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01 March 2012 Update
# 2906


++ Click on the image above for a great photo ++

Owned by
Les Parker
Bolter # 16500
North Carolina


1969 Chevy C20 Panel Truck

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From Les :

Not to much progress lately. I drove the truck to the shop and had a complete, manifold back exhaust system done. The new tires are on and one new rear door. New front bumper is on.

I suppose the biggest changes since last October have been inside and under the hood. I found a pair of gray buckets seats that a local guy was selling that fit the bill. I got them home and set them in the truck blocked up on wood. I measured down front and back, and had some 1/8" thick brackets folded up to fit.

The Panel also had the "minimalist" instrument cluster that only contains speedometer, gas gauge, and idiot lights. I replaced that with the full gauge cluster.

Under the hood, is all new wiring, an HEI system and going in now are new power steering brackets and power brakes.

The previous owner, in all his wisdom, decided that the power steering pump needed more support. He "modified" the upper bracket beyond recognition. He also made an additional support out of an old car leaf spring which was bolted to the frame and to the pump. I'm sure he thought that his "modifications" would work, but the power steering pump case didn't like engine torque and started to leak. The alternator is below the pump on a 250 so that is where the fluid went. Power steering fluid and alternators don't mix well in a kind of "the shin bone is connected to the leg bone" thing. It took a bit to locate the correct brackets and I am getting them installed now, along with a new internally regulated 12si alternator and the newer "ham can" style pump.

I hope all this will keep the engine liquids where they belong!

I also found a fan shroud and a seven bladed fan and fan clutch so that'll finish the cooling system, too.

Next, I guess, will be power brakes. I have the master / booster set-up and the linkage so there are only two connections to make to
the original system. If my luck runs true to form, that'll take a couple of days, but if everything goes right -- maybe a couple of hours!

The Panel drives pretty good now, and this all should help bring it back to the kind of hi-way cruiser I really want. There's still the job of installing the NV4500 transmission and all that pesky body work waiting for when I get bored.

Earlier this year, I had the Panel out for a "first run" around Raleigh. I noticed the tuning issues and clutch noise I had to sort out - but things went very, very well.

Be sure to check the Photobucket link for more pictures!

Best wishes,


Les "Roadmarks" Parker, a proud member of the Southern Stovebolters, has nice collection of Stovebolts: a 1969 Chevy C20 Panel Truck, a 1956 Chevy Panel, and a 1971 Chevy C-10.

03 October 2011
# 2906

From Les :

Back in August, my wife Sarah and I were about to leave on a 25th Anniversary vacation / road trip to Hot Springs NC and points West and North. Every once in a while, we would check several "for sale" lists for panel trucks, "just to see what's out there." There was a forlorn looking C20 in Charlotte, but we were leaving so it was just not to be.

We were gone two weeks and until long after the ad had disappeared. But I had copied the seller's e-mail. So after we got home and settled, I dropped him a "If you still have this truck" kind of note. I received an email back a few days later. "YES!" He still had it and when would I like to see it?

It needed tires, but it ran and drove!!!

We made arrangements for a visit and Sarah and I drove the 140 miles one way for a look-see. End result ...I gave the owner, a  nice guy named Freddie, a deposit. We made plans to go back in ten days and I would DRIVE it back to Raleigh!

Two days before we were to pick it up, Freddie emailed me and said that the gas tank had a major leak and would not hold fuel! Oh, great! I got an extra fitting for my boat tank and 10' of 3/8" fuel line ... problem solved, for now.

When we got back to Charlotte, I checked all the fluids (all were fine), air (not so good), steering, front wheel bearings,
and brakes(all great!) and I installed the boat tank. I took the truck for a spin around Freddie's neighborhood. The 250 really runs like a fine watch. It is so quiet you can't hear it at stop lights! It has 30+ lbs of oil pressure at hot idle.

We loaded up and hit the road. Charlotte is a BIG CITY! Two miles from Freddie's house the old panel got its first taste of interstate (no choice) in who knows how many years. I gotta tell you that 255/60XR15s and a 4.11 are NOT ideal in this situation. I stayed in the right-hand lane and enjoyed the symphony of horns. Things were going well!

This turned out to be the calm before the storm, because the right rear tire made it to a little beyond Concord before it went. The left one made it to Mt. Pleasant. We started to feel like a NASCAR pit crew!

The transmission is a little noisy. It may need fluid. I'll check it later.

I opened the left floor vent and got live wasps along with the air. They acted pretty woozy and didn't seem to be able to fly, So I was able to pull over in a hurry and brush them out. We started off stopping every 20 miles for a gas check, then 40 miles and finally 60 miles. It was still a lot of stopping, even though it had to be done.

We left Charlotte about 11:30AM, and got home about quarter to four!

The more time I spent on the road with the old panel, the better it drove!  Getting my pair of 9.50X16.5 "spares" on the rear made a lot of difference. Freddie said that the engine had just been rebuilt before he parked it and it looks it. The oil looks good, too. All in all, I am pleased. It seems like the panel and I were meant for each other. Now I gotta deal with the rust!

She ain't pretty, but she's on the street, safe and legal! I just put a set of new Dunlops all the way around! The new 31 gallon gas tank and sender is on the way!


  • 1969 Barn door Panel Truck
  • 127" wheel base
  • 155hp 250cid engine
  • SM465 4 speed (I think)
  • 4.11:1 DANA 60
  • Model C20 2505 built in Flint MI
  • Accessories are HD springs front and rear; passenger's seat and seatbelts.

That's the panel truck story up to now. You can laugh with me or at me, but another one, "Too Good Too Die" has been saved! Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Very best wishes,


Les "Roadmarks" Parker, a proud member of the Southern Stovebolters, has nice collection of Stovebolts: a 1969 Chevy C20 Panel Truck, a 1956 Chevy Panel, and a 1971 Chevy C-10.


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