumbs-up I get from other drivers. Best of all, my wife has not kicked me out of the house for spending too much on an old truck. (So far!)

           The odometer shows 66,000 miles, which I suspect is accurate as the truck was in pretty good shape to begin with, given it's 53 years in service.

           I've enjoyed the restoration, learned a lot in the process, and hope that next time around, I will be able to handle more of the work myself. I particularly enjoy all of the "ol' Chevy truck" stories I hear from people who learned to drive in one of these, who had one when they were in high school, or whose parents owned one when they were growing up, etc.

           Thanks so much to the very helpful Stovebolt crew for all of the advice and instruction!

Craig Kirsch
Bolter # 14300
Rapid City, South Dakota

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