1954 Chevy 3100
From Mitch :
This truck was purchased from a farmer in rural Dysart, Iowa about 10 miles away from my previous home.
I grew up in my Dad's body shop and have done my share of bodywork over the years and wanted my own project. I was looking for a 1950's Chevy pickup until a friend of mine educated me on the 1954's.
I found this truck in a local newspaper's classified ad section. It had been sitting in a barn with a stuck motor for eight years.It was rather solid, being a Texas truck. This was determined by the Texas inspection sticker on the windshield.
The truck had a frame off restoration in 2004. It has a 235 Inline 6, with a 4 speed.
I spent a hard six months working on it. I towed it home on Friday of Memorial Day weekend and totally disassembled it over the three days. Not only was it torn apart but I took the body components to a media blaster that Monday afternoon. With help from my Brother in-law on the body work, I handled all the mechanicals and guidance from my Dad on the finer details.
I restored the truck to original appearance with front disc brakes and mono leaf springs. I had the frame and all the chassis and inner fender components powder coated. I took it to our shop and my Dad walked around me and said that it had the earlier tail lights and that they were the wrong ones -- square but should be round.
After prying him, my Dad said he had a new one in a 1954 that was blue. That being said, I decided to paint it blue over the green which is what I remember my Grandfather driving when I was a kid. I had a friend do all the exterior painting where I could not do it to the level I wanted.
The truck originally was the Hydromatic, which I wish I still had. Somebody installed a four speed in it and I had problems finding an auto with the torque tube tail shaft so I left it.
I had the truck on the road and drove it to two Thanksgiving dinners. I drive it locally when weather and time permits -- just around town to keep it active and seals in good order but not much on the highway.
We worked hard on that truck and in return, the first car show we took it to, it won the show’s Sponsor's Choice award.
To really make you sick, I got a 5:00 AM wake up call from my Brother back in Iowa while I was in Reno for a convention this last May 30th. The unbelievable happened -- a flash flood had flooded my shop and TRUCK! Life was over. It had 34" of water run through it, over valve cover (but not in carb), under dash (and not in the blower motor). I flew from Reno that Friday, spending 16 hours traveling to get there to save the truck.
When I showed up, the local Fire Department had rinsed it all off and out. [ pix ] Doing so to keep me from going nuts when I first saw it. It didn't look as bad as what I was imagining it would, but plenty bad. [ pix ]
A friend and I spent 14 hours on Saturday using a Hotsy powerwasher, cleaning every nook and cranny of the truck. When it was cleaned to our liking, we took it to the local GM garage to put on a hoist and drain the fluids and open the rearend up. We drained five gallon of water from the motor that only had 800 miles since being rebuilt.
We greased everything and changed the oil and started it to warm up enough to dry out components and shut it down. Then on Monday, the dealership pulled the oil pan only to find about 1/2" of muck in the bottom of the pan. So we waited for the insurance adjuster to show up. After he looked at it, we all agreed to tear it down, motor, tranny and rearend. We ordered a new alternator and starter.
The interior is done and at the shop now. It has the original seat with some custom door panels, very basic. The body was covered with a car cover and that helped protect it from all the floating debris. A good detail job and the body should be good.
The 235 motor is at the machine shop right now. It should be complete in a week or two.
So far I am real happy with my Collector car Insurance. So hopefully within a month, I can get it detailed and at the shows again. I know I am missing a ton of good shows but at least it's still in one piece.
This one is so pretty, I put it up as a screensaver on my computer for a while. Congrats on the Sponsor's Choice Award! ~~ Therese "Stovebolt Snoop" Kinsbury,