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1956 Chevy 3600 NAPCO 4x4
1955 Second Series Chevy Short Box

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Owned by Dave Ladue
Bolter # 20267
Syracuse, New York

Talking about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

01 January 2010
# 2728 & 2729

More on Dave's web site

From Dave :

Wanted to provide an update on the NAPCO. It's DONE! (Never thought I'd hear those words.)

Just over two years, a couple bumps along the way but we are pretty darn happy with how things came out.

It's been a lot of work - and a ton of fun.  Also happened to be great therapy last year when I had a few "health challenges" -- amazing what working on an old truck in the garage can do to clear your mind...

I've got a bunch of new pictures of the truck on the web site.  I can also give some "rearview mirror" comments on our challenges along the way, and what kept us going when I get the pictures posted.

Thanks to you for doing such a great job on and allowing all of us "labor-of-love" folks a place to get together.

I'm going to get a little fishing in for a couple months, then back to the next one (the '55 2wd shortbox) for next winter.



Great truck. You really did a nice job. Definitely a great update for the Gallery. Trucks like this one inspires the rest of us. ~ J. Lucas, Stovebolt Curator

01 January 2010
# 2728 & 2729

More truck pictures and info

From Dave :

I was always one of those guys who would double-take a nice old truck as it drove by -- but I always thought they were "out-of-reach" for me. Then a good friend, who had been restoring Army jeeps for years, suggested we do an old truck together -- and the idea took off. We had never done anything that required this level of detail and effort before. So we were in for class at the school of hard knocks but were looking forward to it.

I was on my third late-model 4x4 Tahoe (snow country up here) so "old Chevy" was the only thing that seemed reasonable. Since my oldest memories were of late-1960's trucks on the farm I grew up on, I started there. But after struggling to find the "right" 1960's truck, I did a little more research and found that the mid-1950's 2nd series truck parts were everywhere! (I liked those better anyways). I loved the looks, and wanted a driver I could enjoy. Quickly the search turned to '55/'56.

We found Apaches in various stages of restoration. Some were even good enough for an offer or bid. Then a 1956 Chevy Apache that stood tall caught my attention. What was this "NAPCO" thing?

After a little more research, we made the five hour ride in a snowstorm to check it out this Chevy Task Force truck. The following weekend we were there picking it up.

On the ride home, we kept staring at it in the mirrors. It sat high, but had a front-heavy stance that gave it an attitude. Suddenly my buddy blurts out "B-U-L-L-D-O-G!! It looks like a damn bulldog!!!" And the name has stuck.

Picking it up the Apache. Funny picture here - the Tahoe is still smiling. Hasn't figured out it's about to be turned into a winter rat once the NAPCO is done. Winter rat hauling the summer cruiser.

That was March '08. Within three weeks we had it down to bare frame. Sandblasting projects every weekend [ Frame sandlbasted ] - prime, paint and hang parts waiting for enough to put it back together (stock - want it to look original). By August we had a rebuilt rolling chassis. Frame back together

In late December I got one of those "life attitude adjustments". Blood tests said something wasn't right. A few visits later and a doctor on the other side of the desk was telling me I had cancer. The following three months were a whirlwind. Work on the truck went into high gear. I used it as a break from my "other" full-time job of selecting the right course of treatment and the right doctor to do it. It was the best therapy anyone could ever hope for.

The last week of March '09 my buddy helped me set the cab back on the frame (in primer - I think he was humoring me) just before I left for surgery.

1955 Second Series Chevy Shortbox

It was a couple months before I could do anything real in the garage. As soon as I was back to near-full strength, things started to fly. Engine in, interior painted, exterior cab painted, fenders fixed and painted. It was REALLY starting to look like a truck again.

By December we got electric in, doors on and are revisiting some mechanical issues (leaks, etc.) that we thought we had left long ago.

My hope is to have it done by the end of March 2010. That will be two years from start-to-finish. It will also mark one year of being cancer-free. We'll drink to that night in the garage, no doubt. And wait for the snow to melt so it can be back on the road as a driver!

After that? I just bought a 1955 2nd series 2wd shortbox that we are going to be "wilder" with (already have a 4 speed from a '70 Chevelle, will be chroming it out). It's the same color as the NAPCO. We may have "Goliath" pull "David" to the shows?

Really enjoy bringing these beauties back to life, I think there are many more in my future.

Dave LaDue

Great news about the cancer! We wish you continued outstanding health. We'd like to see you get these all done!! Dave has more details and pictures on a web site that he's created for his trucks! Great job! ~ Editor


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