25 September 2012
# 2975

   
  Owned by
Arch Oetken
"56picup"
Bolter # 1621
Omaha, Nebraska
 

This truck is for sale! $19,000 firm. Feel free to contact the owner for details.

1956 Chevy 3100 1/2-Ton

"56PICUP"

 

More pictures of my old truck

Join the discussion about this truck

 

 

From Arch :

The story of 56PICUP actually starts with the previous owner out in the middle of Nebraska in 1998.  He apparently had decided that the doors, door pockets, hinges, and locks needed some help.  According to the receipts that came with the truck, he spent almost $4,000 on just those two doors.

Anyway, in the spring of 2000, I was freezing my patootee off parking vendors at the early spring (read late winter) Swap Meet in Lincoln, Nebraska. I parked a truck pulling a trailer hauling an Omaha Orange Task Force pickup truck sporting doors still in gray primer.  It had its old personalized Nebraska plates intact -- you guessed it -- 56PICUP.   It had no door glass and had a sheet of aluminum diamond tread plate in the bed. It looked complete and straight.  It had a 235 motor, 3 on-the-tree, and the original stump-pullin’, hay field haulin’ third member. 

I looked it over the old truck and took down some info. At the end of the day, I watched the trailer with the pickup loaded on it heading out the gate. 

Early the next week, my Son and I were in Central City, Nebraska at Strobel, Inc., a street-rod builder, looking the truck over with a fine tooth comb. The truck was up on a car lift and we were negotiating to get a lower price.  No go.  The truck had been traded in on a street-rod project and the guys at Strobel were willing to install the door glass and deliver the truck to my home for $6700 but not a penny less.  It was in my driveway within a week.

At the time, we were showing a white 1956 210 2 door and the plan was to do the truck up in white so we could have his-and-her vehicles.  However, that all changed when my wife fell in love with a bright red 1967 Impala SS and we sold the 1956 . 

So …. I limited my highway driving (motor screaming at 55 mph) and drove the truck pretty much as-is adding about $2,000 in parts along the way.  Periodically, it did develop a little sand storm inside as someone had apparently sand blasted it (probably prepping those $4,000 doors) along the way. 

For some reason, I laughed-off a friend whose sage advice I should have taken to heart.  He counseled, “Add up all possible costs right down to a gnat’s lower body part and locate your professional help. Then multiply the costs and projected time involved by three and you’ll be pretty close to right.”  Not believing a word of it, I forged ahead.

So in late 2001, all of 2002, and early Spring of 2003 the tear-down and parts buying frenzy began in earnest.

I found a 261 engine in a 1959 grain truck at a wrecking yard in Spalding, NE. The 3-speed over-drive transmission came from Tom Myers in Oklahoma. The rear end, used oak bed strips and stainless, and 1954 Chevy car front backing plates and hubs were found in Byron, Minnesota.  Chevy Duty became my closest friend and their sales staff my constant companions.

I found a body man who would later be known as “the drunken painter” to do the body work and painting -- the only rust was on the inside above the visors -- a victim of mouse urine syndrome.  He did excellent body work but was lacking in work ethic, neatness, and the ability to keep from over-spraying what he’d already finished.

I was lucky enough to have a mechanic friend and to also know two old 6-cylinder drag racing brothers who advised me in porting and polishing the head to make it really flow.  My workshop is still suffering from black dust disease. 

By the end of 2002, I had amassed another $12,000 in receipts.  There was no stopping me now. 

With the help of my Son (who talked me out of painting the truck flat white) and a few friends, the wiring, the interior (which my Son and I painted with spray cans), all the detail work was completed in time for the first concourse show of the year -- O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels.  With all the time to burn at the show, I broke out my receipts and started to add them up -- $25,000+.  Better hide them before the better-half catches wind of this!

Unfortunately, as we all know, some folks just can’t leave well enough alone.  So in 2008, after driving and showing my truck for five years and listening to my wife complain about the transmission every time she drove it, the tear down and parts accumulation began. 

I located a 700R4, upgrades added, including a shift kit and aluminum radiator, and the addition of the first tractor part on 56PICUP -- an International Harvester starter switch.  I just had to keep my foot starter, and with the change to the 700R4, that seemed to be one of the best ways to solve the problem. 

The new transmission does allow me to chirp the rear tires when it shifts to second but I do miss my old column shift and overdrive.  My wife now complains about the hard shifts with the shift kit -- the times,  they are a-changin’.  

  • 1959 261 ci 4000 series truck engine with original cam grind 
  • block bored .060 over  / head shaved .20
  • balanced, ported, and polished
  • Clifford 6=8 water heated intake
  • 390 cfm 4 bbl Holley carb mounted backwards
  • Langdon Stovebolt HEI / Mini PMGR HT racing starter
  • Fenton cast iron headers / IH Farmall foot starter switch
  • Power Pack exhaust tips
  • 700R4 trans with TCI valve body and Buffalo Ent. adaptor plate
  • Lokar Nostalgia shifter - Chevelle 3:31 ratio 12-bolt posi
  • Tailgate moved to front of box, Rhino-Lined, custom tailgate
  • Custom stock-type leaf springs lowered 2”
  • Corvette rally wheels / Rear tinted sliding window
  • Single stage Scotia White paint / Argent Silver Metallic insert
  • Interior semi-gloss 1976 Fiat to match 1999 Tahoe 2nd seat

Well, it was outstanding to see you in Kansas City at the Reunion this year Arch! Hope you'll get to come again and again and again! This is one gorgeous truck! ~ Editor

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