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1949 3/4-Ton Chevy

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  Owned by Cal Kunz

15 December 2008
# 2486

From Craig :

This is my Dad's 1949 3/4-ton Chevy. Dad (Cal) and I have been working on it for about five years, off and on.

We got this Advance Design truck from a kid who bought it, took it completely apart the next day, and then started in on the mechanical side of things. The engine, tranny, brakes, rear end had all been gone through. It had new springs and rubber on all four corners. It still had the friction shocks on, too. Basically, the chassis was ready to go.

My friend Trance is an excellent body-and-paint man and took a pile of parts (some fenders and doors with SEVEN layers of gobstopper paint on them!) and made the truck look as good as it does. The doors are not original to the truck, unfortunately. They have wing windows and I understand they were on 1952 and later trucks.

Trance uses as little body filler as he can, taking hours to work out the dents and creases and putting in patch panels where he needs to.

We painted it in my shop with single stage silver paint from the local parts store. Dad had a local cabinet shop make a one piece bed-wood from a piece of Birch plywood with a Cherry wood strip in the middle. I have seen people do a double take when they see the finish -- to see if it is wet!

After the truck was about 85% assembled, we decided to take it to a show. We only made it about 15 miles before the engine started smoking and knocking. We looked at this as an opportunity instead of a setback.

We swapped in a 250 c.i. from a 1979 Nova along with its TH350 tranny. While we were at it, we swapped the rear end for a 1990 Dodge van rear end with 3.92 gears for streetability. Dad intends to drive it, not just look at it.

The rear end was a little too wide so we found some 2002 Dodge truck rims to fit with the right backspacing. But then the fronts didn't fit (too far inboard).

So we went to the junk yard and found some original equipment dually truck front hubs. Now the tires fit fine. This all took place after the pictures were taken, so I will send some updates, too.

We still need to put in the rubber seals, carpet, headliner, a "real" shifter, get the gauges all dialed in, etc. But for now it is driveable and a LOT of fun! I even took my three year old to breakfast on his birthday in it . . . he loves "Grandpa's Truck." Hopefully, he has caught the bug too!

Thanks for the greatest web site on the web! I could sit and look at it for hours (if my wife would let me!).

Craig Kunz


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