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1969 Chevy C-10 Fleetside


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Leonardtown, Maryland

 

 
  Owned by Patrick Rhea
Bolter # 12043
New Albany, Mississippi
08 June 2009 Update
# 1675

From Patrick :

As of Easter weekend, I finally got my truck home. It was a long two and a half year wait, with all kinda obstacles along the way. The finished product was well worth the wait though.

Uncle Paul got to see the truck this past week and did not recognize it. It has made quite a transformation since the last time he saw it. So I suppose that's understandable.

Here's a front view .

We've got a few shows coming up around here this summer and I'm gonna enter a couple. I'll let you know if I do any good and send more pictures then.

Thanks again for a wonderful web site.

Patrick Rhea


13 February 2009 Update
# 1675

From Patrick :

Hi guys! It's been quite a while since my first posting here -- 28 months actually. I finally have a few additional photos [ front view ] to add to my page.

It's been a long time, and a long road to where I finally am now in the restoration process. After having money and truck parts stolen by a less than reputable restorer, I had to move it to a different shop. I am very happy with the work that's being done now, and I should soon have a completed truck.

Here are a couple original photos of the way the truck looked when I went to get it back in 2006. [ side view :: rear view ] Here's a good view of the new color scheme [ side view ] and the motor [ image ] . As you can tell from the photos, this has turned into a frame off restoration. Hopefully, within another month or so I'll have an assembled truck and can send in some more pictures.

Now for the history of the truck. My Great-grandfather bought the truck new in 1969. It was used as a farm truck until he passed away in 1974. At that time, it had around 22,000 miles on it. My Great-grandmother was still living, but had never driven. The truck stayed in their barn (my barn now) until she passed away in 1985. I would occasionally crank it and let it run for a while, but it was never driven off the property since there was no insurance on it. After my Great-grandmother's death, I bought the old family home place, and my Great-uncle (her only son, and my Grandmother's brother) took it to his home in Memphis. I was sick to see it leave home. I was only seven years old when my Granddaddy Rogers bought it, but I remember it clearly. He had driven us kids to the store for bubble-gum and Cokes in it so many times that I felt like it was mine. When I finally got it back, there were still bubble gum wrappers in the ashtray. I still have them now.

For the first few years, Uncle Paul would drive it occasionally. But in time, it got relegated to the back yard. It wound up parked under a group of trees where it stayed for years. Uncle Paul had gotten older and was physically unable to maintain it.

In the summer of 2006, my Grandmother had a series of strokes and passed away. While she was in the hospital, I asked Uncle Paul about the truck. I told him that if he ever wanted to sell it, I wanted the first opportunity to buy it and restore it -- if neither of his sons wanted it. He said, "We'll talk about it some other time."

I figured that was the end of any discussions and that the truck was gone forever.

The next day, he called me aside and told me the truck wasn't for sale but that he was gonna give it to me in order for it to come "home." I was blown away.

Within a couple of days, I was at their house with a car hauler. That's where the "found" pictures were made. I hadn't seen the truck in 21 years, so I was severely disappointed with the condition when I went to get it. All the hoses were rotted off. The wheel cylinders were rotted. The master cylinder was shot. The list goes on and on.

We loaded it on the trailer with a winch and took it back to Mississippi. I got the power washer out and found what resembled a truck underneath 21 years of moss and grime.

Within a couple of weeks, my mechanic had it running. Roughly -- but it ran. After a new carburetor, gas tank, fuel pump and fuel lines, I had it running like a new truck.

Here's where the story takes a dark turn. I drove it to my original restorer's shop. Some 23 months later, I picked it up with a car hauler, three friends, their trucks and 16 foot trailers. No two pieces of the truck were still assembled and I was out $1500. That was in September of 2008.

The guy that's working on it now just about has it complete. I'm expecting to pick it up within the next month. He has done an amazing job of painting and re-assembling something that was brought to him in pieces.

Uncle Paul calls every week. He always wants to know about the truck's progress. For a long time, I didn't have any good news for him. At his age he was afraid he wouldn't see it completed. I know now that he will! When it's done, I'm gonna drive it back to Memphis and take him for a ride in it. After that it's gonna be parked in the same barn, and in the same stall that it was parked in when Granddaddy Rogers brought it home in 1969. I am gonna drive it as often as I can, but primarily it's gonna be a show truck.

I have most of the original paper work on the truck. I have the original Owner's Manual, service records and protect-a-plate tags. Oh yeah, and bubble gum wrappers. I think that's the most important paperwork I have.

More pictures will follow soon, and they should be of a complete truck that has finally been able to be brought home.

Thanks for a great web site. It has inspired me many times when I was ready to throw in the towel.

Patrick Rhea



What a great story. Thanks for taking the time to write all this. We are looking forward to the last pictures, including one with Uncle Paul! ~ Editor

 


19 September 2006
# 1675

From Patrick :

           Hi guys. Here is a picture of my recently acquired 1969 Chevy C-10 Fleetside. These pictures (here's another) were taken within a couple of weeks of the "found" pictures (see story above). At that particular stage, the truck wasn't running yet, but I had washed it with a commercial grade pressure washer. I have a friend who is in the chemical business, and he gave me some soap that cut all the moss and grime off the paint. I realize the pictures look like they were taken years apart, but actually that's due to some good chemicals and elbow grease.

           This truck has less than 25,000 original miles on it, and was bought new by my great-Grandfather. It was recently given to me by my great-uncle, and is now in the restoration process.

           It has the original 6 cylinder engine, and 3 speed on the column.

           Any tips will be welcome and appreciated!

           I will post photos of the restoration process as I go, and photos after I'm done.

           Great site by the way!

Patrick Rhea
New Albany, Mississippi

-30-


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