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14 December 2009
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From Nathan :
Well, I'm finally getting around to posting the story of my old truck. It is my first Stovebolt. It is a 1951 Chevy 3800 with a 9 foot bed.
This Advance Design Chevy truck was a brush fire truck for the town of Jamaica, Vermont. From what I was told, it had a big water tank in the back and a PTO driven pump.
The town sold the truck in 1990 to the guy I bought it from in June of 2009. He told me he bought it with 14,000 miles on it for $3,000. I bought it with 43,000 on it.
So here is how I came to own it. In 2006, I was driving down some back roads a few towns over from where I live in New Hampshire. I spotted the truck through the woods. It was sitting in this guy's side yard.
I stopped in and asked about it. He told me all about it being a brush fire truck. The last sticker on the plate was from 2004. All four fenders were completely rotted which made it look worse than it was.
The fellow had it oil undercoated a few times because he would drive it all year round -- but the fenders were just shot. The rest of the truck was in pretty good shape. Good news was he had new fiberglass front fenders he bought for it but never got to putting them on. He had also put new tires and 16" rims on it before he let it sit in 2004. He just didn't have time to work on it and figured some day someone would stop and he would sell it. He figured he would like to get $1,000 bucks for it. That price included the truck, the new fenders, the original 17" rims and hub caps and an old wood stove that was sitting in the bed of the truck.
At that moment in my life, I had just bought a house that needed a lot of work and I was getting married in a few months so 1000 bucks was a lot and I didn't think the future wife would go for it. So, I passed on the deal. I told him I would come back for it in a few years if it was still there.
So fast forward to June of 2009. I now have some time and extra money and a wife who gave me the go ahead to look for an old truck. After all, I do need something to go to Home Depot with. I knew the '51 was still sitting there. So one day I got out of work early, went to the bank and took out the $1,000 and headed over to buy the truck. I got there and the guy remembered me. I told him I wanted to buy the truck if it was still for sale. He said it was. So I said "How about 500 bucks cash and I'll have the truck towed away first thing in the morning?" I handed him the cash, he scratched his head a few times and said "Yeah, sure". And that was it.
I had it towed to my house the next morning.
I worked on the truck all summer. After I got it running, I did all new brakes, lines and everything. So I know I can stop. I just got it on the road a few weeks ago and my wife and I are having a great time cruising around in it.
Part of the reason my wife was so excited about this style Chevy is that a character in a book she likes drives a red beat up '53 Chevy. I surprised her when I registered it by putting that character's name, "Bella", on the plate. "Bella" also means beautiful and I think this truck is just that, beautiful.