1965 Chevy Longbed Fleetside
From Joel :
Well, my goal of finishing the truck in one year was way off. Five years later and it's finally done. I did get lots done on it in the first year because I was still in high school and only had two classes. So I worked on it about six hours each day. Once I graduated, I started working for a construction company doing finish carpentry. Working full time for two years, I got very little done and the truck just sat in the garage.
After two years of working (2009), I was laid off due to lack of work. I had saved up a good amount of money, so I promised myself I would not take a new job until I finished my truck.
During the two years of lack of employment, I was able to reach my goal. From July to December 2010, I rented a friend's shop to finish the body work and paint the truck. The paint job came out very good considering it was my first time painting a vehicle.
In January of 2011, the truck came back home for finishing touches and wiring and such. I decided the original 230 was too under powered, so I searched for a 283 to rebuild. Instead I was able to find a 292 with only 400 miles at a price I could not pass up. I switched out the 3.73 gears for 3.08's so I can cruise freeway speeds. It's great at speed but a little doggy getting started.
I am currently searching for a 3-speed with overdrive so I can eventually go back to 3.73's or maybe 4.11's.
Everything on the truck is mostly stock, except I upgraded the fronts to disc brakes and added a power booster. I had the bench seat re-upholstered and also replaced the bed wood with Southern Yellow Pine painted black.
This picture is of the bed upon completion. It's already worn from use ... but that's what a truck is for, to be worked and used!
Once the truck was pretty much done and reliable, I started a new job with a different construction company. As you can see in the first picture at my local lumber yard, I drive the truck for work daily. It seems that I get compliments nearly everyday.
This old truck is a joy to drive and it was a long time coming but my dream truck is finally done! I have thoughts of possibly converting it to 3/4-ton and 4x4 to better suit my needs in the future, but I have absolutely no thoughts of ever selling it!
The picture above is from an October camping trip in the Eastern Sierras. The truck drives so smooth on long trips with coil springs on each wheel, I just love driving it.
29 December 2006
From Joel :
Here is my 1965 Chevy Longbed Fleetside. It has a 230ci engine, 3 speed on the tree and 3.73 gears in the rear end. It's quite a story how I found this truck.
Christmas 2004 me and my family (I was 16 at the time) traveled to Australia for the first time to visit some old friends. Some other friends, whom we had never met, were visiting our Australian friends and soon became our friends as well. This young man and his wife were wild rice farmers in Fall River Mills, a small town in Northern California. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area. They invited us to visit them on their farm some time. So that summer we did.
Upon our arrival at the farm, me and my Dad noticed the truck. So, we inquired about it. Our friend said that a fellow farmer had stored the truck and other equipment on his farmland for the last five years and never returned to pick it up. The truck was in Fall River Mills the 42 years it has been around. He kind of jokingly asked if we wanted the truck. My Dad said he would love to have it ... but he didn't know. My Dad likes to think things through alot before he buys anything.
Over the next few months, we decided we wanted the truck, and Mom allowed such "deciding." So after almost a year of phone calls and getting the title transferred to us, last May we towed a trailer behind our '86 Chevy Suburban for seven hours to go pick it up.
The truck was not in as good condition as we had imagined all that time, but it was still a very good truck. We went to the DMV in Fall River Mills to get it registered. There was one lady working there and one man in line behind us. She gave us tags and two new licence plates right there! We gave our friend $400 dollars for the truck.
Once home, we rebuilt the carb and it started up instantly! The engine runs good but needs some tuning. The body has usual rust on fenders and parts of the cab corners. There were only minor dents and creases on the body. The odometer says 32,000 but it may be 132,000. I'm leaning towards 32,000 because of the condition of the engine.
At first, it was going to be my Dad's truck that we both work on. But at the end of this summer, I ended up paying him back the cost of the truck and anything he had bought up to that point -- so the truck was now mine!
Currently, only the cab is on the truck. I have cleaned and painted the frame and all chassis parts. The rear end is all done as well as the front end, with new springs and disc brakes. I have taken auto shop classes and auto body classes so I have learned "everything" I need to know to restore this truck. I am doing all the body work myself, with very little bondo. I will also paint the truck.
I'm not sure how much I will do to the engine and tranny, but at least replace all the seals. I am restoring this truck completely stock and I am still debating over two tone light blue and white, or just white like the truck was originally.
I got the truck in May last year and I hope to be done and running by May or June of 2007. I seem to be pretty well on schedule. I am now 18 years old. I love old cars and trucks and would rather have a classic than any new truck. This truck will be my daily driver and hopefully will serve me for 42 more years to come!
The photos here show the truck in its hometown of Fall River Mills. You can see Mt. Shasta in the background! I will send more photos in when it is finished.