Mike Lampher's

1951 Chevy 3100

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11 September 2006

# 1664

From Mike :

         I have wanted a vintage Chevy for a very long time. My wife gave me the "go ahead" last year and I set out to find the right project.. The catch was that it had to be a driver and I had to sell my VW commuter car. I could use the cash from the sale to help finance the truck.

         After a year of searching, I found a clean 1951 in Colorado on eBay. I had a friend who wanted my VW.

         The truck did not sell on eBay because of the distance it was up in the mountains, (about two hours). I called the guy and set up the appointment. The other guy who was buying my VW was going to go with me, and if it looked good, he would buy the truck and trade me straight across for the VW. He would get the car he was lusting after and I would have my truck.

         One day before we were set to go look at the truck, my friend had to back out (financial reasons). I saw the truck slipping from my grasp. I called the guy who had it, and told him I could not make it up there. He understood. As a parting shot, when my wife and I were pulling out of the alley, a '51 GMC in the exact same shade of primer green drove by. The sight of it had my wife cry out "That's not fair."

         Two weeks later, after three attempts to sell the VW, and getting nothing but scam offers over Craig's list, my buddy offered to make payments on the VW. I called the gentleman with the truck ... and he still had it! I immediately took $300 and went to go look it over.

         My wife was afraid it would not be as nice as the pictures. I drove the two hours up into the mountains and saw the truck. She was a beauty. No rust, just dents from 55 years of dutiful farm service. I met up with the guy who was selling her. As we walked up to the truck, he made a remark about the involved process in starting her. My heart sank. Then I found out that she starts just fine. You have to pull the choke, turn on the ignition, never touch the gas, and step on the floor starter.

         We took her for a drive up and down some nasty dirt farm road, in and out of mud and she did great. I gave the guy my $300 and he asked if my wife was ok with me purchasing the truck. It seems the last guy to look at it got in a big argument with his wife over it. He also told me not to break myself financially when paying it off. He said he did not need the money; he just wanted it to go to a good home.

         Later that month, I arranged transportation and went to pick up my truck. Got it home. It met the wife's approval so I was in the clear. When registering it, I discovered that I was given the wrong title. He gave me a title for a '51 wagon that had gone to the junk yard years ago. Once the title was corrected, I had plates on my truck and a list of things to work on.

         First job was to change the oil and replace the valve cover gasket. Then I installed working brake lights.

         The Layabouts (photo to the right) is the band I play guitar for. We are in the process of putting together a cd. I went out to shoot some photos of the truck for the cover. It was a great concept. Old guitars and old trucks. I came to the realization that it is pretty easy to shoot photos of a Stovebolt. The lines on them are very aesthetic. I just arranged the composition and fired away with the camera.

         Future plans for the truck: I would like to keep the 235 and hop it up with an Offy intake and two Carter carbs, a set of Fenton headers will round out the package nicely. After that, white walls, install my stereo (hidden in the glove box and behind the speaker grille), drop the front end three inches with lowered leaf springs, Chevy correct two-tone paint job, correct interior, wood bed, and drive it till the day my son inherits it. (He is five months old.)

Mike Lampher
Bolter # 12061
Colorado Springs, Colorado

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