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Leonardtown, Maryland


1971 Chevy Shortbed Stepside

Owned by

Bob Sawyer
"va creeper"
Bolter # 7677
Chesapeake, Virginia


16 September 2007 Update
# 2025

From Bob :

           Here's a before and after pics of the overdrive trans. I rebuilt for my truck.

16 August 2007
# 2025

From Bob :

           Just want to post a pic and give a little info about my truck. It's a 1971 Chevy Short Stepside with a 250 6 cylinder and 3 speed on the column. I've been doing a frame off restoration, going on 12 years now. I expect to have paint on it by Thanksgiving 2007.

           The truck is all original EXCEPT installed factory air, power brakes, power steering AND the latest mod is 3 speed with overdrive.

           I purchased the truck in 1993 from a farmer in Culpeper County, Virginia. When I called the owner and asked about the rust on the truck, he said "Yea, she's got a little rust on the woman's side -- just below the door." I thought that was cute -- sexist -- but cute.

           I drove the truck for about 18 months before I started the restoration. As I disassembled the truck, I took many, many pictures and made notes on every bolt / fastener and bracket that was removed. (I refer to those pics and my notes all the time!)

           I stripped the truck down to the bare frame, sandblasted and epoxy primed everything and replaced all rusted cab panels, including the door bottoms, rockers, floor pans, cab corners and kick panels. On the inside, all panels have been epoxy primed.

           I built a wooden sandblast cabinet, used a siphon blaster and bead blasted all the small parts and hardware.

           I purchased a mig welder and performed the welding myself. All joints were butt welded, ground smooth and skimmed with filler. Here we are muscling the cab back onto the frame.

           I replaced one bed side panel with a new one from Mar-K bed parts and the quality of the panel was superb! I replaced the end panel and tailgate with new GM parts. The bed strips are polished stainless. The bed wood will is dressed and polished red oak.

           The 250 cubic inch. engine was bored .30 over and rebuilt completely, including all premium quality NAPA Reman components. I replaced all bearings and seals in the 3 speed transmission as well as the differential. All new front suspension components were installed.

           At its present state, the body has been primed and blocked two times and after one more blocking, it should be ready for paint.

           All interior parts are new and many are genuine GM. The truck came from the factory as a bare bones pickup, with no radio. I found a donor 1971 and pulled the air conditioner unit and the power steering and power brake components and reconditioned them. The cab was cut and holes drilled just as a factory unit. The firewall panel behind the a/c box was removed from the donor pickup and I welded it in place.

           I want the stock truck, but I also want the creature comforts that were offered in that year. My greatest challenge was locating the power steering brackets, pulleys and power steering pump and power brake parts, especially the offset air cleaner that is required when using power brakes on an I-6 engine.

           My next challenge will be to install an overdrive transmission in the truck. Finding that overdrive transmission was not an easy task! I just purchased that. After rebuilding it, it will be the next upgrade. Well, here's my agenda. I plan on having the 505 Green on the truck by Thanksgiving, and have all body parts reassembled. After Christmas, I plan to start reassembling the interior of the truck and have it on the road by the summer of 2008. It will have the factory stock white wheels and Bowtie dog dish hubcaps -- I found an NOS set on eBay.

           I have performed all the work on this truck except for the machine work on the block, and what really helped me along the way was the GM parts manual and the assembly manual I purchased early in the process. This is a must for any restoration.

           Can't wait to get this thing on the road!!!