A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1957 Chevy 3200 Pickup Truck
01 January 2008
From Mark :
Well here she is -- the new girl (they’re all girls aren’t they … temperamental, costly, moody and can always make ya smile ). I picked up this 1957 Chevy 3200 just a month ago and am so stoked that I did. I found her in Long Beach in need of a new home and had her flat bedded back to Santa Barbara, California. [ Loading on to the trailer ]
The original intention was to immediately start taking her apart and re-doing everything. I figured a nice independent front suspension / disk brake / power steering kit up front. The usual small block with and OD automatic and a disk brake 12 bolt or 9 inch rear end. Keep her low with 20 inch rims in the rear and 19’s up front. I had figured I would have to put airbags up front to accommodate these ideas. Well … plans have changed!
As soon as I started driving her around as is, I really decided to leave her alone. I already have a 1966 Chevy Chevelle with a LS1, low stance; big rims and a full on frame off pro touring car. Driving the bone stock 1957 was such a great change of pace. The starter on the floor, three on the tree behind the sewing machine of a 6- cylinder had such a classic feel to her. I already had a paint guy say he would shoot her for free if he could advertise somewhere on the truck. I almost want to just leave her as is with the faded red paint. Since I live on the coast, I might take him up on the offer but I’d be sure she stays dull and older looking. [ Sunset picture ]
I’ve dealt with muscle cars and small blocks my whole life. I have a 1963 Nova that had a 6-cylinder (which was the first thing to go, replaced with a 400hp 327ci) so working on the 235 in the truck has been a good change. I am not sure how many miles are on her but she runs like a top. A little tapping from the valves but nothing that can’t be adjusted (once I figure out how, lots of info on this site which I am thankful for.) [ Water view over the dash ]
The only thing I have done so far is have the lower portion of the seat re-done. It was original and needed a little fixin’. I am going to give her a tune up this weekend and just keep drivin’ her. She doesn’t go much over 55 (not sure if I’d really want to with the original suspension and brakes) but she is a kick to drive.
I have a few other old cars (including the Chevelle and Nova) but none get the attention that she does. I think a lot of it has to do with the rustic look, and maybe my four month old Lab sitting next to me everywhere I go. [ The girls ] I’m sure someday I’ll end up with the lowered, newer drive train and V8. But for now, I’m just going to cruise around town nice and slow just the way she likes it.
I’m lookin’ forward to spending more time working on her and getting more knowledgeable on the truck and her workings. I’m not sure what the rest of you have experienced but it seems to me the day of the mechanic is almost over. With the computer technology nowadays, shops are more parts replacers than anything. I went into a local shop here in Santa Barbara to see if anyone knew the proper way to adjust the valves and they had no clue. I’ve been working on old cars for 15 years (I’m 29) and I feel fortunate to have chosen to do all the work on my old cars because I have gained some knowledge that seems to be dying off.
Well, I’ll keep y’all posted on how things go.
~I think she looks great just the way she is Mark! Keep us updated! – Gallery Gal