A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1952 Chevy 1/2-Ton (Frankenbolt!)
12 March 2008
From Ricky :
Greetings! I've been a long-time lurker on STOVEBOLT.com. I thought I would finally send in a picture of my project.
This obsession began with an eBay purchase of a 1949 Chevy. My Dad and I drove about two hours with a rented trailer and jacked this basket case on the trailer with a come-along in the 102 degree July heat. What a great day!
While I saw future potential, my wife was dubious at best (see photo of doubtful female). I have no place at home to work on such things so the project was left with my Dad at the farm (20 miles away). Needless to say, the project moved along slowly - only on Saturdays, when the weather was nice, but not TOO nice - and when the wife didn't have other plans for me.
In the meantime, I traded an engine for a second truck. Hey, this one came with a title, but little else. The new truck is a 1952 1/2-ton. She was sitting in the woods with a tree growing through the engine compartment - slowly shoving the original 216 out of its home. Basically the only usable parts from the '52 was the frame and cab.
I had to move three locked-down John Deere tractors out of the way, cut a path through the trees with a chainsaw, and drag that sucker out of the woods with a rollback. I was indeed kicking myself when I forgot my camera the day I drug her out of the woods. I just kept thinking about the "it ran when I parked it" contest!
So here's the plan: the hood, fenders, drivetrain, suspension, and bed from the old '49 will go with the frame, cab, and title of the '52 to make a glorious Frankensteinian creation!
I've been asked if I am going back original, a custom show-truck, or a rat rod. My answer: I'm making a SURVIVOR.
I will be driving this truck to work every day, 28 miles away, and most of that is on the freeway at 70 mph.
I'm doing all of the work myself, including the paint. [ Cab ] I've recently changed jobs, and one of the "bonuses" is an open spot in the boss's hotrod shop. Now, once work is over, I slide on over and work on my creation.
The original torque tube rear-end with its 4.11:1 ratio goes away in favor of a GM 10-bolt with 2.73:1 -- good for doing 70 mph at around 2200 rpm. I'm using the 3-speed tranny which was in the '49 when I got it. It appears to be a 351 Muncie out of an old Chevy van from the early 1970's. [ Front end ] The engine I'm using is a low-mileage inline six, GM 250 from a 1973 Chevy C-10.
Take a look at the in process photos. [ Interior ] I'll be painting her WINDSOR BLUE. Right now, she is looking rather stripped, but with the help of Classic Parts and eBay, I've got a box of parts that grows daily.
Thanks for letting me brag. Often, engineers get a bad reputation of "can't do any hands-on work." But I'm more of a hands on engineer, having worked as a machinist / toolmaker for most of my manufacturing career (23 years now). Hopefully my project will change some folks minds about engineers.
I guess officially it is a '52 - that's what the title says - and the cab and frame are from the '52. But I guess it's like the old Johnny Cash song: "it's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56, '57 automobile..." Thanks for the work you do with the website. I know from experience what a task it can be!
I hope to be driving her by Christmas 2008. Will update photos along the way!